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Old 06-12-12, 10:37 AM   #1
HMF
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FTP maintenance

How long does the FTP "high water mark" last? Say you spent 6-8 weeks working on threshold and got it up pretty high. How much maintenance work is required to just keep it from there?
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Old 06-12-12, 12:06 PM   #2
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I don't think I've ever "maintained" longer than 6 weeks. That's not really maintaining though -- it falls a bit and you fight it back up to the same level. It's not pleasant either. You're doing all the work you were doing before, but you're not seeing any gains at all.

For me, it's better to take three or four of those weeks of big numbers, then go back to base for a couple weeks and let FTP drop to start another peak. The build happens quickly when it starts again.
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Old 06-12-12, 12:13 PM   #3
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Are you talking about how long you can sustain a peak for?

If you're not directly training FTP it'll continue to go up if you're doing shorter term intervals or sub threshold stuff as well. If you're going into base miles mode for a rebuild, then it'll probably drop a little bit but come back up higher as you start to train it or other stuff again.
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Old 06-12-12, 12:39 PM   #4
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Well, I'm already preparing for the State Road Race Championship in September. I'm doing some "next level" type stuff right now to "raise the floor" so to speak. All focused AWC and V02 max stuff is on hold right now, except for the occasional crit or group ride. I'm just wondering when I'm done with focused FTP work by late July, will it start to fall again if I become more focused on shorter intervals, or can I count on it to stay the same pretty much until base this winter?
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Old 06-12-12, 01:19 PM   #5
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For the way my seasons generally come together, I would probably try to spike in late June (VO2 now, start AWC and sprints in 1.5 weeks). Then I'd take two weeks of base (this is low-tempo stuff, not easy endurance). Third week in July, I'd start the threshold intervals for 3 weeks (week of push, then pull, then push FTP), then 2 weeks of VO2 and FTP, then three weeks of AWC, VO2, and FTP.

For the state RR, you're going to want to make sure you get a long ride in every week, maybe 4-5 hours ideally, with a couple of those hours up at that low tempo rate. You can also combine by starting the long ride off with another workout (2x20s, two sets of ZCIs™, 6x1x5s, etc.).

These are the kinds of things that work for me. Everyone is different.
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Old 06-24-12, 06:58 PM   #6
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WR, sounds like you really have a good sense of where your FTP is at, do you do a lot of testing? Or just go by results of training rides and races? I spent the beginning of the season being very structured with my training time, riding solo about 90% of the time. Now I've just decided to have fun and go for the fun/fast training rides in between races. I feel stronger than ever, but then again I'm still fairly new to this and don't think I've hit my ceiling yet. I would imagine training like you do must be important once you've hit that ceiling and are trying to squeeze everything out of your body that you can.
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Old 06-25-12, 10:20 AM   #7
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For me, it's mostly a matter of guessing based on interval performance. I did so much testing when I was getting started, that I was able to see a rhythm to it, and don't need to test so much these days. The ceiling is frustrating to me, because I can't get back up to it. I just don't make the training time. Big difference between 5 hours/week (if I'm lucky these days) vs. 8 or so per week when I was really strong.
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Old 06-25-12, 02:59 PM   #8
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For me FTP continually rises as I train, 3.5 years now and the only time it dropped was after the birth of my first child where it coincided with a big drop in training volume and sleep, since resuming solid training (not quite as solid as before) it's returned to where it was (although at a higher weight until very recently) So 3.5 years ago it was ~290 (at 76kg) now it's ~335 (at 75kg) there's certainly occasional fluctuations, but much lower fluctuations than in my 5 minute numbers which do go up and down much more in response to the type of training I do, but the only way to see a drop in FTP for me is to stop riding.

My ride mix includes a lot of 90%-110% of FTP for long periods both solo and in groups, so it's possible that maintains it regardless of the more specific types of training I do.
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