I’d appreciate any insight / advice…pretty sure I know the answer, but looking for some validation / confirmation.
Background - 30+ year cyclist / racer. Cat3, solid masters racer, qualified for 70.3 Worlds in 2017 (bike is obviously my strength in tris), 2x IM finisher. Race weight ~150lbs / 68kg.
Set a goal of hitting 4 w/kg this year. Started TR on Nov. 1 w/ FTP of 239w based on Ramp Test (historical mid-season FTP ~250-260w). Would love to hit an outright 270w FTP.
Went through TBI-III(MV) and then into SS2(MV). The last month of so I was doing a hybrid between General Build MV and the plan laid out by Plan Builder, with Barry-Roubaix as an A race.
Since then my tested FTP has been flat or declining (all Ramp Test). Went down to 226 and then back up to ~240. Nonetheless, I have been bumping up my FTP in TR because I have been completing all workouts at prescribed wattage and generally feeling pretty strong. Skipped a couple of tests simply because I was bumping up my FTP (either based on feel, or a long effort in a Zwift race). Currently have FTP set @ 260 watts and completing all workouts. Did Spanish Needle +2 last Saturday, and while it was a ball-buster, I got through it at or above prescribed wattage.
Rest week last week and Ramp Test this AM…pfffft. Whiff…249w. Gotta admit, I was disappointed even though my workout numbers have been great and I have generally been feeling good about my progress.
A few thoughts…I don’t think I have ever tested well. I think my highest test indoors was ~250w, based on a 20" FTP test. But I know I can exceed that outdoors (went 269w at USAT Nationals one year and then still had a PR 10k). So that could be part of it…(I’m leaving aside the normal differences between indoor and outdoor wattages for now)
My weakness has always been extended VO2 max efforts…I can sit at the front of a group and pull all goddamn day and grind guys away, but when I start having to do 3+min around 120-150%, I suffer.
It seems to me that a Ramp Test may not be the best option for my strengths / ability…by the time I get to “crunch time” on a Ramp Test, I am ready to implode, not dig in and push harder.
So I am wondering if my historic indication that I don’t test well, combined with a protocol that doesn’t suit me well, is giving me poor results.
I am tempted to do a test by climbing Alpe du Zwift tomorrow and seeing what I get for numbers…kinda takes the testing protocol out of it and being in a semi-competitive environment may give me added motivations.
Any input appreciated!!