Ramp test or not test

Completed SSB Mid 1 & 2, then short build 3 weeks with good progress. During recovery week I had a cold and felt fatigued to the point I took 4 days off the bike.

I am due to do a ramp test on Tuesday but feeling that it would be better to just see if I can complete the next 3 weeks with the current FTP rather than pushing myself back over the edge on the ramp test (last test I hit my max HR). Then maybe bump up if I start to feel that I am finding the sessions easier!

Thoughts, please and thank you!

Why not do the test so you know the result but keep your current FTP for training?
FTP might not have gone up anyway, it would be good to know.

You could also use a number between the new test result and old if that looks like it makes sense.



I would do the test, If your HR looks way off what you expect, likely you may not be over the affects of the Cold. Was it good old man flu :-).

If the HR is off what you expect you know you may need to take it easier for another few days.

Just a vague feeling like crap rather than the dreaded man flu fortunately. Felt OK yesterday but probably went a bit hard as my legs were fresh and felt more tired than I should have done afterwards. I’ll see how I go and keep an eye on my HR, I hit max last time so went for it

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I am still fighting FTP tests. For some reason, I just cannot push myself beyond my FTP though trainings are easy. After FTP test (which says its same or a bit less), I can easily do trainings after that +3%.

So for myself, I have decided just do increase hard trainings (threshold, over/unders) 2-4%, and if I can sustain that 2-3 trainings in a row, I manually increase FTP.

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I had a cold over the winter - my first in over six years(!) - I pushed back the plan a week using the options in the calendar to do so. I then felt that the workouts in my first week “back” would be too much so I pushed the plan out another week and filled my comeback week with some shorter and easier workouts to ease me back into things. Just have a look through the workout library and pick what you like the look of - a bit like being in an old-fashioned sweet shop!

As for what value of FTP to use, I find that over-under style workouts are a good indicator: you should feel that you can’t do any more by the end of the overs but then you should have recovered sufficiently about halfway through the unders that you feel you can do another over. So if you get to the end of the unders and you haven’t recovered then your FTP is too high. Conversely if you get to the end of the overs and you feel like you can carry on then it’s too low.

The Ramp Test may be a bit much whilst recovering from a cold.

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Thanks, my thoughts too. I pushed everything out a week but didn’t ride until Friday so may have to push back a bit more.

I like under overs and short shorts as Chad calls them.

Short build MV part 2 is tough so may do as you say and do a gradual build of nice things for this week and include a few nasties to see if the HR is going up nicelt or staying static

Maybe try different test protocols to find one you can achieve the right amount of workload that shows your true FTP.

I have been doing a 20 minute hill climb to assess FTP in the past but have also done ramp tests before so have the mindset to get them done. If you are gaining by gradual bumps guided by feel then you can stick with that too. If it ain’t broke!

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Yeah, thanks. I think it’s partly mental (I get “scared” or “anxious” after 19m30s that I cannot “hold on” though my legs are still moving and my HR is not maxed out, but it feels extremely tough) and partly it is that I have only done base and build, so mostly working on the fundament and not on the “top” (like short power build). So it feels that a ramp test does not reflect what I am training for: I train for long hours in the session in zone 2/3, not for TT or sprints.

There is another mental aspect I think is important that is not often discussed here (correct me if I am wrong). When doing intervals (over unders, VO2), it’s “only” 2 or 3 minutes. So you can basically countdown, there is an “end”. Whereas in a ramp, you can keep going on and you yourself are the limiting factor. That makes it more difficult for me to stretch it.

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I agree it is a very mental battle especially if you are testing at home on your own.

I have completed tests at a studio in a group which really helps as 1. You don’t want to be the first to stop 2. those that stop before you cheer you on 3. You push yourself to stay with the the stronger guys as long as possible.

Not sure where you are, but can you try and do one of the new group sessions because of the points above. I’m in Western Australia so not so many choices for the groups.

I do feel that if you nail one solo test you will set yourself up for success in the future.

As for relevancy of the test for your specific training, FTP is the base for all of our training so it doesn’t matter what you do you need to test regularly

It kind of depends how sick you were and how old you are. I don’t like to push myself too much after a cold as I’ve gotten sick again in the past.

It also depens on how long you’ve been riding… At some point you can pretty accurately guess your FTP without a test…

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I would do the test, but really personal preference. Doing the trainings at given ftp also gives you feedback on ftp and you can adjust on the go as well. As I still get noob gains I am continously changing ftp. Consider HR and pain and you should be able to fairly determine whether you are up or down ftp.

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Long time cyclist at 55 with TR giving me the structure I need to get me back up to speed after letting it slide a little bit.

Agree on the feeling of guessing FTP, I will play it by ear with a V02 max effort on Tuesday and see how my body responds to that


Enjoy those noob gains

That is what I would do too. I’d also listen to my body on Tuesday before the VO2 max just to make sure not to tax the system too much after having a cold.

I totally get wanting to get back into it as quickly as possible but I’ve learned the hard way that doing that can prolong the cold / illness quite a bit…

Making sure that I don’t get back into it too hard too quickly has helped me to not have a cold come back and achieve way more consistency this year… :slight_smile:

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Good advice thanks.

I’ve picked Brasted 1 hour at .84IF of short bursts which I find easy to see how I feel.

Brasted finished, hanging out at the end but a great feeling to get it done