Newbie and 1st Ramp test

Hello all! New to Trainerroad. Just got my Wahoo Kickr last week and purchased my annual Trainerroad membership over the weekend.
Little back ground on myself. Just started cycling in 2018. Just recently did my 1st couple of crit races a few weeks ago. I did a Masters 3-4-5 in which I placed 3rd overall and won the field sprint for 3rd, then 45mins later I did a Cat 5 and also won the field sprint for 1st place.
So did my 1st ramp test a few days ago and really didn’t know what to expect. I am sure everybody feels this way but if you would have asked me if my FTP is higher than 234, I would have bet the house higher :slight. I have read most think it’s higher than it is LOL. Count me in that group. I am 165lbs by the way. Didn’t do the test under ideal circumstances. I think on a good day I could be closer to 250 but we’ll see.
So now that I have 1 ramp test under my belt it really sheds alot of light on the type of rider I think I am. I have never done structured training. Up until now 95% of my riding is done outside. That will change this off season now that I have a trainer.
So with my athletic history I am an explosive athlete, so I have good nueromuscular, anaerobic power, but my sweet spot threshold power needs some work. Which makes sense because looking back I don’t really or have never really trained this.
Funny thing is with my performances in Group rides this year and the 2 races I have done I would have thought my FTP would have been better. Ride in A groups and am always at the pointy end. Very Rarely ever get out sprinted. But as I look back on the KOM’s I have attained this year they are all between 30 secs to 3mins long. This would make sense because it align’s with my strengths.

Sorry to ramble, this was more of a self evaluation and introduction and now I know what I need to work on this off season. Lots of Sweet Spot!!!
Any thoughts is always greatly appreciated. Thanks all, glad to be part of the communty and God Bless!

Such as? I don’t think you can gather much from a single ramp test other than the resulting estimated FTP. Even if it is 250W, at 75kg that is only 3.33w/kg. Potentially, you have a lot of room for improvement.

Maybe you really are a sprinter, but “everyone thinks they’re a sprinter” :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: until they move up the categories and meet the real sprinters.

Pick a plan, get to work, and realize your potential. This TR forum is a plethora of good information, people aren’t bad either :joy:

Welcome aboard @UNCLEPAULIE

FTP is purely a metric to set your training zones. It will vary day to day altered by all sorts of factors. Much better defining how good/strong you are/feel by actually riding your bike for real in those races and group rides.

After you hang out in here for a while you’ll pick up all sorts of knowledge to help make you faster, not just raise your FTP.

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Oh yes I by no means was trying to compare myself to others really. Like I said it was more of a self evaluation. I used to race motorcycles and I am very aware there is always faster and another level(s). I am sure there will be plenty of sprinters that will suck my helmet off.
I just meant for me, the low FTP makes sense as it would appear to be a weak spot for me relatively speaking.

Thanks SeeEI, Glad to be aboard and learn a lot!!

A few things to consider:

  1. Indoor power is often lower than outdoor power. Probably the most significant factor is heat management - a good fan can significantly improve your indoor FTP.
  2. If you are new to indoor training, you need to be aware of how ERG mode works. Basically the trainer applies more or less resistance depending on your cadence, to keep power output stable. If you let your cadence drop, the trainer applies more resistance, leading to a lower cadence, etc known as the “spiral of death”. Especially for the ramp test where resistance is increasing every minute, it is important to keep on top of the cadence.
  3. The ramp test is very sensitive to your performance in the final 60 seconds of the test. If you can hold on for even 10-15 seconds of the final increase in resistance, it will result in a higher FTP result. If you are at your limit, and know you can’t hold on for a full minute when the resistance increases, you can often mentally bargain with yourself to hold on for an extra 10-15 seconds.

If given your experience and knowledge from the first test, you feel you might be able to hold on longer, then go ahead and retest.

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Give a 20 minute test a go. The few times I’ve backed up a ramp test with a 20 minute test the next day I’ve always got 10-15w higher. I don’t know why it’s lower. I pedal until i can’t anymore. I seem to be happier pacing myself for 20 minutes.

It’s weird because my power profile shows I usually have a strong 5 minute power.

Definitely sounds like you’re packing some decent anaerobic/sprint power for the level you’re currently riding at, plus have the handling/timing/positioning to use it well.

Interesting that you’ve been doing A group riding with no problems staying near the front. How big are the groups you’re riding with? Are there many hills? Are you doing many long pulls on the front? What level are the other guys in that group - cat 3, cat 2, higher? If that FTP is accurate and you’re at 3.1W/kg then that is enough to hang with large, strong groups on the flat where you get a lot of draft. But if you were riding with significantly stronger guys (>4W/kg) then I would expect you to struggle in smaller groups or on hills. If you’re hanging with 4W/kg guys on longer climbs then either you just didn’t test very well or they’re sandbagging :wink:

To pick up discrepancies between outdoor and indoor power you’d need a PM which I’m guessing you don’t have. For the purposes of doing structured indoor training to get stronger though, it doesn’t really matter too much. 234W is a starting point, start a plan using that and if the workouts are too easy then bump it up a bit manually or retest.

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Couple things of note!
First I have no experience on the trainer and the ramp test was only the 2nd time I had used it as I just got it a few days ago. I have heard about this spiral of death. Wasnt sure what gear to be doing the test in but did do ERG mode like recommended. Might have used a higher cadence for sure. When I started I felt like 140 watts was harder than it should’ve been but again I have no previous experience to base this off of.
I did not do it an ideal conditions and situation. Aside from it being a terribly stressful day, I did it in the garage (with door open) but no fan. I got a little sweaty to say the least LOL! Also I do have a power meter on my bike so I used that power source.

As to the Group ride stuff we have many options of groups. Some rides are 50 + deep and some are a group of 3-7 guys. Just depends on the day and time you join and which group. So I have ridden with large and small. A guys I ride with seem to be mostly CAT3 with some Cat 2’s sprinkled in and some Cat 4’s as Well.
Usually take my Pulls at the front, probably more so with the smaller groups as it’s more structured with pace line stuff.
Our area is rolling hills. Lots of short punchy climbs. Our longest climbs around here probably aren’t much more than 5-7 minutes. Tons of stuff 3 mins and below.
I do very well with the 3 minutes and below stuff.