FTP Ramp Test underestimated true FTP

Same issue here, I had historically higher FTP number before joining TR, with my max at 245 normally using the 20 minutes test protocol and outside. I just did the ramp test here and I got 202, which I saw it skeptically low, then I did a workout outside with it and it was extremally low effort and boring.
I got a TacX Neo 2T, a stages and a Garmin XC100, so thinking of any error in calibration either on my trainer or my power meters I did the ramp test again but recording the power from the 3 devices and compare them with DCRainer tool analyzer. It came out that between my 2 power meters the difference was insigificant of 0.2 watts all across, but with my TacX trainer the power were lower between 8 to 12 watts. Reading about why the difference it was noted that because the trainer is measuring at the cassette there is a lose in force due to the chain, bottom bracket, etc. And the power meters the force measured is directly from the foot. These difference is a good contributor of the differences on FTP from indoors compared with outdoors. So in the future I will adjust my watts target higher when outside if using a workout from TR.

I do it the other way around. Set an low FTP on my profile, and race the beginner classes. I get first place every race!

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Over the course of a single workout or even a week or two, many athletes can handle training 5% harder than they should. Over a training block or macrocycle, an athlete intending to train sub-threshold and threshold efforts based on an FTP that is 5% too high is very likely to burnout, see workout compliance drop substantially, and see their progress stop entirely, and they need to back way off and recover.

That’s what we’re talking about here: it’s a 5% difference in this athlete’s FTP setting. That is significant over the course of a training block. Training below threshold is not wasting time. There is a benefit, but also a cost, to all of the training we do. Success is found in balancing the benefit of your training with paying the physiological cost. If I prescribe a 3x20 at 90%, and the athlete decides, I’ll do 3x20 at 95%, those workouts will have different physiological costs (many won’t be able to do the 3x20 at 95% anyway), and the athlete will likely wonder why they can’t turn around and do their next hard workout as prescribed. It’s because the recovery required from those two workouts is different.

Now imagine doing that on every single workout you do. Personally, I would always err on the side of setting a training FTP value lower. And in this case, the athlete wants to set his FTP with data that’s based on a specific protocol when he didn’t actually execute a key part of that protocol. If this athlete had a ramp test of 206 and a properly executed, indoor (assuming this is his primary training mode) 20-minute test including the 5-min blowout effort prior to the 20-min effort, and he got 216, I’d tell him to set it to 216. But that’s not what we’re dealing with here.


Emphasis mine. Great post.


Also forgot that I did a warmup before the race where I included a 4 minute 240W interval, but that’s neither here nor there, and being that it wasn’t within a structured test is probably not accurate anyways. Sorry for my newbie comments.

Guessing you had more than five minutes recovery between the warmup and the 20 min interval. Purpose of the 5-min effort is to limit the anaerobic contribution to the 20-min effort. If you recover fully and top off glycogen before testing, it defeats the purpose of the interval in the protocol.

No worries on the questions/comments. That’s what the forum is for!

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Ah, I didn’t realize that. By the way, you were correct, as I recovered for about 8 minutes after the 4 minute intensive part of my warmup. Oh well. Live and learn. Thanks for the information!

Yeah, that’s not that big of a difference at all. I was thinking a longer time between warmup and race. Ultimately, I’d advise you to set FTP lower either way.

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Ok. Thanks for the advice!