Functional threshold power boosting (FTP) turbo training session

Mind-and body-friendly workout that still delivers tangible fitness gains


As triathletes, you can’t turn it up to 11 for every workout. Also classic workouts, such a 2 x 20mins at threshold, are really tough, both physically and psychologically. So if you’re not quite feeling up for it, it’s easy to get psyched out, demotivated and skip the session. But by dialling the intensity down a fraction to ‘Sweet-Spot’ (83-97% FTP, functional threshold power, i.e. the highest average power you can sustain for an hour; or 6-7 RPE, rate of perceived exertion) and shortening the length, you can still get a decent training stimulus, it won’t require as much recovery and you won’t need to fear the workout.

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Coach’s tips: be strong in and out of the saddle

Train in race set-up

At this time of year there’s no excuse for not doing some training in your race position, and this workout, without too much stress or volume, is perfect for it.

Use race cadence

Spin at your normal or desired race cadence during the intervals. Really focus on staying still and relaxed through your upper body and allow that to flow down into smooth pedalling.

Don’t go too deep

The point of this session isn’t to bury yourself, so, even if you’re feeling strong, don’t be tempted to lift the intensity too much or to sprint at the end of the interval

The session

Warm up

Keep gearing/resistance fairly low and focus on the cadence targets

0-3mins @90rpm easy

3-4mins 95rpm moderate

4-5mins @100rpm moderate

5-6mins @105rpm moderate

6-7mins @110rpm vigorous

7-7:30mins @120-130rpm vigorous

7:30-10mins @80-90rpm easy

Main Set

3mins @90-100rpm moderate-vigorous

1min @80rpm easy

5mins @90-100rpm moderate-vigorous

2mins @80rpm easy

7mins @90-100rpm moderate-vigorous

3mins @80rpm easy

9mins @90-100rpm moderate-vigorous

3mins @80rpm easy

7mins @90-100rpm moderate-vigorous

2mins @80rpm easy

5mins @90-100rpm moderate-vigorous

1min @80rpm easy

3min @90-100rpm moderate-vigorous


Spin easy for 5-10mins

Adapt for beginners

This is a great session for all levels but, if you think it’ll be too much, just go up the pyramid, adding a minute to the recoveries. After the 9min effort, go into your cool-down.

Adapt for Ironman

The point of this session is that you don’t crank up the intensity or add volume. On the right day, with this workout, less is definitely more.

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