1:48 ride with IF=1.02 - should I update FTP? How to pace a big ride?

I have a riding buddy who’s way faster than me, but is super cool and supportive. He’ll push the pace but never drop me and this pushes me to ride harder. On our 7/4 ride, I hit an IF of 1.02 for close to 2 hours (Avg 197, NP 252 on an FTP of 246). I manually bumped my FTP from 246 to 266 and had successful workouts. There was no rationale to the 20W increase…I was just winging it! :sweat_smile:

We rode again yesterday with a similar distance and elevation. My speed and power was up nicely over the prior ride with the same RPE. Avg pwr 213 (+16W), NP 271 (+25W) compared to last time. Again the IF was 1.02.

In both rides there’s a lot of coasting (I’m a big guy and can easily pass him on the downhills) and anaerobic surges (as I try not to fall to far behind going back up!). RPE was not high at all considering how fun it is not to suffer alone and I was downing the carbs pretty heavily.

Should I update my FTP again? One answer I’m sure is to just take the ramp test, but I’m trying to get some more easy saddle time this week because I have a 192 mile/2 day ride this weekend. I want to know how to pace the ride and I don’t know if testing or assuming a new FTP would mess with my pacing. Any tips are apprecated.

Thanks!

Yes, see Alex's Cycle Blog: The seven deadly sins and Alex's Cycle Blog: The Sins of Sins (Testing FTP #2).

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For a 1:48 ride maximum IF would be roughly 0.94 assuming you were all out. I’d say not though.
So 1.02/0.94 = 8.5% increase
Then increasing your old FTP of 246W by 8.5% = 266W
Start there (which you have coincidentally) and nudge it up again if you can prove you’re stronger.

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It wasn’t steady state so no. Ride at 250w for a bit. Can you do it for 35-45 minutes? Cool, seems like a fine FTP. If you blow up in 20 minutes it’s not your FTP.

NP isn’t useful for predicting anything.

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Thanks for the tips everyone. Did a 20 minute test today and got 290W … it was stuck in my head so had to try.

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Nice job on your test!

You obv got fitter but highly variable (when np is much higher than avg power) rides aren’t good proxy for increased ftp. For example, I’ve done workouts where I soft pedaled then sprinted all out multiple times and had an NP of like 340-350w for a 1hr ride (avg power like 175w), but that’s definitely not indicative of having a 350w ftp or being able to sit on 350w for an hour.
Always worth trying a test if you think there’s a big enough ftp increase

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