Using LTP to train

You’ve said you can do LTP training anytime, including when your stars are red. But the Fitness Planner recognizes LTP training as fatiguing and degrades your form for it, coloring your future stars yellow or red. I’d just like more info on how to use LTP. Right now I’m joining zwift crit races and trying to ride just under my LTP, basically doing a TT just under my LTP except I add in a short sprint in each lap, so 4 miles at 220watts, then a 15 second burst as hard as I think I can, for four laps. Is that a good way to go about laying a base–my LTP seems to go up or down when I do this, so it’s not clear. Also, some idea of where an athletes LTP sits in relation to other athletes, like you have with athlete type power numbers, would be greatly appreciated. I’m in the 75th% for my age as a Pursuiter but that’s meaningless if I burn out just trying to keep up with the peloton before I get to try a break away. Am I correct in thinking that LTP is the real number to concentrate on for those who want to do long road and gravel races in the Spring (50 to 120 miles)? I have no idea where my 227 LTP stands. I’m a noob to real training. Is that a decent number for a noob? A terrible number? What is a good number for a 50 year old dude who want to race 100 miles? Be honest, Doc. I can take it–and I have six months to rectify.

Great questions Chris. Your Triathlete number is essentially your LTP. It’s the power you can supposedly sustain without ever fatiguing, although in real life ultra endurance events, it’s not something that you’ll realisitcally be able to do. However, for most road racing, it is a great number to use in training. LTP isn’t quite recovery wattage, so if you’ve just done some high intensity and need some recovery, you shouldn’t be using LTP for that. But you should be able to hit your LTP numbers pretty much at anytime … LTP kind of is defined this way, aside from the ultra events mentioned.

The workouts you’re doing with 4 miiles at LTP and 15 seconds hard, is quite similar to the Iron Man workout we have. It is a super workout to do during your base training phase (or anytime really). It isn’t an easy workout. Lower intensity strain gets boosted from the added fatigue generated during the hard efforts and thus you should see an increase in your Lower Training Load, hence TP with these workouts. Great stuff.

I am using the LTP number a target for my Long Steady Rides to train and improve my aerobic system this autumn prior to putting in increasing intensity in the New Year. Is this correct?

Depends on your Target Event Date but yes, building base with LTP is a good strategy before you start with higher intensity.

Just a quick add on if you don’t mind on the LTP. I too would like to boost my LTP (it’s quite a way from my TP). The Xert ‘weekly stats’ (under the Planner) is a great page. Would it be possible to split out LTP XSS from the remainder XLSS on that page so I could check whether my last weeks training actually supported my LTP? The other question I have is around the correct focus duration for my LTP focused training. Looking at my power curve, I find my LTP (which is 254W) somewhere between the 3 and 5 hour mark. Does that mean I need to look for those sort of rides or would XATA automatically chose the right ones if my profile is ‘Triathlete’? Apologies if I’m mixing up a few concepts here and I hope my questions make sense. Thanks a lot in advance.

Hi Thomas… good questions.

The way it’s modeled in Xert now (it’s maybe correct, but could maybe be improved) is that all XSS at/below TP is LOW strain. It’s possible that there is a difference between Low strain generated above LTP/near TP from the Low strain that is generated below LTP. So, we couldn’t really split up the XSS any futher than Low, High, and Peak (which we already do).

LTP is an artifact of the relationship between HIE and TP. Generally, athletes with larger HIE’s will have a lower LTP when compared to an athlete with the same exact TP, but a lower HIE. A few coaches using our system train LTP with a push-pull method. You can push up LTP by increasing your volume and you can also pull it up by using some high intensity to pull your TP up. And when your TP increases, your LTP also increases.

By selecting the Triathlete athlete type, you’re going to get recommendations for a lot of pure endurance workouts. It might be helpful to pick a higher intensity workout every once in a while (say when you have blue/green freshness) and follow along with XATA when you have Yellow/Red freshness. If you have a positive ramp rate (greater than maintenance), you should see improvements in TP (and LTP) in the coming weeks/months.