The physiological changes that take place in your body during a block of training that allows you to record a higher ftp on your next test are wide reaching and varied.

I thought i would try and explain them , so that you can understand what is happening to your body and maybe make a few small lifestyle tweaks to enhance the improvement curve.

Everybody likes to be rewarded for a good block of training with a new FTP. It is not just luck when this happens, it is as a result of complex physiological and psychological developments throughout your body.

FTP increases as a result of increases in aerobic and anaerobic fitness, we think of ourselves as needing good aerobic fitness to be a good endurance cyclist, but you also need to have the ability to work anaerobically, even riding at sweetspot, or nearer FTP and definitely above FTP there is a an anaerobic component to the energy systems, so it is important to fuel and train both systems to be a successful cyclist.

Things that bring about changes in FTP.

A few thoughts on feeling fit snd strong and what it does! when you are fit you feel different. Squeeze your quads and feel the muscle beneath- a ‘fit’ muscle feels larger and denser, and as your own fitness goes up and down throughout the year you will notice a difference in how your leg muscles feel.

When you are fitter you have a level of confidence in your body that is less present when you are less fit- enjoy that feeling, it is always earned, and never given easily.

You can run for a train and you don’t die, you recover from stress and stressful situations, having fitness makes you more resilient in all aspects of your life. Some of this will never go, even as your fitness may wane over time.

Look at the pedal stroke of an untrained cyclist and compare it to a pro- like Geraint for example – his stroke is smooth and efficient- he goes just a little bit further with each turn of the pedals than you or I, his cruising is similar to our ftp efforts, his ftp will be a fantasy of around 6w/kg….! This is the result of hours of training effect on all the physiological and psychological points listed above. Its food for thought!

So as you do your next FTP test- marvel at all the changes that have taken place in your body, and when you get a higher result, know that everything has been in place, all the ducks have lined up and those changes have taken place. Some aspects may be greater for each individual than others in any given training period, always always leaving room for more improvement at another time.

If you don’t get the changes that you desire, reflect on your recent block of training

All these things are changeable and may need reflection before your next test- nothing is permanent and little changes will help you to get the results that you desire.