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 in 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 do not miss out!

What is FTP?

If you hear cyclists talking about their FTP, they will 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 is 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 every quarter. If you are putting in the effort, you should see your FTP begin to rise.

How to work out your FTP

First things first, you will 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, to find out your FTP, you can complete either in 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) – but do not 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 terrific 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 is 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 crucial role in power potential. For example, someone bigger, with more lean muscle mass will be capable of reaching a higher FTP, but that does not 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 is 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 eight days, seven stages, and three MyWhoosh Worlds, with an incredible prize pool of $1,000,000 starting on April 28 and ending on May 5. 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:

Time to get to work!

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