Does skipping the ramp test sabotage my adaptive training plan?

I’m wondering if I am defeating the purpose of the adaptive training by doing .90 - .95 x 20 min testing and then manually entering that number… instead of the ramp? My last ramp had me 65 watts lower, which I’m thinking may lead workouts that are too easy for too long? How long would it take for the AT to sort it out vs me just taking my 20min calculation and going with that out of the gate.

If you test poorly, then you should manually calculate your FTP as you see fit. If there is a big gap between your ramp result and your FTP, AT won’t close that. It will progress your workouts to make them more intense, but won’t have you training in the correct zones.

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I hope not as the ramp tests as a 15percentile outlier doesn’t provide for me a realistic FTP. As far as I can tell though AT just needs a FTP figure to start doing its stuff and it wont matter where it comes from.

I haven’t actually tested 20min wise since before the TT season and only changed my FTP manually once given TT results and how workouts were feeling RPEwise and it seems to have coped OK.

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@HLaB Same! My local TT used to by my testing ground, but it went away at the start of the pandemic. Something about pinning on a number and having a carrot to chase gave me the motivation to suffer… I used that other gaming platform and entered a TT for my carrot

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There is no requirement to perform a Ramp Test. You can use any of the TR tests (1x20m or 2x8m) or just manually edit your FTP as desired.

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No. The purpose of the ramp test is to estimate your FTP.

From the FAQ:

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I haven’t done a ramp test since sometime in early summer, maybe even late spring. I’ve switched to the 20 minute test since I am much heavier on the longer duration ability, Ramp test seems to have me training almost a full zone lower than the zones that result from the 20 minute test.

I haven’t done any kind of FTP assesment since August I think since my A events are ultra distance my focus isn’t driving my power up and staying in the 4-6 PL range, I’m looking to drive my Threshold and SS PL’s into the 8+ range to try and foster the muscular endurance needed to complete 200+ mile events.

AT has worked perfect for this, It won’t adapt a new block until you pass the point where the ftp assesment is scheduled, then bam, it will adapt every workout for the next 3-5 weeks.

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I’ve done base build and specialty in their entirety using adaptive training, did not take a single ramp test (nor have I changed my FTP for that matter), definitely had no ill effect on my plan(s)

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Use your 20min power calculation or just manually input your approximate FTP. Doesn’t sound like your ramp test number is valid. Don’t leave it up to AT to adjust for a janky test result…you might be giving AT more credit than it deserves. Set things up so that if AT doesn’t work at all you’ll still have a good training cycle. Then if AT does something good it’s like a bonus.

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I don’t do the Ramp Test, or any FTP for that matter. Once I get to 10 for the Sweet Spot progression level I nudge up my FTP a little bit manually and let AT re-adjust my progression levels accordingly.

For example, here were my progression levels at an FTP of 366 after a block of training (Sweet Spot Base LV):

  • Endurance - 7.0
  • Tempo - 6.9
  • Sweet Spot - 10.0
  • Threshold - 5.3
  • VO2max - 2.7
  • Anaerobic - 1.0
  • Sprint - 1.0

I manually increased my FTP to 371:

  • Endurance - 6.5
  • Tempo - 6.5
  • Sweet Spot - 9.5
  • Threshold - 4.6
  • VO2max - 2.1
  • Anaerobic - 1.0
  • Sprint - 1.0

If I did the Ramp Test as prescribed I would probably get like 320-330 W. AT has been great for selecting better workouts for my relative strengths and weaknesses.

Same as above, it won’t sabotage AT. Im also trying to increase my tte in the threshold and Vo2max zones. I just recently started short power build and skipped the ramp test at the beginning . I never get too much of a bump in ftp for SSB 1& 2, so it’s awesome the new workout levels are awesome for building my tte.
When skipping the ramp test my PLs dropped around 1 point for threshold, Vo2max and sweet spot dropped .5. As said above I’m looking to get my levels up to around 7, then I will do an ftp test. Most likely the end of the first build block.

Interesting thing… I occasionally use intervals.icu and they have a metric based upon past performance data: eFTP**: So when I did my 20 min ftp test, which was a time trial on zwift, the net result was within 1 watt of each other.

“**Estimated FTP is calculated using power curves from FastFitness.Tips and Morton’s 3 parameter critical power model. The algorithm requires just 1 maximal effort of between 180 seconds and 30 minutes. Your estimated FTP will stay the same if you maintain your training load and decline slowly when you reduce training. To get it to go up you need to put in a max effort! The minimum duration required is configured in settings.”

Interesting that your are so close, mine are worlds apart.

My last ramp test got me 335, while my “eFTP” on intervals.icu recently updated to 371.

Real life race context, I had a crit where I had a 23 minute normalized power of 370 watts ( it was a shorter crit and i removed the neutral start lap ) and a circuit race of 1:38 where my normalized power was 340 watts.

Other context, on another popular online platform, I did a 42 minute on the alpe, stood the whole time, 366 for 20 mins, 360 for 30, and 353 average for the 42 minute effort. ( I clearly faded near the end ) After the initial higher power 20-30 minutes I sort of settled into the 330-340 range and was able to bump the last section a touch higher again.

What interval does eFTP calculate off for you? Short maximal efforts can be heavily biased by Anaerobic energy which for most folk is a one off turbo boost and not a hour long lasting energy source.

Oh that’s absolutely the issue. I find that it drastically over estimates for shorter efforts, and this was based on about a 4 minute effort.

Being a triathlon / time trial guy, who gets podiums in races by getting and sticking the breakaway, seeing that my short power is what’s causing the over estimation seems kind of funny too.

I’m far more impressed to see someone with theirs so close! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Mine also used to be very close, though I haven’t tested in ages, so no idea now.

Intervals.icu normally calculates your eFTP from a max effort between 3 and 12 minutes length, but if you can change that duration in the settings to make it work better for you.