Initial ftp for a fit guy doing first Half Monty?

So my fit husband is planning to try SYSTM during some time off from running. He’s used to running 5 miles at 8minutes/mile a couple of times a week.

This morning he did Cadence Build then played with Level mode on an open ride. He’s planning to do Half Monty on Thursday but I’m worried that the initial ftp setting of 150 will be so low he’ll finish the whole ramp.

Should I scale everything up proportionately from 150 to 200W? 250W?

Here are his results from this morning’s open ride, if that helps. I sure appreciate the advice.

Does he have a VO2 max estimate from running? If so you could guesstimate his FTP using this formula:
FTP = weight x (VO2max - 3.5) / 15

Where weight is in kg and VO2 max is in mL/kg/min (which is what you get out of eg a Garmin watch)


Make sure you also bump up the MAP number, as that is what the ramp part of Half Monty is based on. Maybe FTP of 250 W and MAP of 320 W could be a starting point. If the number is too high, then he will not be able to complete the first five ramp steps - that’s probably better (from a time consumption perspective) than getting to the end of the ramp without failing.


You say he runs 5 miles at 8minutes/mile a couple of times a week, where would he rate this on the RPE scale
Running RPE, rTP, and RTHR – Wahoo Fitness Support

8min/mile pace is just below threshold for me (6’1" 170lbs) my FTP is 290w MAP 350w

We might be able to make an inference from his cadence build workout if you told his threshold and or Max HR?

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I would not worry too much.

The Half Monty is not that fatigue inducing as FF. If he does not get good numbers, he can always adjust and do it again in a few days. After all, there is an option in the FF training plan for doing a HM a few days before a FF. So it should be OK to do a HM, and then another HM in a few days.


Yeah. The 7 day Test Prep plan has a HM on day 3 and FF on day 7. Best way to test IMO. Consistent lead-in to the FF and the HM provides suggested targets for the FF making it easier to pace. Very solid week of workouts too.

Set FTP to 3.3 W/kg and MAP to 1.225 * FTP before HM.
It should be easy enough to complete first 6 ramp steps yet fail to complete the whole ramp.


Thanks, all (@bukharin , @way9e0 , @JGreengrass , @Heretic , @Saddlesaur , and @macnuts ) for the advice and help!

I set his ftp at 250W (MAP at 1.226ftp) and had him start. He quickly realized that was too high, so he dropped to 200W and restarted. It was interesting.

He’s riding a poorly fit bike with no clips. The limiting factor for him turned out to be cadence! 70 rpm feels natural. 80 rpm feels fast. He said 90 rpm feels unsustainable. He did make it through 7 ramps and experienced his first Spiral of Doom. :smirk:

We’ll be working on fit and try to find him some bike shoes this weekend. I’ve got a couple sets of old clips/pedals he can use.

This is so fun, helping him get started suffering after he’s watched me for 4 years :grin:. I can’t wait for him to experience Nine Hammers! :smiling_imp: But first, he’ll be traveling to a Very Dark Place.


The cadence problem is not surprising.

His aerobic engine might be good, but these are new muscle recruitment patterns. Some of that problem may be poor gear choice. I remember when a friend of mine starting cycling, he said to me that I spun so fast. He eventually learnt how to shift properly, and gained some leg strength.

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Not at all unusual for someone not accustomed to cycling. It takes awhile to get used to cadences that are most efficient. After a few years of avid riding, most will gravitate toward the cadence typical of experienced riders. Of course it can also be purposely worked on instead of waiting years.