More than 2 months and FTP Falling…What’s going on?

So, I have been using TR since 10/24 and following a low volume plan (3.5 hrs/wk). My first three ramp tests were all within 1 FTP of each other. 257-258. My latest was at 246. I’ve been following the plan religiously. My only conclusion is that the low volume plan doesn’t do anything. Realistically, life doesn’t allow me to train for 10 hours per week.

I’ve been riding for about 2 years and when outdoors I don’t follow any plan and probably tend to ride too hard with almost no lower intensity endurance days. Typically 30 mile rides around 180-210 avg watts with 230-240ish NP. Different power meter than Erg mode on the trainer, so I know none of this is apples to apples.

I didn’t accept my latest decrease in FTP. Just getting frustrated that this training plan isn’t doing anything productive for me.

Any help would be appreciated.

There are an infinite number of factors. Like weather how you slept the day before, your motivation etc.

Fwiw i did ramp test for a year and Everytime my number was going up. Then it stop the moment i added high volume and it dropped significantly. It’s been a year and it hasn’t got to the old number yet. But I stop caring. I just stop doing ramps and just go by feeling


Quite a few threads on it if you search the forum. The ramp tests for the majority are good (repeatable, low load, etc) but for a limited number of folk (outliers) itll over or under estimate. Currently other tests (20mins test, Kolie Moore, etc) may be better but they are harder to pace and take more out of you. AT and what TR is currently talking about automatic FTP prediction are aiming to dial those outliers in.

My own experience of the ramp is that it underpredicts and each time it gets lower. When it got lower than what I was putting out on TTs and achieving in my worst paced 20mins test I’d started to ignore them. However, I found a well paced 20mins test would slightly over estimate the FTP and if I used ERG the spiralof death wouldengulf me to easy and Id strain my legs. So for repeatability in workouts I manually dialled it into something in between, left it and let AT do its work.

Yes it is possible you are regressing on your training plan. I’ve had that happen before and it sucks and means you’re not doing what you need to. Is your weekly time on the bike much lower than during the year? Alternatively are you overreaching and now burned out?

There are other possibilities too.

I don’t find ramp tests to be particularly precise. I’ll easily get a 10+ watt difference from day to day based on fatigue, motivation, cooling, etc. This minor difference could just be noise.

Also, FTP is just one number to measure biking performance with. It may stay the same or even drop a bit, yet you could still end up riding faster due to improvements elsewhere. At the end of the day you are training to be a better cyclist. Not test better.

Have workouts gotten easier for you during the training plan? If you’re using AT have your PLs changed? If so, you are improving, regardless of what your ramp test results are. If not, then something is not right with the relationship between you and the training plan.


I guess i haven’t sliced and diced the data enough. I withheld posting this until my 4th ramp test over more than 2 months given that should smooth out the inconsistencies to some extent.

Are you just doing the low volume plan or are you also adding rides on the other days?

Are you completing all workouts? Is AT progressively making them harder?

How many hours/week were you riding outside? A drop in hours on the bike could explain the drop in FTP.


I am probably an hour or so less on the bike over the winter vs. outdoors, but figure that isn’t a huge deal given 100% pedaling indoor vs. more breaks outdoors.

I do finish all workouts. AT make occasional changes. I don’t know if they are easier or harder than the previous workouts though.

I suggest doing a quick review before accepting adaptations, so you have at least a basic view of what it is doing to your plan. There is no rush to accept them, if you need to just finish a workout and move on. You can ignore the adaptation flag until you have time to review. Just try to get to it before you next scheduled workout.

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reading between the lines in your posts, would you say you are riding an average of 3-5 hours/week? Total amount of riding, both inside and outside.

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Riding that low of volume, I would imagine your results won’t be too robust (ie ftp estimate will bounce much more than a high volume schedule).

If you enjoy the workouts then keep doing them, but I wouldn’t expect a continual rise in aerobic fitness on 3-5hpw given that you shared you’ve been riding for 2 years. Your body would need much more stimulus for large and noticeable aerobic fitness gains.

At 3.5hpw or even 5, I’d say the riding is just for fun and general fitness. Don’t read into the numbers too much. You’re not doing anything wrong!


Yes, that’s my average. Right now it’s all indoors, so 3.5-4 hrs on the low volume plan. In the nicer months I do closer to 4-5 hrs.

Fair enough. And that’s my thinking too. Just wondering why TR bothers with a low volume plan if it seems rather useless. I don’t think I am getting any gains beyond picking any random selection of 3.5 hours worth of rides per week. I could very easily be wrong, but hard to argue with the numbers.

4 ramp tests already, which plan are you following? I started 3 weeks later and just did my 2nd test last week

Yeah, its pretty hard to move the needle on 3-5 hours per week. Initially you’ll get a jump from doing a lot of intensity, but you were already doing that outside. Endurance performance scales with volume. Increase volume and you’ll likely see a bump.


To use a different example, let’s say you were going to the gym 3-5 hours a week and decided to start working out at home. You do the same or less hours of workout and have no idea if your workouts and lifts are getting progressively harder or not, but you do a max lift and the weights are the same or lower than before you started. The obvious answer would be to track your training and do more reps or heavier weights. No pain, no gain. It’s no different with cycling.

I think you can turn this around pretty quickly by monitoring your workout time and progression levels in the zones that will impact your next FTP test. I wouldn’t expect massive gains from month to month, those tend to come early in your career, but I would expect steady progression (or if you’re aging, the ability to maintain). Good luck!

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How are you eating the workouts in the post survey? Are you selecting moderate or hard when the workout was actually easy?

It’s useful for maintaining your current fitness level, no? For some people that’s all they’re looking for. If you didn’t do a low volume plan, your FTP would drop. If you weren’t riding much at all before and started doing a low volume plan your fitness would most likely increase.

If you want to be significantly faster on a bicycle, you probably have to commit more than 3-4hrs a week to it.

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0.93IF over 30 miles is atypical for someone without long term training in TTs and the like. Sounds like your rides had a lot of anaerobic contribution. The NP/AP ratio is kind of a giveaway.

Your early ramp tests were likely skewed by anaerobic contribution as well. What you’re starting to see is your FTP based on your aerobic capacity.

Anaerobic capacity can be sharpened up and brought back to your previous state in a matter of weeks, and your capacity might be topped out anyway. Aerobic capacity takes years and you have a lot of room for growth. TR is targeting your aerobic capacity.

So don’t quit just yet.

  • Many factors to consider. For someone brand new to structured training, the LV may well be the perfect fit and give great results.

  • For some athletes with a prior LV history, and looking to grow without taking on the MV options, the LV is a good foundation that can be supplemented with more Endurance level workouts. It is also decent for those looking to add other activities like strength training or other non-cycling activities.

This, like everything else here is relative. LV can work well for many people, but is well short of what works for many others. Looking closely at individual history, nutrition, recovery, life stress and other training factors are useful when selecting any training plan, these included.