Hey all, long time user and listener. I was just wondering if you can be terrible at ramp tests. I seem to be able to hold a decent wattage for a long time. I can hold around 230 watts for 3 plus hours. I also have an ok max power and can hold over 1100 watts for over 10 seconds. But i can’t seem to get above the 300 FTP. I’ve been hovering around the 280,290,295 for ages.
So my question is, am i just rubbish at ramp tests meaning i can’t push hard at the top end, or should i not be too bothered and just focus on increasing the watts i can hold for a long time.
The question isn’t “Are you good at ramp tests?” but rather “Is the ramp test good at giving me an accurate FTP?” You can’t really be good or bad at a test but a test can be good or bad for you.
How does it feel when you do intervals at the FTP that the ramp test is giving you? If you get 290W from the ramp test does it feel like that is an accurate FTP? can you hold it for between ~45min and ~75min? Does it feel like a cross over point where if you go below that number you can hold it for much longer and if you go above you can only hold it for much shorter?
It’s very possible! I think I have a similar situation to you, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what my FTP based on feel and what workouts I can complete etc. I am never able to reproduce that number on a ramp test. I do know that I struggle with VO2max efforts and I think this lead to low numbers on a ramp test as it depends on being able to push numbers a fair bit higher than what your FTP is. For me, a 20min test or Kollie Moore protocol gives better numbers.
That said, the ramp test isn’t useless. Even though I know my FTP is higher than what I can ‘score’ the relative number is still helpful. If I am over or under what I know a good ramp test for me is, that is informative.
Good point. My FTP has been set at 295 for a while now. I complete all the workouts no problem. I feel like i can hold 295 for just over an hour. I suppose my discipline is endurance, so being able to hold lower power for longer is the goal.
Do not get me wrong - this is quite good endurance! But Your FTP would not be like 350 or something But it is all guessing - try a longer test, and you will have your answer without guessing and estimating FTP.
I can’t remember the exact number but my last ramp was in the region of 226w (my first one was 268). I held 251w outdoors last Sep so I stopped and did a 20mins test; it came back with an FTP between 255 and 270w. I am currently training off 260w as it feels the right level for me to escape the spiral of death on long intervals.
I think you might just like more tempo/sweet-spot/threshold type of efforts, and you might hover more towards those kind of efforts which probably makes you be able to hold high percentage of VO2 max for long but not be able to go over FTP for long.
I fell for this end of last year, I did an indoor workout of 2x30min at 280 watts with 3 min recovery so 275 watts for 1 hour in total, then I ramp tested a week or so later and to my disappointment I was told my FTP was only 256 watts.
Maybe try a hard block of VO2 max efforts for 1/2 months and see if your tamp test FTP increases before going back to more extensive endurance?
My situation was almost identical to yours, right down the numbers you’re putting out. I was focusing mainly on a lot of sustained power work and I don’t think that lends itself well to the specificity of the ramp test. I did finally bite the bullet and force my way through a short power build over the last couple months and immediately took a 15w jump on my mid-build test and I’m about to do another one. I think there are two components where it helped. First, fast twitch muscle development, and second, you get used to that kind of “pain”. When you aren’t doing a lot of VO2 max or anaerobic work, you really don’t know what your limit “feels” like, at least that was my experience. I’d suggest doing some short-power work and/or switch to a 20+ min FTP test.
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