Returning to TR - 1st session too easy?

I’m back using Trainerroad and Tues ramp test was the first time I had sat on a bike in just over 12 months. In that time I’ve been running up to 20 miles a week, but I’ve been very inconsistent recently and noticed a fitness drop the few times I have been out.

When I started my TR account and followed the survey it suggested an FTP of 108 - pretty low compared to where I’ve been in the past. But didn’t think too much of it as my equipment in the past wasn’t the most accurate and I was planning on a ramp test anyway. I tested (for something like 40 mins haha) and ended with FTP of 196.

I tried my first sweetspot session last night (Acho) and I was barely breathing - my heart rate maxed briefly at 120 and that was because I was moving about on the bike trying to get comfortable - the 3 tempo intervals averaged HR of 107. For context, my max HR is just over 200.

Despite not really breathing, my legs were slightly uncomfortable - I put this down to not cycling for a year. Because of this I filled in the survey as Moderate.

Breathing has me thinking I should be working harder - could it be that the length of the ramp test has rendered the results void? But also, with legs that aren’t used to the bike just yet should I just keep going and let AI do it’s thing?

After that long, you didn’t have good data to predict the starting FTP. Do a few rides and give TR better data to predict the starting number. Your Test was way too long to get a good prediction.

Acho is a 1.1 level Sweet Spot workout which is probably the absolute easiest workout for that type. For context, not all Workout Levels scale the same. For example, Threshold is harder at lower numerical values than SS. I’d place SS workouts in the 7’s and 8’s on the high end of where I prefer to work when I’m in shape. So obviously a big gap between 1.1 and 7-8. If you feel it is far too easy then you can skip ahead by choosing something maybe in the 3’s or 4’s. If you accomplish that then your Progression Level will jump ahead as well and you’d be seeing Adaptive Training serving you up new workouts around your new Progression level.

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I feel like a 40 minute ramp test is highly suspect. I think you should do another one soon with the 196 as a starting ftp (or possibly 20 watts higher since the first workout sounds like it was practically z2 endurance workout).


I agree that you should probably do another test after a few more rides. Maybe just bump the FTP by 10% in the meantime.

It could be that your cardio system is still well developed from the running but your cycling specific muscular endurance is lacking.

You shouldn’t worry about training too easy. After 12 months off the bike you just need to ride.


Thanks for the replies!

I was limited for time on Sat so re-ran the ramp test on Sat and ended up with an FTP of 222. Hopefully this is a good starting place.


Hey @Dinyull! Welcome back to training :bicyclist:

I looked at your original Ramp Test and nothing looks odd. You’re meant to GO UNTIL FAILURE which looks like you did :slight_smile: But I am glad you were able to retest!

I think your new result of 222 is a good starting point, and as @Pbase and @russell.r.sage mentioned, as you start completing workouts your Progression Levels will adjust and AT will provide adaptations to subsequent workouts to meet your current fitness.

Additionally, after you complete 10 TR Indoor Workouts you can make use of AI FTP Detection to further lock in your FTP.

I do have to agree with @russell.r.sage that Acho SS 1.1 should feel as you described. This is a Productive workout, which is just above your Progression Level. They’re great for consistency, maintaining the balance between growing your fitness and not overloading yourself with too much fatigue.

Here is a link for reference as to how each Difficulty Level should feel:

That said, if you feel like a scheduled workout is too easy or too hard, you can always play with Workout Alternates. Just make sure to answer the Post-Workout Surveys without overthinking it. Consider how the overall ride felt and not how you expected it to feel, as this will further fine-tune the necessary adaptations to your training plan.

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Thanks for the reply @Caro.Gomez-Villafane

I have another question - Does AI FTP detection take into account Heart Rate?

I know there are a lot of variables re. heart rate (life stress, heat, cooling etc). If AI doesn’t take that into account, is there any guidance as to what HR zones you should be working to in a given workout - would be really helpful to noobs.

My FTP detection is due in a couple of rides, but in the meantime I’m finding the 60min sweet spot sessions a breeze - last night during Tunnabora -1 my heart rate maxed at 143 (my max is just over 200).

I’m starting to think that because my V02 is very blunt the ramp hasn’t given me the correct training levels, and I’m now considering a 20min test.

I don’t know what to expect from the AI FTP so not sure if I can rely on that to give me the correct bump following the next couple of rides.

For added context, my first 90 threshold session I marked as hard (HR maxed in the 180’s - where I’d expect) but legs weren’t feeling great.


Does this mean you find them too easy? If so, choose an alternate and help teach the AI where your PL’s should be. Sometimes it ramps up too quickly and sometimes too slowly, so you need to get involved by choosing a good alternate. This would be especially true if you think your FTP is way off.

Not currently although this I believe is an aspiration.

I can only really go on my own experience and a wee bit of research but a ramp test will whilst ideal for the majority, as it doesn’t involve too much TSS and is easier paced, etc, will over or underestimate for some at the ends of the ‘bell curve’ . I think I at the end where its underestimates; a 20mins test gives me what seems to be a better result but it induces TSS and is harder to pace right (too much too early and blow or hold too much back and undertest slightly too). For me however, even a completely mis paced 20mins test was higher than a ramp test. AIFTP seems to give me something in between my best 20mins test and a ramp test and seems quite apt in training. SS is a little uncomfortable but it feels like I could, with concentration, maintain it for a long period. Sub threshold to threshold stuff is more uncomfortable/ hard and it feels like I’m on the edge of being able to maintain it with a lot of concentration and superthreshold stuff takes me over the edge and I feel I couldn’t sustain it beyond a prescribed interval/workout. FWIW whilst I’m no coach I have my broad %MHR zone set up like this
and would think SS is around 88%, although in a SS I wouldn’t expect to average that through out just move up to it and sit at it in intervals.

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Thanks - very helpful!!!

Going to give my 2 cents only because I didn’t see anyone else post this POV.

Your ftp is probable a bit low since TR’s first guess was so low and your ramp test went on longer than ideal. I had same thing happen to me. I wouldn’t worry about it. Nothing wrong with doing a block a bit low especially with adaptive training (didn’t exist when I started).

I think the easy training block might be especially beneficial for you. Your low heart rate is probably from the running. Your cardio is likely better than your cycling legs. May not be a bad idea to ease into getting your legs caught up to your heart and lungs. Getting fit for cycling is about the long term consistency. I wouldn’t worry whether you are right at the edge of each of your progression levels this early in the process. Within a month or two, you’ll likely be there and you may miss the easier workouts you get to “enjoy” now.

Yo! Posting this info for you that Caro had written up since she’s out of the office for the weekend.

AI FTP Detection will analyze and incorporate all indoor and outdoor rides with power data and factor in additional metrics such as HR.

All TR Workouts are Power Based. We don’t use HR zones to guide interval training because, as you mentioned, your HR varies on external factors.

We think the main concern here is that your FTP may be set lower than it should be, which is making your Sweet Spot workouts feel a bit too easy.

Once you complete 10 TR Indoor rides, let’s run the AI FTP Detection feature to update your FTP. In the meantime, keep plugging away at the scheduled workouts on your TR Calendar and see how the intensity ramps up for you.

As you complete your workouts, Adaptive Training will work in tandem with your Progression Levels and survey responses to dial in your plan to meet your current fitness, even if your FTP might not be 100% accurate at the moment.

Finally, you can still certainly do a 20 minute FTP assessment if you’d like (even if just to compare it to the Ramp Test – though that might not be too “fun” :sweat_smile: ) – the more data you feed AI FTP Detection, the more accurate it will be each time you use it!

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