Don't be afraid to throw a ramp test into the middle of the plan if the workouts feel too easy

A few weeks into my current plan, and I was feeling stronger than ever and the workouts didn’t feel challenging, so I decided to do a Ramp Test to see if it wasn’t just my imagination.

I gained 12 watts and did my best ramp test ever.

Crap, now the workouts are going to be really hard…

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I prefer to just bump up the intensity rather than adding the additional stress of a test


Eh, a ramp test every once in a while is a good chance to test your limits without incurring too much fatigue. It’s a pretty good workout in and of itself.

Just out of curiosity - which plan did you do? (I don’t know all the plans). For me every “few weeks in my current plan” a ramp test is scheduled anyways.

Kudos on the increase!

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Yes it’s a good workout in its own right but it’s rarely necessary or desirable to retest mid-plan for TR plan purposes - it’s been covered a few times in AACC. Plans are already structured to accumulate trainng stress and fatigue over the course of the block. The recommendation is to bump up intensity depending on how you feel on the day and bearing in mind what the next few workouts look like. Or just retest every day if that floats your boat :smiley:


Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume, but followed very poorly for life reasons. I actually did way more volume than the plan when you take in outdoor rides, though…

I think the reason for the gain wasn’t the indoor training, it was remembering to eat during rides, which let me ride much harder outside… hahah

OK, I see. Test every 6 weeks. As a teaser in build it’s probably every 4 weeks. I feel more like ‘wait a second - didn’t I just do a test’ when I see it scheduled.

Regarding outdoor rides: Love them as well - whatever motivates you and works for you is great. Just be careful to get enough rest. I learnt the hard way several times that consistency is key. Always got injured / sick when I did to much.

Normally, I would agree that you shouldn’t retest too frequently. But if you suddenly feel AMAZING and the workouts are clearly not as hard as they are supposed to be, there’s no harm in replacing an endurance workout with a ramp test.

Trust your instincts.

For reference, I went from 288 to 301. That’s a 4.5% bump in exactly one month. Just a few weeks ago I was thinking I was near my genetic limits since I hadn’t had set an all-time record in about a year.

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Well, that’s a debatable thing. Harm maybe, maybe not - but perhaps missing out on gains down the road. I’d rather stick to the plan and do the prescribed workout.

Nah, I just trust Chad’s plans ;).

As I said, whatever works out for you: Awesome. And everybody is different. Listening to ones body is super important (as you did). I’d just be a bit careful giving ‘do ramp tests often’ as general advice and personally prefer to stay on course with the science backed training plans here than a n=1 experience.

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Praise be the Coach Chad, but I don’t think the plans take sudden such unexpected rapid gainz into account.

Again, if you feel like you need to test, you might as well. A new PR can be an ego boost, which is worth as much as a week of training, anyway.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

I mean if you feel like you want to ride a century naked, by all means, go for it. But as long as science doesn’t back up that I get a better training effect, I keep my pants on ;). If it works for you. Good :slight_smile:

Depending on your goals, I guess. I got 4 PRs today, guess the I can skip training in October :grin: Yaaaaaaaay

If you make a sudden gain so big that you shift your RPE by a whole power level (don’t say zone, it offends Dr. Coggan…), there is no scientific benefit to doing your existing plan!

I found myself doing an HOUR AND A HALF on the road without significant discomfort at an NP equivalent to what my SST base training plan had me doing for 8-10 minutes at a time. At that point it might as well be a high endurance or low tempo ride.

I’m not going to say this is impossible, because maybe it isn’t, but it seems more likely caused by something else. May incorrect ramp test numbers.

Either way, it sounds very much like the exception to the rule than the rule itself.

Not saying that what you’re experiencing is not true, but that it’s probably misleading to suggest that it’s the right move for others.

It would be like me smoking for 50 years, not dying and then telling everyone else they shouldn’t be worried about smoking.

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For what it’s worth, after paying attention to fueling and doing a few long, hard, rides on my new bike (with a dual-sided power meter) during which I surprised myself with how fast I was, I found myself entirely unchallenged doing indoor rides on my old (now dedicated trainer) bike (direct drive smart trainer), so the power numbers come from different sources. Make of that what you may. Perhaps both of my separate power sources are suddenly reading 5% high.

You could also do this if they feel too hard mid plan also, no?

Sure, it’s possible to test anytime you suspect significant changes in your FTP, up or down.