FTP loss during SSB1

Has anyone else experienced an FTP loss coming out of SSB1 (mv)? All test are with calibrated power meter and trainer in dumb mode. My FTP at the start of October was 270ish retesting half my through I was up to 282 and I was able to complete workouts getting about 350-400 TSS per week. My recovery week was a bit more recovery due to travel I only did 2 rides and had a 4 day break before a new ramp test. Doing a ramp test last night I got a new FTP of about 260. My heart rate at point of failure was 6 beats higher than during my mid program test. Has taking 4 days off really hit my performance that hard. The other thought was as SSB1 has very little vo2 max work (compared to just general riding during the summer coming into training) that I’ve lost that top end you need for a ramp test I’m tempted to just ignore the result but maybe that should just massaging my ego. Any thoughts or others had similar experiences

1 Like

It’s possible that your body just was not ready for the effort and needs to shake off the proverbial cobwebs. After four days off, I typically find I need two days to get back into the groove and start feeling good again. I would do a few openers and workouts then retest after a few days.


Seen a few posts on the forum recently with people reporting the same thing. If I remember rightly the ramp test was added during the summer and tested earlier in the year. Most people would have been on build or speciality during those periods. I wonder if the ramp test just doesn’t work very well for some people doing ssb as, like you say, there is no V02 work just long steady state efforts. If you get the same result again with the ramp test it might be worth trying the 8 or 20 min test to see what you get from either of those.


This is why I decided to move Mary Austin to the very end of my SSB plan. Follow that with two days (max) rest and then fire into the Build phase and the Ramp Test.

My impression is that the Build blocks are intended to raise the FTP. If you do so even under the Base Block, with Sweet Spot, that is just a fringe benefit, not the central focus.

Just reading the introduction to the various phases, base, build, specialty. I’m no expert. I just do what I’m told :slight_smile:


As long as you feel you completed the SSB plan successfully I’d ignore it and move on to SSB2 with the same FTP. There’s a lot of store based on a single test on a single day - your performance over a period of time is far more illuminating than a single test. I’d also agree with @tribuddha that a few days off the bike can lead to poorer performance.

There is a reason people do openers the day before a race and one of the Truuli variations is recommended the day before racing throughout the Speciality Plans. I think there would be value in the last Sunday workout in any of the recovery weeks in the plans also being an opener before a retest the following day. I’d be interested to hear @chad’s opinions on this? My feeling is for somebody who is training consistently a few days of missed sessions can potentially impact performance.

I don’t usually do the FTP tests as I race TT’s regularly during the race season and move my thresholds accordingly but I’ve tested indoors a couple of times recently and my experience tallies with @lebowskii98 from different testing protocols.

Off the back of the season I kept my FTP at 270 from a high of 285 going through Traditional Base 1 which was for me essentially 4 week of detraining and watching my CTL fall :open_mouth: This was largely my intention after a long season looking at it as 4 weeks off. I did the ramp test after those weeks which put my FTP at 243 which I ignored and kept it at 270 for Traditional Base Part 2. I’ve just finished that and chose the 8 minute test for yesterday which calculated my FTP at 277!

As long as you feel you can trust your thought about how the plan has gone I’d be inclined to believe that over a one off test if it feels like an outlier to you. You aren’t tied to any FTP figure and you can always adjust it after a few of the SSB2 sessions if it is either too hard or easy.


All test are with calibrated power meter and trainer in dumb mode.

Does this mean that you did the test with the trainer in slope mode? I could be wrong, but I think the ramp test is pretty much designed to be done in erg mode–there is a lot more room for error if you aren’t.

If you were nailing the workouts (not turning down the intensity and not taking extensive breaks mid interval) at 282 then logic would dictate that your FTP is around that number. You shouldn’t be married to your FTP test number if it doesn’t back up your experiences in training.

I wouldn’t stress too much about not gaining (or even slightly losing) FTP during base particularly if you’re entering base at a fairly trained state.

If you’ve allowed yourself to become detrained (or have never been highly conditioned) then you are more likely to see significant FTP gains during base - but if 270-280 is a high number for you historically speaking then don’t worry about it.

You’ll see gains during build but the gains get smaller as you approach your prior ceiling so it all is relative.

Now…if you’re someone who spends 6-9 months of the year with an FTP of 350 and you were starting in the high 200’s then yes, I would be concerned about a drop in FTP coming out of base training.

No. You won’t see de-training for a week at least…and much longer than that for FTP-type intensities.

I took 14 days between my last intense base workout and the build ramp test. 4 days is no prob.

Maybe 4 days wasn’t enough. Walk down the hill…

Did your weight change? Same power meters? Bikes? Conditions? Temp? Tire pressure? I’d suspect some variable got you vs. you actually not improving first.

Beauty of the ramp test is you can take another one without much recovery…so if you think this was a fluke go at it again. If you see the same thing - don’t worry too much. Your FTP might come back up with the next test a bit further down the plan.

if you continue to see higher than normal HR and lower than expected FTP…you may have a bit of overtraining at play. You would see this in workouts and not just the test …

1 Like

As far as I’m aware slope vs erg doesn’t matter. I do slope as sometimes the erg mode on my Tacx Vortex needs crazy cadence / gearing for the requested power

Do you have slope and erg mode mixed up? Your gearing shouldn’t matter on erg mode. You will put out the same power in erg mode regardless of what cadence/gearing you use.

1 Like

I know the difference just the Tacx Vortex(see various threads on here and elsewhere online) sometimes struggles in erg mode that’s why I use slope mode. At least in that mode I can control the power output sometimes in ERG mode the trainer struggles to consistently set the correct power output

1 Like

My only reason for bringing this up is that TR determines your FTP based on a percentage of your best 1 minute power in the ramp test. If you’re having issues holding steady power at the end of the test, which is potentially more likely on slope mode, then you’re going to have issues with the accuracy of the test based on that 1 minute power number.

1 Like

Yes, mine fell after SSB1, too. Ironically, it was one of the few times I was ready for the ramp test (rested, not hungry, felt pretty good) so it was disappointing. After thinking about it, I felt like I knew the reasons why it fell, so I just accepted it and moved on to SSB2 (both mid volume). I’m glad I decided to keep the lower FTP because now I can finish the workouts for the most part and not bail on the harder stuff. Also, I’m able to be more consistent with my strength training due to not being exhausted all the time from the TR workouts.


Perhaps a culmination of the other posts, but I dont think there is a direct, linear relationship between training and FTP improvement. There are many other factors, the rest of your life, nutrition, rest, weather, season etc. So don’t worry too much.

That said, I would check for indicators of over training. I went through a really tough build phase and was amazed to see no change at all in my FTP, retested a week later and got the same again, then noticed I was starting to fail on my VO2max intervals week after week, chatted it through with TR support and eventually decided I had been overtraining (hi vol planI just needed to back off and recover.


I can say that if I haven’t been doing VO2 Max work, my Ramp Test performance is reduced significantly, and I’ve tested up to 20 Watts higher FTP using the 20 minute test.

Personally, I like to use the 20 minute test for base training, the 8 minute test during build, and the Ramp during off-road specialty training. This seems to help tailor the bulk of the workouts better for my power duration curve. By the end of build phase, all of the tests give pretty similar results since my top-end is back.


What did you do before the SSB1 plan? If you have come off a Build and Speciality phase which raised your FTP up to 282, then going through 6 weeks of SSB is less work (in some cases a lot less work depending on the plan you did before). This is the point of periodized training, you raise up to a peak for an event then you come off the gas a little to recover and do it all over again in the next season. If this is your scenario, I wouldn’t be too concerned.

If you’ve not done structured training before and SSB1 was your first TR plan, this result is a little more perplexing. For most people, they see very solid gains in their first few months of structure.

I came into it with a period of unstructured riding for fun. My FTP back in June had been around 320 so 280 was far from my ‘ceiling’. It’s my third winter if TR so whilst not expecting massive gains usually I go up about 5% during this phase m. This being the first time I’ve gine through ramp vs 8 min tests

My tested FTP fell about 10-15 watts after a somewhat-inconsistent SSBMV1 (with some cross season weekend races thrown in). I was well rested, and properly fueled but it seems that I suck at the ramp test (mental challenge). I decided to drop my FTP setting in TR by splitting the difference between the old and new values, and will proceed from there.

I’m okay with this slight decline as for a few weeks there it was reaaaaally difficult to get through the plans harder workouts. If I’d increased my FTP setting, SSBMV2 would have been a death march for me.

1 Like