Power Zones Calculator

The following power zones calculator will calculate your training zones based on your functional threshold power (how to find it?).

Enter your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) to calculate your training zones:

Please remember that this calculator provides estimates and should only be used as a general guide.
I recommend you see a professional for more accurate results.

How Do I Determine My FTP?

FTP is the maximum effort you can sustain for an hour. You can determine it by performing an FTP test. The FTP test involves riding all out during for specific time period.

NOTE: You will need a smart indoor trainer or a power meter to measure your power.

There are multiple FTP tests:

  • 8-minute FTP test
  • 20-minute FTP test
  • 60-minute FTP test
  • Ramp test

These tests calculate your FTP by multiplying your average power (from the measured period) with a multiplier. For example, if you can sustain 300W for 20 minutes, you can calculate your FTP as 300×0.95=285W.

The following table summarizes their pros and cons and multipliers.

ProsConsMultiplier
8-minute FTP test
Ramp test
• less demanding
• more accessible for beginners
• less accurate and less representative0.90
0.75
20-minute FTP test
(most popular)
• relatively accurate and representative• can be demanding and difficult for some riders0.95
60-minute FTP test• very comprehensive• very demanding and difficult1
This table shows the pros and cons of different FTP tests.

I recommend reading this TrainerRoad guide for more info.

What Are the Individual Power Zones?

The power zones used in this calculator are based on research and work by Dr. Andrew Coggan, Ph.D.

Zone 1: Active Recovery

<55% of FTP

Active recovery refers to low-intensity exercise that promotes recovery after hard training sessions.

It helps clear lactic acid and other metabolic by-products from the muscles and promotes blood flow without putting too much stress on the body.

Zone 2: Endurance

56-75% of FTP

Endurance training refers to cycling sessions focused on improving the body’s ability to sustain moderate to high levels of effort for extended periods.

It helps to build cardiovascular fitness and improves the body’s ability to use fat as a fuel source.

Zone 3: Tempo

76-90% of FTP

This zone is use

Tempo training refers to cycling sessions focused on building the body’s ability to sustain a moderate to high level of effort for a shorter period of time.

It helps to improve the body’s ability to clear lactic acid and improve lactate threshold.

Zone 4: Lactate Threshold

91-105% of FTP

Lactate threshold training refers to cycling sessions focused on improving the body’s ability to sustain a high level of effort before lactic acid accumulates in the muscles.

It helps to improve the body’s ability to clear lactic acid and improve endurance at high intensities.

Zone 5: VO2Max

106-120% of FTP

VO2Max training refers to cycling sessions focused on improving the body’s maximum oxygen uptake capacity.

It helps improve the body’s ability to perform at high intensities for short periods and is an important component of training for high-intensity endurance sports such as cycling.

Zone 6: Anaerobic Capacity

121-150% of FTP

Anaerobic capacity refers to the body’s ability to produce energy through anaerobic metabolism. This means breaking down stored energy (such as glycogen) without oxygen.

It’s important for high-intensity efforts such as short attacks and time trials, as it allows the rider to produce a large amount of power in a short period of time.

Zone 7: Neuromuscular Power

Maximum effort

Neuromuscular power refers to the ability of the body to generate a large amount of force quickly. It’s important for high-intensity efforts such as sprints, standing starts, etc.

It stresses musculoskeletal systems rather than metabolic systems.

10 Benefits of Power Training for Cyclists

  1. Improved endurance: Well-designed power training helps you build the ability to sustain high levels of power over long periods, which can improve your overall endurance.
  2. Increased power output: It also helps you increase power output, improving your performance in races and other events (like ‘weekend warriors’ rides).
  3. More accurate training: Power training allows you to train more precisely by using power meters to measure and track their training progress.
  4. Better pacing: Power training can help you better pace yourself, allowing you to conserve energy and ride strong when needed.
  5. Better hill climbing: Power training can help you improve your climbing ability by building strength and endurance.
  6. Improved recovery: Power training can help you improve your ability to recover from intense efforts, such as races or hard intervals.
  7. Reduced risk of injury: Power training can help you reduce the risk of injury by building strength and improving overall fitness.
  8. Improved pedaling technique: Training with a power meter that can measure pedal smoothness and power phase can help you improve your pedaling technique.
  9. Increased motivation: Power training can motivate you to set and achieve specific power-related goals.
  10. Better time management: Power training can help you manage your time more effectively by allowing you to train smarter, not harder.

TIP: You might be interested in How power training differs from heart rate training?.

Power Training FAQ

Sources

  • “Training and Racing with a Power Meter” by Hunter Allen and Andy Coggan
  • “The Cyclist’s Training Bible: The World’s Most Comprehensive Training Guide” by Joe Friel
  • Training with Power by TrainingPeaks.com
  • “Knowledge is power: Issues of measuring training and performance in cycling” by L. Passfield, JG. Hopker, S. Jobson, D. Friel & M. Zabala