Functional Threshold Power, or FTP, is one of the key training terms in cycling and is effectively the maximum power you can sustain for an hour. As a result, FTP is seen as a crucial figure in determining your all-round ability on the bike, and is a number top riders swear by.
FTP is linked to your blood lactate threshold, as the more lactate acid your muscles are able to process before becoming overwhelmed (and you blow up), the more power you will be able to sustain. Sounds great, right? Luckily for you, your Functional Threshold Power is trainable, too.
Six things you need to know about... training zones
FTP is also an vital figure in setting your training zones, which you can use to guide your rides in order to extract the most bang-for-you-buck from your time on the bike. If you don't know your FTP (or threshold heart rate), then it's relatively easy (if painful!) to find out through a 20-minute test. RCUK's coaching columnist, James Spragg, digs deeper in the subject of lactate threshold, and explains how to measure your FTP, in this article
, while you can learn more about training zones behind this link
Six things you need to know about... lactate threshold
Now it's time to boost your FTP, which, if you have a busy schedule of sportives, time trials or racing penciled in, will see you reap the rewards on the bike. So how can you improve your FTP? We caught up with Dig Deep Coaching
director and former professional cyclist Stephen Gallagher to find out exactly that. Here are three of Gallagher's top three FTP training sessions.