Tendency to put in more effort on workouts

Hello,

I’m new to training and TR. I’m ~3 weeks into a base build. I consistently find myself pushing 10-15+ watts more that what the intervals are suggesting no matter what type of workout I’m prescribed. Is this normal to always want to push for more or am I screwing up my training and recovery by not following the prescribed thresholds?

Background - My FTP from my first ramp test 3 weeks ago was 147. Immediately after I finished I was disappointed and felt like I could have squeezed out another 10% at least. The week prior I had guesstimated my FTP to be 225 (looked at 1 months worth of previous unstructured ride data) and when I hit that number the last 30 seconds of the ramp test I sort of just gave up thinking “yeah this is my number, don’t wanna push to hard or training the next few weeks will be too hard”. Lo and behold thats not how the ramp test works and my resulting FTP was 147.

I was thinking I would be pooped for my hard rides by pushing so much on the easier rides but this has not been the case 3 weeks in. The volume of workouts has been fine.

Is this normal? Should I add +1 to every ride from here on out, retest my FTP now, or just wait to retest my FTP in 4 weeks as prescribed by the base build plan.

Sounds like you tested low. How do the sessions feel? Sweet spot should feel uncomfortably challenging, but not so much that you need two days off.

I would retest (it’s only 20 min and can be added as a warm up).

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Are you using a Smart or a Dumb (wheel-on) trainer?

In an ideal world, the Ramp Test should be done to failure. You stop when you can no longer turn those pedals. This will then give you an FTP that is useful for training whilst using the TR platform. From what you’re describing in your post, I would stop your current training, take a day off to freshen up and then do the Ramp Test again.

If you’re consistently able or even having to push 10-15 watts above the prescribed interval, you’re either training in the wrong zone(s) or on the way to building up fatigue that’ll make itself apparent later down the road.

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Your ramp test ftp will be 75% of your best one minute power in the test.

I’d re test, or bump up your ftp manually.

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Sweet spot today felt like a moderate to hard effort. The prescribed IS was 0.64, I ended up doing 0.96.

I’m on a smart traineer, Kickr Snap, but I used my Assioma Uno pedal during the test if I remember correctly.

Good idea for the rest and reset. I just feel soo accomplished and the 3 weeks of work will seem like a waste. :sob:

I would either retest or just bump your FTP up 10-15 watts manually. The ramp test doesn’t take that long so I would lean that way.

Like @PusherMan said, do the ramp test to failure, you should be pushing as hard as you can until you are unable to keep the power up.

Depending on how long that workout was you should be pretty shelled after a workout like that. Also, a 0.64 workout is supposed to be super easy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sweet spot workout with an IF that low. It was most likely an endurance ride.

Perceived efforts sounds OK (with the manual W adjustment).

I’d still probably retest as it eliminates (most of the) confusion.

Do you use heart rate?

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Don’t think of it as a waste. Worst case you got on your bike for 3 weeks and got your feet wet with structured training and built the habit. This process takes much longer than 3 weeks and 4 years from now when your FTP is 300 you’ll just look back and laugh.

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I misspoke, It was the Ericsson (sweet spot) adapted for outside. Prescribed IS was 0.80, I did 0.96. Not shelled, would have loved to do 1hr+ at 120w just cruising but alas I do have to work for a living.

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Ahh okay, that makes more sense. So based on that I would say your ftp is probably 15% too low. Just take a day or two retest.

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Yes. Today I averaged around 160 during the hard intervals and topped off at 172. I don’t know what my max is but in the past on a treadmill during a sprint I’ve hit 180+

Its normal to test low the first time. You have to get used to the test and training protocols. Most of the plans have a 4-6 week time frame for restesting - so why not just do the next three weeks as prescribed? Worst case you do a little more base?

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Sounds about right for SS.

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When I started with TR I was new to structured training but not to cycling, it took me at least 3 Ramptests to get my number - I think its something you have to learn. I did a Ramptest yesterday and found the new live FTP a great motivation to push through my old FTP and gain a higher training level. At the end of the day any structured rides you do with an inaccurate FTP will just result in you gaining time in a zone not prescribed thats not to say not productive so no waste of time as far as I can see.

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Thanks for the replies everyone! I’ve gotten a few good suggestions. Tomorrow is active recovery day. I will ponder upon my next steps during the ride but most likely will lean towards a retest and manual configuration of FTP afterwards.

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Just looking at your picture, you look like a relatively young man. So I wouldn’t be surprised if your FTP rises pretty substantially between scheduled tests for the next several months. So you might frequently find that your abilities are above the prescribed targets. Just realize that you aren’t meant to go 100% for each interval or each training session. Just because you CAN ride harder doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Just remember to look at your training as a whole and don’t ruin your next workout by smashing it on your current one. It’s something that you will get a better feel for as you ride more but something to keep in the back of your mind.

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Are you using powermatch for your workouts as well? If not, you should.

Calibration I. The snap is more involved than in a Kickr and you have to do it every workout after a warmup.

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I wish, that picture was from nearly 10 years ago! Almost 35 now but I suppose thats still young to others.

Really good advice. I’ve been cognizant of this but admittedly need a tad bit more discipline.

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