Does work above FTP raise FTP?

I have a question about intensity. I am designing a training block to raise my FTP and want to include one long hill climb per week, on top of one classic lactate threshold interval set on the turbo trainer and one LSD ride. The most accessible hills require an effort well above my current FTP and only offer an interval of 15 minutes. I can do two reps with a nice break, maybe three. Am I still working to improve FTP or only FRC? I guess there is overlap. Or am I just making myself unnecessarily tired? Should I find a longer hill with less gradient? I am 72 so recovery is an issue. Also a triathlete so need time to swim and run.

Hi @garydunn808 ,

To raise your FTP you need to get stronger (interval work) and improve the aerobic system (hr zone 2 stuff). With a single hard session in 3 sessions (?) a week, i would not add another hard session but instead add more miles in zone 2 to your long ride. Aerobic capacity is more important to your ftp then pure power.

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HI @garydunn808, I’ll echo what @kjeldbontenbal said - you don’t want to do too much intensity work. But, two intensity sessions in the week around your threshold are likely going to be fine.

If you’re doing 15 minute repeats on a hill, you’re definitely doing them in your lactate threshold range. Efforts that long are certainly not an FRC builder. You mean to be 2 minutes or less to really hit your FRC.

All that being said, I’d recommend doing those 15 minute efforts around your FTP or just below lactate threshold. You’re going to get essentially the same gains, but it’ll be easier to execute and you’ll recover better.

Hope that helps!


Answering the question you asked: does work above FTP raise FTP? Yes, IF it’s just above, maybe a percent or two.

Most certainly, if you can do two, maybe three 15 minute efforts on the hill you’re working on, it is not well above your current FTP. Well above FTP implies VO2m work, and you’d be very hard pressed to do more than 5-6 minutes, repeated a few times, in that range. If anything, if you’re doing 3x15 minute repeats at a value you think is well above your current FTP, you are most certainly underestimating your FTP.