That comment only applies if you are on a tandem with Fabian (Cancellara), and you hold a constant output and he makes up the difference. 500w+ here we come.
Thanks for this succinct gem! (Well, the test too, which occasioned this thread and some really useful contributions.) What I take away is that a) the threshold is a real physiological phenomenon, even if way more complicated and smudgier than the number pointing to it, and b) I can and maybe should get a real time feel for that edge.
Looking at the ERG vs resistance comments, I wonder if really getting better at feeling this fairly narrow goldilocks zone suggests doing it blind – maybe time, but no power or heart rate – and only looking at the numbers afterward. Anybody here do this on this test? (I know TR’s Jonathan does on the ramp test, but that’s different.)
Yes, that’s true but there are lots of differences between riding indoors and outdoors. If you do most of your hard interval workouts inside using ERG mode then I’d say you become pretty familiar with it, so for me it makes sense to do my testing in the same way.
I’ve heard people say that this will negatively impact your ability to gauge the right power zones while riding outside. Since using a smart trainer I’ve found the opposite. I can more quickly get dialled in to a power range and can feel exactly when the terrain takes me out of said range.
Horses for courses!
it’s true, I still think about my pedal form when outside based on my time with coach chad’s instructions. Simply put: avoid pedaling squares by thinking about all the quadrants of pedal stroke.
A recent TR podcast they went into deep detail about optimal breathing. Has coach chad updated workout instructions regarding belly breathing? It was my conclusion from that podcast that they now believe that best breathing practices are to fill up every part of the lung by not only breathing into the belly but also working to expand the rib cage and back… spreading shoulder blades. And I agree with that really full breathing technique as well.
when I come back to winter training, perhaps i’ll pick up the monthly TR plan, and use TR again by using the TR workout builder to modify the pre-existing TR workouts to fit my coach’s prescription so that maybe I could enjoy the workout text instructions. But i’m not touching the trainer now unless the weather is absolutely terrible.
Perhaps when doing the maximal efforts on TR (for example I could do spencer when coach prescribes 2’ max effort intervals), i’ll get used to the idea of switching to resistance mode from ERG… (a practice that i find quite annoying).
On the subject of maximal efforts… the TR vo2 max intervals typically go up to something close to 125% FTP, and they sit there for 2-5 minutes. I believe there is science that points to this being not so optimal for improving vo2 max. the problem being that your respiratory exchange rate (RER) does not plateau early in the interval. in TR workouts like spencer, the interval starts out too easy I think. So you may only actually achieve maximal oxygen consumption for the final fraction of the interval.
In a self-regulated maximal effort, the power will start much higher than 125% ftp and end at something lower (highly variable depending on athlete) with the Power curve for the interval looking something like an exponential decay curve. RER for this type of interval will shoot up to plateau and stay there for a much larger proportion of the interval.
As you say, inside workouts do necessarily differ from outside. But do you think the reason TR does not tell the athlete to go “all out” is simply because they don’t want to ever feel liable for damage to trainers or bikes? or more because the “all out” pace is kinda variable and different athletes will need different Rest Between Intervals as well as differing workout prescription frequency?
this would be fun to try… i have no idea if i could keep that ftp-ish feeling… i know the feeling but i still constantly look back at my power as i’m riding during ftp intervals.
Yes I’m familiar and do these myself.
For vo2max there is a TR workout “Rattlesnake” that fits that style:
I don’t know, perhaps Coach Chad is using language he feels is better suited for indoor training? FWIW the vo2max steady state workouts have language like this:
And the workout instructions for 20-second sprints explicitly tell you to go all-out
not blind, but ignoring and going all-out. On Saturday I did a 20-min field test and the previous FTP of 243 wasn’t helpful and in fact using it as a reference would likely help me underachieve.
This is another situation when it helps knowing the feeling of riding at threshold. Here is the test with some comments:
Congratulations, and thanks for the graphic. In my case, “going all-out” means the final minute or two of wild thrashing to get it over with (see my earlier post), not the shrewdly self-correcting pacing that you did over 20 minutes. The latter is what I guess I’m aspiring to. In your case you did it well above previous data suggested you could. In mine my “target” FTP was just the same as my guess of what a botched ramp would have been without the botch. I feared it might be too high, especially after not having done anything but Z2 for over a month, and I really didn’t want to just bail 10 minutes in. Like @isaac124 I did have power number to sneak peeks at so maybe my belief that I was getting the feel of it was actually just looking at numbers and playing safe. Glad someone has the knack of disregarding the numbers and outdoing themselves substantially without falling on their face!
I do have one more just factual sequel to my experiment with a month of only longer slower. I did an easier VO2max this morning (Dade -1) to see what intervals would be like again. Except for some gadget hassles, the workout went just fine – in fact, felt easier than in the past. I was a little surprised that the 5 weeks of nothing but longer slower don’t seem to have diminished either of this old man’s two higher zones, threshold or VO2max. So now, I’m trying to kludge together a “polarized” regimen of some sort, just because the change up has been a lot of fun and hasn’t crippled me. What I’m really curious about is whether staying out of that middle zone in training can actually help me in an event later in the summer ridden in that middle zone? Seems odd, but so far it at least hasn’t hurt.
Oh, the ramp test. Not a fan of it. And re: “shrewdly self-correcting pacing” - let me update the pic with estimated FTP from the test to give a better idea of power output relative to threshold:
relative to estimated FTP do you still think I was shrewd? Or simply hanging on for dear life? More than a few times I felt like a guppy that had jumped out of the tank and gulping the air for water. Shit happens when you teeter totter around threshold.
thats as good as it gets for me, although I didn’t fall to the ground at the end. Based on my experience doing longer and longer intervals, it kinda felt like if sufficiently motivated I might have hung on for another 10-15 minutes although power
may would have dropped (to 260ish). So guessing a 30-35 minute TTE?
For the FTP estimate I took the 274W average and multiplied by .95 for 260W estimated FTP. Both before and after WKO5 had my 20-min aerobic at 94.8%, so I think that is a fair multiplier (and consistent with multiple time periods in WKO). And WKO5 modeled FTP gives 259 and 34:43 TTE if I remove a few easy indoor trainer (~65% aerobic endurance) rides from the 90-day window. And with all rides over last 90-days, WKO gives me 257W modeled FTP and 35:32 TTE. Haven’t had a chance to review all of this until today, just now at lunch, and my reaction is to be conservative and manually set FTP to 257.
Quite a jump!
~9 week gap between tests, I was sandbagging during May
Unfortunately, I know this word “sandbagging” and it goes far longer than the month of May
No, not the ramp test. (Not a fan either.) The Kollie Moore Baseline test, for which I copied your version in the Workout Creator, did, and then posted on June 3. I’ll re-insert the graphic here.
I’m talking about the cute pigtail at the end, shortly after it starts to ramp. The ramp I copied from you is slow and purposeful. My execution of it is a (brief) moment of desperate fireworks and then the anticlimactic fizzle – I think an involuntary gesture to get it over with. Not pacing. I’ll try again in a month or so and see if I can’t go more gently into that goodnight.
I do appreciate your filling in that your push to a new level didn’t feel as elegant as it looks!
ah, that ramp Ya on my 20-min field test there was a lot of life choices questions swirling in my mind by minute 8… Somehow I held on and finished the full 20-minutes with 4 bonus seconds before hitting the button and letting off the gas… only to turn a corner and get the full brunt of a 12mph wind gusting to 22mph… exactly what am I doing on an otherwise perfectly nice & windy & warm Saturday afternoon? Another 20 min later and I thought
“that wasn’t so bad, why don’t more people do 20-min or Kolie Moore field tests?”
Did my first FTP test using Progression 1, and ended up within a couple of watts of my Ramp tested FTP. Pretty short TTE though so gives something to work on.
One benefit I noticed is I’m approaching the workouts differently. Knowing I can hold my FTP for x minutes means that I know that I can hit the targets for the given workouts which massively helps with the mental side of it.
Hi all, two questions as I am thinking about doing this test this weekend.
Are there any scenarios in which this test is less accurate than the ramp test for assessing FTP? It seems like the contrary since you are literally riding FTP and trying to feel that edge.
I haven’t done this test before and am coming off sustained power build high volume and half of climbing specialty high volume - should I go for the baseline test or maybe start with progression 1?
The ‘risk’ with the TTE test is that it is more dependent on pacing. The ramp test you do it and if you go full send… you get your result, it may not be the best training level for you, but it is consistent.
The TTE test you can over cook it and have a super short TTE with ‘too high’ of an FTP. Or you can screw it up the other way and ride tempo/sweet spot for 90 minutes. Just taking the result of any old test and plugging it into TrainerRoad may not give you the result you want.
The risk of the ramp test is a too high FTP. I’d be more concerned with a too high FTP from ramp test.
TrainerRoad workouts are designed around Coggan classic levels/zones. In other words they are designed around having a good FTP estimate. The test protocol doesn’t matter, you just want an accurate FTP estimate.
Honestly if you test your FTP on a ramp test, you have finished workouts successfully go with the pacing from the test - so try to stick to 102%. Check how it feels and if you can do more. If you do this in resistance/level mode (this way is a lot better and…easier in my experience) you push more watts during the ramp or even at the end if you have some more power in the tank. The first can be “checking the feeling” how FTP should feel. In the worst case scenario - your “real” FTP will be couple watts higher FTP than this from the test. But this way your workouts will be more doable. If you overshoot the power - this is also informative where you stand.