Ramp Test => High FTP?

Hello,

This is my first day on TR. I searched the forum but couldn’t find the answer although I am sure it’s a common concern.

I did the ramp test and it yielded a ftp of 282W. I am not questioning the result (I used a Kickr and the power readings matched my crank-based powermeter) but I am a little concerned with the intensities of the workouts it will generate.

Right after the Ramp Test, I did the Collins +1 workout and I could barely do the 20s sprints: the last 10s were at 50rpm and struggling.

Tomorrow, I have Hunter -1 which is 3*20 minutes at Swet Spot (88-92% FTP and I seriously doubt I can finish even the first one.

My issue is this: my “trainer FTP” from the ramp test matches my “road FTP” but based on past experience is probably 30-40W higher than my real “trainer FTP” (using British Cycling 30-minute FTP Test protocol).

Is that common? If you are in my case, how do you deal with it? Do you correct your FTP manually? Will the software adapt automatically if I can’t complete a workout?

Thanks in advance for any feedback and advice!

SInce you’re new to TR, go with it and stay in the moment, one interval at a time, staying on pwr target.
Some of us struggle with VO2 max workouts but can push through SS and Over Under. For others, it’s the reverse and they struggle on long steady efforts.
It means we’re addressing a weakness to some extent.

Make sure you have enough air flow, music, hydration & fueled right,… Recent podcast went through the list.

TR allows you to drop the % during a workout or just before. If you find you always reduce by x %, you might as well manually adjust your FTP value accordingly and not tweak every workout.

After a a few years of doing 20min and 8min FTP test on TR but not doing them often enough, I found that Ramp test is preferable because I’m ok to do it more often as one recovers quickly from the 4-5min of pain of a ramp.

You’re new to TR but are you new to structured training? Hunter-1 is part of SS HV and that’s a tough plan to begin with.

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Thanks!

I am new to TR but I have experience with structured training. I had a 10-year hiatus but making a comeback of sort and have been riding regularly for the past six months.

Based on ramp test results you SHOULD be able to complete them. That’s not to say they will be easy. But they wouldn’t prescribe it if it wasn’t possible. Keep at it.

It’s well known that some cyclists can “borrow” from their higher-end VO2 max and anaerobic zones to complete a FTP test, while others will have to use aerobic power more purely. This is determined by genetics, your prior training patterns, how “fresh” you are, and probably a bunch of other things I don’t know about.

Those in the first camp will get ever-more inflated FTP values the shorter the test protocol; those in the second camp will get more accurate values. It’s a gradient across the human population and short of conducting the test under laboratory monitoring, you won’t know where you fall.

You’ll probably have to experiment some to find the approach that gives you an FTP that best approximates reality. I wouldn’t read anything into your number from the results of a 20-sec burst, but the SS intervals in Hunter will be revealing. Don’t assume you can’t do them… just try your best. Often, the first interval is actually the hardest one, then you just pick off the rest one at a time.

Personally, I don’t get all the consternation about longer FTP protocols. Shorter is nice, but I’ve used 20-mins a lot in the past and the recovery is not that big of a deal. They’re intimidating to think about all day, then you get going and get 'er done (TR has a 20-min test – search the Workout Library).

I’m dubious of my own ramp test results and will be trying Kolie Moore’s approach the next go-round. It requires you to have a decent guess at what your real FTP might be, and the ramp test and subsequent workout results will help you hone in on what that might be. Moore’s approach helps cut out the anaerobic contributions and give a closer number. See here:

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Most would have a really tough time with doing any sprint/hard effort type workout after a ramp test, if done properly. I would lay off any hard efforts post ramp test and do endurance if you feel the need to get some more TSS in. You may have fatigued yourself too much for your next workout, see how you feel and if you can’t make the power, you’ll need to adjust the workout. TR plans are heavy sweet spot based and take some time to get used to… I failed at it until I went to the low volume plan. The ramp FTP test can over estimate your fitness. If your FTP seems way to high for the workouts gradually raise it until you get used to the structured workouts.

I do not think that you should expect to see a 30-40 watt or ~15% difference between your FTP inside and outside.

This said, maybe you have not done enough sprints lately and you don’t have that energy system developed at all. I wouldn’t let my lack of sprint ability which is heavily anaerobic compromise my confidence in my ability to hammer out some SS which is heavily aerobic. That said 3x20 SS is going to be challenging, but you might as well give it a shot and see what happens. If you’re struggling try to scrub just a few percent at a time off of your target FTP.

It is quite common to land at an ftp too high, if you search for ‘overtest ftp’, you’ll get a good few hits. Here is a fairly recent active thread: Harsh Reality - You OVER test on FTPs (support group)

However, the TR workouts are scaled to the TR test protocol, so they should be ok to complete for the majority of users.

Oh, and the program won’t automatically adjust your ftp, you’ll have to do that manually. Or just drop the intensity of a workout.

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Looking at the plans I’m thinking you’ve chosen to jump right in and start with SSB High Vol 2. Whilst you’re used to structured training, you’ve kinda set yourself up to fail. Not an easy plan, even for seasoned indoor users.

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Ramp test overestimated for me too. I did a ramp test and then a few days later rode for an hour at what I could sustain and it was about 4 or 5% lower than the ramp FTP. I know this is a bit crude and you may say that if I could ride for say 40 minutes at TR ramp FTP then that is accurate enough.
Anyway, I adjust down and see how the sessions go. As has been said many many times there is nothing quite so demoralising as constantly failing or knocking down intensity.

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Great post.

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I’ve only done a few ramp tests, but I think I’m an “under-tester” unless I’ve done a bit of v02 work. I tested at 285 last year after some base work, then 305 once I did a block of build. In reality, my FTP was probably higher than 285 after base, but it’s really hard for me to do the ramp test intensity if I haven’t been doing any v02 work. I think this is a mix of mental and physical.

This year, I tested at 303 after SSBHV1. I was feeling really strong after completing SSBHV2 and was expecting like 310ish, but ramp test was only 294 (drop of almost 10 watts). I know I had gained fitness, but again struggled to put out the big intensity for the ramp test. I just completed a build block w/V02 and I’m hoping for a decent jump with a ramp test later this week. I know I’m faster and fitter than I was last year when I tested at 305, but I’m curious to see if the ramp test reflects that.

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A quibble, but FTP was scaled from the ramp test to fit the workouts, which were prescribed based off of the original 8/20 min tests. IIRC the orginal percentage was 78% of best 1 min power

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Why are you doing Collins right after a ramp and Hunter the day after? My guess is you do not have the muscular endurance to complete these more difficult trainer workouts. It takes some time to condition to the constant pressure a trainer requires.

You should create and follow a prescribed plan.

Thanks for the feedback. I somehow managed the Hunter-1 workout although my HR for the last 20 was more in line with my LT HR than my SS HR. I’ll see how I recover and manage the next Sweet Spot workouts this week and next.
I’ll be ready to switch to SSB High Vol 1 is I don’t recover well.

Assuming I manage the next two weeks of SSB, the next hurdle will be VO2Max intervals in what I think is a build phase. I have never managed this kind of power for five minutes on a trainer (but have on the road) so we’ll see how that goes.

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I am following a prescribed plan: SSB High Vol 2.

I did change the week structure from:

  • Hard-Easy-Hard-Medium-Hard-Easy-Rest
    to:
  • Hard-Hard-Easy-Medium-Hard-Easy-Rest

Because historically I do better and recover better over the week with two harder days in a row rather than every other day.

This said, that prescribed plan might be too hard for me as @stevepetts372 suggested and I might switch later this week or next week to SSB High Vol 1 (or another suggestion you might have).

The SSBI plans typically give you the ability to adapt to the training requirements for SSBII. My recommendation is to dial it back a little and move it back to hard easy hard medium, etc. using the day after to recover will help you better complete the next hard workout.

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Follow-up: To my surprise, I did manage the Hunter-1 workout. It was hard and I’ll see how I recover from it and adjust from there.

One thing that I realized, though, is that I recently put my “summer bike” (more recent, cleaner, and that has never seen the rain and grimy roads) on the trainer as the rainy season started where I live. And maybe the better drivetrain efficiency accounts for parts of the jump in “trainer FTP”.

Thanks!

Oh, man. That’s Gold! :smiley:

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