Sometimes dubious of the effort zone curve,

Let me explain. I admit it, my ftp is pretty lame. It’s 143 currently, and I’m in the sixth week, (recovery week) of ssbmv1. Because my ftp is so low, that has made it so that in the last week, all of my prescribed workouts have been peaking at about 105 watts. I understand that the idea for this week is to help me regain freshness and prepare me for next week’s ftp test, but below 100 watts, even for me at this low ftp, I feel like someone has stolen the chain from my bike when I wasn’t looking.

So I guess my question is this; would 200 watts feel this comically easy for someone with an ftp of 286?

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I’m currently in a rest week at 275 FTP. My latest workout was Pettit -1 which peaked at about 180W during an hour’s ride. Yes it felt pathetic/pointless, but I’m quite happy with my CTL (“fitness”) staying level while my ATL (“fatigue”) drops significantly.

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I just finished rest week at 226 FTP. I wouldn’t say the workouts felt “comically easy” but they weren’t at all hard, felt like I could’ve just kept going for hours.

I started TR at an FTP of 147 just over a year ago, rest weeks have always felt the same. :slightly_smiling_face:

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My FTP is 281 - and no, 200 (or just below) would not be comically easy. It wouldn’t be something that scared me, but if I did a 4 hour ride and averaged approx 200, my legs would definitely be feeling it.

And if I’m doing the recovery week rides, I’d still need to open the window in my turbo room and put the fan on a little bit. It’s definitely not just spinning.


One thing that I would add is that if you’re just starting out, like I was 8 months ago or so, you’re probably using virtual power. In my experience, YMMV based on tires, trainer pressure, trainer, etc, virtual power was massively overstating watts on super low efforts (100w or below). VP of 100w was probably closer to 60w on the power meter, but when it was more in the ballpark of 160w it was fairly close ±10w.

Virtual Power was great to get started and to really confirm that this type of training is for me, but anytime they would tell you to do those super low efforts, it was almost impossible to not go over.

No, I’ve got a kinetic smart control. Even still, the machine has a hard time regulating power below 75 or so watts. With my ftp of 143, a lot of the rest intervals target around 57-75 watts and unless I shift to a very low gear, I just cannot go that low. Actually though, I took the ramp test today and got a small but real bump up to 154.


I know exactly what you’re talking about. When I started TR a couple years ago, I tested at a pretty pathetic 119 FTP. That was with me being around 200 lbs (91 kg.) So, yes it does get better as you find higher watts. It doesn’t feel like you’re spinning the cranks with no chain attached in the recovery periods once you get higher.
That was always a bit frustrating for me as well… even trying to do some cadence drills or single leg drills at low sweet spot would make me spin out. Now I’m a bit over 300 FTP and that is definitely no longer a concern! Stay after it and keep building that FTP and that feeling will fade :wink:

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Wow, you’ve certainly made some progress there! You should be pretty pleased with yourself

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Honestly, when I first started, I remember wondering if I might ever double my FTP… I’m absolutely ecstatic to have made it so much further!


You will keep bumping for awhile. Enjoy it!

Really, if it feels like you are just moving the pedals up the wattage a bit IMO. 50-65% FTP Should feel like a bit of work and get you sweating or warm.

Stay at it and cheers.