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20-min FTP test

Calculate your training power and heart rate zones​

Calculate your cycling training paces and zones

When you look at your cycling program, have you ever wondered what the best power or heart rate zone would be for different sets, for drills, for long intervals and sprints?

As no two athletes are the same, you could benefit most from individualising the paces to your ability or current fitness.

What are your individual training zones?
The 20-minute FTP test can help you calculate your optimal cycling zones so that you get the most out of each training session.

Table of Contents

What is the 20-minute FTP test?

Your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) represents the highest possible power output you are able to maintain for over 60 minutes.

Depending on whether you’re a trained athlete or not, you may or may not be able to ride a full hour at full power.

Why measure FTP?

Regular assessments (every 6 to 8 weeks) of your FTP gives a reliable indication of whether your training is improving your performance.

FTP also provides a good ‘benchmark’ on which to base your training zones.

The best (but really hard) way is to do the test for a full 60 minutes. The 20-minute test gives a very accurate value without you having to take 3 days off to recover.

We like the test for its simplicity and repeatability

How to do the 20-minute FTP test

Equipment required

  • a bike (Road, MTB or TT)
  • an indoor trainer (wind, fluid or mechanical)
  • Heart rate monitor
  • speedometer optional
  • power sensor optional

The testing procedure

The easiest way to measure your FTP is with a 20-minute test done on an indoor trainer.

After completing the warm up, start with a 5-minute solid effort followed by 10 minutes easy, then the 20 minute time trial begins.

Record your Heart Rate, Power (optional) and Distance (optional) at 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes, as well as the averages over the full 20 minutes.

The recorded data is to be submitted through the form below for analysis.

The 20-minute FTP test protocol

WU: (Warm-Up)

20 mins easy at 80 to 90rpm
1 min  “wind up’s” start at 70rpm and build to 110rpm followed by 1 min easy repeat 3 times
4 mins easy spinning

MS: (Main Set)

5 mins at a good solid effort
10 mins easy spinning
20 mins TT effort keeping controlled, hard but steady pace so that you can complete the last 5 mins with an all-out effort

LD: (Loosen Down)

10 mins easy spinning

*record your Maximum and Average Heart Rate for the 20 min TT

**record your Maximum and Average Power for the 20 min TT

***record your Heart Rate, Power and Distance at 5 mins, 10 mins, 15 mins and 20 mins of the 20 min TT.

______________________

What you will receive via email

Upon completion of the form below, you will receive an analysis of your FTP test as well as your training zones.
 

Cycling Power and Heart Rate Zones based on the results of your 20-minute FTP test results

Warm-up and loosen down zone:

Use this pace for your warm-up and loosen down as well as anything denoted as “easy cycling”.
 
This is also your pace for doing drills
 
Drills should always be performed slowly so that you can give 100% concentration on mastering the actions.

Aerobic Endurance Zone:

Use this pace for long rides.
 
You should never feel out of breath when performing these sessions. These are the running sessions that build your stamina for Muscular Endurance and T-Pace training, so it is essential to control your aerobic pace very rigidly.

Muscular Endurance Pace

Fartlek and medium distance sessions.
 
The pace should not feel super hard at first, but you will feel fatigued towards the end of the session, so try to reign yourself in at the beginning in favour of holding an even pace all the way through. Examples of Muscular Endurance and fartlek workouts can be viewed on our Cycling blog posts

T-Pace: (Threshold Pace)

T-Pace run sessions are usually broken up into sets of repeats it intervals of 1 to 5 minutes
 
The pace will feel hard, but rest periods are scheduled to help you to recover. The T-Pace sets are usually short so “Hang Tough”.
 
Be aware of keeping your style as strict as possible for as long as you can. If you feel you are starting to lose good flowing circular form, rather slow your pace a little

Super Threshold and Force paces.

Short and Very Hard repeats with lots of rest between efforts.

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