A bit of context: after my second vaccine shot in mid September I had a very severe bout of Rhabdomyolysis. I had to be transported by an ambulance into the hospital because I couldn’t walk, my urine looked like blood and my creatine kinase levels were so high they couldn’t measure it anymore at the hospital (their scale maxed out at 80k, but it was probably double of that). I stayed in the hospital for a week and they pumped massive amounts of fluid through me. After that I was off the bike for 3 weeks. So 4 weeks in total.
When I got back to training I dropped my FTP from 292 (@62kg) to 272 (@64kg, because I gained weight). Felt awful at first to train, but quickly got better and end of october I manually increasd FTP to 282 (@ 63kg). Felt pretty good with this FTP and progression levels were all rising.
Today I had my first proper ramp test and it put me at 275 (@62kg). Had a rest day before, slept well, fueled correctly and think I gave my all. I’m now at a loss what to do. My first inclination was to ignore the ramp test and increase FTP to 287 since I didn’t struggle with the workouts
in my Mid Volume Sweet Spot Base I plan with additional endurance rides, VO2 Max workouts and outdoor rides. But I think Base II has a lot harder workouts and that it may burn me out.
I have to add that I think that the ramp test is underestimating my FTP since I really don’t have any sprint power at all, but a big aerobic engine and good VO2 Max. Here’s my all time (cycling seriously for 7 months now) power curve, grabbed from strava:
Excellent example of cognitive dissonance. OP, why test if you will reject the result and decide it’s really higher than what the data says?
I personally almost never test bc im at a point where ftp changes very little (up or down) depending on the time of season.
I think if you ignore the ftp result and keep it higher, you’ll likely experience no gain for a while bc you’re actually increasing fitness to your decided upon ftp from your actual ftp but you think you’ve stagnated.
Peak form is peak. December legs are rarely as good as august legs. It’s normal to scale down ftp and intensity as a % of ftp in the off season, even aside from your medical issue that sidetracked training. Nothing wrong w dropping ftp, you should consider it.
If you are training off 282 then I would see no issues continuing with that number. But as others have alluded to why even bother doing a ramp test if you will reject the result despite buildup and conditions being optimal for the actual test.
My experience has been similar to yourself in that I am light enough and there is a ceiling as to what result I will get with the ramp test. When training consistently and hitting all the numbers I seem to hit the range 278 - 285 in ramp test. My result from the 8 min test in the same period was 315 and I only lasted a few workouts at that level before dialing it back manually to 300.
Right now I am training off 265 which feels right for me considering it is December and adaptive training seems to keep the workouts challenging enough.
My thought process is that if I am scraping through workouts and dreading workouts then something is wrong, and it is usually that my FTP is too high. Pride can sometimes be your enemy and you are better served building with a lower FTP. The more experience you gain you will be in a better position to judge, good luck.
I’m aware that it’s very unlikely I will hit the same numbers as I did in August, but lowering my FTP while already not being that taxed by the workouts prescribed by the plan seems counterintuitive. The only workouts that I would consider taxing were the extra VO2 max workouts I threw in. The last one being Cayambe with a progression level of 7.5, so not an easy one I think.
If I would struggle with workouts or dread them I’d have no problem lowering my FTP, but since that’s not the case I will leave my FTP at 282 for now. If I start struggling in Base II I can still dial at down to 275.
So the difference between 275 and 282 is so small that you won’t be feeling meaningful difference in the workouts because they are all a % ftp. For example, a vo2 interval at 110% is 302.5 vs 310. Your legs and lungs can barely tell the difference.
What I’m basically saying is that 275 is the real metric from the test, whereas 282 or 287 is some arbitrary number you decided your ftp should be - despite the 275 data point arising from the test that you performed to determine your ftp. What’s the point in testing ftp with ramp if you ignore the result and choose a ftp manually? Why not just set it based on feel to begin with (which I don’t think there’s anything wrong w and basically do myself)?
so another question could be, how long can you hold your higher ftp number. if you can hold it for over 30 mins without bouncing your heart rate off the limit, then maybe its a good number to train off. since its supposed to be a tipping point power you should be able to maintain it for extended periods.
Manually bumping up your FTP is not the way to go about training IMO. It’s nothing but guess work and it won’t do you any favours in the long run. What surprises me most is how the TR crew have advised this in their past podcasts.
I’m not a fan of the ramp test, but if it works for you then that’s great, so stick to that method. Keep the number it’s given you and then work off that. I’m sure it won’t take long to get back to your previous numbers.
Also, Ramp tests are not the be-all-end-all.
You might try another test, like 20 minute or 2*8 minute test, to find out your FTP next time.
Besides that, I second the comments of others. Leave it at that.
2% in FTP is not a Big Deal. There are too many factors like form, day-to-day fatigue, mental form, PM accuracy, pacing (for the steady effort tests) and many more things to influence the number on that day.
Also, I myself tend to overachieve in FTP tests, but have a hard time replicating the numbers for long durations.
I guess the same will exist in the opposite direction, so that someone might perform well in the workouts but underperform in the tests.
Leave it where it is and try beating your numbers next time.
The FTP test is one data point…his training rides are a multitude of data points. There are plenty of reasons why a FTP test can be off since it is a finite point in time. If his larger data set indicates that he can do the work, he should leave it where it is, IMO.
As do I…I haven’t done a test in over a year. I usually lower my FTP after a brief rest and start winter base building and then raise it as I feel is necessary. I usually have a good feeling about where I am fitness wise and can ballpark it close enough. I’ve been at this long enough that I am not going to see some massive increase in FTP at my peak fitness…
This year I have just left my FTP where my summer fitness was…doing TBMVIII now. Had 3x10’ at Threshold today and while my FTP is probably set ~15w higher than my actual FTP, I managed it just fine. Most of my rides are endurance based for now, so the training zone is wide enough that being precise with my FTP doesn’t really matter for now.
I have had a lot of fluctuations in my FTP this year (only started TR at the end of last year) due to international travel, detraining, and dropping from altitude to sea-level for repeated trips during the year ranging from 2-4 weeks each. I had limited access to any type of training overseas due to COVID restrictions and thus saw my FTP yoyo repeatedly.
Over that time I have done many ramp tests, often one a week for the first few weeks back, but ultimately I have come to the conclusion that the ramp test is just a starting point for dialing in FTP. It is easier to tell where your FTP is while monitoring the actual workouts. If 2, 20 minute efforts at FTP felt like sweet spot, obviously it needs to be shifted up. Same with over unders, if the overs are not taxing the FTP is too low, and if the unders do not alllow mild recovery the FTP is too high. By adjusting workout intensity until the perceived exertion is about right (caveat of course, but with some experience, we know what VO2 max feels like, much like threshold, etc). Maybe I am stating the obvious, but as a fairly new user I initially thought I should not mess with my FTP number and only allow the ramp test to set that level. Now, I think that FTP should really be a floating number, until we get to the point where AT just adjusts it automatically - “Based on your performance for this workout, and your survey response we recommend increasing your FTP by 3%” - I am sure that day is coming soon.
The change isnt worth considering. The math is slightly over a 2% change. I dont view FTP as being a critically accurate number. It is a range that can vary due to other variables. I wouldnt worry about the change and would leave it alone considering you dont find the workouts a struggle. Just keep progressing on your workouts and you should be fine.