Listening to the recent potluck discussion, something caught my attention during the discussion about using proxies such as 60 min NP as a means to determine FTP. Of particular interest was the comment at ~23 minutes in, where it was noted people frequently do significantly higher NP for 45 minutes to an hour or more during races than their FTP would indicate as possible.
Before deciding that this would mean one’s FTP is higher than previously estimated, first we should keep in mind Coggan’s original definition, “FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power, defined as the highest power that you can maintain in a quasi-steady state, without fatiguing, for approximately one hour.” Two critical points: 1) quasi-steady state, and 2) without fatiguing. Neither of those situations exist in race scenarios.
From the perspective of wanting to know one’s FTP, in so far as it represents a physiological state roughly equating to MLSS, and thus provides utility in setting training zones for aerobic training, I would think that trying to estimate a ‘steady-state’ value based on decidedly non-steady state normalized power should be avoided.