First Ramp Test - Followup Questions

Hi everyone! I’m new to structured training and did my first ramp test this morning and was hoping for some input. I know the test should last around 25ish minutes with the warmup/cool down, but mine was 46 minutes. It started with an estimated FTP 70 and I ended up at 137. The beginning felt like I was spinning out for quite a while since the initial targets were so low. With the test lasting as long as it did, would you recommend retesting? I can’t help but think I could have gotten a few more intervals at a higher power if it didn’t take so long to get there, but being so new to structure, would retesting impact the workouts that it’s worth a retest?

I tried searching for other posts on the same topics, but I didn’t see any that referenced a test that ended up lasting quite so long as this one.

For reference if needed, I’m 5’3", 103 lbs and the workout was completed on a Kickr in ERG mode.
Direct link to workout here:

Thanks so much!

Difficult to tell as it rarely happens. That said I think the ramp test is to short so I add something like Taku first before I start so I’m ready to give it 100% when I start. It’s unlikely you would get a lot more out as you said you were spinning at the start which isn’t fatiguing…just a long warm up. The only way to tell is start the program you intend to follow and see how you feel. If it’s SSB LV or MV then the SS should require focus and get your HR up to about 80-85% max and the o/u should feel harder maybe up to about 90% max HR as the initial versions are quite tame…you can then reassess after a couple of weeks…but beware cumulative fatigue …sometimes it feels ok at the start but the build up of fatigue gets you in week 4/5 especially if you are new to structured training. Good luck :grinning:

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Welcome! I had a similarly low initial estimate and a similarly long initial test when I started. I kept the number through my first training block because I didn’t know any better, and it did work out fine. The sessions felt hard enough that I didn’t want them to be any harder, and my test at beginning of the next block wasn’t unreasonably long.

Of course YMMV, so it’s really up to you how to move forward: you could retest now, or you could go through a couple workouts and see how they feel. Realistically, a couple watts one way or the other won’t make that much of a difference in your training.

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I suspect the result isn’t the best you could manage given it went on so long.

If the starting power or pre test ftp is too low then the steps are smaller. The easy minutes at the beginning won’t take much out of you but by the end you will be spending many more minutes above ftp.

For example, with my current ftp, if I want to get an improvement then I will spend 5-6 minutes ramping above my ftp. If I had my ftp incorrectly set at half it’s actual value then I would have to spend 10-11 minutes about ftp.

I’d suggest repeating, perhaps using the suggested ftp from this test as your starting ftp.


@R_H e excess time spent above the FTP was what I was concerned about as well. I’m leaning towards retesting, even just for peace of mind. I’d be fine with even getting the same result if that’s really what it should be - I didn’t go into the test with much expectation or a goal, simply just setting a baseline.

When would you suggest retesting? I normally ride outdoors on weekends when I have more time - would Monday or Tuesday right after that be too soon?

@jdman Thanks for the feedback! I guess my worry stems from the excess time spent above FTP as another user pointed out, plus the early minutes while easy spinning, was at an almost uncomfortably high cadence for me as it’s higher than my usual/preference.

@ellotheth your last sentence was exactly what I was thinking, but I’m really not sure how many more intervals I could have done without all the extra time - maybe it really would be the same/just a watt or two…or maybe not

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Re-test any time really, it’s short enough once you have an appropriate baseline to fit in anywhere, and low stress enough that it shouldn’t impact training much either.

Let us know how it goes.

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I would re-test, yes. The ramp starts at around 50% of your ftp and goes up in increments based on the initial ftp! 70 in your case. So the increments here are much smaller and hence a lot more steps. So you’ve spent a lot more time in and above threshold to get to that best 1 minute power. So I’d say the result isn’t that accurate.

Re test and let us know what the outcome is.

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thanks everyone! going to retest this week and will report back!

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back following up after retesting this morning! I did see an increase from 137 to 146, which is about a 6.5% increase. I’m glad I retested just for peace of mind, but it doesn’t seem like that’s a significant difference. Looking forward to getting into starting the plan this week!

Link to new ramp test if anyone is curious:

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6.5% is definitely significant! Your workouts likely would have been too easy at the lower value and not an efficient use of your time.

I’ve seen others report this same thing before. My HUNCH is to sit with the FTP as is and work from there, your next test will be much closer to 25 minutes total than 48. However, the amount of stress you take in on a ramp test is low so retesting may not be such a bad idea. However, I would not redo it.

If the workouts seem easy, you can increase the intensity of the intervals/workout and you can supplement the plan by simply adding extra workouts on your own. If you start increasing intensity and volume monitor how you are feeling closely and ditch the extra work if need be.

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That’s a pretty big bump.

I had done a solid 5 week block of sweet spot and vo2 max work etc. and even with going into it relatively not in great shape was thrilled with a 12 watt bump.

Seeing a 9 watt bump just from a re-test is HUGE

The % too is even bigger, congrats!

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