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Power-Based Training Acronyms

There are far too many acronyms in the sport of cycling, so here is your cheat sheet for all the important ones

FTP: Functional Threshold Power

  • This is theoretically the maximum steady-state power you could hold for about an hour
  • It is a way to quantify your current level of fitness- many of your other zones will scale fairly linearly relative to your FTP
  • All of your rides are based on a percentage of your FTP

IF: Intensity Factor®

  • This is a way of quantifying how intense your ride was
  • The scale is based on this: An IF of 1.0 would be equivalent to performing at FTP for 1 hour. Aka, your body could not possibly work any harder.
  • A 0.8 IF would represent a ride that averaged 80% of your Functional Threshold Power

TSS: Training Stress Score®

  • This is the amount of stress that a workout inflicts on your body
  • With a large TSS, there is a greater opportunity for growth but also a greater need for proper recovery
  • Calculated based on a combination of IF and duration

NP: Normalized Power®

  • This metric is similar to average power, with one minor difference
  • This metric "weights" different power zones differently. It gives more weight to your harder intervals and more closely represents the physiological toll
  • The purpose of this is to attempt to estimate the power you could have produced had you been constant throughout the ride
  • This allows you to more honestly compare one ride to another since the rest intervals have less of an effect on the overall average
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