How to increase FTP?

I have just completed a Half Monty and I am disappointed with the results. I felt very good this morning - the legs were feeling strong.
However my MAP is down 2 and FTP down 2 and since last year this numbers are steadily decreasing. I am 59 but have always had a problem with running out of oxygen - this always fails me first before the legs.
I have had a few hours of sulking and now I am ready to fight back!!!
I have looked at the Building Block training plans and the Tempo and MAP blocks both seem to help build FTP so I am looking for some advice as to what to do.
I look forward to hearing from you :grin:


Have you done a FF and found out what your weakness is? I have found out that as I get older, it takes effort to maintain, and even more effort to improve. Recovery becomes extra important.

I am guessing that you might have problems with sustained efforts. In that case, you might focus on the workouts that emphasize that.

I might also suggest that you use the strength workouts to build up your core. Have you looked at Elements of Style to make your pedaling more efficient?

Another possible thing to focus on is your neuromuscular recruitment. Cadence Builds and the NM progressions might help there.

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What have you been doing recently for training? Like, in terms of what workouts, how often, etc?

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VO2 max is my weakness. Sprinting is my strength.

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12 days ago i cycled from London to Paris in 4 days. Previous to that I cycle generally 4/ 5 times a week. 3 x zone2, 1 x HIIT session and 1 x 4 hour club ride.


Sounds as if endurance is a strength of yours as well.
Sustained efforts and MAP work would help.

Do not neglect better muscle recruitment, form, and core strength. They will help you get the most out of your work on the bicycle.

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Although I don’t know what the coefficient of variation is for this test, there is no way that a “change” of 2 watts is a change. If for example, you FTP is 200 watts that would be 1%. This is biology not engineering. 1% is not going to be statistically significant for any biological variable. You just biked a really long ride in 4 days. You are in great shape and should be proud of the accomplishment.


You are correct about the fact that a 2 point change is irrelevant. The OP did say that things have been steadily decreasing since last year.


And i stated thid is a great sign of overtraining. It may be time for some serious recovery. I just read the rides she’s done recently, and there’s signs that she’s approaching, if not in, RED-S. Time to spin it out…and, yes, I’ve been there, it’s UGLY and it takes months to get out, if ever.


I feel great - so I’m not sure I am. But if I am how did you recover / spin it out.?


My first thought on your post was ‘only 12 days’ since riding your (300 miles?) over 4 days thing. Everyone’s different of course. Depending on a huge number of variables you could easily be fully recovered, or not.

I am wary of throwing too many opinions out on to the Interweb before getting the 100 reasons why everything is stupid, so please treat this as a guess … only you will know your own training load and so on

It looks like you’ve being getting lots of time on the bike — and great training for an epic journey, which will have played really well in to your event (which is to be able to keep going for a long time for four days)

That feels to me like what I do for long distance stuff, and it sets me up nicely for exactly that - keeping going.

It’s not what I would do if I wanted to see an increase in a test protocol that is heavily biased towards VO2.
The two things are polar opposites in terms of goals and outcomes.

So if you were doing a lot of time on the bike (whether that was for the Paris ride, or just because it’s what you like doing, whatever), then you’ll be trained for distance

If you want to see the protocol numbers go up, then it may be you then want to get after more traditional SUF type workouts, and focus in purely on that.

I’d say you holding your numbers steady in a massively VO2 based test (I know the second bit is sustained but it’s all based on the HR in the RAMP) after doing what you’ve done is huge - as it means you’ve not lost anything while doing that ride.

So well done on the ride, on the test, and good luck with your next goal :ok_hand:


Do you track resting HR?

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Yes and my HRV and both have been back to normal levels since Sunday.


68 year old here - I say get used to decreasing numbers as you get older.


@Linda_Xanthe_Hulls While I wouldn’t wan to hear this anymore than you will, I would have to agree that decreasing numbers as you get older is a fact of aging. I’m 65, and could echo much of what you’ve described, and I really only saw it happen in the last year or a little more.
It was occurring before that, but not very much, and not with a drastic drop that I experienced partly due to sickness (pleurisy and pneumonia in September 2022, then Covid in Dec. '22)
The September thing was sudden and seriously limiting. December sickness was not so much or so obvious, but what had started coming back in terms of recovery from September did take another setback that lasted quite a long time, even though the Covid was very mild to me.

You MAY or MAY NOT be hitting anything similar in terms of loss of FTP as I did (mine dropped about 10-13% rapidly, and the comeback was very delayed, and is still not yet back where it had been but getting close. I may have hit a plateau now, or maybe will get a little more. I’m about 4-5% below previous level just over a year ago and have stayed at this place for a few months.

I would stress that you needn’t give up in any way, nor start thinking you won’t gain back strength and FTP value, however much that was. (As others said, if it was only 2 points, that’s a zero change, but you probably meant it was much more than that?) You may just come back and exceed your previous year numbers, who knows.

But as @Martin said, you need to decide what exactly you want to achieve and your training will determine if that happens or not. You may be seeing pretty much what you should expect from what you’ve recently done.

I would like a higher FTP, but I also want to log a lot of miles on outdoor rides, and I can’t expect to make some FTP gains if I’m overtraining and not getting sufficient mix of sessions that build FTP. So for now, I’m content to let the outdoor long rides take priority, filling in some short indoor MAP and AC builders when I can, because I think those help me most in terms of time spent and value generated.

Come colder weather, I may accept a little more disciplined planning (maybe!) to raise my FTP… if I can.
I hope you get some good insight and come up with a plan for achieving what means most to you!


That’s a good thing. However, you may need a week more recovery. Why? To complete the reset so you can go hard again and make sure the residuals of the previous block are completely gone.


I think there’s some good news though in that part of the solution is very simple.

If i’m understanding you correctly, you’ve only been doing one hard day / interval day per week. You can improve fitness by simply bumping that up to two hard days per week. Your current schedule looks geared to maintain endurance and other parameters, not build (potentially build endurance, but only if the duration of the rides is progressively challenging you, otherwise it’s maintain). It also looks like you haven’t been doing a ton of structure.

so although, obv there’s things like aging that we can’t control, if you start imposing more structure with at least two hard days per week (after you’re recovered enough of course), you should see improvement.

personally i would start with FTP and not MAP. Everyone loves MAP and it gets a lot of attention. It’s exciting and fun to go hard plus MAP is a key ingredient to keep building after we hit plateaus, and many casual athletes don’t have a ton of experience going all that hard utnil they start on SUF (meaning MAP is novel). But it’s also super costly metabolically and in terms of recovery and so even as it’s a critical ingredient, it should not be the biggest component as cycling is fundamentally an endurance sport. It’s like making a paella! Saffron is the quintessential ingredient, and you cannot make a paella without it. but it’s also super expensive and if you look at the ingredients, what is paella mostly by volume? It’s rice and seafood, the “key ingredient” is a relatively small part.

in general, i’d start with FTP and tempo workouts first. These do not always raise FTP a ton, but they definitely will extend your ability to ride at FTP, which is also really important for performance if not more so. then after you’ve extended your ability to ride at FTP and exhausted the raising-FTP gains fro mFTP work, THEN hit the MAP to raise the ceiling, recover, retest, and do it again.

(NM and AC workouts are helpful for performance and keeping up the high end but they will not raise FTP unless you’re starting out pretty untrained. Your keys for raising FTP are FTP workouts, a bit of tempo workouts, endurance–these three being the majority–, then MAP)


Gotta love PAELLA!!! :yum::yum:


This is another reason to consider retiring if you haven’t already. So much more recovery time, which is more important as you approach the big 6.0.!!!



You are a young man. :slight_smile: