Just wanted to share my experience. I feel like the Ramp Test has NEVER been a good representation of my FTP. A few months ago my FTP was 242 and I did a Ramp Test after the entire Half Iron Man Build plan - in which I worked harder than I ever have before on the bike! - but the test indicated my new FTP should be 240. A reduction. I was really disheartened. But then for the final 3 months leading into my half iron man I worked with a private coach who, after observing my trainer workers for a few weeks, raised my FTP to 252. The Build program in Trainer Road HAD worked - but I just wasn’t able to show it in my ramp test. Failing to demonstrate my growth in the Ramp Test was really disheartening, so it was really relieving when my coach let me know my FTP was in fact higher than what the Ramp Test said it should be.
Fast forward another few months - I finished my half iron man a week and a half ago, and I have a couple of weeks before I’ll start a full Base/Build/Speciality plan into a Gran Fondo I’ll be doing in April 2020. I have a bit of wiggle room before starting, so thought I’d try BOTH the Ramp Test and then the 8-min FTP test (48 hours later) to compare my results. Here they are:
Ramp Test - suggested new FTP - 230
8min FTP Test - suggested new FTP - 250.
I REALLY think the Ramp Test doesn’t work for me. 20 watts is a huge difference! I’m better at sustained power than I am for V02 and anything higher than 120% which means I really struggle in the ramp test.
In other words, the Ramp Test is just not for me. I understand it’s easier to pace the Ramp Test (because you can’t pace it really!) - but for me, I do WAY better (20 watts better) on the 8-min test, and suspect I’d be really similar on the 20min test. If you’re disheartened by the Ramp Test, it’s really worth taking the time to do an 8 or 20-min test instead - and you might want to stick with that from now on.
For those that are interested: the 2 tests were at identical times of day, with identical fueling, and identical meal the night before.