So Bummed... I went down 6 watts

So I am new to training. Just finished SSB1 and today I tested 6 watts lower than when I started. Yikes. :confounded:

Could be many reasons. Fatigue, stress, lack of sleep, fuel beforehand etc etc


I was at Legoland all weekend chasing a 5 yr old. Also, I hear morning is not the best time to test.

Ya, so don’t be bummed out. Do a few ‘easy’ sessions then do your ramp when you’re ready.

If you feel the test may have shorted your true FTP, use your SSB workouts as a guide. If you were completing them all at the prescribed intensities, you can probably leave the FTP where it is rather than accept the reduction. SSB2 is more difficult but SSB1 prepared you for it.

We fight for every watt on those ramp tests but none of us is physiologically static from day to day. Our bodies might be tired, fighting off a cold, under-fueled or emotionally pre-occupied. A hundred things can get in the way of a true measurement. I try to test the same time of day that I train, as FTP is ultimately a training tool that helps us calibrate intensity on the TR workouts. If your intensity is working out for you in terms of lived experience by meeting that intuitive standard of “manageably difficult” then you’re good.


Ask yourself “Am I stronger now then I was 6 weeks ago?” When you do you workouts are they easier? When you go on a group ride is it easier?

SSB is focusing on the basis of your FTP, your aerobic capacity. You’re FTP, and particularly the ramp test, has some demand on your anaerobic capacity which hasn’t been stressed for 6 weeks. If your old FTP was highly reliant on your anaerobic capacity before, it isn’t surprising that your FTP would go down.

The TrainerRoad plans aren’t trying to get you a constant ramp in FTP. They are trying to make you as strong as possible at the end of the Specialization phase. You did the work, you addressed a deficiency. The next phase will build on this new stronger fitness that you have developed and you’ll go past what you could do before.

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These are great points. I was wondering if the type of training used in SSB1 had something to do with it. No real pushes in to the red. The rides I have done off of the trainer have felt pretty great and my training is for a 50 mile race, not a short 1 hour type of thing. Truthfully, SSB is probably doing me a TON of good training for the Whiskey 50 in 5 weeks. I will have my next recovery week at the end of SSB2 the same week as this race. Should be good timing. I’m not trying to win, just survive and ty to enjoy it.

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I finished SSBMV1 and things went well but had a drop in FTP when I did Ramp Test at start of SSBMV2. I had been traveling during recovery week, so this may have thrown things off. I made the decision to keep FTP the same heading into SSBMV2. The workouts were all feeling pretty easy and I was upped the %difficulty on most of them. Even the first VO2 max workout Taylor -2 was easy (I used resistance mode and ended up well above prescribed power), so I upped my FTP 5 watts after this and continued on. The correction felt about right with making the workouts a little tougher but not too difficult. I was worried about Carpathian Peak +2, but it was pretty uneventful.

Coach Chad mentioned on the podcast last week that making some small 3 - 5 watt adjustments to your FTP is very reasonable as you progress through the plans as long as you are finishing all the workouts and not overly taxing yourself.

For you, I’d just keep FTP the same and see how you feel and then adjust accordingly as you progress through SSB2. Just remember the workouts do get tougher later in the weeks, but hopefully you will be getting stronger then too.

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Because I place entirely too much emphasis on my FTP, I would just ignore the decrease – keep training at your original FTP and see if the following workouts are too hard.

Performing well in a ramp test is its own skill and leans heavily on anaerobic and VO2 energy systems, which I don’t think are particularly well-developed in SSB1.

For what it’s worth, I kept my FTP as it was after a bad showing at the end of SSB1 and I was fine. My FTP went up after SSB2.

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I’ve been using tr for 2 years now. I went through ssb1 and ssb2 in past 3 months. First time I tested at the same ftp. After ssb2 I actually went down 10 watts. It was frustrating but I thought maybe my effort could have been better so I tried again a couple days later and gained 14 over my crummy test.

The ramp test is nice because it’s less painful that the 8 and 20 min sustained tests but I think there really is a significant component of putting out a good effort that day. It’s all based on the highest minute of power you can put out. So being off that day or having chased your kid around a lot can affect it for sure. You’ll see gains but it takes time. You could try retesting if you like or if you’re finishing up the workouts without difficulty try bumping your ftp a little. 3-5%. You’ll find out soon enough if it’s too high :slight_smile:

@chad has mentioned this a few times on the podcast. It’s very easy to focus on the stress incurred on the trainer - and ignore everything else. Legoland might be a holiday, but being on your feet all day, surrounded by children (and their germs), eating less-optimally etc - all have an impact. 6w isn’t that significant and I’d be tempted to ignore the new value, push on with SSB2 and if you feel in control, either up the intensity of your session (or adjust the plan to accommodate a new test - so reduce the Saturday duration, easy session Sunday, rest Monday - test Tuesday might work).

Keep the faith and keep your ftp setting exactly where it is. The workouts you completed at the end of SSMV1 are not easy and would “find you out” if you were working off an inflated ftp.

I went through almost exactly the same thing but managed to get through SSMV2 without missing a beat.

You are building strength and forming the base which you build upon later. This isn’t the time to grow the FTP. But the quality of what you do here plays a significant part later on down the line.

IMHO, and I may be wrong, is that the ramp test is geared up to suit those training at VO2 max as ultimately that’s the point of failure. If you’re growing your strength endurance at SS and threshold, your body just isn’t used to working at higher stress levels yet.

You’re on the right track, keep going.

OK, I went down 3 watts, so not the Same, but take the long view. It’s an assessment. It’s were you are training to now. If you think its off because of external stresses, re assess. But, more importantly, don’t define yourself by a number. I have a friend with the same FTP as mine, and I can drop him on any hill climb. Cycling is complex and can not be distilled into a single number. Do not let it define you. It is simply a training matrix.

There’s your problem. Chased the kid, legs were dead. Did you do any intensity last week? I’d recommend an opener like Truuli -2 on the day prior to testing so you are adjusted to intensity after an easy week.

Morning is only bad to test if that’s different from your normal routine. I and others have no issues with morning stuff.

Thanks for all of the great insights and advice. I think the weekend blew me up in ways other than cycling. The first workout at new FTP (lower) was today. It was still hard and required a lot of concentration at the end. That said, later today I was able to do a 12 mile, 1400ft mtb ride and got 2 PR’s without trying at all. The 2nds were second only to a gravel bike ride I did at the same location. That tells me the program IS WORKING and I just need to keep at it. Base is not VO2 and I need to remember that. There are many workouts in SSB2 that will push me more in that direction. A 50 mile MTB race in 4 weeks is still going to crush me but not like it would if I had not found TrainerRoad. Thanks again for the wisdom shared…


I’d repeat what others have said above, and add that you can always retest with the RAMP Protocol. I did three in a single day last time. I was due a test, and two days later I did a fourth.

We all want to score higher, it’s part of the game we’re playing after all, but FTP testing isn’t mandatory. You can never test at all or you can retest until you get the result you want…have fun with it! :grinning:

Not a totally serious response, but apparently this :stuck_out_tongue: :

Not entirely the same, but I did my mid build ramp test this Tuesday, and my thru axle in the Kickr was a bit loose so it started to make a noise – which I had to stop to fix – and after getting on I wasn’t “in it” anymore so tested piss poor. I didn’t take the new result since I felt like I just kinda gave up afterwards and instead I just upped FTP with 3 %. That’s about what you can expect during a four week period (I’m still far from potential).

I won’t be testing it again before speciality, but I’ll just adjust it down if it was too much. The problem with that is that the 2nd half of build is fucking brutal, but we’ll see :sweat_smile: