I am about to enter General Build Low volume (8 weeks). I have been seeing/hearing that its not wise to test or change FTP too often, as easy as this is now with FTP detection. The GB plan has a ramp test scheduled after the rest week (Week 4).
Would the general advise be to ignore the result of the ramp test/ FTPD and stick it out at the same FTP for the 8 week block. This will mean higher level workouts and not resetting… assuming all workouts are being completed with no major struggles?
TR should have given a bit more context on the podcast.
Typical recommendations for testing / evaluating FTP is around every 4-6 weeks. That is a general guideline about how often you might check with no need to check more often.
Nate & Ivy were specifically talking about the issue related to the new TR AIFTP Detection tool. Upon initial release, people could check each and every day, if they added a Ramp Test on any day. Some users were doing that and checking it SUPER frequently. That is the issue they wanted to address in the podcast. They have set a 14-day lock on it to prevent this “over-testing” that was mentioned.
They should have more clearly stated that issue vs the general 4-6 week guideline above to prevent the misunderstanding shown here.
As mentioned, TR plans will typically have a test every 4 weeks (in the 8-week plans) and every 6 weeks (in the 6-week Sweet Spot Base plans) that follows #1 above. That can change when using Plan Builder, and the adjustments it uses to try and squeeze plans into your timeframe around events.
In the future, it appears TR will simply not schedule any regular testing, and just suggest FTP changes when it detects them over some threshold and/or timeframe.
ETA: after listening to the podcast again this AM, I think the “overtesting” comment may well have been asking more about the issue we see on occasion where people complete the Ramp Test with an FTP value that is “too high” for them. We’ve seen a range of those over the years, but specifically in the last week or so.
I could be wrong, but it’s possible the team missed the official point of that question. They may have accidentally addressed it via the AIFTPDetection aspect that is aimed at giving more appropriate FTP values across a range of riders, and hopefully addressing those edge cases where the Ramp Test is not appropriate. But I think they didn’t cover that potential aspect well… if that was the actual question hiding in the “over-testing” question.
I have been updating my FTP every 2 weeks since the AI Detection feature came out. Consistent increases in FTP over this time (admittedly starting from a lower-than-normal start due to recovery form a surgery on NYE)…
If I had to test, no way I would be updating my FTP this often, but AI makes it easy. The new workloads have always felt appropriate and not over-stretching.
When racing, my coach would have me test and adjust ftp once or twice per year. Usually at the beginning of the build at the end of the off season and after the build (maybe 3 months apart). No change during race season. However, LT and v02 power targets would increase during season (but recovery and endurance zones stay the same).
Changing zones frequently is not advisable unless you’re very untrained and would expect huge progress.
We’ve had at least a couple of discussions here about those two scenarios, and Nate even touched on it in a podcast. There can be good and useful reasons to accept an FTP bump, and the resulting PL drop while others that make sense to leave FTP alone and push PL’s.
They specifically talked about (and I agree) with the basic concept of pushing PL’s up as you get into your Specialty phase and closer to a target event. The higher PL’s tend to have workouts with longer intervals, shorter recoveries and higher intensities (or some blend of those) in order to be more “prepared and capable” (my paraphrasing) for the demands of the chosen specialty. Things like building Time to Exhaustion (TTE) and “adding matches” are the types of goals that happen when looking at the higher PL workouts.
“It depends…” is ever true here with a time and place to apply either approach (Push PL vs Push FTP).