Finished SSBMV 2, lost 50 FTP in ramp test. What's now?

Hello people,

I’m kinda despaired with my recent ramp test.

Right before SSBMV 2, my FTP ramp test was around 305. I completed every workout and add some z2 rides. AI FTP detection even recommends me an increase in FTP.

Today was the last day of my recovery week. My Fitness level is around 112 and my Fatigue around 102. So I’m fresh (+10). I did a ramp test and scored a weak 257w despite going all out. It was my physical limit, my legs just gave up as usual in ramp test.

This result makes no sense (I’m fresh, had no interruption in my planning and manage threshold workouts) but now I’m scared of taking new ramp tests in the future. What could be wrong with me and what am I suppose to do?

EDIT: my yesterday ride was Cheaha - TrainerRoad ; could this endurance ride with 3 sprints (20s intervals at 875w) leads to this result? I guess it shouldn’t have that impact but simply note it.

It sounds like maybe a technical error? Maybe something wrong with the trainer or power meter? I would take a couple days off and try the test again.

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trust the AIFTP score and just continue training


Technical problem seems to be unlikely: my power/hr ratio is quite the same as usual: around 120bpm for 200w, which is my normal HR on 2 different power meters during my z2 rides.

Moreover, I gave up around 160bpm while my last ramp test leads me near my max HR (182bpm). So it looks like my legs are the problem while HR and equipment are “as usual”.

What does your AIFTP say? I’d just chalk it up to a bad test and move on. As long as you can complete the training with your AIFTP, youre fine.

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AI recommends me an increase in my current ftp (305 > 311). However, considering the big difference between the recommendation and the ramp result, I don’t know if I should go into the build phase or take another extra recovery week. My usual weekly TSS is around 800. My recovery week was around 400 TSS and was planned with z2 rides only.

PS: this is not my first Base-Build phase, so big FTP variation or bad volume shouldn’t be a concern.

This is the way.

Ramp test schmamp test.

Assuming your recent threshold-level workouts have gone well then it makes zero sense to change everything because of one data point.


You could try this experiment:

Check your equipment, re-calibrate your power meter, warm up for 15-20 minutes, and then start riding at 305-310 watts. (When was the last time you put a new battery in your power meter?)

If your FTP is truly around 260, then you’ll be wanting to give up in about 5-6 minutes.

But if your FTP is really 305-311 then you should be pretty comfortable even after 10-15-20-30 minutes.


with reaching a much less HRmax and other metrics meaning you give up sooner, sounds like fatigue. Realise you are fresh, but I think an extra few days of easy riding would not do you any harm. Talking from similar experience recently, and eventually it went full circle and got an FTP bump.

Echoes This is the way.

Get used to gauging how your body feels at different wattage outputs. You’ll clue into how fatigued you are and how you should be feeling for a given effort. If you can’t hit your intervals after a full week of needing to manually adjust down 3-5% then I’d override AI FTP and drop your watts down a bit. Otherwise just keep training. You’re doing good! Get some more rest and dig deep later.

Could be life stress, sickness oncoming, maybe you had a bad burger the night before. Sometimes the legs just ain’t there. Don’t base an entire block of training off of a single bad day

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To echo what others say, something seems wrong here. 50 Watts difference is massive for somebody with an FTP of 305.

FWIW, for some reason, after a year of ramp tests and following the process, in early 2019 I saw something similar.

Don’t try and compare your endurance power-to-HR to your threshold HR (LTHR) or ftp. If your recovery week was 400, on a MV plan, then you must be adding a lot of hours/volume. Personally what I’ve seen with myself (sixties) and younger riders (20s, 30s, 40s) is that more volume doesn’t require more intervals. The TR MV plans are built around much lower volume than you are doing (“My usual weekly TSS is around 800”).

Ramp tests are about maximum aerobic power (MAP). Its a starting point for pacing a longer test at ftp, it is not your ftp. Tread carefully because IMHO blindly following the process is something that makes a lot more sense if you do more hours and reduce intervals. But TR MV plans will have you doing more intervals.

Good luck!

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Unless you were ill - and you would know a day or so later anyway - then I would leave it where it was FTP wise especially if you are coping with the workouts…50W loss is impossible even if you sat on the couch for the whole of the training plan!

If you’re completing threshold and vo2 workouts in the 4-6 PL range at an ftp of 300 then this is likely the result of a bad day or bad data

If you don’t want to keep progressing at your prior ftp setting without a test that validates it then do a longer form test and see where that puts you

I held 290w for 20 min. during a race last week, so 257 FTP seems to be unlikely. But I’m afraid of overtraining despite recovery week.

Last FTP test put me at 292w 2 months ago, so I don’t see any reason to this potential downgrade.

My current Progression Levels are the following (each workout completed):

  • Endurance: 5.3
  • Tempo: 3.4
  • Sweet Spot: 5.2
  • Threshold: 3.6
  • VO2 Max: 4.4
  • Anaerobic: 1.0
  • Sprint: 1.0

That’s pretty low threshold, pick something with ten minute intervals at threshold and adjust based on that

All this shows you are not really connected to your physiology and performance in a functional way. These type of dilemas are seen only in people new to the sport. Work on calibrating your RPE “unit”.

I can assure you…it is not “only” a problem with those new to the sport. Perhaps more common maybe.

Short of illness or injury, your FTP didn’t go from ~300 to ~250. That’s so far off that I’d have to question the equipment, bad calibration, etc. Is this from a proper powermeter or smart trainer? Was your reference (290w 20m) from the race on the same powermeter? FTP should be pretty easy to “feel” with a little experience. An over/under workout like Palisade is a good measuring stick to determine FTP and also train your ability to recognize it. You should feel like you are digging small holes on the overs (with HR ticking up) and just barely climbing out of the holes on the unders. The ramp test is really a MAP test (backing into FTP) and has a significant anaerobic contribution swaying the results if you are glycogen depleted, but I wouldn’t expect the test to be that low even with low glycogen stores.