FTP - doesn't feel right, huge drop off

evening all,

i did an FTP test earlier in the week. i’m down to 254W at 69kg. i tested back in march at 293w at almost the same weight. when we first went into lockdown i hit the training pretty hard (+20% TSS a week for a month) and have also been running on top which put me into a over trained hole for a month (no power or strength in the legs and just wanted to get off the trainer).

now i’m out of this i’ve done 3 tests all of which had me redlining my heart rate, so i don’t doubt i wasn’t working for it.

the problem i have is that although i tested at 254w this week, i just jumped onto a threshold workout, kaweah, (holding 242w) which had my heart rate at ~143 bpm which is 20bpm off my normal threshold.

i’m back riding well outdoors and set some power PR’s this week, so i’m a tad confused. any now want to over write the FTP result like i had to last time so that i’m actually getting some work into my legs.

  • am i still over trained?
  • is it my trainer? Kickr Snap, no previous issues. turbo tyre hasnt changed, and is calibrated every use.
  • TR is up to date
  • what else?

HR can be affected by any number of things, but if you think your threshold is wrong then just test it again.

I doubt you were overtrained. It takes way more than a couple of weeks to get into that situation.

What test protocol did you use? Ramp? Perhaps you lost some of the upper end aerobic capabilities but maintained most of your fitness otherwise. Would certainly explain your situation.

yes agree heart rate can change, but we’re talking the difference between the feeling of racing cross and that of a z2 endurance ride.

i could retest but as i said i was pushing hard…

it was a month of increased volume plus running. fatigue certainly felt deep in my muscles which is usually a tell tale sign for me that i’m pushing the limits.

i use the ramp test and have done it on the same trainer the last year that i’ve been on TR. i think you could be right about loosing the top end, but how is that retrained when TR give you a FTP number associated to all training zones? use 254w for aerobic and 290w for SS and threshold?

If it is obvious to you that your FTP is set wrong, try to manually adjust it or better, move to a different testing protocol.

1 Like

If you really don’t want to test again (Ramp Test), why not put Lamarck on your schedule, up the intensity say 5-10% and see how you get on? Lamarck is a pretty good benchmark when it comes to seeing if your FTP is correct. If you can complete it at +10% intensity, I’d say that your top end needs a refresh.

1 Like

How are you measuring power outdoors?

I echo the recomendation above about trying Lamark… what is most important is that your FTP is set at a level where the workouts feel right. If you can still do Lamark with it set to 293w than keep it at that.

Also, can you share your ramp test where your FTP came out at 254w? Somebody might be able to spot something wrong with it that could explain it spitting out a low number.

yes, but i’ve never had an issue with the ramp before (until the last few months), and kind of feel like i’m estimating by doing this.

i’m measuring power with Assioma Uno pedals which i calibrate at the start of each ride. they are 4 months old and up to date.

i’ll give Lamark a try as you both have said and see where i am.

below is my latest ramp from last week. i had manually set my FTP to 283w following previous low test in case you wonder why it is not 293w (this is the 3rd test to come out low which i’ve had to adjust).

I don’t get your point. 🤷🏽

The ramp test is based on the relationship between your maximal aerobic power and your functional threshold power. Your functional threshold is determined by taking 75 percent of your highest one minute power during the test. If your high end aerobic capabilities lack behind, you will end up with a result that does not represent your current capabilities (and vice versa).

This now leaves you two options:
(1) Move to the eight or twenty minute test and see if those protocols give you more accurate results.
(2) Wing it and approximate your FTP. You could use a reference workout for that. Like some have said, Lamarck would work well.

Both options are based on the assumption that you really haven’t changed anything about your setup.

Whatever you end up doing, don’t overthink it. It’s just your FTP. It sounds like you have done a fair share of training, so you likely know how the different intensities should feel like. Dialing your FTP in should be fairly easy.

3 Likes

What type of training where you doing when you started to back it off? How long did you back it off for? What type of training are you doing now?

Might still have lingering fatigue could have lost some of your fitness while trying to recover. If you’re recovered and not smashing it like crazy now you should see your fitness come back quick. Should be a good lesson to not over do it, but its usually not a lesson learned until you over do it.

Just be aware that Lamarck will leave you far more fatigued (even done at 100% intensity) than the Ramp Test will. Be prepared to adjust the following workouts accordingly, especially if you’re recovering from previous overtraining. Don’t want you to start digging another hole :wink:

Hi Riko, have you tried using power match so that you use your assiomas as a power source indoors too?

You also seem to have the kickr super smoothing on which might be loosing you a few watts - not 30w though…

i agree on what you are saying regarding threshold and maximal aerobic power, that is exactly what i think the issue is.

i’ve not tried the other FTP formats but may be a good shout, i’ll give it a try for my next test.

the wing it version is what i’ve been doing after the last 2/3 tests to ensure i’m working where i know i normally am.

nothing has changed set up wise. the same bike that doesn’t come off the trainer, same turbo. i’ve been on TR for 12 months now and had great success so far. really like it.

thanks for the feedback!

1 Like

Denn

i was predominantly cycling, probably 70 / 30 to running. following my first bad test ~ early April, during that first test i could feel the fatigue in my legs and knew i was in for a bad one, test came in at 278w from 293w. right now i am still running and riding, strava says about 5-6 hours a week riding, 1.5 - 2 hours running.

i’m not smashing at the moment, on a plan builder program which has me on SS LV2 at the moment, 3 workouts a week plus perhaps a longer ride on a sunday.

kev

i dont use my assioma’s on my turbo bike, they’re for outdoor use really. not to say its not an option though. all tests i have done have been done on the turbo using the feed from the Kickr snap.

yes i noticed the power smoothing when i was riding. for some reason the turbo joined to ANT+ rather than bluetooth. i emailed TR before about intervals starting behind the time duration and over running and they said to try and use bluetooth as the connection is better.

thanks

Depends :slight_smile: Ramp test is the killer for me, and 4x10@FTP is another day in the office. I cannot do any workout after ramp test and this is the wasted day for me.