Help me learn from this, please

Sorry, it will be a longish post, but I need to analyze it myself and wanted to ask for your help to learn from it.

So, I failed a ramp test yesterday, the after SSB1 LV and leading to SSB2 LV.

I mean, ramp test is designed to be failed at some point :wink: but i survived only like 16 minutes or so, and with FTP at 264 from previous test 6 weeks ago it gave me 233. I don’t consider this as valid one, as i did all the workouts in SSB1 without any issues. Here is some history prior to that failed test and my thinking:


I ended indoor riding with TR around April/May this year with FTP at 260 (ramp test) and was riding till Sept outdoors, with quite structured approach (each week some VO2, SS and LT intervals + longer Z2/Z3). Outdoor FTP tests (2 x 8’ as terrain allows) did not showed me any progress in numbers, but i was learning to ride with the power meter (put stable power during intervals, etc) so I was marking it off for learning curve. At the end of this period, around Sept i felt much stronger, was able to to 2x30’ SS outside with strong finish and then some Z3 riding afterwards. My Garmin vo2 raised by 8 points at peak (60 -> 68). First indoor rides showed I can do 3 x 15’ @ 270-280W avg so i was optimistic.

Did not do any detraining this year as was feeling good and volume was going down naturally because of the weather. Went for structured TR plan starting with SSB1 LV and adding Z2/Z3 ride for volume, same as along previous months. Did all the workouts and extra rides without any issues. Easy week at the end of SSB1 felt normal, my legs were tired but within normal range I would say. Did 3h Z2/Z3 ride outside on Saturday and Bays on Sunday, indoors. Did a 2 extra sessions of yoga as wanted to maximize recovery and get rid of leg soreness. And then, yesterday, i failed the test. Cooling was there, nutrition was there, sleep is consistently inconsistent for months, so no drastic changes here.

I wasn’t mentally ready for the test, being a bit of afraid, but that was also normal, i don’t like last minute this suffering :slight_smile: Yet, when i started, i quickly realized it will be tough as i already felt it a bit hard around 200W step and failed like 2nd or 3rd step above the ftp. My legs were definitely the limiter (as usual), HR and breathing was still ok.

My thinking is that I perhaps did the recovery week to hard with two rides on the weekend leading to the test, and even if that was my normal schedule, it was adding stress to the whole season as I didn’t do any offseason break.

My options:

  1. do a Pettit tomorrow, rest more and retest on Saturday/Sunday (add recovery)
  2. skip the whole week for a bit off-season and start SSB2 LV as i planned.
  3. keep current FTP (264) and go SSB2 right away.

I tend for option 1 to balance both sides - finding out if it was recovery issue and keep up with my plan. What do you think and what could be the root cause? Any other option to consider?

My profile is public: so you may have a sneak peak on the bigger picture if you want to.

Not much value in retesting the ramp test in my opinion.

Either do a longer test, as recommended above, as atleast this is a better workout, or move on to your next plan with the FTP value you think is appropriate

1 Like

You may have just had a bad day - I had one earlier this year, got to 16mins or so and my head wasn’t in it, my breathing was all over the place so I bailed. I kept my previous FTP and could easily complete every workout. Just one of those things.

I’d split the difference (which gives a similar figure to that suggested by @chidlow) and see how you go. Use the in-workout intensity buttons to adjust things, especially for Sweet Spot/threshold workouts where the intervals are quite long. I tend to underperform on the Ramp Test by a couple of percent so I find that I often bump things.

Unless you are a GC contender in a Grand Tour FTP is just a guide to aligning your training with your current level of fitness, nothing wrong with boosting or reducing it to fit in with how you feel on the day.

1 Like

I failed my ramp test last week also. I experimented with the rest week by adding two 3x15 sweet spot workouts in the middle, one of which was the day before I took the ramp test. Bad idea, as I was still fatigued. I kept my old FTP and proceeded to the next block of training, and I’ve been bumping the workouts up 2% to see if I can handle it since that’s the increase I was expecting from a successful ramp test.

With regards to ‘failing’ a ramp test…reminder of Chad’ s comments during beers with Chad on this subject!!!

Thanks guys for prompt reply and taking time to look at it.

@chidlow, yes, i was perhaps undertraining during summer due to (i think) not enough skills to hold on power properly when outside. That’s perhaps the reason i didn’t see any progress, just kept my previous FTP level (260 to 264).

On the confidence side - i think to keep 264 as i was ramp tested it with TR 6 weeks ago at 264 and all my training since then seems to be in zone, that is SS felt like SS, Tempo like Tempo, no issues here. So not keen to lower that (ego thing as well) but rather kept it and as @onemanpeloton, @bobw & @rkoswald proposed, maybe adjust during SSB2 as I go.

Thanks again!