FTP Improvement

I finished Base Phase 1 last week and started Phase 2 with a ramp test just now. My FTP went from 179 to 183. Should I be happy, concerned, none of the above?

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Just going through base, I wouldn’t be too concerned. It also will depend on how much fitness you had before starting. Every person reacts differently with their FTP when it comes to base training. Some get a good bump, while others don’t see too much until around the build phases. A bump at all should be nice to see. I would keep going through the build phase and update after your FTP test after a build phase. If you’re not seeing much then I would be more concerned, but it can be normal for a base phase to not have much of a bump

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I will be doing 6 weeks now with Base 2. Prior to starting with my smart trainer I have done mountain biking for the last 5 years. I am 56 and in very good shape (5’4"/147 lbs) as I have been weight training most of my life and am very athletic. It is a different type of conditioning obviously with biking. The main reason why I got into road biking was to improve my conditioning, stamina and cardio for mountain biking but I do admit I really enjoy road/gravel riding. When I mountain bike I do mostly technical single track but would find I got a bit winded if I went into a climb early in the ride compared to later in the ride. Typical ride would be 10-15 miles in a few hours with climbs, descends, rocks, roots, etc… I just have nothing to compare this type of training to so I just thought I would get some feedback about the small gain I made.

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Bumping this to see if anyone has any experience. I would think there has to be some with a similar FTP gain who continued through and should know whether or not this is something normal

Related topics:

  1. Self-reported Your FTP improvements
  2. Extracted data from (1) TR makes you this much faster – 185 data points and a model
  3. The Bell curve of cylists - how fast are the average TR users?

I looked at the first link. Well, that was certainly depressing. You folks are a bunch of beasts. I have a lot of work to do. :unamused:

No, not me personally, unfortunately – it’s my first year and the promised beginner’s quick FTP improvements hasn’t materialized in my case :slight_smile:
But still, improving slowly and steadily from phase to phase. With consistency it comes to you as well.

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Oh I’ll keep at it. At least I improved even if it wasn’t astronomical gains. Looking forward to how it translates on the mountain bike when I get back on it for the season.

I started trainer road a few months ago with first ramp test @ 222w. After SSBLV1 I did the ramp test again and got a 226w FTP. It was dissapointing as I felt fitter, but once I started hitting around 300w in the test, I struggled to turn the pedals. It felt like a strength limitation rather than cardiovascular.

Anyways I continued on with SSBLV2 which adds some v02 max efforts. My next ramp test after SSBLV2 I went to 240 watts, which I think is a great improvement. I would continue with the plan and not worry about the exact numbers for now. Your fitness will probably not improve linearly. You’ll experience jumps and stagnation as you move through different phases of training.


So I just finished another round. 6 weeks of Base 2. FTP went from 183 - 187. So I started my training originally with a 179 FTP and after 12 weeks I’m at 187. Comments? As long as I am making improvement should I just take it at that?


You’re doing fine. The bigger FTP improvements should come in build phase. To raise FTP you need to ride at or near FTP. Base doesn’t have a lot of that: it’s preparing you for the harder workouts to come.

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Thanks. Wasn’t sure if time of day was important. I believe I did the previous 2 ramp tests in late afternoon but I did this one this morning before eating. I am going mountain biking later today so had to do it earlier. I do though usually do my weight training workouts early AM on an empty stomach with no issues. Been doing that for many years.

You should be very happy, you’re moving forward… I am consistent with that same pace since May of 2019 so I can relate, I started trainerroad with ftp of 175…and it went like this every 4 weeks or so… 187, 198, 204, 211, 198, 208, 210, 212, 214, 218…the drop in ftp you see its when I got sick in December for a whole month lost about 2 months of training until I was catching back up to old ftp. Be patient and be consistent and be grateful for every watt increase. The gains will arrive as time goes by. and a little background on me I did not do any form of exercise from 23 years old to 33, then I picked up cycling I am now 34 @ 154 lbs


I came to TR in November 2019 after ~3 years of mostly-structured outdoor training. For a few reasons, I have been training almost exclusively indoors since then. My take so far is that the aspects of indoor structured training that make it so productive also make it a different enough kind of training stimulus that it’s not a big surprise to find that you initially take a (perceived) step back in fitness.

In my case, I went from an outdoor FTP of 240 watts to the TR ramp test consistently putting me at 204-206 watts throughout SSB mid-volume 1 and 2, using the same power meter. After getting into the build phase I started seeing small gains, with my latest ramp test putting me at 220 watts. That’s a 7.8% increase in about 5 months… not mind blowing, but heading in the right direction.

But FTP is just one way to measure fitness. For example, when I reviewed my last ramp test, I was surprised to find that I had surpassed my power PRs from last year (when I was riding outdoors) throughout the whole 3-minute to 5-minute range. Subjectively, my legs look different and feel stronger than last year. I would say my fitness is improving in different ways than in the past. I am trusting the TR coaches and workouts that these improvements will indeed make me faster :slightly_smiling_face:


I started the training mainly to help my endurance for climbing with mountain biking. I’m soon to be 57, 5’4", 147 lbs in very good shape from years of weight training but my cardio was lacking. I would have a climb in the beginning of a ST ride and be tired pretty quickly. Been mountain biking for about 5 years now. I bought a road/gravel bike in December (2020 Trek Domane SL5) and really enjoyed the different type of riding compared to mountain biking. I have to imagine after 12 weeks of pretty intense (for me) TR training it should carry over to my mountain biking. Going out for a first of the season easy ride today so we’ll see how it feels.

Well, I rode 9 miles today with some technical ST trails. I have to say I was still a bit winded with the punchy climbs. I do feel though I had better stamina during the other portions. It is very different on terrain with rocks, camber, up and down, some small features than riding on my trainer lol. Hopefully I will feel more improvement the more work I do on TR and the more I mountain bike for the season.

Don’t get too high or low about FTP improvement. Consistency is king and commit to the process.

I’ve been on TR for about two years now. I’ve never really been consistent with the workouts until this year. And that’s when things start to improve. Also FTP is not the end all be all measurement. Repeatability and recovery are things that FTP doesn’t capture.

I did another Ramp Test yesterday. Went down from 187 to 183. I also have to admit that the workouts over an hour are starting to become less fun. Especially the 1.5 hour workouts. I don’t dread them but I am not as excited about doing them when they come up. After I do them I feel good I did them but again they are slightly less enjoyable as far as anticipation. I’m not training to race or do anything competitive. You can see my info from posts above. Any concern about the drop in FTP? Also I would appreciate your thoughts/advice on my experience lately with the training time.

Which plan are you on?

Build. First I did Base 1 and Base 2. Started January 14th.

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