I will have been with TR for a year in Dec and couldn’t be happier with results. Have seen a 30% increase in FTP in just under 9 months. I’m always am able to adapt to the new workouts after testing and have completed almost all workouts only dropping a few on rough days when I’m not feeling great. My question is concerning pausing during the last minute or two of ramp tests to catch my breath. My legs almost never give out but I do max my heart rate and respiration out near the end. It seems to me that the xtra few points I gain after catching my breath are ok and accurate if I am able to adapt to the following workouts without issue. I am just curious how common it is among other users to pause long enough to catch your breath and then resume/complete the test.
I would think pausing to catch your breath and then continuing kind of defeats the purpose of the test. That said, it’s all just to get a number to anchor your training so if it gives you a number that works I’m not sure there’s an issue with it.
I always fail the ramp test because I hit an unsustainable HR. The legs often feel like they can give that little more, but the heart won’t go. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the whole point of the test. If you stop pedaling, that’s the stopping point and take your FTP from there. That said, if it is working for you then it sounds like it’s fine for you.
I also think that TrainerRoad has some extra calculations it makes at the end of a ramp test that would take this restart into account in some way. Not entirely sure this is true, but I recall reading that they have things in place for behaviors outside the norm.
If your account is public, can you share a link to a recent Ramp test?
Depending on your break, you may not be altering the final results.
In any event, I don’t think its a good plan to employ that move. Its a sign that you probably have room to grow in that area vs others.
It probably isnt recommended for the test. However…
The ramp test is simply a measure of improvement and an indicator of your current level. If conducting the test in the way you do continues to give you an FTP that allows you to complete your training plans then I don’t see any real issue
I believe the FTP is the lower of 0.75*[max 1 min power] and 0.82*[max 5 minute power]. So if you’ve taken a break in the last 5 minutes of the test, the FTP calculated will be a bit lower.
Will it be lower if you hit the pause button? On the iOS app it appears to pause the recorded time/data, so it would not give lower average data. At least that’s what I’ve seen when hitting that pause button during workouts.
I think you are getting overinflated results if you pause during the ramp. You can produce significantly more power for 1-minute if you allow yourself to recover, if only ever so slightly. It’s the ramp up to that final minute that makes it hard!
Good question and a part of this discussion that I neglected to consider originally. With pause used, I do think it will “hide” the power loss and could keep an elevated power and resulting FTP. It will likely be visible in a step down of HR if the recovery is long enough to impact that.
In any event, I agree it is not a great idea to manipulate the test in this way and is giving flawed info as a result.
While it is ok to do that in an interval session, if one part of your system fails (your heart and lungs) your legs cannot continue. That is when you complete the FTP test. Next time you do a test, just stop when you reach that point. Simple.
Thanks for all the input guys. The consensus seems to be that pausing even briefly may skew the end result. I am however still curious as to why the test even has the option to pause and then continue if this is indeed the case. Moving forward I shall see what happens. I always appreciate the input and knowledge available on this forum. Hope everyone has a great Labor day weekend and gets some solid training in.
Interesting data point on this. I just checked a older secondary email account I don’t use that often and had a notice from both Training peaks and Intervals ICU showing that my FTP had increased and both showed I was within 1 point of the FTP test I did on Monday. 0.363%