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Joe Friel

Glenn--Thanks for posting your numbers. There are lots of people who exceed their estimated FTPs, and by quite a bit. They tend to be highly trained and elite riders.


Formula says 297 Watt, tested on the road with pretty good but not perfect headwind: 287 Watt.

I am at the end of Base III - I hope to reach 305 Watt during peak/race.

How much could usually be added in the Built period (in %)?


Joe Friel

Hi Jon--Thanks for sharing your FTP numbers. I wish I could tell you a % that works for everyone but I can't. It depends on many variables, perhaps the most significant of which is how close you are to your potential at the start of the Build period. A complete novice may be able to increase it 20-40%. An experienced athlete who has been training 'right' for years may not be able to improve it at all.

Toms web ftp

This is great advice. There is no point in training beyond what your normally capable of and if you do you will damage yourself.

Ole Herman Larsen

Actual FTE 305 - calculated FTE 300 (weight 74 kg age 50) Live in Oslo Norway at sea level or just above.


This is cool. I calculated my FTP based on your formula and it is very close. The FTP was done after base 3 in 2011. Hoping to get tiny bit higher or the same FTP after base 3 this season...hoping to be at the same weight I was in 2011...confident. Thanks, this is fun.

Andy Griffin

Hi Joe,

I race principally IM70.3s.

I’m a big follower of your blog. I’ve ‘studied’ your books and train in accordance with the principles and suggested plans therein. After six years I’m still getting year-on-year improvements in my swim, run and overall times.

Just using your ‘rule-of-thumb’ as I guide to a potential target for my FTP, the maths work out for me to be around 240W (male, 63kg, 49 years old - and by the way I’m short at 5’6””). In race season my FTP ranges from 195 to 205 W (dropping to around 175W at end of Base 1 in the following season).

Potentially, I could improve my power by around 40W (20%) on my best FTP. How best should I go about this, what do I need to do differnely – would I be better to bring forward my Sub-threshold/ threshold training (Zones 4/5a) in my programme?

Andy (UK)

Joe Friel

Andy Griffin - It comes down to 3 things: aerobic capacity, lactate threshold and economy. Search these on my blog to find how to improve each. They will raise your FTP.

FTP Hosting

You can get a fairly accurate estimate of your FTP by doing an all out
effort of 20 minutes, then subtracting 5% from that value.

FTP Hosting

If you have an FTP that strong, you are on a training plan with periodic testing and you probably don't need to be estimating your FTP anyway.

L. Steve Varnum

Joe, I know this is an old post, but I am looking for a good way to estimate FTP for the beginning of the season based on "last year's" FTP? I'm sure all riders lose a lot of fitness when not cycling for awhile... especially at my age of 79. But I think I tend to use season-beginning FTP that is too low.
I try to do my first FTP/LTHR test of the season in the 4th or 5th week. Should I do it sooner?

Joe Friel

L. Steve Varnum - Yes. Understood. The body weight etc mentioned in this post is a painless way of estimating it, but it's just a ballpark number. Testing is the only way to get the ballpark smaller. But I understand the reluctance to do a 20- or 30-min test right at the start of the base period. So perhaps try this... Do a 5min all-out test on a slight hill. Subtract 12% and you have a somewhat smaller ballpark number than the 20min test would give you. Not perfect but will get you started.

Dr. Who


I appreciate your Blog, but in my case, I am not a competitive athlete, but I've ridden most all of my life, the FTP formula provided is way off!

I'm overweight. Always have been. I am 5'6" and, wait for it... Aaah!! 52 Years old. I weigh... 275 Lbs! I presume my body has excellent muscle memory.

I Ride a Carbon Framed Opera Leonardo & a Pinarello Carbon Prince, Neither has cracked, by the way. the Opera, which is the oldest, gets the most miles.

According to your formula, my FTP should be above 500. I barely - Max out at half of that - Avg. 99/Max. 265. This is an hours ride during which my BPM 132/156

I've tried an FTP test on a stationary watt bike, but I always get very low (99)results.Whe I let the bike Calculate it, based upon my imputed stats it gives me an FTP of (+-)200, which I still perceive as too high.

I feel I should be somewhere between 145 & 185, but I have no way to corroborate it!?!

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