Harsh Reality - You OVER test on FTPs (support group)

You only have to look at the size of the “Ramp Test Tips & Tricks” thread to see how important the number spat out at the end of the ramp test is to people :slight_smile:

The problems you mention are why it’d be a big improvement for the TR software to make adjustments to FTP based on RPE throughout the plan.

There’s so much of an obsession with AI and big data that guiding workout intensity using RPE is usually overlooked.


Yeah I’m not sure, I’m 42 and just completed 12 weeks of Traditional Base 1, 2, and 3. So in theory, my VO2 efforts should be nonexistent, since I’ve barely gone over threshold in the past 4 months. So I have no reason to preform well, get an 8% FTP increase and set a PR.

That could be another reason why I’m struggling with GB at this new FTP. I can start the workout at 100%, but somewhere about halfway through I fade and then death spiral. It’s like I’m chasing a lower intensity late in the workouts but I’ve already burned all my matches. I figured that if I started at a lower intensity (FTP) I’d be able to maintain it throughout.

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I did complete that at 100% with no back pedaling, but had to burry myself. Also, my cadence kept slipping, 90s average for first o/u, then 80s, then 60-70s with lots of standing pedaling .

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I haven’t ‘failed’, bailed on an interval or backpedaled, a workout since December 3rd. I just don’t think that I know how to go deep enough on the ramp test. I feel way stronger, but my FTP isn’t making the 5% jumps that everyone else talks about. Keep on keeping on I guess.

The thing is, you achieved this gaudy new ftp with lower intensity workouts. Now the workouts are a lot harder. Is this really the best training for you? Maybe just split the difference and see what the ftp test says mid-plan.

I haven’t been testing. My last ramp test confirmed where I had set my ftp, 10 percent off of my previous test. But I had previously over-achieved on the 8 minute test. I was finishing workouts for the most part, but not in good form. When I got into the season, it became clear that I had over-trained. It was a real disappointment.

I think for me lowering my ftp probably leaves me with vo2 workouts that aren’t quite hard enough. So I’m working on that aspect.

I started TR about 6 weeks ago. First ramp resulted in 209FTP. After four weeks of SSBlv1, and then a week off of riding completely, I tested again at 240FTP. Now starting SSBlv2, I handled Ebbetts alright but really bonked on Kaweah. Those long 5x10min at 96-99% FTP intervals really crushed me. But then this morning I handled Taylor -2 like a champ. Pretty clear where my weakness lies. Although, I had been fighting a cold the last few weeks. Who knows. I think i’ll adjust on the fly with the longer sustained work instead of dropping my FTP.


Broadly speaking I think people put too much value on the result of their FTP assessment. You can fairly easily adjust your FTP up or down based on your performance in hard workouts (or, as you gain experience with your body on medium or easy workouts).

For instance - if you can finish a 0.93 IF 60 minute duration workout without feeling like you’re on the verge of breaking you can pretty safely increase your FTP a few watts.

If you’re really familiar with yourself you can also make adjustments based on easier workouts like sweet spot stuff based on your HR response over time and your RPE

Not to say it’s a universal fix, but just because your test tells you one thing (either higher or lower than you can train at) doesn’t mean you have to train at that until you take another test


Listen to @trpnhntr !

(A like was not enough for this post.)


Agreed. I have a desire to make a post with a nice, short summary of how to tell if your FTP is high, low, or right… and what to do in each case.

There are some TR blog posts about it. I want.to distill those and comments like the one from @trpnhntr to a brief review and action list.


Good idea. If you do so I’d suggest including a section about how its ok to dial down intensity for some workouts - it doesn’t mean your FTP is wrong if you can’t succeed at over/unders but still can crush VO2 intervals (or vice versa) - everyone is different. You shouldn’t be afraid to adjust your FTP or the workout intensity


I think it’s a post that @Bryce and I should work on next.


I agree with @trpnhntr on this point -

I’ve been playing around recently on reducing intensity on VO2 efforts to get ‘close’ to 115% and it’s made a big difference. I’ve never been a sprinter (going all the way back to HS Cross-Country and Indoor/Outdoor Track), so to train to frustration is counter to my goals.

I took me a year to get over my stubbornness because ‘it must be right because that’s the plan’.


Big ol’ ditto to this. Apologies to those who’ve read my scenario recently, but I completed SSB1 HV using ftp of 275w but any ftp tests I’ve done (mainly ramp) tell me to use an ftp in the 260 range, I think. I just don’t do them well, but I know my RPE from doing sweet spot and if I’m working exclusively in SS like I am in the HV plan there’s no reason to shortchange myself if I’m doing them fine.

I started SSB2 at 285w FTP and am in week 2, handling the workouts just fine, where even efforts at 94% steady feel hard but doable. But my ramp test said I was 268. There’s definitely an art to this, and I know I’ve learned more about being more in tune with how I feel with this (I used to be purely a numbers person since I didn’t have a good frame of reference).

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But what if you’re not familiar with yourself? Being a cyclist only for 21 months, power user for 1 year and a TR user for 7 months, I DON’T know myself. This was my first experience with too high FTP. I have the ability to mentally bury myself (former competitive CrossFit), but not enough structured training experience to self evaluate.

I’ve read everything TR has to offer, listened to every podcast (twice!) and read several books on training and endurance. I know what to do, but I don’t KNOW myself.


@MI-XC point is important, it will be difficult for a lot of people to make a distinction between what is possible and what needs tweaking until after they have explored and understood their limits.

Not that a blog post shouldn’t be done ( I did suggest it above :wink:) but user experience needs to be factored into the advice


Exactly, I pushed on with the workouts because first I thought maybe I’m just not used to this new FTP jump. Then I thought, well, haven’t been doing VO2 for 4 months, my body will adjust. So I kept pushing thinking I would come around. Now, start of week 2 GB MV and had another failed workout (Baird +6) even after a full days rest.

And the previous Sunday’s Antelope +5

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hmmm… your test showed and increase of 8% but you decided to cutting it to half? don’t really understand this…
I had no increase in my last FTP and increased it by 6%. I am suffering, but I’d rather make the most of it and improve, than half it. don’t you think?

If in doubt, always pick the lower scaling/intensity/ftp setting instead of risking non-functional overreaching.

That’s my firm belief.


After following a modified British Cycling base training program last year for arround 12 weeks with FTP 170 from a 60-minute test I tested again. With ramp test I got 203 as my new FTP. Did a 60 minute test one week later after holliday and no cycling. I got FTP test of 186 which has felt challenging, but repeatable.

I will use the 60-minute test in the future also. The first time I did it in fall I quit after 50 min knowing that I could keep on going. That made it lot easier to recover than the full 60 minutes.

Used to do Trainerroad sweetspot arround four years ago. 20-minute test and propably not linear power curve combined with other stressors lead to overtraining. For two years couldnt really train and just since last year have been able to train consistently.

Did you read my OP? Every workout buried me and then affected me for the next workout. Which lead into 2 back to back workouts where I crashed and burned even while dropping intensity and my cadence slipping way out of the recommended range. I just changed my FTP by 4%, so today will be my first workout (aerobic ride Pettit +1) then into O/U Fang Mountain +1 on Thursday. I’m hoping Fang will be tough but doable without dropping into 60-70 rpm cadence and needed to bury myself at the end of every interval.

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