Failed 20 minute FTP test after SSB1. How should I proceed?

So I just finished my FTP test after my first 6 weeks of trainer road (ssb1). I will say I feel AMAZING in terms of base fitness after just those 6 weeks of base training. I feel unbelievably stronger. Unfortunately, I had a bad FTP test to start SSB2. Not bad as in the result was bad, but like I got a side stitch out of nowhere 6 minutes in (i’m doing a 20 minute test since im doing outdoor training), and that stitch basically had me working at half lung capacity the whole time. That resulted in me hitting a MASSIVE wall a few minutes later, and I was barely about to get any power out at only the half way point. On top of that, with 5 minutes left BOTH legs started cramping (i had real bad nutrition yesterday, which I think was a major factor in that)

Despite all that I ended up matching my old FTP of 210, so clearly with a good test it would have been much higher. Without delaying my training, how should move forward? I could add 10 watts and then adjust from there if needed, OR I could use today as a rest day, move my thursday workout to the rest day on friday, and do a repeat test tomorrow.

If you are reasonably comfortable estimating your effort against a prescribed workout (considering TSS, IF and Zones), I’d say you can take a good guess at your new FTP. Then pay close attention during the following workouts to see if they feel “right” like they should. Then adjust a bit up or down as needed.

Really, you should do the same review after any test (good or bad results) to make sure you are headed in the right direction.


im still pretty new to structured training. What are some tips for what to watch in terms of TSS and IF?

With that, I’d suggest reading the test within each workout and you will get an impression from Coach Chad’s text about how hard the workout should feel. Couple that with the ones that include instructional text in the workout, and you can get an ideal of the demand each workout should take from you.

Review that during and after the workout and see if it “feels right”. If in doubt, share the workout and your thoughts here and we can try to guide you more directly.

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^This, and as Chad noted, assess how the workouts feel. I’d maybe only add 5 watts to start, you had a bad test for a reason… be it food, life stress or whatever.
Training will be equally difficult if you can’t change the cause of your test result. Be on the safe side, make progress, that is much better than biting off more than you can handle.

BTW, it’s NOT a Failed test, it’s just not ideal or the result you wanted. I prefer the term assessment, test implies pass or fail which is wrong IMO.

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You can’t ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ assessments. Once you get past that mindset you’ll have a lot less stress about getting your number ‘right’.

In any case you had a problem with your assessment. I would consider the assessment void and re-assess perhaps today or tomorrow. You are still new and it really could be possible that you could be getting a new FTP which is more than 10 watts higher. And I’m assuming you didn’t add on to much fatigue with this assessment which went south, so if you re-assess immediately you should still be able to take advantage of your rest week.

If you were a ‘mature’ athlete who had been doing structured training for a ‘while’ you really are only going to expect a certain bump in FTP. Then you might decide to go up 5-10 watts. But when I was just starting out I had big 10% improvements in FTP. You might still be at that point in training, and it would be more efficient for you to just try and re-assess and then move on with your training for this cycle.