1.4% increase in FTP first 6 weeks 216 > 219

Only had a 1.6% increase in FRP from 216 to 219. I’m fairly disappointed as this program touts pretty substantial gains for most on their first retest.

I am wrong to be disappointed? The podcast often has people asking questions who are claiming increasing 50-60 FTP at times.

I was not an endurance athlete coming in, always been a sprinter, but I definitely expected more with some of the rough rides I went through.

How did you measure before and after, “FTP”? The ramp test is a poor indicator for some.

:slight_smile:

What plan and volume are you doing and what training were you doing before? Lots of reasons why you might have seen only a small bump - progress is rarely linear.

My guess is one or more of the following:

  • Your sprint background means you have a good anaerobic capacity but not so good aerobic capacity. That could well mean you test a bit high on the ramp test. If you’re doing a Base Plan right now then you’re addressing that relative imbalance by increasing your aerobic base which will give you a better foundation for future increases but likely isn’t going to give you a big bump in ramp test results straight away
  • You came into TR fresh and nailed a good initial test result, but were carrying some fatigue or just having a bad day for your second test
  • Linked to the first 2, your workouts could have been too hard if your initial ramp test has given you a pretty high number. This would explain why the workouts feel like “rough rides”. If you’re really struggling to get through Sweetspot workouts you should probably be dialling the intensity down a few percent, those workouts aren’t supposed to be too hard
  • Doing a TR plan might just represent a big step up in training volume for you and it’s taking your body a while to adjust

In all cases the recommendation would be to stick at it and see what results are like after multiple training blocks not just one. Could be that the 8 minute or 20 minute test would give you a more realistic assessment of your aerobic capacity, but I don’t think I’d recommend chopping and changing tests at this point. You’ve done 2 ramp tests so stick with that. But as above, if some workouts are really tough then best to dial down a bit to get through them. In the long run it’s consistency that pays off.

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I wouldn’t read too much into your first block. That could just be you getting used to structure and working in zones you aren’t used to. I think my first FTP was 250 and followed that up with a whopping 256 3 months later. Hit 310 as a high a few months ago in my 3rd season. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You will have ups and downs.

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This is normal very normal… As long as the trajectory is up, you are good…

My ftp has never gone up more than 4%… But is usually between 2 and 3…

Some people get much more gains, but that’s not tipical

The people who have huge gains are usually people with some sort of endurance background or sports background…

Don’t feel bad… Just keep pushing!

this has happened to me too, and i know it’s totally deflating, but if you’re anything like me i had a few breakout tests after that. So i went from like 216 → 219, but then after another block i went from 219 → 230, and after that 230 → 240.

And even after that first block i felt stronger, even if the numbers didn’t really reflect it. Don’t give up!

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I think this is marketing. Of course, TR will highlight the people with the big gains.

Why do some people get the big gains. I think it’s a combination of off the couch to consistent training and under testing on their first FTP test. If they don’t know their abilities or how to push to the max, they will under test. They under test, train for their first block, and then get a giant jump because their 2nd test was much better executed.

I have been doing trainerroad for a couple years now (usually only get through SSB 1-2 and then ride outside and screw around for awhile. Then start over again.

My experience is that I never get huge gains (ever). I very slowly over the course of years increase my FTP. But I don’t get these 50-100 watt jumps people talk about. 10-20 is excellent for me (and usually represents a loss of fitness and me regaining and slowly going above my last highest FTP.

My FTP when I started with trainerroad in 2019 was 214. Today I am 261. There have been many injuries, sickness, loss of motivation, etc etc in there. I will say consistent training makes me faster outside (strava times) regardless of the % increase in FTP.
FTP doesn’t capture how fast you are throughout the entire range. FTP is a training metric used to determine your intervals.

Complete side note - sweet spot base 1 makes me feel extremely flat. I am a mtber (which requires surges over 500 watts all the time), riding around a SSB for 6 weeks makes me feel incompetent at surging (but does raise my FTP) and I feel like a worse mtber.

Very long way of saying - not too surprised. Keep on it. If you want to see a large (basically one time) increase in FTP focus on V02 max only - which may or may not help with your riding (depending on what it is).

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You mentioned that you were not an endurance athlete prior to this, that you were a sprinter. That leaves me wondering if your previous training might have given you good anaerobic fitness, but poor aerobic fitness. You didn’t say what TR plan(s) you tried. TR generally recommends most people start with sweet spot base, but for you that may not be the best approach. You might do better doing more easy Zone 2 rides to build up your aerobic fitness before progressing into plans with more intensity. Best wishes.

A 50w increase in 6 weeks would likely come from someone who jumped off the couch onto the smart trainer for the first time (huge gain for untrained person - think “biggest loser” gains).

If you have some athletic background and consistency in fitness prior to starting a structured program, something like 1-10% gain in the first 2months is realistic.

I think you would see a larger % gain if you conducted a 20min test rather than ramp. Ramp is preferred tho for TR and other programs bc you cannot fail it (failure is the natural end of the test).

Agree with what most people have said here, but wanted to just thrown my two cents in.

I started TR around this time last year, and it was my first experience w/ structured training. This has been my progression of TR ramp test FTP over the last ~11 months.

253 → 253 → 258 → 264 → new power meter, 246 → 248 → 255 → 259 → 265

I’d listened to the podcast enough to have been disappointed in those small early gains, but over time I’ve learned to take the longer view and I’m satisfied with the progress. And even in that first block where I saw no “gains” I could definitely tell that I’d improved my muscle endurance and gained some mental toughness to make it through some tough intervals.

Anyway, that’s my experience. I think you’ll be fine if you stick with it. Happy training!

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The last bit I’ll add. Taking the ramp test is a skill (at least for me). To familiarize myself with it and stop dreading it, I did it every other day for a week. Helped me learn how to embrace the pain of the ramp test and keep pushing when I thought I had nothing left.

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That’s nuts :grimacing: were the results pretty similar?

There are other changes that go on that you may or may not notice.

My FTP increased after my first year of riding but has essentially stayed within a range of 10-15 watts ever since.

My ability to ride now for longer durations has changed significantly. I am able to comfortably ride for 3-4 hours at a pace I couldnt even maintain a few years ago for an hour. My stamina has changed dramatically. My resting heart rate dropped dramatically as well. It all took time and didnt happen after a short block of work.

Before you took the test did you think you were improving? Is it just the result that is causing the disappointment. Dont focus on how you perform on two specific days. Work through it and see how it goes.

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I got progressively higher results. But it was minor 226 > 228 >230 >231. Something like that. Basically showed me I could rely on the test as my all out.

Agreed with @brenth my results all nothing to “write about”, but it’s everywhere below the maximum that I have seen huge improvements.

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Another FWIW.

All of my early gains (2014-2015) were from doing Tue/Thur spin classes plus an easy outside ride or two. Based on 4 months off a couple years ago, guessing that my ftp went from ~180 up to ~250W simply riding roughly 2 hours in the gym and averaging 4 hours/week. Those gym sessions had some very hard, high-intensity intervals.

Then I bought a road bike at start of 2016 and over 7 months ramped up riding outside to average 8 hours/week and FTP jumped to ~280. Scaled back riding a bit, then in 2017 on 7.7 hours/week average and more focused hard sessions, FTP returned to ~280. Did a lot of really hard workouts, two a days, and longer rides.

After that I bought a trainer, reducing riding to TR MV levels, about 5.5 hours/week, and FTP saw yo-yo between 220-250.

Then in 2020 I switched back to a volume approach, increased riding to 7.5 hours/week with a lot of easy rides, and saw FTP jump 260. Continued down that path this year (2021), with a minor 15 min/week increase and FTP jumped to 264W. Mostly easy rides and starting to approach where I was in 2017, and setting new power PRs again.

Volume (7.5+ hours/week) with some intensity has been better than indoor structure, for me. I’m closing out my fifties and fighting age related declines, I’m pretty happy with averaging 7-8 hours/week as a stress reliever and the Watts that come from that level of volume.

Volume, consistency, and a multi-year horizon are generally acknowledged as the fundamentals to success in endurance sports.

Hope that perspective helps.

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@N8O0714 I’m going to go a little different way than most opinions in this thread based on what I’m seeing from your workouts.

I think you are a rider who has a higher fractional utilization of MAP. So, if MAP is your best 1 minute power from a ramp test…as you know TR sets your FTP as 75% of MAP…I think your FTP is a little bit better than 75% of MAP.

Look at your last ramp test. Based on the way you REALLY hung on through dropping cadence I think you really dug deep on that ramp test. Your heart rate maxed out at 177 or 178.

Now go back in time and look at something like Eichorn+2 where you went 20 minutes at 94% FTP but HR in the 2nd interval was only 85% of max HR. That was at the very end of the 2nd interval.

Or take a look at Warlow+2 where you did 9 minutes at or above threshold. At the end of the last interval your heart rate was 83% of MaxHR during the last minute of the last interval. That was after a minute at ~112% of ‘FTP’.

I wonder if your FTP is more appropriately set at 77% or 78% of MAP.

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Just to give you a feel for how over-under workouts go for me…I went back and looked at McAdie. Last interval ended at 94% of max HR. Fang Mountain +1 last interval ended at 91% of max HR.

I’ve never done Eichorn+2 (20 min @ 94% FTP) but when I did Eclipse+3 (20 minutes at ~87%) my HR finished the last interval at about 91% of max HR.

I’ve been at 80+% of MAP more than a few times.

McAdie: 90% HRmax
11 days later I did the harder McAdie +2: 89% HRmax

Both under my threshold HR (LTHR). I do my ‘indoor’ workouts in a garage, without air conditioning.

Galena has 20-minute intervals, 90%, 94%, and 92%. Highest HR was 87% HRmax.

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I lost a watt at the end of sweet spot base low volume I the first time I did it, but in the 8 months since then I have gained close to 40. I just completed sweet spot base low volume I for a second time (albeit a harder version via adaptive training) and got a 12 watt bump this time so think there’s more gains to be had. Stick with it and believe in the process!