Conflicting FTPs

Hi Newbie here, first post.
I have a question or concern. My Garmin estimated FTP is 216 (68kgs). My Trainerroad AI Detected FTP is 242, which I reduced to 240 for workouts. I genuinley believe 216 is more realistic. I do not believe, even with a gun to my head, I could sustain 240 watts for an hour.
However, I very seldom struggle to complete TR workouts. I complete 99% of TR Intensity workouts without having to turn down the volume. This is with FTP set at 240, and I’m currently on Mid Volume Polarized Build Plan. I’m 54 and mostly ride MTB.
Second concern is difficulty sleeping when doing intensity workouts in late afternoon or early evening, which is when i usually have the time to do them. Any one else experience this. Any advice on resolving the issue of poor sleep after intense exercise?


If you really want to know which FTP is correct you should do some form of longer FTP test (Kolie Moore, 20, 30 or 60 min test). Trainerroad’s FTP probably is too high and garmin’s too low though


FTP is operationally defined. The primary purpose of measuring ftp is to set benchmarks for training.
If you’re using Trainer Road to guide your training, use the TR defined FTP. If workouts are appropriately hard using an ftp of 240, then voila, you’ve found the number you need.

Like intelligence, ftp changes depending on how we define/measure it. Very few of us attempt the hour record, so the notion that ftp is measuring a 1 hour power avg is irrelevant.

Maybe we need a new term.

I don’t have a good suggestion for the sleep issue beyond melatonin, cbn, or consistency:


FTP is not your 1 hour power. And in my experience, Garmin isn’t as accurate. I’d lean towards using AIFTP, and making sure you’re rating workouts accurately in the post workout survey. If you’re completing workouts at mostly “Hard” and “Moderate” - then you’re in the ballpark. Too many “Very Hard” or failures, you’re probably too high. To me, it sounds like you’re actually not far off and I’d leave it.

I don’t do intense workouts late in the day for the same reasons. Even if I do them early in the day and I’m really crushed, I may not sleep well that night.

Monitoring overall intensity - if it gets to be too much, you can consider Masters Plans as well, but Polarized may address that for you.


Try replacing a threshold workout with mount baldy or mount baldy -1, if that feels very hard to all out. Then I would say your ftp is high, imo those workouts should feel hard and on the low end of very hard. Also depends on how bad the sleep was night before etc but they should be doable with a properly set ftp, imo

For bragging purposes, always go with the bigger number…

But seriously, unless we’re getting tested in a lab, its always just an estimate used to guide training. If you’re completing the workouts consistently, but feel like you probably can’t reasonably sustain the completion rate at a higher number, stay with it.

I like the 20 minute protocol and haven’t even seen an AI number yet - because I don’t trust it, and its not what I’m used to. The ramp that TR loved and promoted is usually a pretty close estimate, but its still not what I love.

I’ve done workouts at all times of day throughout the last decade or so, and a post-kid’s bedtime workout usually costs me about 30-60 minutes of sleep, but that includes the mandatory shower, meal and mental cooldown. It also depends on how close to my actual normal bed time I finish the workout. Figure out if a post-ride pre-bed routine helps, or if certain foods help or hurt your sleep.

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Yes. This is the reaon I switched to Polarised.

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I’m of the school of thought that you should trust the number generated by TrainerRoad to determine the intesity of TrainerRoad workouts.

The only reason to doubt it is if your workouts were too easy or too hard - but it sounds like you dont have an issue there?

Now if you really want to know your FTP (whatever that is - even Coggan seems to change his mind) the only answer is to test it by one of the available methods whilst understanding what the test is actually measuring and align that to whatever your goal is.


Thanks. I may need to eat better post exercise as it could be hypoglycemia that is affecting my sleep.

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In my experience, the Garmin FTP is way too low, and I’ve seen for other people that it’s way too high.

My Garmin FTP is 208 watts, which makes no sense since I often ride over that for an hour without issue. The TR FTP of 262 “feels” correct, and I find the workouts doable.

Depending on how close to your bed time your workouts are, it’s likely always going to affect your sleep to some degree. Make sure you go into the workout well fueled, and make sure to fuel during and after as well.

A heavy meal close to bed time kind of ruins my sleep for at least the first half of the night, so that’s why the fueling before and during are important, so that you don’t have to over compensate for your last meal too much.

Don’t have science to back this up, but anecdotally this is the only way I get a good nights rest when I do training after 8pm (which is luckily rare nowadays).


Hey @DeanI1970 :slight_smile: Welcome!

Most other platforms (like Garmin) use all-out efforts (commonly called capacitive efforts) to estimate your FTP using an FTP estimation model 1. This means that they rely on you completing maximal efforts within your training data.

Our model does not rely on capacitive efforts. Instead, our model predicts your FTP based on your training history, your personal biometrics, and many other features. Capacitive efforts and FTP tests rely on one performance. AI FTP Detection accounts for much more with a broad range of data points.

I took a look at your Calendar and training history, and I would say the AI FTP Detection is definitely more in line with where your FTP should be than the Garmin one, and here is why:

  1. On your latest Ramp Test on January 1st you tested an FTP of 235

  2. You are completing TR Workouts successfully and seldom struggle with them

  3. You have a solid training history and have been super consistent in following the plan and adding unstructured riding. :ok_hand: I am not surprised your FTP went up.

You’re probably right that you wouldn’t be able to sustain 240 watts for an hour :sweat_smile: Most athletes don’t have the mental discipline and physical stamina to withstand the discomfort necessary to sustain an hour-long effort. That’s why most testing protocols use an FTP estimate, as it provides the metric that corresponds closest to a rider’s lactate threshold: the muscular metabolic capabilities that are found to be the best determinant of endurance performance beyond short efforts.

As far as the sleep goes, I used to go to rock climbing sessions from 9pm-11pm and I was hyped up for an hour after that. Exercising gives you energy, and it moves a lot of energy so it takes some time for the body to settle down. Maybe start emphasizing a cool-down period to help lower your heart rate and transition your body from exercise mode to rest mode. Something like stretching, or even doing breath work helps a ton!


Thanks for the detailed response. Gives me confidence that I’m doing my workouts using the correct FTP.


Just to hit things from a slightly different angle: with Garmin, it’s important to remember it will ONLY change your FTP as a result of a new max 20 minute effort. A record 19 minute effort will only count inasmuch as the last 1 minute keeps you above your previous max 20 minute effort. If you stop at 19:50, Garmin won’t consider it.

Platforms like TR (with AIFTP), Xert, and some others will recognize sub-20 minute and/or sub-maximal efforts to calculate your FTP from there.

There are a few climbs around here that I’ve been pushing lately that wind up at like 17 or 18 minutes, so my FTP according to Garmin is around 300, while Xert currently has me at 316. I’m strong anaerobically, so I think Xert might be skewed a little high, but my guess is in reality it’s about 310ish now. I’d be curious what AIFTP has me at, but I don’t currently have an active TR sub and I’m not $20 curious, if you know what I mean. :slight_smile:


This myth refusses to die. Not true.

I get Garmin FTP updates from 30/30s etc or even just 5 minutes at VO2MAX, you just need a pair HR strap with HRV capabilty (maybe a garmin one) and pair a power meter.


Hmm, weird. I’ve never had mine update from anything other than max threshold efforts, including a max 18 minute effort two weeks that showed increased FTP in a few different apps with no change from Garmin. Maybe I’m not pushing my VO2Max efforts hard enough to register?

I’m using a Polar H10 with a Quarq power meter, so everything should be good on that front.

Here’s the documentation from Garmin:

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Maybe it needs to be a Garmin HR strap or Garmin isnt taking the HRV info from the Polar.

I use the Garmin HR Pro and any duration that moves the curve enough suggests a FTP update.

Hm, maybe. Is it possible the total VO2Max workout period pushes the 20 minute average past the breaking point?

This is on old devices and is out of date, I guess thats why people still say it.

So it might be true for a particular persons device.

Mine does not use the 20 minute test and .95 multiplier.

I just checked, one of my last updates was from one set of 8x 1 minutes on 30 second off so only 8 minutes over FTP about 125% and it trigger a ftp update.

Hmm, interesting. I just found this (basically zero detail, but it does back up what you’re saying):

That said, I’ve set power PRs (all-time or least for 2024) for everything from 30 seconds to 90 minutes over the past 4-5 weeks and haven’t received any FTP bumps from Garmin. While I have received prompts to LOWER my FTP several times when it read SST rides as max efforts. Weird stuff, maybe just highly individuated? I’m 52 and my HRV seems to be on the low side, so maybe that’s part of the difference?

Edit: forgot to add, I’ve got 1040. So with the Polar H10 and 2 year old Quarq, I should be plenty modern for these updates.