FTP Test Challenge during lockdown

I thought I would share a little challenge I set for myself last week during the first full week of lockdown in Ireland and with no racing scheduled for the foreseeable.

I scheduled a ramp test, an 8 minute FTP Test and a 20 minute FTP test all in one week, with easy 1hr-1hr30 endurance rides on the days in between to recover. I wanted to investigate how accurate the Ramp Test was vs. my preferred method of assessing my FTP - the 8 minute FTP Test - and also wanted to do the 20 minute FTP Test on a trainer for the first time. I had always wanted to try this experiment out but was never too keen on doing this many max efforts in the same week.

Here are my results:

Test 1: Saturday - Ramp Test
Suggested FTP: 315W
Comments: I’ve done the Ramp Test a few times before but always thought that it under-estimated my FTP compare to the 8 Minute test. I was pleasantly surprised by this result, also hit an all-time 5 minute PB!

Test 2: Tuesday - 8 Minute FTP Test
Suggested FTP: 315W
Comments: Well there you go! Bang on with the Ramp Test. Thought I might have had a tiny bit more in the tank but not anything that would have changed the result significantly.

Test 3: Thursday - 20 Minute FTP Test
Suggested FTP: 311W
Comments: Worst test of the three. This was the first time I had done TRs 20 minute test indoors and I think I was severely limited but not having sufficient cooling. I also was not sure about the cadence warming intervals at the start, so I just ignored the power targets over the cadence instructions in the in-ride text.
Even with my fan at full blast I felt like I was over heating and my HR was only 2-3 bpm below my max in the second half. May also have been down to fatigue of course.

I found it an interesting test and a few takeaways for me would be that my sustained threshold power may need a bit of work, I could benefit from a better fan/cooling for longer efforts and the ramp test actually gets me bang on to what I thought was my strongest method of FTP testing.

Hope I inspire a few more of you to try it out!


Curious what would happen if you did them in reverse order. As someone who’s not great with pacing these kinds of efforts, I think I would be convinced that my ramp test is what my FTP is, and then my 8 and 20 minute tests would match that number.

This is a pretty cool idea though, interesting to see how other people do with some context to their performance. I know TR believes (and has the data) to back up that the ramp test is ideal for the vast majority of users, and will be interesting to see the crowd sourced data!

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I’m planning something similar after my SSB rest week. Only I’m going to use the Ramp test and Kolie Moore’s test. I know that my weakness is efforts above threshold, so I will probably stick with the ramp test number going forward, but I"m curious to see what my TTE is in the other test.

Planning to Ramp tomorrow and Kolie test on Tuesday