Strategies to Increase Functional Threshold Power (FTP) For Cyclists
April 25, 2024

Strategies to Increase Functional Threshold Power (FTP) For Cyclists

Hey there, speed enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into cycling performance, focusing on a crucial aspect—Functional Threshold Power, or FTP. Whether you’re prepping for a race or just looking to beat your personal best, boosting your FTP can make a significant difference. So, buckle up as we explore tried-and-tested strategies to help you ramp up your FTP and elevate your cycling game.

Understanding FTP

Functional Threshold Power is the maximum power you can sustain for an hour. It's like finding out how fast you can go without burning out too quickly—it's essential for endurance. Cyclists measure FTP through tests like the 20-minute effort or the ramp test, where sustained effort reveals how much power you can handle. Understanding your FTP helps tailor your training, pushing your limits just right.

Fundamental Training Principles

Consistency is your best friend here. Regular training sessions, without skipping, gradually enhance your FTP. But it’s not just about hard riding; recovery plays a massive role. It’s crucial to balance intense sessions with adequate rest—this is where real growth happens. Training with a plan that varies in intensity ensures you're not just working hard but also working smart.

Specific Training Workouts to Increase FTP

Interval Training 

Interval Training

Interval training is essential for increasing your Functional Threshold Power (FTP), the maximum power you can sustain over an hour of cycling. This training style involves short bursts of intense effort followed by recovery periods. Here are some specific types of interval training:

  • VO2 Max Intervals: These intervals are typically short (2-5 minutes) and are performed at a very high intensity. The goal is to push your cardiovascular system to its limits, increasing the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise.
  • Sweet Spot Training: This involves intervals slightly below your FTP, around 88-94% of your FTP. These intervals are longer (typically 10-20 minutes) and help build endurance and power at the same time.
  • Threshold Intervals: These are done at or above your FTP (95-105% of FTP) for 5-20 minutes. They are crucial for increasing the power you can sustain over an hour, directly targeting the improvement of FTP.

Endurance Rides 

Endurance Rides

Endurance rides are long, steady efforts fundamental to building a robust aerobic base. These rides typically last several hours and are done at a moderate intensity, usually around 56-75% of your FTP. The benefits of endurance rides include:

  • Improved Aerobic Capacity: Longer rides increase the efficiency of your heart and lungs, which is crucial for long-term cycling performance.
  • Enhanced Fat Utilization: These rides help your body become more efficient at burning fat as a fuel source, preserving glycogen stores for higher-intensity efforts.
  • Muscular Endurance: Riding for several hours increases the resistance of your leg muscles to fatigue, which is essential for maintaining a high power output over more extended periods.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-Intensity Interval Training

HIIT consists of concise, intense efforts followed by brief recovery periods. These are akin to the sprints in cycling training and are critical for increasing peak power output. The structure of a typical HIIT session might include:

  • Short, Intense Bursts: These usually last from 30 seconds to a few minutes, with the intensity reaching near maximum effort.
  • Quick Recovery: Recovery periods are often equal to or shorter than the effort periods, allowing enough time to recover before the next burst.
  • Enhanced Metabolic Response: HIIT significantly improves metabolic flexibility, enabling your body to switch efficiently between different energy systems, which is beneficial for short- and sustained efforts.

Integrating these specific workouts into your training regimen can significantly enhance your FTP and overall cycling performance. Each type of workout targets different aspects of cycling fitness, and together, they provide a comprehensive approach to improving your power and endurance on the bike.

Equipment and Technology

Choosing the right gear, like a reliable bike and appropriate accessories, can make a significant difference. Moreover, incorporating technology such as power meters helps track your performance meticulously. You can use Compression Recovery Boots for post-ride recovery. They help reduce muscle fatigue and get you back on the bike faster, contributing significantly to your training regime and performance improvements.

Post-Workout Recovery

After a grueling ride, your muscles must recover to prevent DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), which can hinder your training schedule. Compression Recovery Boots can help alleviate the soreness by increasing blood flow and reducing lactic acid build-up. This targeted muscle relaxation and recovery approach can drastically reduce recovery time, enabling more consistent training.

Compression Boots


Incorporating such advanced equipment into your training boosts your performance and ensures you are training smarter. With consistent use, you can see significant improvements in your FTP, making every pedal stroke count towards achieving your cycling goals.

Using technology strategically, such as with the Compression Boots, translates to quicker recovery, more productive training sessions, and a higher FTP. Remember, in the pursuit of increasing your FTP, every small advantage you harness empowers you!

Nutrition and Hydration

Fueling your body correctly is non-negotiable. Carbohydrates are your primary fuel during rides, so take your time with them. Staying hydrated is equally important, as even a 2% drop in body water can reduce performance. Pre-ride, during, and post-ride nutrition uniquely affects your training effectiveness and recovery.

Mental Strategies

Mental grit drives physical performance. Setting clear, achievable goals and monitoring your progress can keep motivation high. Mental resilience helps you push through when your body screams to stop, a crucial factor in FTP improvement.

Recovery Techniques

Recovery isn't just downtime. Active recovery, quality sleep, and even massages contribute to muscle repair and prepare you for the next challenge. Effective recovery directly influences your ability to train harder and improve FTP.


Increasing your FTP is a multifaceted approach involving detailed training, precise nutrition, smart use of technology, mental toughness, and thorough recovery. By embracing these strategies, you're not just spinning wheels; you're gearing up for measurable improvements.