A mentally crushing FTP test - or not really? Data questions -

Did the ramp test today, and thought I crushed it. Until I got the result. Went from 248 to 251 (I weigh 146).

I did the same test on March 5 last year and went from 248 to 256. I did 5 seconds more on today’s test than last year.

What’s weird however, is that according to Strava - and TR - I PR’d my power from 4:30 through 10:30 compared to my previous PR on the same ramp test last year. All my interval numbers look nearly identical. I did backpedal at the end when I blew up, so not sure if that might have skewed anything.

So not sure how I PR the power and come up 5 watts shy on the FTP. Thoughts?

I mean, I’m happy with the lifetime PR through that power band, but bummed to see the FTP not pushing through.


The results of the ramp test are calculated by multiplying your best 1 min avg power by 0.75 (I think, it could be 0.74). The backpedal at the end would not have affected your results. But if you look at the last step of your test, you can see that you weren’t quite hitting your power target. So even though you lasted longer your best 1 min avg power may have been a hair lower. This would also raise those other duration PRs because you held a similar peak power but for longer.

But 251 vs 256 is well within the margin of error of any test when you take into account power meter accuracy, nutrition, sleep, motivation, etc. So maybe you had a tad less stress last year or ate more carbs that day or it was a more sunny day and you just felt better. So I wouldn’t worry about it. And I certainly wouldn’t call it “crushing”. I would move forward with 251 or manually bump it up to ~255 if you feel that is more accurate.

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Looking now - I see that last years top 1 minute effort during the test was 341, versus 335 this year. 6 watts right there I guess.

But I guess it begs the question - should I have tried to just drill that last interval harder til failure? I’d think I could have gone a bit harder if on the last or second to last step, I knew that was basically it. Guess that would also skew the results?

I knew exactly how much time I was in the test last year so I was kind of setting that up to not stop until I at least matched the time. Maybe that wasn’t smart.

Nonetheless, with lifetime PRs on the power curve, I’ll consider it a win for the most part. I realize the FTP is an important number for me psychologically, but PRs are also a good mental win for. Turning 50 this year and I realize at some point the needle starts going the other way, but I’m not ready to accept that reality that just yet.

It’s just a test. Don’t let a number define you.

Also - this is the beauty of the ramp test. Don’t worry about time, don’t worry about past performances, don’t even bother to compare PRs - just go until you can’t go anymore. You’re in your head too much. :slight_smile:

I know you’re disappointed, but take that motivation into nailing your next block of workouts instead of trying to dissect how to take a ramp test better. I mean - the point is to become a faster cyclist, not be a better ramp test taker right? <-- this is said with a slight laugh and a joking tone. lol.

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