Evaluate your cycling performance

Knowing how to measure your performance on top of the bike will help you to guide the training in search of improvement and remove doubts when the sensations are not optimal.

Before introducing the protocols you will have to familiarize yourself with a concept: the (FTPFunctional Threshold Power), in Spanish UPF (Functional Power Threshold), which refers to the maximum average power that you can develop in one hour. From this data you can you calculate the different training zones expressed in beats / minute and power zones.

FTP or UPF test of the 20 minutes

The original version of the FTP test contemplates perform 60 minutes, but due to the complexity involved, both logistically and physiologically, Allen and Coggan (2010) proposed a Adaptation of 20 minutes.

Highway version

To take the test outdoors you must dispose of potentiometer and locate a ccome with a constant slope around the 5-8%, that you can cover it in about 20 minutes without too many curves nor irregular terrain so that it does not make you vary the speed.

After performing a good warm-up, cstart the test by regulating your effort to the duration of it. Note that we evaluate the average powerTherefore the rhythm will be as demanding as you can keep during the 20 minutes of duration.

Roll version

Another option is to roll it, thus eliminating external influences of climatology or unforeseen of the road, and allowing you to give the maximum effort during the test.

Many of the current rollers offer you the option of the test. But if that were not the case, once you have done a good warm-up, the test begins regulating your effort to give the maximum during the 20 minutes of duration.

Analyze the data obtained

Since we have made the 20 minute version, you will have to apply a 0,95 correction coefficient to the watts obtained, for example if your test result has been 300 watts:

300 watts x 0,95 = 285 watts will be your maximum average power that you can maintain for one hour of effort.

Training areas

From this data you can calculate your training zones following the power zones proposed by Coggan:


First Name

Average power (% FTP)

% FC



Active recovery















Lactate or Anaerobic Threshold





Aerobic power (VO2max)


> 106



Anaerobic capacity


N / A



Neuromuscular power

N / A

N / A



You already have the indications to evaluate your performance in the cycling sector, so evaluate your starting point at the beginning of the season, your improvements during the same and at the end to see the evolution of your pedals.


Allen H, Coggan A. (2010) Training and racing with a power meter. Second edition. Boulder, Colorado. Velopress.

Coggan A. (2016). Power Training Zones for Cycling. www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/power-training-levels/?utm_source=TP&utm_medium=pdf&utm_campaign=powerebook

Nimmerichter A, Williams C, Bachl N, Eston R (2010) Evaluation of a field test to assess performance in elite cyclists. Int J Sports Med 31 (3): 160-166.

Laura García Cervantes

Dra. Science of Physical Activity and Sport

Technical Director Club Trikatlón Tres Cantos

Triathlon and Swimming Senior Trainer

Paratriathlon Specialist Trainer

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