New TR feature - FTP estimate - thoughts

I still don’t get why the TR crew makes it seems like long FTP tests are impossible to get right. You just ride as hard as you can for 40+ mins, might not be your absolute highest PR FTP estimate but it will give you a really good indicator of where to set your training zones, especially things like SS and over unders.

You probably aren’t getting your highest result possible on a given day doing a ramp test either.

As others have pointed out, max efforts are needed to assess fitness, and they actually shouldn’t be that hard to do every few weeks. If they are, then maybe you’re training too much and lacking in recovery

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Definitely not impossible to do long threshold efforts. Just not needed to effectively set training zones.

I do think they would be a more worthwhile exercise than regular ramp testing for most people, but people need to not stress about the number not matching what they think is their FTP.

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Unless you know your FTP reasonably accurately then this is pretty hard to do while keeping your power consistent. Basically you need to have a good idea beforehand.

Max effort equating to fitness? Not in my world! Being able to ride just below LT1 for 16hrs a day for multiple days in a row is what I’m after. Being able to push 1000, 1200, 1500W for fifteen seconds is of no use to me.

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It’s a chicken and egg problem. But with PLs you can get an idea.

Funny anecdote here: I am at end of a block and decided to do a ~50 min threshold effort as my last big workout. I wasn’t super well rested but decided to go out at a ramping pace using a custom Erg workout that would end averaging at my current FTP input. Training has been going well with threshold efforts, so figured I’d send it earlyand assess midway.

I ended up dropping my power targets big after 20 min and after a few min slowly building it back up. I ended up 6% below my FTP input for the effort. Out of curiosity, I made a custom workout to match my actual power profile, and it spit out a workout level of 5.8. My current threshold progression level is 5.9. That kinda blew my mind.

Anyways, I’m gonna take an easy week and try that 50 min again. Regardless, I am confident if I dropped my FTP input, kept it, or raised it, I’d get productive workouts. M

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Sure, you need to have a ballpark, but after your first ramp test or training block you should have a pretty good idea. Power doesn’t need to stay that consistent if you aren’t after your absolute highest number possible. If you listen to your body, don’t jump out of the gate with an absurdly high number, you settle in and work your way through up/down to a sustainable power combined with feel and HR. Then when you are doing intervals later you get a pretty good guage of how those should feel

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Max efforts can be of any duration to assess your fitness for your goals. Trying to guess fitness based on only submax efforts seems less than ideal

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That’s sums up my thoughts better. If people decouple the idea of long assessments are representative of their FTP, then they will be less likely to fear them. But people have no problem saying a ramp test ftp is also not representative of their FTP but just used for training.

I’m a little confused here - a long threshold effort is a better measure of FTP than anything else. There is no “ramp test ftp”. There is a guess at FTP from a ramp test. But the “Functional” part of FTP is the key word. It’s what you actually do when you ride for a sustained effort, not what you think you can or should do.

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We are in agreement, but if people aren’t doing long threshold assessments and relying only ramp tests to determine their ftp estimates and then referring to it as their ftp, you end up with a commonly used term “ramp test ftp”

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Ah…gotcha.

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Literally TR has never said or implied this.

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I’m one of the 30-40% that enjoy ramp tests, but one of Nate’s comments sounded really good to me: If they can get a “good enough” FTP estimation without a ramp test every 6 weeks or so, then that Ramp Test can be replaced with a more productive interval session.

I’m curently on a LV triathlon plan with two TR rides a week, and looking at my calendar if I change all the Ramp Tests for workouts then it’s almost 10% more workouts from now until the start of Speciality, with no real increase in time (OK ramp tests are a bit shorter, but it’s still the same prep and cleanup)

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Read this very short Zwift article on 20-min vs ramp testing:

I think it’s pretty fair and balanced.

Now read this TR Ramp Test FAQ:

Personally I glean a lot from a slightly under or over paced 20-minute test. :man_shrugging:

Here is snippet from a Jonathan Lee blog post dated May 14, 2021:

Compared to the balanced Zwift article, the TR blog and support articles are actively selling the ramp test by contrasting against poorly paced 20-minute efforts. What TR states is very true for someone new to training and NO experience doing longer efforts near threshold. But what if you spent the first 6 months of cycling doing weekly drop rides where you were riding around threshold and increased “got dropped” time from 15- minutes out to 40-minutes? Would someone like that have a good idea about pacing long efforts?

I understand what @redlude97 is saying, and agree from an impression point-of-view. Can’t recall discussions about it on the podcast, and am simply basing my impressions on some of TR’s blog and support materials (I could post more, but the two above are enough).

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@windwarrior sums it up well. Not going to argue semantics here, if you got a different impression from the latest TR podcast, but what percentage of TR users do you think test use the 20 min tests, let alone a 40-70 min test?

Doing very similarly structured Sweetspot or Threshold workouts all the time is plenty good enough for this. Which is how most plans are laid out.

Personally - I rarely test as I find I can estimate my FTP to within a small handful of watts just from feel. I don’t usually test unless I want the ego boost from a nice big raise.

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Same here, I rarely test. However my sister is about to restart her TR subscription and training plan. She doesn’t know how to pace longer efforts, and doesn’t use a HRM in order to estimate from power/HR data. Ideal use case for periodic ramp testing and I’ll be encouraging her to use the ramp test per the TR plan.

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And sorry I should also say - I’ve been swapping the ramp test out for a workout for ages so this feature is welcome.

I also race/do TTTs on Zwift quite a bit which gives you a pretty good fix on your FTP.

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I would be interested in how we progress in PLs correlate to the next ramp test and result in an increase in FTP. TR has so much data…would be fun to get access to play with it.

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Maybe I’ve misunderstood, but aren’t heart zones based off a maximum, whether that be max h/r or max threshold h/r. Isn’t an FTP test giving you a max effort for that duration of time, that day to day training will be based on?

There are strength training protocols that are based on a % of your 1 rep max. Wender 531 is the one that pops into my head first but it isn’t the only one.

Any number of reps over 1 is not training max. Nearly every protocol you end up working at some percent of max for multiple reps, not max.

Just like calculations to figure out “FTP” from 8, 20 min, or ramp (or whatever else) tests there are even calculators to predict your 1 rep max from your 10, 5, 3, whatever rep weights.

As someone else just noted heartrate is often calculated, even “testing” it is usually going to be depending on your body that one day, yet we all look at our heart rate and compare our efforts etc.

Even running and swimming you are essentially working at some % of your “max” . This is not a cycing specific way to determine workload. YEs your outside racing pace and your inside training “ftp” might be different but I don’t think AT is necessarily trying to determine that those numbers are any different if you enter your outside race threshold number as your training number you might struggle or fail a few workouts and it will just change the workouts it provides but not necessarily the fake number we are all get obsessed with

Training to a percent of max is very common, training to max is not.

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