20 min ftp and what to improve on

So…i’m sure it has been discussed but i’ll try again. My 20 min FTP is down significantly from a previous ramp test. My question/statement is that the 30 mins prior to the actual 20 min test is what led to the lower ftp number. Now is this the MAP? or something else that i need to work on? I know a lot of other factors are in play but to this point in particular i could use some direction.

Just checking I understand your question: you’ve computed your FTP from the results of a 20min FTP test, and compared it to the FTP found from results of a previous Ramp test?

You mention the “30 mins prior” to the 20min test - so did you follow a particular 20min test protocol, or just do a 20min effort after some other riding?

yes sorry if it wasn’t clear. My ftp was down from a previous ramp test approx 7 weeks ago. I did the 20 min ftp test yesterday and followed the instructions. There is a 30 minute ride prior to the actual 20 min test. it pushes above what was my previous ftp. Clear as mud right?

The 30 mins prior to the 20 min effort is not what led to a lower FTP, it is actually 100% required to use that test as an estimate of your FTP(35-70 min power). Your FTP is not 95% of your best 20 min effort, it is 95% of your 20 minute effort after an anaerobic clearing suprathreshold effort as the test is designed.

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They are two different testing protocols. Dont compare them

not sure i understand your statement. TR calculated my ftp on both the ramp test and 20 min test which was significantly lower. In other words i could not hold my ramp test fpt on the 20 min test

you asked if the 30 mins prior to the 20 min test led to the lower result. The answer is no. The 30 mins prior is necessary for the test to estimate your FTP. Part of the problem is that TR didn’t validate the TR test against the 20 min test so you are likely to get a different result

I don’t mean to be pedantic but neither of these are actually measuring FTP. One is measuring your performance on a ramp test, the other is measuring your 20 minute power, and each one estimates your FTP off of that.

So i think your first question is, which protocol do you think gets you a better estimate of what you actually think your FTP is, i.e. the power level that you can sustain for longer than a short time and above which you fatigue at a substantially more rapid rate?

I think you go with whichever one works better for you (not just picking the higher number) and then probably best to train the FTP, not just train to one or the other of the tests.


not to be pedantic…but its not measuring that either haha

a 20 minute power test is not measuring . . . 20 minute power???

a 20 minute test proceeded by a 5 min suprathreshold effort is not measuring your 20 min power, no.

okay he just said 20 minute test.

but still, the point stands that it’s an estimate. 20 minute power after a 5 minute max effort may or may not be your ftp. The point is it’s measuring performance on the test.

yes, because my response was 100% a pedantic argument(and a joke)

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and based on this it sounds like ramp test overestimates because of anaerobic contribution (which is then cleared out and unavailable for the 20 min because of the fiver, leading to the lower number). So it’s a power curve that’s biased left.

I think you kind of said the same thing. Our friend here can always test it with a long-form protocol an see what happens

pedantic arguments are the best kind

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The lower number from the longer test is probably closer to your true FTP. I’d go with that. For training purposes, it’s better to err on the low side anyway so that sweet spot doesn’t become threshold or higher.

All FTP tests take some getting used to. After you’ve done a few you’ll do better on the pacing.


You cold not hold it because from all the ways to estimate a FTP ramp test is far the worst? This forum is full of “ramp test overestimated FTP” topics and you are a just another victim. Go with estimation from 20 min test and you will feel a lot better with the workouts. Suddenly SST should feel closer to SST not a threshold.


Agree with that. Some of the SSLV were difficult probably because they were closer to threshold workouts :v:

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I don’t think the ramp test is necessarily the problem. It’s just that 75% of the highest 1 min power is an average and doesn’t work for many people. The ramp test does a great job at measuring my ftp if I use 72% of max 1 min power. I much prefer taking the ramp test to the 20 min test, so I took some time to figure out the right number.