Hi o/ (first-time poster)
I think I am what you’d call an Ectomorph - I weigh about 62-64kg and I’m 5’11". I’ve been riding for a few years and train regularly. I would say I have a good diet and I don’t drink much alcohol. Overall I should definitely be a stronger human being. However, I do have a good W/KG and when at peak fitness I have held 300 watts for an hour, my best 20 minute is 321 watts.
I joined up to TR last week and I’ll be doing a large block of Medium Volume training of the next 5 months using plan builder. To start off I performed the ‘Ramp Test’. I’d estimated my current FTP to be around 285w.
This was my first ever ramp test as in the past I’d always used the 20-minute method. At the end of the RT the estimate came in at 258 watts which surprised me and initially, I thought this is wrong. But understanding that the estimate is loosely 75% of the point of failure and factoring in the structure of the test I came to the conclusion that in fact, this is probably a better and more accurate representation of my capabilities than the traditional test.
I am quite certain that I could hold close to 300 watts for 20 minutes and that would put my FTP at around 285 watts but that’s because I am good at holding around ‘threshold’ for some time and can suffer quite well I feel. However, the moment I go above threshold I am in trouble as lactate quickly builds and fatigue kicks in and this is how a ramp test plays out for me. In a ramp test, you spend very little time around threshold and quickly move into VO2 max territory and this kills me.
So for my power profile, I would get a much higher FTP in a 20-minute test than I would in a ramp test. Has anyone else experienced the same?
This doesn’t mean that I want to override the estimate though as I feel that this will allow me to complete more workouts, enjoy them more, and retain a higher level of freshness throughout the year. It is exactly the zone where I should be training even though I could probably/maybe achieve a higher number.
So, in summary, I feel like I have two FTP values:
Ramp Test 258
20-minute (calculated at 95%) 285
The difference between the two is that for the higher number I feel I am more likely to experience more fatigue and possibly experience overtraining.
Is there any research out there that backs up my theory that lighter riders like me would perform better in a 20-minute test versus a ramp test and has anyone else experienced similar?