I’m a long-time cyclist but new to TR; after setting up my training plan I took the ramp test, resulting in an FTP of 284. This is a bit lower than what Zwift estimates my FTP at (314), but I peaked back in early Sept ahead of a few events and have since taken some time off the bike - so a drop in 30w didn’t hurt my head too much. Now that I’ve done a couple of structured workouts, I’m finding them much too easy and wondering if I under-performed on the ramp test. I have AI FTP detection enabled, but need a handful more workouts under my belt before that will begin making adjustments.
My question is this - should I manually update my FTP to be a little closer to what I think it actually is, or be patient and let the AI make adjustments over the next few weeks? Alternatively, I’ve wondered if the start of a new plan (in base training phase) is designed to be easier, and thus I am misattributing the intended design of the program for an artificially low FTP.
I would say continue as you are, rate the workouts accordingly and let TR adapt your plan based upon the ratings you give each workout. It should get your PLs up quickly and therefore the difficulty to where it should be. You don’t have to kill yourself on every workout to get a benefit
I had a different, but related, issue when I got a new FTP and my progression levels were knocked back further than felt necessary. Same story when doing my first ever anaerobic workouts. I just pulled up the scheduled workout, went into Workout Alternates and chose a Stretch or Breakthrough workout that looked like it should be sufficiently challenging.
So, if you found a 3 × 10 @ 90% sweetspot workout really easy, maybe choose a 3 × 15 at the same intensity or a 3 × 10 @ 94%.
If you do that Adaptive Training and AI FTP Detection should get you correctly calibrated pretty quickly.
There’s an old thread discussing the differences in the two tests. Those with a FTP lower than 350-ish (can’t remember the exact number) ramp up faster on Zwift, allowing you to hit a higher watts. TR is a 6% ramp up so it takes a bit longer and fatigue is built up. This generally leads to a higher FTP on Zwift compared to TR. I have personally found this true as well.
Agree - and certainly understand the value of different types of workouts (i.e., not always killing myself). Just want to make sure everything is accurate to maximize the benefit and time invested. My gut said to let TR adapt (as you suggested) but figured it was best to ask since I am new to the platform.
Excellent suggestion - I’ll give that a shot. Today’s workout was labeled “Productive” but honestly it felt like a really good (hour long) warm-up more than anything. I did a Breakthrough workout the other day that was a little more challenging but still firmly achievable. That felt a little closer to what I had been expecting.
I’ve often thought Zwift’s autodetect feature was a bit inflated - and relatively easy to game. When I was doing the TR ramp test it did start me quite low (about 80w) so perhaps the fatigue had compounded more than I realized by the time I got into my normal range.
“My question is this - should I manually update my FTP to be a little closer to what I think it actually is, or be patient and let the AI make adjustments over the next few weeks?”
Two things…first, adaptive training isn’t ever going to adjust your FTP up. It will give you workouts that provide more training stimulus but it won’t adjust your FTP (or it never has adjusted mine, anyhow)
Second…the first week of a block always feels a little easy. So there is some danger that you adjust your FTP so 1st week workouts feel pretty hard & by the third week you’re absolutely getting shelled.
Ok…so with those two caveats out of the way, my advice is adjust your FTP up. But before you do take a quick look at the next two week’s workouts and consider the change you are about to make. Sounds to me like you’ve been around the game for a little while. I trust you’ll make the correct decision.
Wasn’t thinking so much about adaptive training, but rather the AI-based FTP auto-detection available in Early Access. That should adjust FTP up/down automatically every few weeks (if needed). Assuming I understand its intent correctly.
I thought that might also be the case!
I don’t necessarily disagree - just trying to hone the training plan accurately to get maximum benefit. In terms of performance, I should at least break a sweat during a VO2Max workout, unlike this morning!
I vary my training throughout the year. During the Fall/Winter I take a little more time off to recover and focus on shorter, more powerful efforts. During spring and summer I focus on endurance and longer efforts. The variation has worked well for me over the years and gives me something to look forward to as the seasons change.
What you describe is the goal, but it is not the current case. At present, AIFTPD is only available when there is a Ramp Test scheduled on the calendar, and it’s 14 day or more beyond the last AIFTPD offering, or manual FTP change.
Eventually, Nate said they will have the tool actively looking at people’s progress and then AIFTPD can trigger at anytime the system reaches whatever threshold TR sets. There is far more unknown than known right now about how the “automatic” version of AIFTPD will work, since it’s not released.
Yeah, Zwift ramps up at 20W every minute. At 333W FTP (6% = 20W) the ramp up rate is identical. FTP lower than this, you ramp up faster in Zwift and end up with (in my experience) a higher FTP typically. I can only assume it flips past 333W and you probably get a slightly lower FTP in Zwift.
Hey sorry we didn’t jump on this sooner, I’m glad you decided to not manually update your FTP and sure enough: Adaptive Training calibrated very quickly to make sure your workouts were appropriately challenging you.
In the future, I think using AI FTP Detection is a great option like other athletes here have discussed for your future FTP test days. You’ve got a lot of good ride data in there to produce a great FTP result without having to consider any of the shortcomings that come with standard FTP testing protocol.
How has it been going the past couple weeks? It looks like you were *CRUSHING IT prior to some time off!
Let me know if you have any questions or if I can lend a hand as you work back into training. Feel free to DM, happy to help!
First, thank you for taking the time to respond to my question – I really appreciate it! You are correct about leaving my FTP where it was; I’m not in a huge rush and figured I would let adaptive training do its thing with AI FTP detection to follow closely behind. I realized adding 5-7% felt just about right, and that probably told the algorithm much more about me/my riding than picking what I “think” my FTP is.
Last couple of weeks have been rough for riding/training. Travel for work turned into the flu, which I still have some lingering effects from. Hoping to get a short ride in (maybe tomorrow) to test my lungs out, but it’ll probably be this weekend before I’m confident enough to put any real work in (and even that I’ll likely keep light on intensity). No reason to bury myself at the end of the season. Would love to hear your thoughts on returning from illness, and how to adapt my plan (if at all) as I get back on the saddle.
Love the podcast, and think you did a fantastic job a few weeks ago. Keep up the great work.
Thanks so much for the kind words about the podcast! So glad you’re with us. I’m super bummed to hear you were sick, but relieved to know you’re finally on the upswing.
I do have some tips for you as you ease back into training. You have a pending adaptation for today’s schedule VO2 max workout, so AT is already adjusting you down, but you can still dial things back a little more to ensure you’re not overdoing it.
I recommend really leaning into TrainNow to ease back into things until you’re fully healthy and ready for structure.
Choosing shorter TrainNow Endurance workouts, working up to longer ones, followed by testing out some shorter Alternates for your scheduled workouts will be a solid strategy.
This is a great way to ‘check in’ with yourself frequently and ensure your Progression Levels are reflecting your current fitness, while not pushing it too much.
TrainNow is considering that time off when presenting recommended workouts to you, and anything you do will be accounted for within your Progression Levels and in Adaptive Training once you’re ready to jump back into your plan.
Please be easy on yourself as you get back into things, this is by no means a make-or-break time in your training progression to really push and make some big gains. Set yourself up for healing and rest so you can make big improvements and absolutely crush key workouts when it really counts.
Don’t hesitate to DM me if you have any questions about TrainNow selection or adaptations as you get started again. A second opinion never hurts and I’m stoked to help out!
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