FTP Test in ERG mode

Hi Guys,

I’m a Trainer Road user looking to do the 20 minute FTP test in erg mode. The reasons why are 1) I’d prefer to ride efficiently at a consistent wattage rather than fluctuate up and down over 20 minutes 2) I’d like to take shifting out of the equation & just hold a number.

To try & achieve this I have: 1) downloaded the TrainerRoad workout creator 2) copied the standard 20 minute FTP test on TrainerRoad 3) changed the 20 minute section with another 20 minute section. My goal being to duplicate the existing 20 minute FTP test but have the test in erg mode.

Will this work?

Thanks for your help in advance,
Chris

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I’m probably missing something, but I don’t see how this could work.
In erg mode, your watts are already determined before you start and the whole reason for the FTP test is to see how many watts you can produce for 20 minutes.

Yes, it’ll work. But, it’s not testing to the intended protocol and I don’t think TR will pop up the “new FTP” box. You’ll have to manually calculate, I think. I’ve not done this, so don’t know the details of what’s going to happen after the workout.

Just keep in mind that you should set the 20 minute section to be over 105% of your FTP.

Yeah no. This doesn’t work. The 1x20 or 2x8 formats need to be done in resistance mode. TR auotmagically switches you from erg to resistance as needed in the assessments.

Why not give the ramp test a go. It’s I’ve faster, hurts less, and has much lower training impact. And you can do it in erg.

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So, the idea is that if a user can maintain a constant 220 watts over 20 minutes then their FTP would be 209 watts as an example. I think it is a more beneficial approach to target a fixed wattage for the period rather than going in & fluctuating & having to change through gears.

I’ve done the ramp test a load of times but I don’t think it favours endurance based, primarily zone 2 riders like myself. I wanted to compare the 20 minute test but use a fixed wattage.

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If you want to check the result just do 2x20 at 100% and you will know. Alternatively there is a thread about if you can hold your FTP for an hour.

For what it’s worth I don’t consider myself a very good ‘high end’ cyclist (in fact my goals for 2020 are based around a 40k TT) but still prefer the ramp yet. The effort to complete 1x20 or 2x8 is a bit much and impacts my Thursday workout and you sort of have to do those formats guessing what your number is likely to be.

I have actually thought about the same thing and it sounds good, but if you predetermine the watts, say at 220 watts and you hit this number have you really accomplished anythng? What if you make it easily? Then you know that your predetermined watts were too low. What if you don’t make it, then you know they were too high. Either way you still don’t know your FTP.

Contrary to above, it IS possible to do the 1x20 or 2x8 minute FTP tests in ERG mode.

On PC/MAC, (recommended since the steps below are a hassle on mobile, right now)

  1. Run the 1x20 or 2x8 FTP test like normal.

  2. Wait for the automatic ERG to Resistance mode switch to happen at the test blocks.

    • (I think it actually switches a few seconds before the actual test block).
  3. Manually switch from ERG to Resistance mode using your mouse to click the mode box, or the ‘M’ key to quickly toggle modes.

  4. This will default to setting the ERG Power Target at the FTP percentage within the test (differs between 1x20/2x8).

    • You can manually control the Power Target by using the Workout Intensity adjustment to increase or decrease the power target.

    • This can be done with a mouse on the setting boxes or the Up/Down arrows on the keyboard.

  • This should all work with the existing FTP tests and not require a custom workout.

  • It will also trigger the FTP update at the end since you are using the regular test.

As to right/wrong, Coach Chad has even said that people can do this ERG testing method for the
“normal” tests. It’s not the typical option, but can work well for people who have a solid read on their fitness.

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I would say I have definitely accomplished something, that being I will have found a minimum FTP to work from. From there I could adjust until such time as I can’t complete the test. So, for example, say if I made it to 230w but if I tried 237w & failed then I know my FTP is 230w. My current FTP on ramp test is 190w but I know it’s much higher than this. I rarely do anything outside of zone 2 & I think that 20 minutes for me will produce a higher number than the ramp test.

Thanks Chad :slight_smile:

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It’s worth trying. But if you are a z2 rider then what’s going to be harder…5 minutes way above threshold or 20 minutes at 106-110%?

Ultimately if you are that sure your number is higher just increase the number and see if the workouts are a) still achievable and b) still achieving their stated aims.

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Those very same issues can and do exist for Resistance controlled tests with the user setting power via gearing. It all goes to the pacing aspect that leads to these tests being somewhat challenging to execute well.

As I shared, even in ERG mode, the rider will be able to adjust the Power Target via the Workout Intensity setting. It is about the same overall impact as shifting while in Resistance mode.

In either case the rider must constantly evaluate their effort against the current power, and decide if they are too high, too low, or just right to hit the target finish time of the test block with the right amount of exhaustion.

This suggestion of using ERG mode slightly changes the execution, but it’s not as different as some would think.

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That’s good info right there.
My only problem is that about 15 minutes into a 20 minute ftp test my dexterity may not allow me to change the intensity. lol

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Just go for Hour Of Power as linked in a post above. I did it and i was not even close to make one full hour. I lasted 31 minutes with watts i got from ramptest in ERG-mode. Just do it!

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Hi all.
I have recently started TR and after the 1st base training im ready to go to the next phase.
But first, FTP test. I believe if I leave my current ftp as it is and do the ftp test in ERG mode, how will i be able to see what my growth is, as the trainer will keep same resistance during the 20min. Should I manually place it higher?!
Appreciate your feedback…!

I wish the accuracy of TR and my Wahoo Kickr was mobile. I don’t have a power meter on my bike and as I do audax it would just be an indulgence. An interesting one though. With a HR monitor, Strava guestamated I spent over 2 and a half hours on yesterday’s 6 hour ride at threshold :crazy_face:

It will automatically change to resistance mode for you so you can start it in erg but it will change for you.

To do the test in ERG mode you need to make an educated guess and set a target for yourself. You might overshoot and bonk or undershoot and get a lower result than your true abilities would have allowed. But isn’t that the case with all FTP testing? Everyone goes into the test with a target in mind. That determines the pacing. Non-ERG in theory leaves more flexibility to adjust on the fly, but that’s the only advantage I can see. If do it in ERG and you over- or under-shoot this time, make a manual FTP adjustment in your TR profile, learn from the experience, and guess better next time. This to me is much better than allowing pedal smoothness and pacing variables to influence the test result.

No. TrainerRoad now relies on the ramp test by default, which as the name suggests ramps us the power levels. For this test you could use erg mode. Of course, if you made large gains, then you may test too low (because you have cooked your legs prematurely). But if the differences are +/- 10 %, you should be fine.