Failed ramp test- what next?

Anyone know what should be done when you “fail” a ramp test?

Towards the end of sweet spot base - mid volume 2 all my workouts were feeling extremely easy. And then the weekend before the recovery week I of course took on disaster, which felt pretty damn easy.

I took the recovery week as planned, and then ramp rested today and lost 11 ftp points. What’s the best plan on where to go from here?

I’m in the Big D Club as well, took three days off and my legs are barking today after Pettit (of all things). I’d say, repeat the recovery week and test again next Tuesday (maybe later this week if you are feeling recovered enough).

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SSB should not feel extremely easy. No workout really other than recovery week should feel extremely easy. Hell, I’m doing Traditional Base at the moment and never did I feel it was extremely easy. Boring, monotonous sure, but not easy. What does that all mean, well, your FTP is set too low. This is likely because you didn’t test well. Workouts should feel challenging, sometimes very much so and you should “fail” or have to alter workouts occasionally if your FTP is set correctly. If workouts are extremely easy you’re doing recovery rides and not improving your fitness.

I’m guessing you haven’t learned how do push yourself in a FTP ramp test. I did a ramp test today and reached a new max HR. That was after reaching new max HRs in my past two ramp tests. I was gutted and smashed after the ramp test. I literally couldn’t have pushed any further. Did you feel that way?

So you have a few options:
*retake the ramp test and go all in!
*manually adjust your FTP by 10%
*raise the intensity factor of each workout until at the end of each workout you gave a hard effort (relative to what the workout description says)

If after a week the workouts are still easy, keep raising your FTP or the intensity factor.

I would treat Disaster like a race. It takes 2-3 weeks to recover from that kind of effort.
Ride the 0.6-0.75 IF types of rides for a couple weeks and retest.

That is why disaster isnt in a base or build plan…too much stress.

Not sure that is true in general (2-3 weeks), and especially not in this one since he said the D “felt pretty damn easy”. He’s the only one I saw mention that type of comment for any of the D versions.

I just don’t see that being the cause here, unless it was more work than he says.

Sometimes you just don’t realize how much of a stress the body took in a workout.
It’s pissible there is a disconnect between the actual difficulty and the perceived exertion.

Completely agree here. If Disaster felt easy the last thing you need is rest or recovery. All he did was a long endurance ride.

Disaster felt easy at the time I was doing it, but I should add that I did definitely feel it in my legs the following couple days, even when I wasn’t on the bike. So it did still do some damage for sure

Currently I’m gonna plan on resting/recovering a few more days, try the ramp again. If it still doesn’t work I’ll just continue on with the plan and increase ftp manually if the workouts feel easy at all.

i had the same thing, drop in FTP after SSB1, then I did a 20 minute test with an increase in power. Go figure.

Similar suggestion as implied by @agreif . . . try the 8min or 20min test when you are rested again.

If you follow several of the different Forum threads you will see a growing # of folks for which the Ramp Test doesn’t work for them. I am certainly one of them and I have a long history of competitive sports (i.e. I can go deep and hang there). Also, if you have a phenotype of that of a TTer vs. a sprinter (see “Training and Racing with a Power Meter” for a deeper understanding if you aren’t familiar with this), then you may perform better in the 8min and/or 20min test. 8min is probably better if you are new to structured training. 20min once you have a fair bit of experience at riding at your threshold.

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No need to worry. The guys at TrainerRoad have determined that a high percentage of riders fail the ramp test. They will be releasing a new version that guarantees everyone passes soon.

:rofl::rofl::rofl: Sorry, couldn’t help myself! Completely kidding :smile: Really though, it does sound like you threw yourself under the bus a bit with Disaster and just need a bit more recovery. Good luck!


I think the best approach is to up the intensity on this weeks over unders to where you think your FTP is. If you can complete them but with difficulty you FTP is set right. If you fail, its too high, if they are easy its too low. Adjust and use next weeks over unders as a gauge.

Basically, this is the approach I’m using as I just had sinus surgery and I’m a bit worried if I do a maximal effort like a ramp test as the doctor says it could cause a nose bleed.

did a couple weeks of build with the lower ftp (failed a bunch of the workouts), took 3 days off, did another ramp test and dropped another 25 or so watts off my ftp. Not really sure where to go from here. Ive gone from 2.2w/kg down to 1.5w/kgs and im eating healthier than ever and getting 8+ hours of sleep a night.

I should add that my highest ftp is always when I am riding very hard outside. Should I maybe try adding in some zwift races to to keep that style of high intensity there that tr doesnt seem to replicate?

Sometimes people have problems pushing on the trainer. I wouldn’t worry about it. Take what you have been using, and if workouts are feeling not challenging enough up your ftp number a few watts.
If my ftp test next week doesn’t go well and my number is lower I’m not going to drop my ftp. Some days you just don’t have it and other days you do. Figure out what feels “right”.

I am going to refuel and try an 8 minute test, and ill post again the results.

My lungs seem to be holding me back currently, which has NEVER been the case on the ramp test before. So i think an 8 minute test might better suit my power right now

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I took an 8 min test instead and got 137 instead of the 111 I got on the ramp test. Satisifed with that. Let the build officially begin.