Sustained Power - MAP or FTP Block?

Hi there, I’ve got a 200km sportive coming up in May with 3,000m climbing… 9 weeks away. I’m in reasonably good shape. I’m a sprinter so no probs with top end, but my Sustained Power on climbs is absolutely terrible. I’ve been doing weights through the winter and lots of Z2 with some threshold thrown in. Going forward I’m planning 2 long rides per week at Zone 2 (1.5hr indoor, 4hr outdoor), 1 x weights session and I’d like to do 2 higher intensity workouts of an hour. Any thoughts on whether I should do a MAP or Threshold building block to improve Sustained Power?? P.S I’m 50

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I would do a 4wk MAP followed by a 4 week Threshold.


@joxer +1. I found the FTP progressions especially helpful.

Definitely agree that if you’re gonna do a Vo2max block, nows the time. But the question of should you, not sure we can answer.

What’s your FTP like (relative to your five minute) and how long can you hold it? How do you feel later on in your harder rides?

FTP can keep going up much longer than four weeks if you haven’t trained it rigorously yet, and extending TTE by training FTP will have a far bigger boost to your “durability” than any other type of hard interval.


Interesting question and replies, thank you. I am a sprinter too, love half is easy, pain shakes, revolver and pro rides, there are so many recovery periods, but a hill any bigger than a matchstick or a 10 min effort substantially less than FTP and I fade badly

This is spot on with 9 weeks to go


Alternatively, you could dial up the the gravel grinder or mountainous gran fondo plan and just set the end date as the day of your event.

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Thank you all, doing a MAP block with at least one long outdoor Z2 session

Curious to know peoples thoughts…… I seem to be able to push high power numbers (for me) for about 1 minute maybe 1min 30 but e.g about 125% - 130%ftp. After that it really becomes a struggle, my fatigue increases very, very quickly after 75s, especially if I want to keep my cadence high (>90).

I can drop my cadence and power through for longer, but I don’t think that’s the point of MAP.

Should I be looking at pushing even higher power numbers or instead focus on maintaining the 120%-135% ftp range for longer and longer durations e.g up to 5 mins, whilst keeping my cadence >90???

Here’s my take, although i’m curious to see what andy says. “MAP” seems to be supported by many things, right? Anaerobic capacity, max oxygen you can get in and force through the heart, capillarization and mitochondria density and function in all of the muscles including the big motor units, etc. In other words, many trainings can improve MAP (including AC), and a MAP block can therefore improve many things, so what are you most trying to target maybe is the question?

E.g., if i were trying to target the centrally limited Vo2max to improve that parameter the most, I would try to keep the cadence high (maximize that muscle pump that forces the blood back into the ventricle to stretch that baby out), and do them in level model with a power that would have me breathing through my eyeballs for at least 3+ minutes per interval, whatever that power is. If it starts out at 125% to 130% but then drops a bit, i think that’s okay as long as i’m still bleeding out the eyes and ears. Similarly, if i have to cut the interval 30 seconds short, i still achieved my goal. This is something where at a certain point, we’re loading plates on teh bar, not adding reps.

But if i were going for specificity, like the ability to maintain a certain power for a certain time, kind of recover and then do it again, and again, and again (and the SUF workouts are kinda great for this thing, like race practice), i’d drop the power to what i could sustain and focus on sustaining it.


Sorry, i just thought of something: specifically for you, you seem to be an top-end focused athlete with good short power but sustained weakness. That means you probably have a decent chunk of headroom above FTP so you may have to go hard in order to actually challenge vo2max because your AC can prop you up. Therefore, you might find that you need to do these at a power that you can only sustain for like 2.5 to 3 mins in order to get yourself where you want to be (i.e. gasping like a wounded water buffalo), and your power may drop a bit over that time. If that’s the case, i think that’s okay, as long as you get a good 15 to 20 minutes of intervals in, and they’re all quality, you still did a good vo2max workout even if you didn’t complete every prescribed interval to the prescribed length. That said 75 yo 90 seconds is a bit short, so you probably want to adjust the power to where you can get at least 2.5 to 3 mins

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That is EXACTLY what happens…… same in a ramp test, I can get a good result but it’s a false economy as the last 2 or 3 ramps come from AC. Today I only did 1 min VO2 and I kept having to increase the resistance. This is good to hear so I’ll try as you suggest… it makes total sense and with respect to what I’m experiencing