TRAINING TIPS: Threshold Intervals
How to improve FTP
Okay, we talk a lot about Threshold Power (or similarly known as FTP).If you know what Threshold Power is, how can you improve it? The answer: Threshold Intervals.
Threshold Intervals are workouts built to improve your Threshold Power (FTP), thus improving your overall aerobic capacity on the bike.
Threshold Intervals are your bread and butter if you want to see improvements in overall strength and power. This bang for your buck interval workout is challenging to complete and has a high aerobic contribution. Load this workout on to your Stages Dash and you’ll see FTP improvements in no time.
The workout is two 20-minute intervals ridden at Zone 4, with 5-10’ recovery between each interval.
- 20′ @ Zone 4
- 5-10′ Recovery
- 20′ @ Zone 4
- 5-10′ Recovery.
Cadence can differ by discipline, or what you’re trying to achieve. Generally here is the breakdown:
- ROAD: 80-100rpm
- MTB: 70-80rpm – to replicate a sustained climb
- TRACK: 100-110rpm
- TRI: 70-90rpm
The 20 Minute Interval begins as soon as you bring your power up to Zone 4, not when your Heart Rate or Perceived Effort reach Zone 4. The latter should reach Zone 4 as the interval progresses. So, as soon as you put pressure on the pedals, thats the beginning of your interval duration.
WHAT IS ZONE 4:
Zone 4 Threshold Intervals are performed at 91-104% of your Threshold Power. Your heart rate should also be about 90-100% of max. The Perceived Effort of this interval is pretty high. Think 7-8 out of 10.
As you are going through the 20 interval, your Perceived Effort and Heart Rate are going to have to catch up to the intensity of the interval. So don’t go out too hard. Remember this is a sustainable effort over a 20-minute duration. It’s steady, and you should not have spikes in power.
For example, when you begin this intense and extended interval your Perceived Effort may seem pretty low. However as you progress through the minutes, even as your power output remains constant, your Perceived Effort and Heart Rate will increase.