Re-Tested FTP but Result Too Good?

Hi All

I completed SS Base II on 23rd Dec but immediately went away for Christmas and planned to re-test when I got hime. When I got back I caught a horrible cold and have only ridden 5x since since 23rd Dec last year.

My FTP was set at 245 watts and it was only towards the last two weeks of SS II that I finally managed to complete the Over-Under programs, (Leconte, Mary Austin -1, Carpathian Peak +2). Up until that point I always had to stop or drop the levels.
Since Christmas the only interval sessions I have done have been Carpathian Peak twice (which is easier than the Carpathian Peak +2 I had completed before Christmas). The first time I just about made it, the second time I had to stop after the first interval as felt exhausted, (that was 5 days ago).

This morning I finally re-did my Ramp Test and was accepting that it would drop as my I have only done 9 hours cycling this year and on Tuesday I couldn’t complete a workout I really shouldn’t struggle that much on.
However, upon completing the Ramp Test my FTP went up from 245w to 257w. My max heart rate hit 200bpm (the highest I have seen it for nearly 14 years. I did have it set at 293 which is the highest I’ve seen it since then). I am nearly 45 years old by the way.

My question is this - I have an almost certain feeling that when I update my FTP, the new watt targets will simply kill me. I’ve looked at some of the targets on the Sustained Power block and even last year before my break I’m not sure I would have completed any of them.
So do I:

  1. Keep my FTP at 245watts, (ignoring today’s test result) and try to complete the workouts?
  2. Update my FTP to 257w and probably not complete a workout?
  3. Randomly split the difference and go halfway between my last two FTP scores?

I know for a fact I couldn’t sustain 257watts for half an hour let alone an hour and that’s what your FTP is supposed to represent.

People always ask for yoru background so here is mine:
I have cycled for fun for the last 2.5 years.
I do sportives (Tour de Yorkshire, Dragon Ride, London-Paris, Coast to Coast) but nothing really serious and don’t belong to a cycle club.
I cycle for about 5-7 hours a week.
I have no history of cycling.
Each year I tend to mis about 3-4 months due to operations or accidents so haven’t had a clear year’s cycling.
I used TR two years ago and did the 20 min FTP test. I held 262w (from memory) which gave me an FTP of around 245w and I couldn’t complete half the workouts on TR after that.
I don’t think I am a natural endurance person. I only have to look at a dumbbell and my strength increases and I put on muscle easily compared to most. Cardio I train hard but with small only small gains.

Can you be good at short bursts or effort that trick the Ramp Test or 20 min test into over estimating your FTP?

Any thoughts would be gratefully accepted :slight_smile:

I’d go with 250, if you think you’ve made some improvements. Being a few watts under and completing workouts is waaaaay better than being a few watts over.


“I do sportives (Tour de Yorkshire, Dragon Ride, London-Paris, Coast to Coast) but nothing really serious”

I’d say they are pretty serious, I’ve done all of them aswell and C2C and the Dragon are loooogg hilly days on the bike!

As above go for the 250 and see how you get on, can always adjust slightly after a few workouts

Split the difference. Adjust as needed. Odds are you know yourself well enough to make micro adjustments periodically without need of retesting all the time.

I think a lot of us stress around that ramp test too much. adjusting things up or down after the test is perfectly fine. once you know for sure your targets are where they should be, readjust! (i.e. 103% feels right? take 103% of your test result and plug it in manually as your new ftp)

Over the years I found that any mental stress about cycling related performance hinders my performance far more than the actual physical issues. We would all benefit from a relaxed approach! :slight_smile: Best of luck!


Thanks all.

I will use the vernal consensus and set 250w and see how it goes. At least that feels vaguely achievable. It seems like setting 257 would be vanity over practicality and it wouldn’t do anything but dishearten me in the long run.

Let’s see how it goes today. Thanks for all your input :slight_smile: