We’re all looking for ways to be a little bit faster, so we called Coach Kevin Poulton who put together a 4 week long FTP training plan for us. This is a plan which will give almost everybody who follows it an FTP boost. How much of a boost? Let’s find out more…
Who is this plan for?
This plan is for Zwifters who know their FTP already. But, if you don’t know your FTP, don’t worry – there are several FTP test options under the Workouts in Zwift that will help you get to a baseline number. Read here for more information on FTP.
So you know your FTP? Great! Let’s continue…
Each week of this plan provides daily sessions that target a specific component of building FTP, such as endurance, V02 max and lactate threshold. You will need to be ready to commit to this full 4 weeks because each week will involve 5-6 hours of training.
What should we expect?
The 4wk FTP Boost plan is designed specifically to provide workouts that will improve both FTP and endurance. To improve the ability to train with intensity, it’s important to commence each session well-fueled and to refuel again adequately at the completion of each workout. This will help proper recover and also has the added benefit of increasing resting metabolic rate.
During each workout, Coach Kevin has provided helpful notes that will pop up to give a sense of what to expect throughout the workout session, what’s coming up next and things to look for, such as heart rate response. He also describes some of the exercise physiology principles employed during the sessions.
Coach Kevin also notes “these workouts require high intensity efforts.” Let’s be honest – it’s gonna hurt and you’re gonna sweat, so make sure to focus on both nutrition and recovery during these 4 weeks to make the most of the plan.
The 4wk FTP Boost plan breakdown
For the first week, focus is on moderate intensity intervals and introduction to the duration of the final FTP test session in 4 weeks time. Training at the top end of Zone 3 Tempo range will improve aerobic capabilities by increasing muscle glycogen stores.
Later in the week, sprint work is introduced, so get ready to fly! By incorporating sprint efforts into a steady state effort, you recruit additional muscle fibers and extend their ability to work aerobically.
For the second week, it’s about increasing the length of the moderate intensity intervals and introducing Maximal Aerobic Power work after first building a little fatigue. With reduced recovery intervals and bouts of intensity above FTP, aerobic efficiency will improve.
During week 2, you should also observe your heart rate during work intervals and monitor the ability to recover. If you have a heart rate monitor, wear it!
Here on our third week, it’s time to challenge the ability to process lactate at near FTP power. By completing longer steady state intervals that touch on Maximal Aerobic Power, endurance and FTP will increase.
If this all sounds a bit much, don’t worry – most sessions start out with comfortable sub-threshold efforts and progress through the power zones to finish with efforts above FTP.
The final week brings last preparations for the upcoming FTP test. Here, it’s about increasing the time spent at threshold during progressive intervals. You will also learn to implement effective pacing in a FTP effort by completing a shorter 10 minute ‘best effort’. The aim here is to maintain, or even increase power during the effort.
As you can see, this is a serious training plan which promises to give serious results and a serious boost. So, finally – how much of a boost? Well, after completing these 4 weeks of FTP specific training, Coach Kevin says you can expect to see a sizeable increase of 10-15% in FTP – That is quite a boost!
Who is Coach Kevin?
Coach Kevin Poulton is a World Tour coach with extensive experience at the highest level. Under his guidance, athletes have won Paris-Roubaix, World Tour Classics, Grand Tour Stages and competed at the Olympics. He’ll make you faster.