I have become a little obsessed with the ftp estimator. I have used it twice in the last four weeks (can only be used every 14 days) and went up 11 watts each time. I accepted it both times and while my first few workouts, especially threshold, were some of the toughest I’ve ever done, I completed them all.
So my question is: how often have you been using the estimator? I realize every two weeks is probably not smart training, but I can’t help myself. Plus I am pretty pleased with the results.
I have a schedule for the next couple of months with all my races planned out. I do an FTP estimator each time Trainerroad puts it on my calendar. I think TR does 3 weeks on 1 week off…so after the 4th week.
Since I’m not following a real training plan with scheduled tests, I’ve given this a little bit of thought, and I don’t have the one right answer but here are some things that are probably worth considering:
How are my progression levels (for intensities I care about)? If they’re under 5, it’s probably better to continue with my current FTP for a bit longer and doing progressively harder workouts. If it’s over 7, then an FTP test is probably called for (for one thing, the intensity of 1-hour workouts at higher progression levels is brutal!). In between, and the Achievable / Productive workouts are all going to be raising my fitness, and I don’t need to see an FTP bump or progression level bump to know they’re good for me.
How close am I to an event where having an estimate of my FTP matters? For a triathlon, 3-4 weeks out from my first event of the season or 5-6 weeks out from my A race, I want to start experimenting with race pace efforts (and seeing how that effort on the bike affects my run). That seems like a good time to have a fresh FTP estimate.
Only when a ramp test was scheduled, so far. If I wasn’t doing a regularly scheduled plan…probably every 4 to 6 weeks.
Once every 6 weeks. Might even stretch it out longer to 8 weeks
As scheduled per the prescribed adaptive training plan. I do have a habit of trying to attempting the hardest progression level I can reasonably attempt without derailing the next 3 workouts. As long as work isn’t too crazy and my schedule is predictable I try to do 0.2-0.4 harder or if it’s the end of a block I’ll often attempt a stretch workout given the week of has been executed really well and sleep and nutrition are on point (rare). I like seeing PLs go up more than FTP to be honest because I know recovery from that means a pretty graph of improved fitness.
Bear in mind your ‘FTP’ is unlikely to be the same from one day to the next… Just saying
I did mine 14 days ago, but in the week or so leading up to it I was peaking daily
Have scheduled another peak tomorrow. The last two weeks has been tough, I’m interested to see the result. I’m unlikely to accept it though as the ‘official’ FTP (ie per the plan) is scheduled for two weeks time.
Only when they’re scheduled in the plan. AT deals with any other progressions.
Every 14 days. My logic is why not? It doesn’t take away a training day anymore and the more accurate that number is the greater the benefit I’m getting from training.
Because your PLs decrease and you end up always doing short unproductive / not as productive intervals (this is assuming FTPd is giving an increase each time?)
Only done the one but the next one (and those after that) will be whenever a Ramp Test is scheduled, other than ego I don’t see a need for any greater frequency unless I become ill or injured and need a reassessment.
This has been my approach and logic.
Echoing this, we have touched on this in several other discussions and it depends on personal goals and training plan timing. Keeping the current FTP helps push further into Progression Levels of related workouts. This can be good for working on overall intensity (gets pushed up with higher levels), or time to exhaustion (longer intervals and shorter recovery with higher levels).
It can also depend a bit on the delta of the FTPs. A couple of percent may be worth pushing forward without accepting the new value. But maybe 5% or higher deltas is worthwhile to accept the increase.
There is no single or simple answer, and people need to consider at least a couple of factors IMO.
I’m suprised noboby else mentioned this. I will only change my FTP according to the plan (in fact I’ll actually do a ramp test), but a few times a week I take a peek to see what my FTP “could” be.
I manually add an FTP test for the day, get it to calculate my FTP, reject the answer and delete the scheduled test. Rinse and repeat after any good workout where I feel progress was made.
I did that too, for science but even completing stretch VO2max, threshold or sweet spot workouts didn’t alter the estimate in fact sometimes it was lower after a hard workout
Interesting, I hadn’t considered that complexity. I’d always assumed that lower PL on a higher FTP would equate to the same outcome. Would be good to see if there was some data backed verification of your 5% rule of thumb.
Well, I am not claiming any hard data background with the 5% value. It is a concept, that if there is a notable change in FTP, you are likely better to accept it.
- Specifically, consider the simple case of training at Threshold of 100% FTP. If your FTP value is off by 5% or more, you are very possibly not training around the Threshold range intended for you. This is potentially less than ideal if not a “problem”.
We all know that these zones are more fuzzy than concrete lines of demarcation, but if you stray off enough (like over 5%), there is a strong chance that you are not training in the desired zone, regardless of your current Progression Level, because of the way that TR assigns the work as percentage of your current FTP.
With enough delta from current to actual FTP, you may well be doing some training that is outside the prescribed ranges. So, big swings in FTP almost require accepting the change IMO.
This is how my obsession with the feature began. Two weeks into SSB 2 I was curious to see if I increased since I manually tested at the start of the training block and when I saw I had gone up 11pts, I decided to accept it since it seemed like a significant increase to me.
Then two weeks later, I decided to check again out of curiosty and it showed I had increased another 11pts so I again accepted it.
As far as Progression Levels dropping, they do drop a little but I feel like working at the higher FTP has been worth it.