Could use some guidance.
I have been training for the last year on TR at an FTP of 149. I predominantly do sweet spot workouts or threshold twice a week. (I know - I am not structured and am also a small female )
I did a ramp test today and my FTP was 134. Very disheartening. Did I do the ramp test incorrectly?
Welcome to the forum!
It may help to have more information. Have you been keeping up with training lately? Has there been any extra life stress recently? Did you get enough sleep/eat enough before your ramp test?
There are a lot of possible causes, so if you give more background, it makes it easier to offer advice!
There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do the ramp test really. Ultimately you just have to keep pushing for as long as you can. If you are not that internally competitive or you are not that much of a masochistic, it can be a challenge to push yourself far enough to get a ‘good’ result. It can be helpful to have someone cheer you on or some other motivation like music to help you push yourself.
That being said there are a lot of things that can cause a low (by your expectations) result. For example, I tried to do my ramp test at the start of this week but I knew I had three nights of bad sleep and when I started the test I knew almost immediately that my heart rate was climbing too fast. These are things you start to get a feel for when you have done a few tests. To really have your “best result” means you are well rested and primed for it.
In summary, don’t feel to disheartened. If you were completing workouts at 149 and not struggling, then that is a clue that you were in a good place and the test result is probably low.
thanks - I appreciate it. Will try it another time…I may just have given up
I have been training - ride the trainer twice a week and logged 3k miles both inside and outside last year. Maybe I just didn’t push hard enough. I did a 75 minute sweet spot right after it and hit all my numbers - at the old higher FTP.
I think I just gave up too easily on the ramp test. It was disheartening frankly
I think as you take the ramp test a few more times you will get to know how it feels. There isn’t really any pacing needed like the 8 or 20 min test but I have found that I really want to be paying attention to my cadence as I get into the last 4-5 min.
Also if you are getting through your other workouts that is a great indicator you’re ftp is pretty accurate. Keep it up!
If I understand your history correctly, you’ve been doing workouts at that intensity (134W) or above for the past year, correct? If so, then I would say the ramp test is…not incorrect but you are probably exceptional in some ways.
The ramp test takes your best 1 minute power during the test, multiplies that by 0.75 & calls the product ‘FTP’. It sounds like you might have a high ‘fractional utilization’ compared to most TR users. So you can pedal at a higher percentage of your ramp test 1 minute power than most people.
Most people can sustain 75% of their 1 minute power…sounds like you can sustain 80%+. That’s a good problem to have.
Why don’t you split the difference, set FTP at 140, and try one of the TR plans? It will be fun to see how it goes! At the end of week 2 if things seem too easy you can always manually adjust up to 145.
It does sound like you just didn’t go hard enough. If you did the SS workout at the old ftp I would retest. Some days you eat the bear, and some days, the bear eats you.
Can I ask…in your original post, you say you’ve been riding on an FTP of 149 for the past year. Is that right? You test once a year?
If that’s the case, I would say that’s something of an issue. It’s not necessary to test all the time, but to get the most out of training, it’s recommended you test every 4-6 weeks. As you get fitter, your body needs greater challenge (higher FTP) to continue to improve.
Definitely eaten by the bear on that one. Was turning the pedals but couldn’t hit the power…may have to try for a higher cadence. Yes - should have tested more often. I am scared of the test frankly. So, I have just been doing my SS, tempo and threshhold all at the same FTP…sigh
Ramp test is not for everyone.
Some people can push the ramp.
Other people can do the 20min at higher than ftp…
2 different skill set. Maybe the 20 min test is more your wheelhouse?
For context… I tried a 20 min test and came out with lower ftp… But I can usually push the ramp to the last step…
The ramp test can be tough for some people.
If you’ve been riding a while, you could also bump your ftp manually every 6 weeks or so. Add 2-3% and see how it goes. Adjust as needed.
that is a good idea. Thanks for the suggestion
My only observation is that if some rider pedals as hard as they can for an hour…then recovers for a few days & takes a ramp test…and the result of the ramp test is 90% of the power that rider held for an hour…Go with the hour power.
If you can consistently complete threshold workouts at a given FTP then that’s probably pretty close to your FTP. Next time you take a ramp test just remember your fractional utilization is very high compared to other riders. Lucky you!
Got it now…I will keep working so one day I can keep up with the big boys
In have severe test anxiety. It just makes my legs weak, don’t know why. I always test lower than my FTP. I gave up on the ramp test for myself.
Instead, I microdose my FTP every week in build, adding 1-2 watts or not if the week felt hard. Have been doing that from an FTP of 210 till 240 now. So far it works, with same heart rate levels.
Actually - it’s the reverse. I have been training for a year at 149 and hit my numbers on my trainer…my ramp test was just so low!
You can manipulate the ramp test to give a higher or lower reported FTP figure, depending on your gear selection, due to the inertia effect of the flywheel, especially if you use a wheel-on trainer.
Big ring/high gear = higher reported FTP.
Small ring/lower gear = lower reported FTP.
Basically the inertia gives you a “helping hand” at higher flywheel speeds.
It’s not necessarily a problem or a big drawback as long as you factor it in to your testing and workout protocols. Generally speaking if you test and train in a similar gear ratio you should be okay.
We discussed it at length in a thread called “Big vs Small Chainring, Same Power” if you want to know more, so probably best not to re-open that can of worms on this thread, but the point of mentioning it is that if you do a ramp test in a high gear and your workouts in a low gear, you will have over stated your FTP and will struggle in workouts. And vice versa, ramp test in a low gear, you will get a lower FTP but find workouts in high gears easy.
And now with Adaptive Training right around the corner, FTP won’t be much of a factor at all. TR will just tweak your workout intensity/duration over time and dial you into a more accurate FTP through analysis of real-time training impact! It will essentially TELL you what your FTP is rather than you having to test for it.
OOH - that is awesome and I will read up on it.
This group is amazing…