Kolie Moore's FTP test protocol

Right - this is what I intend to do. I set my FTP at the new result and I expect I will need to drop down the intensity for longer VO2 max workouts (with intervals of 2+ minutes). I struggled with them in the past and have scheduled General Build after SSBII to try to work on this weakness. Thanks for the feedback!

Yes - as others have posted in this thread, I did the Davis workout in TR just prior to the ramp test.

I did find value in completing both tests as a more complete way to assess performance (MAP and TTE @ threshold).

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Congrats on your new FTP. The article mentions that the length of the test should be equal or longer than the athlete’s TTE. For those of us who may not know our TTE, it seems like progression 3 is best (5 minutes at 97% target FTP, then up to 70 minutes at 100% target FTP until exhaustion). That way you can test both your FTP and TTE. If you go to your exhaustion point, you’ll learn your TTE.

The article doesn’t describe what determines the exhaustion point for the test. Presumably it’s a drop-off in power since TTE is described as a downward kink in your power curve. You could also monitor HR and consider HR going too deep into zone 5 as the exhaustion point. A steep drop-off in cadence to hold power could also be used.

A couple of observations about your test. It looks like you may have had a drop-off in power in the last minute or so? Also, it looks like your max HR may been well past zone 4 at the end?

Yesterday I did a 60 minute FTP test. Or really it was a test to see if I could hold my 20 minute estimated FTP for 60 minutes. I was happy that my 60 minute power was 98.3% of my estimated FTP. I felt I like I could have gone a little longer, though my HR was starting to creep into zone 5 by the end.

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Start with baseline. Heart rate is not part of the protocol.

I have always been this way as well. Tbh, I don’t really need another test protocol because I know myself well enough to adjust manually. I rarely even ramp anymore, maybe twice a year tops.

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Well, this isn’t much of an endorsement of the ramp test. +/- 5% for the same individual just depending on the type of training done in the preceding weeks is a lot - the same range as in the normally prescribed over/under workouts.
I realize that everything is an approximation of the properly paced ~1 hour effort (or a lab test), but with that kind of range I would really need to know what FTP ‘feels’ like and adjust workouts based on that. At that point, ramp doesn’t tell me much about FTP (maybe more about MAP or similar, which may be interesting, but doesn’t feed directly into training zones.

I see two main problems the FTP test protocols I am aware of:

  1. Ramp based tests - short tests that measure something other than FTP (MAP or similar as I understand it), and use a scale factor to estimate FTP. This scale factor can vary a fair bit between riders as well as based on which metabolic systems have most recently been emphasized in training. The big advantage here is that it doesn’t require pacing nor a good estimate of FTP.
  2. Steady state efforts (20 min test, Kolie’s test to a lesser degree, etc). These longer tests seem (to me) to be measuring something more closely physiologically tied to FTP than the ramp tests, but requires a good estimate of FTP before testing. Getting this estimate and/or pacing wrong often significantly affect the accuracy of the results.

I’m not really sure I have a good feeling for what working at FTP is, so I can’t really judge if the ramp test is wrong for me.

I think I’m going to give the longer test a go after the ramp test, similar to what @brianv17 did. I’ll likely go with the baseline to start with.
@brianv17 - what was the wattage ramp rate at the end of the test? (ie the gradually increase after the interval at FTP)

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Keep in mind I’m masters 55+ so losing my top-end happens quickly. And the reason staying fast after 50 may require doing vo2 work every week, all year long.

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Well, to be blunt, you need to know this regardless of testing protocol to truly train effectively and anyone with training experience absolutely should be able to feel this.

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Yes, you could start with the baseline test but baseline could be too short to determine TTE if that’s of interest.

Agreed that HR is not part of the protocol. My main question is that about how to determine the exhaustion point for the test if you don’t make it to the max time. It’s not really described in the article. I ventured that HR could be used for this, though power drop-off is the probably the best indicator.

You mentioned not knowing TTE, and so I’m going to quote the last two sentences in the article:

When I work with cyclists new to either training with power or performing intervals longer than 20 minutes, I always start with Baseline Test to assess their ability to self pace in the last 10-15 minutes. As they progresses in their ability to “feel” FTP, the ramp at the end of the test gets smaller or later. This is the sign they are ready to move on to the next Progression

So if you are currently doing 30 or 40 or 50 minute sweet spot intervals, then give progression 1 a try as its 10 minutes at 95% and then 20-30 minutes at 100% before ramping over 100%. So you could create a progression 1 workout and plug in 30 minutes.

Thats how I would approach it. Start with baseline unless you are currently doing at least 2x30-min sweet spot or threshold work and feel like you can skip the baseline test.

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The article also mentions:

Keep in mind that you never have to do a test longer than you’re interested in doing it. Many cyclists are happy with a 40 to 45 minute test and would rather not go longer, in which case we just work with a TTE the length of their test.

In my n=1, I was training for a very specific goal of a ~30min TT so I did a 35min test; there was no reason for me to do a 45 or 60 min test. Doing a longer test would have resulted in roughly the same end FTP (as a function of longer duration and declining power).

As stated in the article (again):

Your FTP will be equal to the average power of the entire test.

Read the article. Please.

@wiscokid ok its been awhile since engineering school but I’ll try and do some basic math for ya all because I’m also interested in answering the “how much to bump current FTP when setting target FTP” question you asked. (p.s. and I also tell myself ‘gotta make it to 19.5 minutes’ when doing ramp tests)

Target FTP = something above your current FTP
Gradual increase is from 100% to 108% as per my comments earlier

BASELINE TEST, low-end 35 minutes total

  • 10 minutes at 92 percent of target FTP
  • Increase to 100 percent of target FTP for 15 minutes
  • 10 minutes ramp from 100% to 108%

average power = [10*.92 + 15 + 10 + 0.5*(10*.08)]/35
average power = 98.86% of target FTP

If you bump your current FTP by ~1.2% and set that as target FTP, then you’ll match current FTP at end of 35 minutes.

Example:

  • your current FTP is 250W
  • bump by 1.2% to set target FTP = 253W (250 * 1.012)
  • average power at end of 35 minutes would 250.1 watts, so your FTP is unchanged

Bump your current FTP by more than 1.2% and you’ll get an increase in FTP if you complete the 35 minute “low-end” version of the baseline test

BASELINE TEST, high-end 40 minutes total

  • 10 minutes at 95 percent of target FTP
  • Increase to 100 percent of target FTP for 15 minutes
  • 15 minutes ramp from 100% to 108%

average power = [10*.95 + 15 + 15 + 0.5*(15*.08)]/40
average power = 100.25% of target FTP

Example:

  • your current FTP is 250W
  • bump by 1.2% to set target FTP = 253W (250 * 1.012)
  • average power at end of 40 minutes would 253.6 watts, so your FTP has increased

Somebody please double check my math.

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Or, just do what the author of the article says to do:

If you want to use my tests but aren’t sure where your target FTP is, a 3- to 8-watt increase is a reasonable starting point

Read the article. Please.

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Yeah I read the article. Many times. And created a couple custom workouts. And answered questions in this thread. And finally did some math to support how I’m going to do this test in TR app using Erg mode.

Now I’ve got enough info to update my baseline test. As you know TR app doesn’t accept “3 to 8 watt increase” unless you manually change FTP. Instead I’m going to leave current FTP as-is, then simply increase intensity in TR app to at least 102% (which is higher than 1.012 aka 1.2% bump) and will guarantee a higher FTP if low-end 35-minute version is done to completion.

Don’t forget to do a long and thorough warm up first.

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@bbarrera Thanks for the laying out all the math, I might give it a shot next weekend instead of doing another ramp test.

@Captain_Doughnutman, that math was not in the article. I don’t care how many times you read it.

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Half the idea of the test is to ride to threshold using feel. Doing it in erg defeats that.

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You know you can ride to threshold using feel and ERG … you just adjust ERG target power up and down as you go. I find it a better way to fine tune my power output because sometimes changing gears can be too big a jump in power.

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You can periodically check out Hour Record or even Lola if you want a sanity check on your current estimated FTP.

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When I posted a link to The Hour Record “workout” (perhaps the first & only time on the TR forum), it got almost 600 views.

As you can see from the ‘All Rides’, compliance is a lot less than 600. :tired_face:

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FWIW friel says if your can hold your FTP for 30 mins at a relatively steady state its likely close to your 60 min given proper motivation.

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Apologies. Didn’t see the post requesting the math behind ‘Average Power’ or ‘Target FTP’.

Now we all know! :+1: