Deciding when to bump up FTP without formally testing

So I don’t test my FTP often for reasons largely described in this thread: When the Ramp Test doesn't track well to FTP

I do occasionally manually bump up my FTP based on how well my workouts are going. I think I’ve settled on 0.88 IF for 2 hours as my indicator that I can bump my FTP by 5 W.

Anybody else take this approach? If so, what’s your indicator to manually bump up your FTP

HR during SS work.


raw absolute numbers, especially true on the same exact workouts, be safe & humble. (I feel like the confidence has a lot to do)

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Interesting. I never even considered this…probably because I don’t use a HR monitor!

Agreed about the confidence/mental aspect - for me 0.88IF for 2h instills that feeling of confidence.

I’ve always assessed with the 2x8’ test or the ramp—never like to assume or guess. Is there a reason you don’t do this every 4 weeks or so?

I think I’d just take this as a sign that you’re aerobically fit. .88IF for 2hrs is a strong workout but not unusual for that duration. I do a lot of very long SS rides and have hit .85-.90 for up to 3hrs.

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Seems a bit low on first glance, although you didn’t say what type of workout.

My personal experience is using data from hard efforts outside. Over the last 3 years I’ve routinely used hard efforts to gauge if another test is needed.

I’ve been reluctant to use anything less than a hard threshold workout to gauge fitness.

On an indoor trainer?!?

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So the specifics are that my FTP was at 360. I did 5x15min at 352W (Mount Goode +5 with 3% added to the IF) - so threshold-ish efforts. So I used my success here to justify bumping up my FTP to 365. This was a hard effort for me. I was under the impression that this would be a challenging effort for most people as none of the two hour rides in the TR plans surpass 0.85IF!

I’m certainly not assuming or guessing as I have a pretty good feel for my power - a benefit of about two years of TR. Ramp, 8min and 20min tests are really just ways to estimate FTP - certainly a good way to do so for the sake of consistency. You could estimate it any number of ways providing that SS feels like SS and threshold feels like threshold, etc - TR workouts like Gray and Lamarck are also good ways to assess/confirm FTP.

I don’t do the Ramp as I find it doesn’t track well to FTP for me (as detailed in that thread I linked to) given my V02max challenges (I’m much better at steady state efforts around threshold). I don’t do it on the four week schedule as I find that my fitness gains don’t seem that follow that four week structure…or I just don’t feel like it!

Yep. Just finished a “training camp” indoors, a little over 20hrs for the week. I usually only ride around 12 though.

I’ve never been a fan of trainer riding but not much option with the winter we’ve had. Not to mention the quality of training is higher so really a good use of time.

HR is very useful, with the understanding that it is subject to a significant amount of variability due to external stresses.

Like was stated previously I look at absolute HR and the amount of decoupling over longer SS intervals as a sign my FTP can be adjusted.

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I’ve done manual adjustments in the past when I did the 8-minute test. Basically when the workouts especially the easy ones ( I train a bit on the polarized side) feel too easy. Since the ramp test does not kill me or interrupt my training like the 8 minute did, I just test more often, approximately every ~4 weeks.

The important factor is that your adjustments keep the progressive loading sufficient to disrupt homeostasis to drive training adaptions (that is you get stronger and faster) but do not overcook you.

When manually adjusting I totally base it on how I feel. :flushed:

The years prior to testing, If I could finish my weekly workouts at volume and intensity and feel like I could have gone another 3-5 watts, I would bump my FTP 5 Watts. I will still do this between ramp tests.


@1k2go clever user name!

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@G650 can you explain a little more on how you do this?

Nothing super complex, I have a good feel feel for where my HR should be during SS work after all the years I have been doing it. Taking into account fatigue, illness etc… obviously. Would not base it off single workout, but over a week or two.

I test 2 or 3 times a year, coming out of off season and to check mid season.

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