FTP Improvement


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    I mentor a top age group athlete using the level 3 08/20 pace and power full ironman plan. The athlete questions the plan and says it does not improve the FTP. The athlete complained the FTP was going down. Does the plan need supplemental workouts for this type of athlete?

    David Warden


    While I can see an elite and experienced athlete temporarily plateauing their FTP on an 80/20 plan, reverting is not expected.

    There are many reasons why an athlete, on an 80/20 plan or otherwise, would revert. These are the questions I would ask:

    – To answer your direct question, supplemental strength training may be required for many athletes to improve. What was the strength training plan for this athlete?
    – Was power to weight ratio going up even if FTP was going down? Then raw FTP doesn’t matter.
    – When analyzed, at what intensity balance ratio did the athlete improve FTP? If not at 80/20, did improvement occur at 70/30, 90/10?
    – How long was the athlete on the 80/20 plan? It really needs a dedicated 12 weeks.
    – Did FTP go down by 1 watt or 30?
    – Was this bike and/or run FTP?
    – How was the adherence to the 80/20 plan? I’ll sometimes pick up an athlete who believes they are following 80/20 but upon inspection the training is not fully aligned with the 80/20 principles.
    – Would the athlete be willing to allow me to analyze their training?


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