Moving forward after a poor test

Finished the first block of general build feeling strong. Started the second half with the ramp test but haven’t gained any ftp it actually decreased slightly. I’m putting this down to an off day following the rest week. In just looking at the next block of workouts and wondering how I should do them. Keeping the ftp the same and with the level of the workouts lower than the previous ones the workouts don’t progress and actually end up easier. Do I replace the workouts with similar levels to the ones where I left off before the poor test or should I try the workouts as they are and ip the intensity slightly?
I plan to undertake a ramp test again soon as I’m sure I can increase it so workouts will be suitable following an increase.
Testing wise I always struggle with ramp Test but can perform much better with the 20min tests.

Just use the slightly lower FTP for now, re-test if workouts feel too easy (but don‘t get fooled by taylor -2 which always feels easy!). Trust the process!

Also ask yourself if you would feel the need to discuss ftp after a surprisingly good test :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: it‘s not easy to swallow the pride after a test that did not meet expectations…but in the long run it is the way to go.


IMO this is sort of a play it by ear thing- given you’ve completed the previous workouts feeling strong I don’t think there’s a need for a decrease, especially if it was a poor test.
Depending on your level of confidence in doing so you may be able to manually increase your FTP based on your prior performances, or just keep the same number going forward and adjust the intensity as needed.

You can absolutely swap out the ramp for a 20min test if you prefer, or if you find it better represents your capabilities. :slight_smile:

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I can empathise - last year I went from 3.6wkg to 4wkg in a year, I’ve tested at 3.9wkg and the last test 3.7wkg :frowning:

As per the first reply, roll with it and if the workout feel easy nudge them up a little. FTP tests can be affected by other factors e.g. heat, stress, fatigue on the day so don’t be too despondent. Although my FTP lowered I’m working at the top end of my new zones, probably 103% of target workout watts “slightly uncomfortably” so I feel mine’s probably a little low but has genuinely lowered.

Also where are you in the program? For example I’ve recently ended 5 months of base and have added Z3 low cadence for muscular endurance so have little top end work under my belt which would be affecting my test, that could be a consideration for you?

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Very common, don’t worry just keep training.

May not even be a real decline.

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Its a well known thing that although ramp tests are good and efficient for 85% of people, for outliers (15%) they will either over report or under report. I am in the ramp test under reports category. Over winter I swapped out the ramp test for a 20mins test. If I get the pacing wrong for the 20mins test it’ll be circa 250w FTP, if I get the pacing right though it’ll be around 296w for 20mins (267-280w FTP). I switched back to ramp tests in the TT season (to save my legs for races), and with them I struggle to 250w FTP (in fact the last one was less than 230w IIRC. Ive been training to 250w though which seems to be consistently met or exceeded in TT’s or when I have ERG switched off, in fact my last 25miles (Mid May) was 292w (296wNP) for 57mins. So I am quite content to ignore the poor ramp test results but role on AT when hopefully any sort of test becomes redundant :wink:

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Did you end the ramp test at a similar HR to your other ramp test? If you threw in the towel a few beats lower than your usual drop off point then perhaps could write it off to a bad day, illness etc but if HR was where you would expect it to be during the final seconds of a ramp test then roll with it and take the new FTP. Its not a test its an assessment remember…

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No test is good or bad , it’s just what it is. Go with it and see where you are at in another 4 weeks.


Well just had the same experience after looping back to the ramp test. 10% down after good compliance in most workouts.

I wasn’t as fresh as planned (test planned for Monday, but getting dose 1 of the pfizer on Sunday), and a poor nights sleep, and just sucking at ramp tests.

I’ve split the difference - I’ll dial up the threshold and below I was completing them at expected RPE, and use the FTP as a starting point for VO2 max up (which I did struggle on last block).

Up to this, I’d been kinda basing it somewhat on my compliance - if I completed the block well, I’d nudge up and verify with Lamarck instead of doing a test.

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I’ve recently rejoined trainerroad after taking a break from it to use zwift and do some longer endurance and some outside rides as the weather gets better. Didn’t like not having a structured plan and found myself overdoing it when trying to program my own workouts so signed back up to trainerroad after having some decent results last year and the adaptive training looks awsome. Thinking I have decent base fitness coming off winter training mostly at low intensity so decided to do the mid volume general build then maybe a speciality phase following that. First ramp Test on trainerroad saw a decrease from my 20min power on zwift which I just accepted and started the build cycle. Workouts felt fine throughout with the intensity increased when feeling stronger. Have to admit I was expecting a slight increase in ftp after the first 4 weeks as I feel training, diet and lifestyle have been on point leading into the test.

I didn’t know this but thanks.

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In all honesty it was possible the highest heart rate I’ve ever seen.

So the first real workout since the ramp test was chimneys +2. 30 seconds high power before setting into 8 minutes at 95%. Decided to go at 105% which had the 8 minutes sat at old ftp. Felt challenging but doable and heart rate was right where I’d expect it to be.


Retesting tonight hoping for better results.
On a side note if do generally perform better on a 20min test what does this say about my fitness? I take it I’m better a sustained work and struggle with higher powers so how should I be addressing this weakness?

Retest went well. FTP increase by 10 Watts compared to the poor test a week ago and up 5 watts following the first 4 weeks of general build.
I needed this for my own piece of mind so now I can move on with the training.