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3 Sessions to Improve your FTP

My friend, James Walsgrove, over at Ride Harder has come up with some great sessions for cyclists aiming to improve their FTP. At the end of the article you’ll find a LINK to James so you can get hold of the training files ready to load straight into Zwift orTraining Peaks.

This article is courtesy of Ride Harder

Ride Harder - elite cyclist training

The Sessions

These 3 bike sessions will help to increase your threshold and ultimately make you faster on your bike. There’s a description of what each session is and what system they will develop. If you’ve got any questions just Contact James or Message him on Facebook

Ride Harder – W1 2 x 20 Sweet Spot Efforts

The bread and butter session for FTP development a solid 2 × 20 session. Sweet Spot is a term used for the zone just below your threshold @ 88-93% of FTP. This zone has been proven to given you the same gains as training at threshold but with less fatigue meaning you can train for longer periods and recover faster so make sure you include this in any structured training plan.

The warm up is for 10 minutes and will see you build up the intensity to the desired power target which you will complete twice with a 5 minute recovery period. If you are new to training you can reduce this length and build up to the full 20 minutes. Generally aim for around the quarter of the time as the active rest period.

Session Summary

  • 5mins Warm up
  • 5mins Building intensity
  • 2 x 20min at 90% of FTP with 5 minutes recovery between
  • 5mins Cool down

20 x Sweet spot efforts to improve FTP

Ride Harder – W2 Threshold Over/Under’s

The ‘Over Under’s session involves riding above your FTP and dipping just below in the same block often multiple times. It is about getting used to the buildup of lactate and teaching your body to deal with it. This is one of the fastest ways to increase your threshold power however it is very demanding on the body so the number of sessions that you can complete will be limited.

Warm up for a good 10 minutes with some intensity prior to the intervals.

You will then complete 3 blocks with a variety of durations at the under figure of 95% riding anything from 2-4 minutes before stepping it up to 105% for the 1 minute over and repeating. This is a great session for anybody racing up to an hour on the bike and will really simulate a race as the terrain goes up and down. The beauty of this session is you will be shocking the muscles so they don’t know what’s coming next.

Session Summary

  • 5mins Warm up
  • 4mins Building intensity to close to threshold
  • 2mins Easy
  • 3mins @ 95%, 1min @ 105% x3
  • 5mins Recovery
  • 2mins @ 95%, 1min @ 105% x4
  • 5mins Recovery
  • 4mins @ 95%, 1min @ 105% x2
  • 5mins Cool down

FTP threhold over / under training

Ride Harder W3 VO2 Pyramid

There are 2 ways to increase your threshold generally either riding at that intensity and pushing it up or training above it at your VO2 max, which is basically your fitness ceiling, and pulling it up.  This is also a great session for anybody racing a shorter 10 mile Time Trial where you will need to target this intensity.

A good warm up will be required for this session due to the high intensity so I have included some high cadence efforts just to get the blood in the muscles and a short tempo block before the intervals.

The intervals will range from 105-120% of FTP and for between 2-5 minutes so basically the shorter the interval the tougher the intensity with plenty of recovery!

Session Summary

  • 5mins Warm up
  • 2 x 1min High Cadence efforts, 1 min recovery between
  • 3mins @ 80% FTP (tempo)
  • 5mins @ 105%, 5mins easy recovery
  • 4mins @ 110%, 4mins easy recovery
  • 3mins @ 115%, 4mins easy recovery
  • 2mins @ 120%, 3mins easy recovery
  • 3mins @ 115%, 4mins easy recovery
  • 4mins @ 110%, 5mins easy recovery
  • 5mins @ 105%, 5mins easy recovery
  • 2mins Cool down

VO2 pyramid for improved FTP


These three session are a great start to adding some structure to your workout plan. It doesn’t matter if you’re already on a structured plan, only ride outside or are exclusive to Zwift during the winter it’s always a good idea to have some solid workouts in your arsenal.

As always if you’ve got any questions – please ask JAMES at Ride Harder


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