Training With the Wrong FTP

I recently completed the SSB1 with an FTP setting of 270, I was able to complete the majority of the workouts without any difficulties and even managed to extend some of the intervals such as Carillon, Tunnabora and Carson when I had time and felt fresh. To my surprise when doing the Ramp test for SSB2 I only managed 250 for my FTP.

I am going to retest tomorrow morning before proceeding with the plan. But is it possible to complete a phase with 20 watts difference in FTP ?

Have you changed any part of your training setup? Did you come into the test rested and well fuelled? Were you mentally on your A-game? These are just a few of key things that can influence your test.

To your point about completing a block of training ‘above’ your FTP. I’d say yes it’s perfectly possible. What you might have done, if this most recent test is accurate, is built up a block of fatigue that your body hasn’t been able to fully clear.


Either your ramp test result is wrong, or you’ll find you’ll struggle a lot with the vo2 workouts in SSB2. In either case, I’d carry on with the 270W.


My setup is exactly the same and calibrate my PM for each rider. To be honest I wasn’t in my A-Game state when doing the test so perhaps that could have influenced it slightly.

I think the ramp test gives the best results when your power curve is fairly well balanced I.e. you’re not too skewed to either the aerobic or anaerobic end of the spectrum. If you’ve been sticking closely to the SSB1 plan then that is all at threshold or below, so depending on what you were doing before that you may just be skewed a bit towards the aerobic end of the power curve right now. Which would tend to give a lower ramp test score (but you might test higher on a 20 minute effort)

I would stick with 270 and see how you go. If you are skewed to the aerobic end then the first few VO2 workouts are going to be tough but you should also make some pretty quick gains if you haven’t been doing any training above threshold. If you’re having to dial down or backpedal on the VO2 workouts but completing everything else OK then stick with it. If everything is a struggle then would drop your FTP until you can complete workouts again



Thank you for the insight, will keep it for now and modify if needed. Then retest when i have some free time. Cheers!

Hi, thank for this response cartsman. I think I may be suffering the same issue: with same set up, good prep, consistent SSB training, etc, I notice my FTP (per ramp) is decreasing not increasing. I used to race cat 2 (loooooong time ago, no power or HR training) but that was on the track and so my top end is really good, up to like a 1 minute and I can plug along outside but FTP is low. Using the recommended FTP, SS workouts seem super easy but I fear the VO2 workouts if the intervals are more than like 1.5-2 minutes.
So my questions are: 1) stick with recommended FTP, enjoy the “easy” SS workouts, and retest a bit more frequently?
2) stay the course with recommended FTP and test as it is recommended and let my aerobic engine improve?
3) Ignore (sort of) the FTP recommendation and aim for harder SS workouts (I have never understood what they are “supposed” to feel like")

I realize there are a lot of variations on this question in the threads but I still haven’t found the answer I seek!! :slight_smile:

If you are skewed toward aerobic, long, sustained efforts - change method of testing for 20 min test or better for Kolie Moore’s testing protocol. Then you will get your real FTP and SS/TR will be scaled properly. So you will get option 3, from your questions.

Then you can scale VO2 max workouts to your needs - so maybe not 120÷ but 115÷. Top end is easier to work on and you will get a lot faster results than with aerobic part. You can create block of VO2 max workouts to work on your top end and then return to SS/TR.

Thank you, that’s good advice. I am more skewed towards repeated hard short efforts and pretty much feel on the trainer like a workout is “too” easy (like, it feels like it should be harder)–SS-- or way too hard and I’m totally gasping–VO2. But I’ll try an alternative testing method and will try that 115% idea…

So ramp tes underestimate your FTP (so your SS workouts feel easy). Longer test will give you proper FTP for this type of efforts - probably higher than ramp test. Then your VO2 max at 120% will be even harder, so you will have to scale them down a little bit.

If your FTP is higher percentage of VO2 max then ramp test is underestimating, because it includes high end efforts. The releation also shift with training, so you can also work on your top end to grow this celling ans give a little bit more room to grow to your FTP. It also sepends what type of riding/racing you want to do.

At the beginning Ramp test worked pretty well for me but now it underestimates couple of watts (2% the moment so it is not 75% of last minute power but 77%), because I was doing only threshold for 2 months. But I plan VO2 max block to even things a little bit.

Not unusual. The thing to remember is that VO2max is a physiologic condition, not a power number. Sounds to me like you can shave 5% off those >2min VO2max intervals and still achieve a VO2max condition. I can assure you it’s possible to maintain maximal oxygen exchange at powers that are just a smidge above lactate threshold. Just gotta do the interval correctly. :smiley:

I agree with the points above. I wouldn’t retest / use a different test format. You know what it should feel like so add a few % on the SS workouts and go from there. Consider taking down the % intensity a bit during VO2max if that’s getting you through.

So basically you use the ramp test to get the ballpark right and have a repeatable test format, then personalize/adjust from there.

Not hard at all!

Thanks guys! this has actually been super helpful and relieving (I know one of the fundamental issues is my lack of interest in suffering mentally… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).
I will “tighten up” my range between SS and VO2 and go from there!