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!