Ramp Test Anxiety?

Had the same issue last year, coming up on my ramp test Tuesday and am getting all worked up. I actually had to re-do one of my ramp tests last year because I got way too anxious beforehand and had elevated HR for the entire test leading me to crack early. This is going to be year 2 for TR and I’m doing the mid volume plan instead of the low volume, but already getting kind of weird about Tuesday, I guess the pressure of wanting to hit a certain number is getting to me.

I did 325w for 20 minutes outdoors just a month or so ago which would put me at 309. My FTP in TR is set to 290 since that was the last ramp test I did but that was back in March so the workouts do feel easy at this point. I’m hoping to land right over the 300 mark so I can feel good, but also so the workouts are not too hard. I think my biggest worry is I have ridden more flat this year as far as power so I’m worried I’ll crack too early on the ramp test since it calls for a higher % of current FTP to get to where I want to be.

Any advice? How do you calm your nerves before a ramp test?

Lots of caffeine and pumping tunes :wink:

More seriously. The want or need to hit a number is ego driven. Ego has no place in my pain cave. That room is about the process and truth.

Step 1) stop giving a (redacted) about the absolutes number.


FTP = Feel Threshold Power :wink:
You said the workouts start to feel easy, that means you could up your FTP number. If they then feel WAY too hard for the type of workout, then you’ve upped it too much…

I’m pretty sure one can successfully complete a TR training program without ever taking a ramp test… I know I could, just based on feel… FTP is just a scaling factor that we’ve somehow attached bragging rights to :wink:

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I guess there is some ego there, not because I want to brag, but I would feel kind of crappy if I did 309 on a 20 minute test not long ago, but did say 15-20w lower on the ramp. For me its mostly about proving stuff to myself, but I know i should really just do the ramp and follow what that says.

  1. did you do a 20 minute test or did you ride for 20m with an average power of 325. There is a difference of course.

  2. indoor power does not equal outdoor power for all riders. It is appropriate to test both separately and treat both separately if you are a rider this holds true for.

Alternatively you can just set your FTP to 309 and do something appropriately hard…say 2x20 at 100% and see how it goes.


I rode super hard for 20 minuntes, but probably not all out, since I did another hour after that at a strong power as well. I was happy to finally break through the 300 barrier, but I guess I shouldn’t take those numbers too seriously. Here is the ride

You need to estimate your FTP indoors – in order to scale your workouts. You need also to do a test, rather than just a ride.

These mean that it has to be on a trainer, under conditions similar to those that you will be training at. They also mean that the test has to be repeatable. And the test has to be a test – ie, something that has you drained at the end.

If you feel so anxious, then you won’t do a good test, and you won’t test often enough. So, either:
[a] Do an 8 or 20 minute test. If 20 minutes, then start at ~ 325 and then work up from that if you can; If 8 minutes, start at 340 and then work up from that if you can.
[b] Adjust your FSTP manually, as maamen suggests. If the threshold workouts no longer feel like threshold, raise your FTP by 1-2% and see how it goes. If the next hard workouts are still relatively easy, raise it again, until you get to the point when hard workouts are just do-able [you could perhaps just keep going for another few minutes.

No point doing something that you are mentally ill-equipped for.

I don’t stress about Ramp Tests because to me, they’re more about confirmation than affirmation.

Unless I’m coming from a long cycling drought, I pretty much know my FTP going into a ramp test based on the performance of the previous 2 weeks’ rides.

I also know how my body performs in a ramp test. Contrary to the workout text (and perhaps what is normal for most people), for me the real work happens from the gun up until I reach FTP, i.e. the “easy part”. This is where I must really concentrate on maintaining high cadence and breathing, as to make sure all of my easy efforts are strictly aerobic. I have high anaerobic stores, so as long as I make it up past FTP without digging into them, I know I can gut it out for the last few minutes even as RPM begins to decrease.

I’m also keen as to not overperforming on an FTP test due to low RPE that day. Done that before on got obliterated both physically and psychologically on the following workouts. RPE should be “normal” on test day.


I do quite like the ramp test, because its the only workout where you’re allowed to quit at some point! :smile:

But if it stresses you out, just don’t do it. You likely have enough of an idea how the workouts should feel by now to just set it manually.


I have been ramping down intensity in the last two weeks going from an average of TSS in the 500-800 per week range while outside, to 325 two weeks ago, and 250 last week. Thought process has been to spin out some of the fatigue from the riding season where I logged a lot of intense rides, and 8 centuries this year ranging from 1000ft to 7600ft of elevation gain. My calendar is here

Definitely getting some real anxiety about tomorrow’s test. The last few minutes are so incredibly uncomfortable, and my lungs are working so hard, and the desire to stop is so strong, I’m thinking strongly about just skipping it. Just set my FTP up the expected 2% and maybe do 2x20 at the new FTP – if I can finish it, call it good.

Going to do ramp test tomorrow also. Revisited last rap test 6 weeks ago just so see how many steps I’ve made before cracking so I can do at lest the same or better tomorrow but there’s no anxiety once there’s nothing more at stake than simply recalculate the future FTP.

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Presumably you are nervous about the ramp test because you assign a great deal of value to the outcome of the ramp test

It has helped me enormously to minimize how much of my cycling self-worth is derived from my FTP. Probably won’t help you with this test this week, but in the long run if you can start moving towards deriving value from a broader sense of your fitness the ramp test becomes far less important.

The outcome of the ramp test is, in my opinion, only the metric you use to train. It doesn’t determine how successful you will be in your events. It sets your training difficulty. If you ‘fail’ to properly test it doesn’t matter. You can adjust the subsequent workouts until you get the appropriate difficulty

The ramp test isn’t who you are, it’s just the start of your training. Don’t stress about it


Only if you did the 5 minute VO2Max all out effort before the 20 minutes :wink:, no 5 minute effort and it is typically 90 - 92% 20 minute power.

Anyway, if you have done a VO2 Block the ramp test should be easy, if not you might get a lower number than you would like but seriously it doesn’t matter its just a stick in the sand. I know it is easier said than done but there really is nothing to be anxious about.

PS Wish I could do 325 watts for 20 minutes,


Its just because the FTP determines the intensity of the training in the 20 weeks to come. Granted, there will be a re-test in 6 weeks but I just need to take some emphasis off the ramp test and just do it. I don’t want a low result because it would be mentally defeating, but I also don’t want it too high because it will become physically defeating as well.

We’ll see what happens, thanks for the feedback.

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Don’t be afraid to adjust your FTP before your next test. Particularly if you’ve been off the bike for a while it is feasible or even likely that your FTP will increase before the next scheduled test. Being able and willing to adjust upward (or downward) takes even more emphasis off of the test.

i freely change my FTP based on how I do on key workouts - making small changes is not the end of the world

Not really. YOU are the determinant. The result of the ramp test is merely a snapshot of a particular 20+ minutes.

What if you were super hung-over?
Or testing in a fasted state?
Or had crazy anxiety?
Or were juiced up on PEDs?
Or had no sleep?

You’ll get varying answers depending on what you are when you test. That’s kind of the reasoning behind attempting to ensure every test condition is the same (fuel, equipment, time of day, et al).

Ramp test will give an approximation of your optimum FTP, it’s up to you to adjust it accordingly, or not at all. It’s not carved in stone & sent down from the heavens by Coach Chad.

Beyond that…it’s just bike ridin’, man. It’s supposed to be fun, not stressful!



I get anxious that my TR estimated ftp is going to go up!

Workouts were hard, now they are going to get a whole load harder! :worried::anguished:


Cleanneon98 I got you. I have been there several times now, the ramp test makes you go to a an uncomfortable place very quickly. I have pulled out too early twice based on rpe factors like life and stress etc. It is was it is and the best place to tell if you have the correct FTP is in the VO2max workouts. To high and you won’t do them properly and too low will make it to easy.
Going to do the ramp test today I am not sure where it will be but looking forward to the process of getting faster…

If you are only testing every 20 weeks you’re 1) not following the plan, 2) likely have an incorrect FTP setting, and therefore wrong training zones for a large amount of those 20 weeks.