Manon: Power and FTP are big topics here at
GCN, but it’s expensive. You can spend over £3,000 on a new power meter. In this video,
I’m going to show you how to work out your FTP if you don’t have a power meter. Don’t
be under any illusion. It’s far easier to work out your FTP if you do own a power meter,
but I have some tips and tricks to work them out. Here they are.
Firstly, we need to understand what a functional threshold power is. To put it simply, it’s
the highest average power you can hold for an hour. That power is measured in watts.
You can then use the findings to determine your training zones. When it comes to working
out your FTP with a power meter, you can either do it on a static train or on the road. If
you choose to do it on the road, you should try and keep the conditions the same. Do on
the same stretch of road the next time you do it. Once you have decided where you’re
going to do your FTP test, make sure you have a good warm-up before you start the test.
After the warm-up, ride as hard as you can for 20 minutes. Determine the average power
output during this 20 minute period by analyzing the data on the power meter. Multiply your
average power by 0.95 to find out your FTP. There are many ways you can work out your
FTP for free. The first one we’re going to chat about is Zwift. Zwift is offering a 30-day
free trial. This allow you to use their online testing program. All you need is a static
trainer. No need for it to have a power meter in it. Simply a cadence sensor and speed sensor
will be enough to work out your power kit and FTP.
Another way you can work out your FTP is by using Strava. You will need an account, and
you will need to pay for a Strava Summit, which is £18.99 a year. Then from uploading
your rides to Strava, it can give you an estimate of your power FTP.
If you’d rather not pay for Strava but you really wanted to work out your FTP, why not
just write for a maximum sustained effort of 60 minutes, and then upload it to the Strava
free account, and that then will give you an estimate average watts of what power you
did for that hour. Many gyms will have watt bikes in them, or
similar bikes that have power. If you have a gym membership, why not head to the gym
and carry out an FTP test there? If you don’t have a gym membership, you can often find
bike studios. You can pay a small fee and carry out an FTP test there. Although if you
have any friends that have a static trainer with power, why not ask them nicely if you
can borrow it? Another great tool is a bike calculator. The
bike calculator is an engineering model, that is if you supply it with the right information.
It makes predictions about the system. The system is you, the engine. Supplying power
to the three major forces in cycling, gravity, running distance and aerodynamic resistance.
You will need to ride a climb, the steeper the better. The less the wind affects you,
the better and more accurate the power will be. You will need to have a good amount of
information for it to work. Things like rider weight, bike weight, tires, position. gradient,
headwind, distance, temperature, elevation and time. You should be able to get most of
this information from your bike computer. Keep in mind, this is an estimate, and it
will only work if you enter all the details correctly.
Another good option would be to rent a power meter. Now, it’s not free. It is £47 a month.
If you are thinking about getting a power meter and wanting to test one out before you
bought one, this is a great option. If you want to get the most out of your money, why
not do an FTP test every single day of the month? That’d be well fun.
If you’re struggling to work out your FTP, why not try going off heart rate and work
out your functional threshold heart rate? As all you need to do this is a bike computer
and a heart rate monitor. Similar to the FTP test, you just need to carry out a 20-minute
all-out test ideally on a static trainer or on a long climb where there’s no stops or
corners. It is worth noting that usually most athletes don’t see a change in their functional
threshold heart rate over time. If you want to use this test as a way to track improvements,
you’ll have to also record another metric. For example, you could track your average
speed or distance covered in the 20 minutes, so you’ll have something to compare your results
to the next time you repeat the test. Hopefully, this will help you figure out your
power if you don’t have a power meter on your bike. If you like this video, please give
it a big thumbs up. [beep]
In this video, I’m going to tell you some tips and tricks on how to work out your FTP
if you don’t own a power meter or you don’t want to spend a fortune on one, but don’t
be–[laughs] [00:04:31] [END OF AUDIO]