Wednesday, December 31, 2008

CTL and FTP History

One of the useful things about power data is that a watt in 2006 is the same as a watt in 2009. So chronic training load (CTL) and functional threshold power (FTP) are reliable in comparing training and fitness across multiple years. If your power meter is giving you good numbers (close your eyes and accept it, Hoppa, it won't hurt), then CTL and FTP are 100% valid indicators of how hard you've worked in any year and what FTP benefit you developed from the work. The comparison works best in the winter FTP-build phase.

The comparison is a good test of your training program's effectiveness. There are important contributors to, and indicators of, fitness and succes other than CTL and FTP (genetics, luck, nutrition, weight, confidence, stress level, sleep quality, team strenth, equipment weight and quality, spousal support, tactics, strategy, motivation, sprint power, crank torque, 5-min power, cadence, CdA), but for me they are the ones that matter the most.


Colin Griffiths said...

Good post. That's a pretty impressive increase in FTP for your current CTL. Are you just getting stronger over time, or is there some magic training taking place?

Robert Jordan said...

No magic, just heavy on the SST (sweet spot training) and increased winter volume. The FTP increase probably looks bigger than it really is due to a poor FTP test in the fall. I expect 10-15 watts of FTP increase during my 12-week winter training phase, some of which will be maintained throughout the season so I start at a slightly higher point next November.