How Long Will this Ramp Test Last?

Am I the only one that tries to calculate how long their ramp test will take to get to their desired FTP?Anyone know a calculator a trick to figure that out? Obviously you can’t magically just ride “X” time during the ramp test and that’s your FTP but I definitely find myself wondering how long the suffering will last if I want to hit my target

4 Likes

Assuming you adhere to the power targets, the “break even” point in the Ramp Test (where you match the FTP at the start of the test) happens at 19:30.

  • Stop earlier and new FTP is lower than the initial FTP
  • Stop later and new FTP is higher than the initial FTP

You also have an option to turn on a “live FTP” that shows the estimated FTP at any given moment after the first 5-6 mins.

  • Mobile = swipe sideways on the middle display.
  • Win/Mac = click the arrow on the side of the smaller interval display.
22 Likes

Ah thanks @mcneese.chad I didn’t realize 19:30 was the break even point. good to know. Also i thought live FTP was only on desktop. Might have missed when it came to mobile. Will try that next time!

1 Like

I could be wrong on the mobile. I don’t use it regularly, but I think it is the same way you swap to the KJ’s and other data within a regular workout. Hopefully someone else who know for certain can clarify, but worth a shot at least.

Swipe middle display for live FTP on mobile.

8 Likes

Thanks for the confirmation :smiley:

I have a hard time with Ramp Tests now due to a knee issue, but back when I went into every Ramp Test feeling like the king of the world, I swear knowing the 19:30 rule worked against me. I could usually push myself mentally to 19:30 or 20:00, but I swear that at about 19:00, my brain would always start talking, “you’ve already done good enough, you can quit”, which made getting to the break even and then going more than a few seconds beyond was a total mind game. It sucked.

6 Likes

How Long Will this Ramp Test Last?

Seemingly forever. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

11 Likes

I kinda wish there was some way to randomize it because I have the same mental block that grows each time I do a ramp test :sob:

7 Likes

2 options I can think of:

  1. Do it “blind” by covering up any data that distracts you. Time, heart rate, and even power if you are using ERG mode can all be obscured to hide them from your consideration.

  2. Change your starting FTP to some random number, but still reasonably close to your guestimated FTP, and potentially cover time at the least to help with the “confusion”.

7 Likes

I agree with this but would also argue that on the flip side it is beneficial. If I feel like quitting around the 18th minute mark, knowing that if I can keep going for less than a minute or so I can maintain/get a boost usually motivates me to push to my max.

I typically last to the 20th minute because I am trying to get some gain but with the next step I usually end up in the Erg Mode spiral of death.

5 Likes

Oh!! I like this idea. A lot.

1 Like

I kind of want to try what @mcneese.chad recommended and change my starting FTP. For me 20 minutes just seems like an eternity and would be interested to see with less time if i “get better results” . I already usually do a 15 minute warmup before in Z1 or Z2 anyway.
also agree with covering up data. I do this on long card drives and cover up the clock all the time.

I always go in with a goal of 21min anything less is just too easy to justify a “fail” plus the added motivation of knowing 21min gets a nice bump.

Would also say that group ramp tests make it loads easier

But part of the test is the cumulative fatigue. If bump up your FTP for the start then you will ride less time to failure but the results will be totally skewed.

Just do the test as presented, get a result and move on to the next training block.

You don’t train for FTP tests, you train to get fit and or faster. This occurs over time, and over time your fitness level fluctuates and so too will your FTP. So let it.

People put far too much emphasis on their FTP when on any given day, what you had for breakfast can be far more impactful on your performance.

It’s just a step in many. Don’t game it.

15 Likes

Anybody use this feature yet? Thoughts?

I had been bamboozled by earlier forum talk and knowing about the 19:30 mark and played elaborate games covering the TR screen. But in the end you either hit it, or you don’t.

I do!

Calculated FTP last power step x 0.75 + bonus for additional time in zone. So I divide desired FTP by 0.75 and try to reach the step that high or higher at least…

I’ve used it at least a few times and it works well as a feature.

Whether it is good or bad in practice will vary from person to person and how they handle info like that (motivate vs discourage).

2 Likes

One of my tricks for Ramp test is to close my eyes and focus on deep breathing…until i cant… usually its around the 17-minute mark. Definitely reduces the RPE up to that point .

1 Like

Trying to say this without being preachy or snarky. Forgive me if I fail.

The Ramp test is already significantly flawed for estimating FTP. Trying to game the system by pushing extra hard, digging extra deep, to get a great Ramp test result and a higher (but not real) FTP estimate is not what you want to do. Save that type of full gas effort for competition. Or a Strava KOM. Or for putting your buddy in the hurt locker on the next group hammer ride.

Testing is Training. For the Ramp you want a good effort that is representative not of your absolute best effort that cannot be repeated, but a result that is going to guide your next block of training. Just do the test as a hard effort, take the FTP number and train. Adjust up or down if needed (or let AT do it for you).

More specifically, there is a reason people advocate for longer tests. 45-60 min, TTE tests, etc. Once you know how that feels and can test well, those are much better indicators of FTP / MLSS.

That said, there is nothing wrong with killing yourself on a Ramp test to see what you can do if it makes you happy. But be careful using that number in training and calling the output your “FTP”.

5 Likes