Absolute Newbie

Hi All,
First Time Trainer Road User and first time poster so please be patient…- however any advise at all is greatly appreciated.
I have been riding MTB for 6 or 7 years now, but i have never used a structured plan until now. I am never at the pointy end of the results when i race but always give my all when i do line up.
I am training for a 7 day stage mtb marathon style race in July 2020 and am putting some structure to my training , and just having done my ramp test i feel somewhat disheartened . I do not know if my FTP of 186 is my real and paltry FTP or if i made an error on my ramp test.
I am of the understanding that the ramp test is 25 minutes long and if you have put in the correct parameters of age/weight/ and perceived strength the computer sets your ramp goals, - however I lasted for 40 minutes …
So i guess have I made an error or is 186 my starting number?
Thanks in advance

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Do you know what equipment you used, e.g. trainer and powermeter brands and types? What did you input as your starting number?

I am using a :
Tacx Sartori at level 5.
Wahoo Speed
Wahoo Cadence

When you say ‘starting number’ is that referring to the 1-10 option at the start? , - if so i chose 3.

I take it you’ve seen the video on the Ramp Test workout page? ramp test video

Sounds odd that the test lasted forty minutes. What was the starting Wattage? My test started at 120W and rose by about 10% each minute. It took just fourteen minutes to get to my failure at 320W.

Do you have a link to your test? I assume your rides are public (see your account page if not).

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Ref info: You need to recognize that there is a strong potential that the “Virtual Power” FTP you have does not necessarily align with “Real” power meters. Point being, don’t fixate on the number and FOR SURE DO NOT compare it to anyone else’s FTP (no matter how they measured it). That is a fool’s errand and can only lead to problems.

Make certain to setup the trainer per manufacturer specs, and TR’s settings, and rock on. Be as consistent as possible with tire pressure, roller pressure and trainer setting, and the Virtual Power numbers you see can be a guide for training, as well as a way to measure progress.

But importantly: Virtual Power Watts do NOT equal Real Watts

Thanks for posting that. It looks like the Sartori is a wheel-on trainer which may not be terribly accurate as far as power measurement is concerned. As for the test taking 40 minutes, it may have been that your initial wattage input into TR was too low so that ramp took a very long time. It usually takes me 20-25 minutes to hit my max effort.

Speaking of, were to at absolute max effort by the time you finished the ramp test? Were you physically unable to pedal or did you stop because it felt like it was getting too difficult?

@bobw thanks for coming back to m e, - i have just made my account public using markskyview as my username.
SO the first figure is 60 on the power column , - i honestly dont know if this is correct or not , but what id say is if its incorrect its better to re do and get the correct number .

  • your thoughts are apprecated

thats really useful info - i take the point of comparing apples with apples .
By the time i got to the end of the ramp test i was done, - maybe i had a few more seconds but i was cooked…

brilliant - i will make sure the setup is 100%
thanks for your input

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I think the 40 minutes is based on what FTP TR assumed you had initially. I’m not sure if that’s a limitation of the Sartori or if that’s because you didn’t input an FTP to start, but basically at 19:30 you would break even with your FTP, so it thought your FTP was around 112 watts to start. Since you were significantly higher than that, the test lasted longer.

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OK, the ramp starts with a warm up set at 46% of the starting FTP.

  • Your warm up target was 51 watts, which means the FTP setting at the start was 111 watts.
  • On boarding for TR is supposed to set new rider’s FTP at 2.0 watts/kilogram of body weight. If you entered that info correctly, that could be where the 111 watt FTP setting came from.

Do you know if you set the starting FTP of if you followed the TR steps to set it?

Regardless of that value, the finish FTP of 186 watts is a lot higher than the 111 watts at the start.

  • The reason that matters is that the Ramp test is setup so that you equal the starting FTP once you hit the 19:30 point in the test.
  • Considering that your 186w Finish FTP / 111w Start FTP = 168% increase. As such, this was destined to take the 34ish minutes before you popped.

It looks like a decent test to me. As long as you match your setup as mentioned above, you should be set for good training from now on.


No problem, it can all be a bit confusing at times.

Looking at your test, you’ve started at 51W which seems low. A figure of 186W for FTP might be low, hard to know without some background: how long you’ve been cycling; your weight; that sort of thing. 186W is pretty good if you weigh 60kg, not so much if you weigh 90kg :grin:

If you start on Sweet Spot Base Low Level 1 (SSBLV1) then your next workout is Mount Field which is three 8 minute intervals at 85% of your FTP. See how that goes, if it feels very easy then I’d suggest a retest, if it feels hard but doable then 186W is probably about right.

As above make sure your setup is as close to identical each time you get on the trainer.

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How are you able to view “Markskyview”'s rides?
Where do you search to see them?


many thanks bobw- i was going to do sweet spot mid as i think i can give it the time -am i being foolish going to mid instead of low?

BTW i am 74KGS…

Markskyview I trained using Virtual Power for 5 years before getting a smart trainer.

Don’t worry too much about the “absolute” value fo your FTP.
It is not important (unless you are using a power meter outside which you would then use indoors).
Your trainer will be accurate and repeatable for your workouts.

Start the base build program and see how hard the HARD workouts are.
If you finish them easily with no leg burn, then you can addd +10 to your FTP and try again.

The VO2 workouts from 90 to 105 FTP should be hard; you should have to work to finish them with good cadence. But they should be doable. I like to complete all my intervals. My FTP is probably 5 watts low.


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if i am being honest i dont know where the 111 watt FTP came from ,i thought i followed the right steps but potentially not - i would not have chosen the 111 watts it as i had never done a test prior to last nights ramp test. i am 74kg and so the 2watt per kg doesnt match the 111 either…-
thank you very much for the advise


There have been a few threads about which volume to take. The general consensus is to go for lower volume as:

  • It’s better to complete the workout than skip one
  • You can always add workouts if you want more.
  • Recovery days are as important as training days.
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to be fair you are right and i also recall this point being made on the podcast…
cheers for your input bobw

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A post was split to a new topic: Getting Started with Indoor Training, Beginner Info

@Juarez…loads of good stuff there…thank you