What is FTP and how can I improve it?
Plus, learn how to register your FTP to enter the MyWhoosh Championship
Amid the many acronyms and abbreviations of the cycling world, FTP is one that needs to be firmly on your radar. From beginners to pros and all riders in between, this performance metric is crucial to tracking your fitness and monitoring your progress. And for those signing up for the MyWhoosh Championship, entering an FTP result will be an essential part of the registration process – so don’t miss out!
What is FTP?
If you hear cyclists talking about their FTP, they’ll be referring to their Functional Threshold Power –the maximum power that can be maintained over a 60-minute cycle, measured in watts. Essentially, the higher your FTP, the better your aerobic engine and overall fitness level. But there’s a bit more to it than that.
Your first FTP acts as your baseline level. Once calculated, you can monitor the impact and effectiveness of your training program by performing tests every month or quarter. If you’re putting the effort in, you should see your FTP begin to rise.
How to work out your FTP
First things first, you’ll need a power meter or smart trainer which will measure your results in watts.
While the most direct way to test your FTP would be to cycle as hard as you can for one hour, the time and physical intensity of this usually leads cyclists to other options. On MyWhoosh, you can complete either a full MyWhoosh 20-minute FTP test (which takes around 75 minutes to complete) or a shorter ramp test (which takes around 37 minutes to complete) to find out your FTP – but don’t be put off, there is no pass or fail! Rather, these tests have been designed to give an accurate assessment of your fitness level.
For true accuracy, you need to maintain a steady flat-out pace, without undulations which might prompt sudden surges or losses in power. For that reason, indoor cycling is a great way to achieve precise, consistent results, free from variables such as hills, wind, and traffic.
What is a good FTP result?
Your FTP is a metric that’s unique to you and should be used primarily to measure personal progress rather than as a tool of comparison. This is because height and weight will vary from rider to rider, and these variations play a big role in power potential. For example, someone bigger with more lean muscle mass will be capable of reaching a higher FTP, but that doesn’t mean they would necessarily beat a smaller, lighter cyclist in a real or virtual race.
This being said, there are rough benchmarks for beginner and professional riders. Most amateur cyclists could expect to have an FTP between 200 and 300 watts, whereas a pro’s FTP would typically sit around 350 to 410 watts. However, due to the relationship between FTP and weight, it’s important to remember that the only person you should really be competing with for a better result is yourself.
Using FTP for the MyWhoosh Championship
The MyWhoosh Championship is set to be the biggest race in virtual e-cycling history. It will take place over 8 days, 7 stages, and 3 MyWhoosh worlds, with an incredible prize pool of $1,000,000 starting on April 28th and ending on May 5th. Open to riders of all levels, registration is now open.
As part of the sign-up process, you will be required to enter your FTP so we can determine your category. This helps us to keep the racing fun but fair, and also allows us to ensure you are racing people of similar abilities. Kindly follow the below protocol to submit your FTP test for the MyWhoosh Championship:
- To be eligible for selection to the race, every participant who registered for the event must perform the FTP Test on the MyWhoosh Platform. The FTP test must be completed by 17 April 2023.
- All participants will need to fill the pre-verification form and submit a weigh-in and height video prior to the FTP Test here. The accepted protocol for weigh-in and height videos can be found in the MyWhoosh ruleset.
- Please note that your weight and height in your MyWhoosh profile must match the weight and height in your videos.
- All participants must be connected to their primary (which includes a smart trainer/smart bike, your heart rate monitor and a cadence sensor in case your smart trainer/bike does not record cadence) and secondary power sources (which includes a pedal or crank based power meter) during the FTP Test in MyWhoosh. Failure to connect will result in rejection, (Tap here to learn how to connect your secondary power source to MyWhoosh).
- Once you have selected a suitable route, tap WORKOUTS and scroll to Testing section, Once in this section, select the FTP Test – MyWhoosh workout and hit the WORKOUT button. This test will take you approximately 1hr15min to complete. Please view this video to make sure you have selected the right test!
- Please ensure to complete the entire test – only completed tests will be taken into consideration.
- All participants will go through performance verification on the FTP Test performed.
- Kindly note that all participants must use the same equipment they used for the FTP test in the MyWhoosh Championship Races, if they are selected as a final participant for the MyWhoosh Championship.
- It is compulsory that all riders upload their FTP test activity to the MyWhoosh application upon ending their FTP test by selecting the MYWHOOSH icon and tapping on UPLOAD. Please remember to rename your activity as ‘MWC-FTP-TEST’ when uploading the test activity.
Time to get to work!