How to start Speciality phase after an unexpected lower FTP test? Which FTP use?

Went from 250 to 243 in the Ramp Test. Last FTP was set in March, before 2nd part of the Build Phase.

You can check my calendar.

I’m not sure if today’s ramp test went bad because a real lower FTP or due fatigue, I’ve felt weak since 250-260W, legs felt loaded a bit soon.
This might be because Sunday I did an intense outdoor 4h climbing workout (70km 2400 elevation meters). Yesterday did Andrews (1h 30min 70-75%) Not sure.

The other option is my FTP really lowered due starting riding outdoors too soon. Last 2 months, the Saturday and Sunday workouts were replaced with 3-5h outdoor rides. These outdoor rides aren’t structured at all, but they’re usually multiple climbs at a constant rythm. Plus 3 last weeks did only outdoor rides with Endurance TR workouts. No intervals at all, so FTP might be lower due not having that VO2Max very trained, so final minutes in Ramp Test could be affected, maybe?

Big mistake to not structure outdoor rides?

Do I start Climbing Road Speciality with FTP set at 250, 243 or should I test again?

I think you are answering your own questions.
Test results:

  1. You acknowledge real fatigue, and that can/will impact test results.
  2. Typical Ramp tests are on the end of a recovery week, so you should be well rested in those cases. In your case, you did a big Sunday ride, and then a long Endurance before the test. I don’t see that as an ideal test lead-in.
  3. You note a switch to riding outside the last 2 months. Without diving into your rides for detail, I suspect you aren’t getting the same level of training vs the TR workouts/plans. This is the common reason they suggest to keep at least one, but hopefully two structured workouts per week. These can be inside or outside with the new options, but they are structure vs just riding to the terrain or group. Point being that a decrease in fitness would not be surprising if you switch from “workouts” to “rides”.

What to do:

  1. If time is not tight, take a day or two of rest and short recovery rides, then retest.
  2. If it is tight, I’d start with the new FTP and see how the first couple of workouts go. If they feel too easy, move your FTP up manually, about 2% and reevaluate.

Edit to add: That 250/243 is a grand total 2.9% difference. Not a huge difference and easily explained by any/all of the comments you shared. Could be a bad test, could be reality. Either option above will work and you should not worry too much about it.

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I mean 250 or 243, it’s not really that different (~3%).

I would keep the 250, no retest, see how that goes. if you decide to use the 243 there’s really nothing wrong with it and you can see if you can increase 1-2% intensity over the next weeks.


Thanks Chad, It’s always soothing to read your answers!

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Thanks for replyig, I think I’ll keep with 250 and I’ll try to improve outdoor rides using with the new TR feature.

This is a perfect excuse to take this whole a bit more serius :slightly_smiling_face:

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LOL, thats funny to ready. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, just in case there is any chance of confusion. I am not THE Coach Chad (Timmerman) from TrainerRoad.

I am #TheOtherChad (McNeese), the resident forum rat. But I do my best to try and share good advice and point to existing info whenever possible. Happy to help in any case :smiley:

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Haha! I know, but I always read your replies in interesting threads

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I had a problem like yours: finished General Build Low Volume phase 1 without failing a single workout. Tested for 20 min. Blew up, couldn’t even hold my previous 20 min avg Power. Rested 2 Days, did a Ramp Test and got a FTP 4W lower than my previous one.
I kept my old (and higher´) FTP (its just 4W anyway) and just tried to figure out what happenned; I got sick twice in less than a month, making me struggle in the first two weeks of the build phase. I was fully recovered just in the 3rd week. Now i hope to finish the phase 2 without troubles and retest after finishing the build phase completely