FLOORS AND CEILINGS- A Simplified Approach to Training



For every person you ask, there is a different training methodology, coaching program or even definition for commonly used terms such as FTP, LT, or anything else for that matter. Ask ten people how to get better and get ten different answers. I’m here to simplify the way you look at it and your approach.

A great way to look at your training is the establishment and then raising of ‘floors and ceilings’. Your ceiling is the upper end of your training. Typically, it is really hard to raise your ceiling. But there is a ton of opportunity to raise your floor and raise the amount of time you can spend closer to your ceiling. By doing this, you can prepare your body to race at a higher level. 


So, how do you do it? 

For AP Racing athletes,
there are a few things we like to do. One of our favorite, is spending a short period of time above threshold, settle in close to threshold and then recover at our floor. Throughout the set, we will raise our floor, increasing the amount of time we are spending closer to the ceiling. We do this at various times during the year but a lot during the Race Specific / Threshold phase of training.

Here is an example of a Main Set we might use-

Assume we have an athlete with an FTP of roughly 300 watts. A workout might look like this:
1:00  / 10:00 minutes / 1:00 @
310 / 280 / 200
310 / 280 / 210
310 / 280 / 220
310 / 280 / 230
310 / 280 / 240
310 / 280 / 250
310 / 280 / 260… and so on.

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As the year and the athlete progresses, we can manipulate four key variables:

  1. Work:Rest Ratio- For 70.3 and 140.6 distance athletes, our goal is usually to get close to 8:1 - 12:1, work to rest ratio’s for key workouts. 

  2. Floors: As the athlete gets stronger, we might look at establishing our ‘floor’ at 220 watts and building from there.

  3. Ceiling: As the athlete gets stronger, we might spend more time at the ‘ceiling' or even increase the ‘ceiling’. 

  4. Duration: Increasing or changing the duration of the set can create more load/stress on the athlete and increase the demand of the set.

Are you still reading or did we reach your attention ‘ceiling’ :) As you think about your training, don’t overcomplicate things- think about how you can spend more time closer to your ceiling and raise your floor.

Give Me Five,