New to TR and Dialing in FTP

This is obviously a me problem, but would be interested in other people’s experiences. I am in my second month using TR and technically very happy so far.
Coming off a high volume road season I started with a ramp test (second one ever) on the indoor trainer that gave me a FTP of 255W. Wanting to be conservative and previously having a “bad” experience with a Zwift program that bashed me up I went with a FTP of 250W, also I generally having a lower FTP indoors compared to outdoors. I assumed progression levels would sort power targets.
I did the first 5 weeks of rolling road race but have decided it was not targeting what I wanted so moved to 40km TT.
Between programs I did an auto FTP detection which came in at only 254W which seemed low to me. I did a manual raise to 260W and as I am still getting progression level increases I assume I am still on the lower side of my true FTP?
How long does it normally take for the software to catch up with my actual fitness level? Or should I have just started out with a few weeks off various workouts to feed in a better overview of my strengths, weaknesses and overall fitness levels?

Ai detection has always been pretty bang on for me, as far as I can tell. As long as I answer the workout surveys consistently and accurately, I find that adaptive training dials things in within a couple weeks. I’d leave your FTP for awhile, and let adaptive training do it’s thing.

Are you using plan builder or did you jump right into specialty phase plans?

I have been answering the post workout survey as accurately as possible, as I already have a what I feel is a good base level of fitness and I am looking to increase my FTP I went for Rolling Road race high volume, but have just changed to 40k TT high volume plan as I am thinking it will suit my style of riding better.

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this, it doesn’t really matter if you get your FTP right, as long as it is in the ballpark (+/-10-15%) if you answer the post workout surveys adaptive training will have you serving the right level workouts in a few workouts


Just tagging @ZackeryWeimer from support to have a look since 1) you seem to have started with specialty phase which seems odd and 2) you pick high volume which is only prescribed very cautiously.


You have second guessed both of the FTPs that TR has given you so far, each one in a different direction and each one by a different amount.

Is that something you intend to keep doing?

What would have to happen for you to trust the number TR comes up with?


No opinion on your questions, but I commend you for realizing that FTP should be rounded to the nearest 5 W. I have to LOL when folks post theirs to the nearest 1 W, or even worse, to the nearest 0.1 W.


i prefer rounding up to 300, personally lol


Why is starting with specialty phase odd? I already have a solid base averaging between 250-300km a week on the road since October last year. It would seem odd to me to go back to a build phase at the moment.

Specialty is useful for sure, but if (as I assume) your season is done then base/build will prep you to push your FTP higher over the off-season.

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My goal is to increase my FTP over the winter (Australia) Most of my outdoor efforts-races tend towards Time trial Zones.

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Do you know what FTP feels like?

This is the best test IMO. It takes me 45 minutes and I really know what I can do for a longer stretch.

Either do a real test once a month or just follow the AI’s suggestions to the letter. I’d vote for a real test, especially to start off with. Constantly guessing it fraught with errors IMO.

The full sentence. [quote=“Portzal, post:1, topic:83936”]
I did a manual raise to 260W and as I am still getting progression level increases I assume I am still on the lower side of my true FTP?

Fairly certain I covered the reason for this clearly in the OP.

If you build your plan with plan builder I don’t think it would start with specialty right away. If you did it on purpose, so be it. Usually specialty is used as “sharpening the blade” and then tapering towards specific event. But I’ll leave the rest to TR support to comment and give you advice.

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In that case I’d recommend using plan builder to create a 40k TT plan and just following what it tells you — that’s led to the best results for me. Make sure you’ve got the volume right, too! If you’re too high it gets brütal.


Maybe someone else knows the answer to that one.

Another thing that jumps out to me is that there really isn’t a huge difference between 250, 254, and 260 watts. You are splitting hairs here. Your ftp could easily be 260 on a day when you are fresh and 250 when you are a little tired.

I think you should either follow TR’s complete game plan or manually test your FTP once a month but stopping guessing and changing it by 5 watts here and there.

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To be fair I am not guessing as I have a solid base that I started from and feel that my fitness level has actually decreased over the last 5 weeks just following the plan.
I am just trying to set a baseline and will happily leave it up to the software once I feel I am progressing.

I read that you had judged the test results to be wrong by 1.9% (too high) and 2.6% (too low) for your own purposes based on feel.

As an experienced cyclist, your feel might be pretty close to bang on perfect. But it might not, hence my questions.

“Is that something you intend to keep doing?” Do you feel that you can consistently assess your own FTP a couple of percent better than TR’s test / AI? Do you think that doing so makes a significant improvement to the outcome of the subsequent training block?

“What would have to happen for you to trust the number TR comes up with?” Is there even anything that would cause you to accept the number that the TR test protocol / AI spits out? There is certainly an element of learning how to do the FTP test and the two tests that you have now done probably isn’t sufficient to have got that nailed just yet.

I think it is sensible to want to start a TR plan from as accurate an assessment of FTP (as TR uses it) as possible, but expecting any one measure of it on any particular day to be accurate to the nth degree is flawed. There are loads of things that can affect it by a small percentage, some of which can’t be controlled for in the typical domestic setting.

As others have said, a TR custom plan - built with an appropriate TT event in mind - is very likely to see you set up very well for that event. It will not, I suggest, deliver a linear increase in FTP from the day you start it to the day of the event.

However you choose to use TR, enjoy every ride.


Hey there!

It sounds like you have some experience with training up to this point and you’ve got a good idea of where your FTP is.

AI FTP Detection will work off of your personal biometrics and your training history, which includes your historical FTP data as entered into TrainerRoad. If you think 254W may be a little low, it’s likely because you manually entered your last FTP entry a bit lower than what you got from your Ramp Test.

We’d advise trusting the Ramp Test results (or now, in this case, AI FTP Detection’s results) so you can get consistent and accurate FTP predictions over time.

Once you have your FTP established, Adaptive Training will get you dialed into the right workouts for your current fitness levels. As you work through your training plan and complete your post-workout surveys, AT will propose adaptations to your plan that will give you appropriately challenging workouts.

No need for several weeks with varied workouts to set your levels – you can jump right into a training plan and AT will take care of the rest for you. :smiley:

On the topic of the High Volume plan, we’d recommend being extra mindful with how you deal with the training stress. We’re working on renaming/restructuring our plans as their names can be misleading. While High Volume does have the longest workouts and a higher training frequency, HV plans feature a lot of TSS from structured work that can be difficult to handle unless you’re experienced enough to know how to manage all of that stress.

If you’re still looking to get in some extra riding, though, we’d advise going with a Low or Mid Volume plan and tacking some extra low-intensity riding on top of that. Again, checking in with yourself regarding how any extra volume affects your overall plan is key here. If “bonus miles” start to negatively impact your recovery, it could be worth backing off a bit.

The following article has some good tips on adding additional volume to your training plan:

Hope this helps! Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.