Predicting maximal obtainable FTP

I’m 47 years old and 60 kg. Three years ago my VO2 max was measured at 61 ml/kg/min and my power at VO2 max was 310 W. My FTP at the time was about 220W. After a couple years of more structured training with more volume, my FTP is currently about 250W. I’ve heard the very best endurance athletes are able to achieve an FTP power/VO2 power of about 90%. Does this mean that, with ideal training, the highest FTP that I could ever achieve is 280W (0.9 X 310W)?

@robertehall1, great question. I’ll take a stab at this one and look forward to all of the other comments to help get you to a good answer. In terms of predicting a maximal obtainable FTP, you’ve probably hit a reasonable upper estimate there. I’ll say that personally and with other athletes, I’ve seen a range of FTP values between around 30-60 watts year to year. Your progression from 220-250w so far would be in good agreement. Is there more room? Probably. Is 280w the realistic number? That’s hard to say. There is always the consideration of the things that change as we age: fiber type (to more Type I), enzyme activity, and power output and VO2 max (declining power at MLSS) to name a few. My advice would be to have that number in mind as an upper end target, and then focus on the areas that will help move you toward that while minimizing those age-related changes. So, training smarter, not necessarily harder, comes to mind in this case. From some of our discussions so far, you’ve been making great progress, so I think there is definitely continued potential on the horizon for you.