Can barely make it though a single 20-minute 95% interval

I recently got a 12 watt ramp test bump but at the same time I am doing quite a bit more TSS than I am used to.

I don’t mind doing vo2max and sprint work but I dread long 10+ minute threshold efforts, especially after an FTP bump.

Today I bailed after only making it through 16 minutes of the first of three 20-minute 95% efforts. Physically I could have gone another four minutes but it just takes so much focus

Do I need to HTFU, stop watching TV during z3/4 efforts, mainline sugar during these efforts, recover better, or go back to build phase?

Or do it just need to attempt more threshold workouts and adjust the difficulty as appropriate?


Sugar definitely helps! And personally, anything sweetspot or above is not conducive to tv watching.


I think most TR users would agree that 3x20 minute at 95% is a solid effort. If you’ve just had a 12 watt bump, you might simply need to work up to this effort. Why not try reducing the intensity to 90% and see how you go.

Recover BEFORE this type of effort is going to assist you massively, as will fueling on the bike.


20-minute threshold intervals are hard. So, yeah, it’s okay if you pull out all the stops to get through them (if doing them makes sense) - pay attention to your mid-ride nutrition, make sure you’re reasonably recovered, stay focused (and yeah staying focused for 20 minutes is hard on its own!).

I guess the other side of the coin is, what benefits do you expect to get from these intervals? If you think about the metabolic changes you want to accomplish, sweet spot is going to elicit very similar adaptations on a minute-by-minute level; but even if it only generates 90% of the adaptations per minute, which is more valuable: 16 minutes at 100% effectiveness or 60 minutes at 90% effectiveness?


For some, the ramp test is not an exact indicator of FTP. I can produce a number on the Ramp test that is no way sustainable for an hour let alone 20mins.

You need to lower your number If you can’t do 2x20 @95%.



Agree these are intentionally and mentally hard. Agree on no TV (or maybe good race footage - not netflix). Then it is about breaking 20 minutes up. I use songs to do this (put 5 kicka$$ songs in a row), changing position on bike (1-2 min at a time), counting breaths. All pretty effective. Also, you may want to look for workouts with variations over the 20 min. I vastly prefer some variation - say it averages 95% but varies between 90 and 100% 2 min at a time. Or has 15 secs of Vo2 every so often, or a 1 min break in the middle…Still hard and effective, but much more bearable for me.

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Sugar def helps, but I’ve also been really surprised by how much focus it takes for even just long “easier” sweet spot intervals…I’m incredibly snappy with the gf or the dog if they come in and bother me when I’m nearing the end of one, or if I’ve already done several. I realized it’s because I don’t have the cognitive resources to spare to deal with them because I’m focusing so much on the interval and I can’t take that focus away (I’m ‘trapped’ in erg mode). I can’t imagine watching TV while doing this, I think it would be too hard.


same here…I find the comparable sufferfest workouts much “easier” simply because they vary the efforts so much. I really wish TR had a feature where you could “randomize” the efforts across these long intervals, where it just sprinkled in small changes in power randomly.

I’ve had the best success with trainer in erg mode, a bike race on the tv, some upbeat music, and turn the TrainerRoad screen off when the interva starts. Just pedal til the resistance disappears.


Well, first of all, I just looked at the ride feed for Galena +1 and just about a third of riders had some sort of difficulty completing that workout. So I’d say, just in general, it’s hard.

Second of all, TR primarily uses a MAP test to determine FTP. The ramp test estimates MAP, and then TR estimates FTP based on that estimated MAP. An estimate of an estimate can sometimes be off by a little. 75% is probably just the man of the distribution…there are plenty of riders with FTP that is 70% of MAP and plenty of riders with FTP that is 80% of MAP.

It could be you’re just one of those 70% riders. So if you’re best 1min power during the ramp test is 400W…TR sets your FTP at 300…Galena+1 intervals are at 285…but your FTP is really 400*0.7=280. So Galena+1 is REALLY FREAKIN’ HARD.

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While riding, watch a Paris-Roubaix or Tour de Flandres race on Youtube (especially the last 70 minutes of the race) and you’ll be in good pain company.


Why not get creative on TrainerRoad’s Workout Creator? As an example, I tweaked Galena +1 to create the following workout, which isn’t quite as hard as the original but which should give you similar adaptations:

Interval 1 starts at 85% FTP and builds to 95%

Interval 2 starts at 85%, slowly increases to 95% and drops back to 85%

Interval 3 starts at 95% and gradually falls to 85%

You could create your own version(s) to suit your own particular needs.


Well first congrats on the ramp test bump! Like a lot of others have mentioned, the ramp tested in necessarily indicative or your true FTP, so maybe you should scale it back a bit.

If you think it’s accurate, maybe try working your way up to those longer intervals. A couple of the variations of Mount Goode have shorter intervals at that same 95%, that could help you progress up to those 20 minute efforts.

Lastly, carbs are your friend with these efforts. I notice a huge difference on this efforts when I pop a gel before and drink carbs throughout the work, versus when I under fuel and struggle to get through even one interval.

For what it’s worth, I don’t watch TV shows on anything over Sweet Spot. Like you said, it’s just too hard to focus. I usually turn on a concert from one of my favorite bands so I still have something visually entertaining during the recoveries and early parts of the interval, but I’m not missing anything when it gets hard and I have to ignore the TV.

Yep - your FTP may be set to high…but I certainly wouldn’t be going into 3x20mins@95% straight after a bump in FTP - even if you get through it will burn so many matches. As a few mentioned maybe start with something like Round Bald - 3@85% then Tray Mountain 3@90% then Galena - 3@90-94% - then try 3@95% - no racing anywhere in the world at present so you’ve plenty of time to build up the training!


I take ramp test FTP and reduce by 5% to set my FTP.


I tried the 60 minute record last week, and will be using 72% of ramp for my set FTP for at least the remainder of this season.

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Takes me 1-2 weeks before I ‘believe’ the FTP bump.

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Yeah, same here.

Yup, I reduce ramp test by 3-4% also.