Functional Threshold Power Drills

Fabio Casartelli Fondo

You'll see from the picture above, that riding above your
functional threshold hurts and hurts bad. 

When & Why?
To understand why you need to increase your Functional Threshold Power, please review the FTP factsheet.  To understand how you increase your FTP continue reading this one and you may be able to cycle without the above pained expression.

As with all structured principles, training or otherwise, we need to start from a known baseline.  To carry out "proper" FTP development, we need to know our FTP to begin with.  How to determine your FTP is well documented in the above factsheet.  So if you haven't read it yet, it's a good place to start.

Obviously ideal for a turbo session but can be built in to longer rides at the weekend on the road.  No real risks on the road other than avoiding junctions, traffic lights and environmental factors.  Much easier to pace indoors!

There are many ways to help develop your FTP.  The Classic Method as developed by Dr Andrew Coggan is the 2 x 20 session.  Two 20 minute intervals, at 85% FTP separated by a 10 minute recovery.  Hardly edge of the seat excitement but it does bring results.

There are many variations on FTP Development but this is the first, and possibly best, and probably the least inspiring of them all.  I'll release others to you in due course.  The best ones, I save for my clients!

The Warm Up Warning
All interval sessions require a thorough and proper warm up...

Once thoroughly warmed up and at "race pace" readiness, undertake the following session.

Session Description

20 minutes @ 85% FTP  
10 minutes Recovery  
20 minutes @ 85% FTP  
Cool Down    

Session Timings

Warm Up 10  
Interval Effort 40  
Interval Recovery 10  
Cool Down 5  
Total Session Time 65 mins max

Session Schematic


  Duration in minutes shown up the side

The photo at the top of this page was taken on the Fabio Casartelli Medio Fondo around Lake Como in glorious Lombardy.  It was the second to last corner of a 1.7 kilometre climb that averaged 17%.  It hurt like you wouldn't believe, but oh! the descent...