Low Maximum Aerobic Power | 80/20 Endurance

Low Maximum Aerobic Power

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #15708


    Currently doing the 40k Ty FTP boost plan. I just completed a fitness test on the bike. I use the Wahoo Systm / Sufferfest 4DP test. The protocol is: 2x5sec max efforts, 5min max effort, 20min max effort then 1 min max effort. I’ve used this test for many years so I am well calibrated to it. Because it makes the athlete do a max 5min effort before the 20 min effort, there is no reduction in the 20 min power number per typical FTP tests.

    Today I measured 743 watts for 5sec, 325 watts for 5 mins, and 282 watts for 20 mins. Last week I did a 1hr 40k time trial with an average of 255 watts. I’m currently 76 kg.

    These results are fairly similar to the test I did in March this year, though with a very slight improvement (1% – oh yes!).

    When I reflect on my numbers and compare to norms in terms of watts per kilo, my 20min, 60min and 90 min power is pretty good (sort of CAt3-4). However, my 1 and 5 min power numbers are well, not so great – in fact on a watts per kilo basis they fall in the “untrained” category….

    Im focusing this off season on improving my bike performance for next seasons IM70.3 races. I’m guessing that I really need to continue to focus on my max aerobic power in interval training (3-5 min intervals @ zone 4 and 5).

    Question: Given this specific weakness of mine, which I think is a limiter to my 20min FTP and thus overall bike strength, should I adapt the 80/20 IM70.3 plan when I start in 2022, to focus on this MAP more in the general training phase?



    Matt Fitzgerald

    As a long-distance triathlete, you SHOULD be weaker in 1- and 5-minute power tests than you are in longer ones, and in fact you should be weakest in these tests when you’re closest to peak race fitness. That’s because the intensive and extensive components of endurance fitness are in competition with each other to a certain extent. Be wary of trying to be good at everything.

    That’s not to say there isn’t a time and a place to emphasis relative weaknesses in overall fitness that are not highly race-specific. But that time and place is NOT within 12-14 weeks of racing. You’re better off doing that now and focusing on developing race-specific fitness in your IM70.3 build.

    Here’s a bit of relevant background reading:

    What Gets Measured Gets Overemphasized


    Love it! Thanks Matt. Interestingly my FTP and all those other numbers actually declined in a short test I did just after my last IM 70.3 – the same race where I had my best ever results!

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

$ubscribe and $ave!

  • Access to over 600 plans
  • Library of 5,000+ workouts
  • TrainingPeaks Premium
  • An 80/20 Endurance Book


30 day money back guarentee

For as little as $2.32 USD per week, 80/20 Endurance Subscribers receive:

  • 30-day Money Back Guarantee