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Intensity Factor (IF) in Cycling


  1. What is Intensity Factor (IF)?
  2. How to interpret it?

1. What is Intensity Factor (IF)?

Intensity Factor is Normalized Power (NP) from your workout divided by your actual Functional Threshold Power (FTP)

Example: 188W / 250W = 0.75 IF

Intensity Factor is telling you about, how intense was your workout. Comparing your weighted average power and actual form gave you a perfect number to analyze. You can find out that IF will be between <0.50 to 1.15 or even more on short efforts.

What do those numbers mean?

0.60 – 0.69 is a recovery ride.
0.70 – 0.79 is an endurance workout.
0.80 – 0.89 is Sweet Spot ride, long road race.
0.90 – 1.04 is a road race, time trial.
1.05 – 1.15 is Criterium, short time trial.
> 1.16 is a track race.



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Intensity Factor

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2. How to Interpret it?

How you can see above table Intensity Factor is increasing when race/workout time is decreasing.

From FTP interpretation we know that we can’t go harder than our Functional Threshold Power longer than 1 hour. Base on this information our IF can’t be higher than 1.00 from our 1-hour workout or race.

!Note. If your IF is higher then 1.00 from 1-hour workout/race think about increasing your FTP! If the Intensity Factor is 1.05 you have to do adjustments to your Functional Threshold Power!

Intepreate data in the right way so you can keep track of your form and better plan your workouts.

Coach Damian

Damian is a head coach and founder of Cyklopedia, which was created with one goal to help everyone be faster cyclists by structured training plans, healthy recipes, and nutrition plans. Damian is racing and coaching for over 10 years, working with athletes all around the world.

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