Making Progress...or Plateauing

Since the Ramp Test was introduced I’ve done three: One in August last year, and then two during General Build MV and XC Marathon this year (I used a 20 min test for my base). For the three ramp tests, my 1 minute peak power varies by 4 watts (297W, 302W, 301W). Should I be concerned that I am plateauing (despite my CTL growing nicely)? Could this be a limitation of the ramp test in that I may be “anaerobically challenged” or could it be that I am building fitness, but not anaerobic fitness?

I’ve typically seen my FTP rise ~5% using the 20 min test.

My question would be: why have you only tested 3 times since August?

How are your event/race results?

Are you gaining in other areas besides the FTP?

  • (Like duration FTP or other power levels. Keep in mind the Ramp focuses purely on FTP and you may well be gaining in places outside that narrow window of measurement.)

What have you done between each test?

How consistent is your training?

Nutrition, sleep, recovery, etc.?

Can we possibly ask you any more questions? :stuck_out_tongue:

Canceled race in October, then took November off, and then used a 20 min test to enter SS Base in December.

Chad - my training has been consistent…and I do “feel” that my duration FTP has improved.

To be fair I expected an FTP bump between test 2 and test 3 (Test 2 was for General Build MV) and test 3 was this week as the entry into XC Marathon.

The recovery week at the end of General Build was stressful from a work perspective, so that possibly impacted the test (although HRV was normal on the day of test).

No racing yet - trails are too wet in Missouri :disappointed:

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I just checked my last 4 ramp tests, which takes me back to mid December, and my 1 min from them was 300, 303, 311, and 312. My power duration curve is way better and I’m way stronger now than I was in December. I’m not worried about it. When I get to the point that I can’t set a PB at a relevant point on my power curve, I’ll start thinking about needing to adjust.

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I’m in a similar situation where my ramp tests pretty much always come back showing no improvement. I know I’m getting fitter (Strava PBs and race results), so I’ve put the poor result down to me just giving up too soon, and bumped my FTP manually at the last test by 1 or 2% and am still completing the workouts.

One downside to this approach is that I wonder if I’m now not pushing myself in the tests because I know I’ll just bump FTP anyway…

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Improvement comes not only from raising FTP but also your ability to sustain efforts at higher powers relative to that FTP. The latter is the battle I’m engaged in. After 15% FTP growth, I’m in the throes of developing my ability to work at higher levels. I think once I can sustain those efforts more easily, FTP will grow again… kind of like a baby that has to get fat before it can get tall. :rofl:

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