8min FTP starting targets?

Tomorrow I’ve got a 8-minute test booked in after 3 weeks off the bike and what potentially is low iron so aren’t expecting anything great. Historically I’ve performed poorly in ramp tests and set FTP manually up/down as things got easy/hard, but I think I’ve not tested in a long time so need something to start with so an old school test is in my future.

I’ve been watching the how-to videos and get all the tips from that but I’ve gotta start at some effort, do folks have a look at graphs (my 42 day for intervals ICU is below) and aim to hold between their 5 and 10 min power? from there? Negative split the 8 minutes blocks? Wing it?

I suspect it’s going to be low this time but I’ll have more tests again so might as well ask now!

The power curve would only be helpful if you know those were all out efforts. If you’re brand new to the 8 min test use RPE for the first interval, the first minute should feel too easy but that changes quickly by the halfway point. The common issue with old school tests is pacing.

For me, to get the most out of the 8 minute test is to be willing to practice it a little. My best paced test took place a week after the first one I had done for a long time. You get a much better power estimate and pacing practice.

This is why the ramp test remains popular, no practice required - however there are riders like myself who prefer the longer tests.

There is no simple answer here, with the 8- and 20-minute tests, you need to know what number you are shooting for in advance. If you are going too hard, you’ll crack and your test result will be invalid. If you don’t know what number to shoot for, do a ramp test and use the result to inform your pacing decisions.

This year at my peak, I managed to sustain 117 % of my FTP for 7 minutes and had room to spare. But that was after a season of Short Power build and Crit specialty. I’m nowhere near as sharp after my rest period.

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I love the 8 minute tests…I have recently had a two month layoff from intense riding/training due some health reasons. Before jumping back into training, I typically will spend a week playing with 8 minute efforts to get a gauge of what I think I’ll be able to do. Why don’t you push your plan back a week and experiment before doing the 8 minute protocol? Will also take some of the psychological stress out of the equation.

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How did it go? FasCat has an interesting pre-test 2x10-min (5-min rest between) workout. Didn’t post info on that as it is designed for targeting beginning effort in a 20-min field test.


I can’t say it went well or badly for that matter!

A couple other posts back I commented on my mental struggles and I woke up today full of plans and vigour, ate a good bowl of porridge for energy then just couldn’t summon up anything more. I don’t like Zwift but I’m going to try my 25 free kilometres to at least sit on the bike.


We all have days like that my friend. Anything is better than nothing.

follow the plan, do the ramp test, get better at doing the ramp test…by doing the ramp test?