Training Workout Questions

Hi, this is my first year using TR and I really enjoy it but have a few questions regarding training workout data, frequency of Ramp Testing and comparing training data to racing data. At the beginning of my TR journey (January 2021), I took a Ramp Test that determined my FTP was 276. That’s about where I thought it would be. I’m probably not the usual TR user. I only use TR a couple times/week … normally mid week and on Saturdays, if there’s inclement weather and I cannot ride outdoors. Aside from that, I teach two 45min HIIT spin classes/week as well. For me, that’s plenty of cycling and it fits into my life well. Regarding the TR training workouts, I initially struggled a bit w/ the high cadence suggested but have learned to embrace it and know there are times in all long-course triathlons where I’ll alternate back and forth between low and high cadences. I raced a 70.3 last weekend and did fairly well. My bike time was 2:38 (but had to get off the bike three times for various reasons. My race data was as follows - 56.23mi / 2:38:34 / Avg Speed 21.3mph / Avg Cadence 70rpm / Avg Max Cadence 149rpm / Avg Power 305 / Normalized Power 317 and / Max20min Power 339. I know that I didn’t overbike, b/c I ran a PB of 1:37:25. So, looking at this data, does this indicate that I need to take another Ramp Test? Lastly, I’m trying to wrap my head around some of the TR workouts (the data that is). For example, I just completed Phoenix. For the 90 minutes, the data said that I only covered 24.83 miles at a 16.6mph pace. Believe me, I felt like I rode much further at a faster pace. Again, the recommended rpms were between 85-95 and preferably closer to 95 (my avg cadence was 94rpm). I often play around w/ lower cadences and faster cadences to see if it makes a difference (other than feeling the muscular load. I’m not sure if one over the other impacts of distance covered and the mph overall - but I’m hoping for a little help understanding how to best execute these types of workout … and if I should even be concerned about these numbers at all.

Welcome to TR and the forums!

To answer your questions:

General advice is to retest your FTP every 4-6 weeks. It’s probably best if you take a recovery week before testing, as that’s when your body has time to rebuild after the adaptations you’ve made.

About the distance question, I wouldn’t worry about it unless it really matters a lot to you. It’s more-or-less meaningless and has essentially no reflection on the real world. The distance can be affected by which gear you’re in, which trainer/pm you use and the wheel size setting. Some people prefer to set wheel size as 0 since the “distance” doesn’t reflect reality in any way, shape or form.

Ah. Just reread your post to make sure I’d answered everything. If you FTP is set in TR at 278 but you’re averaging 300+w for two hours, you should retest. BUT, one question to clarify. How are you measuring power on TR and outdoors? Are you using the same PM? What kind of trainer are you using?

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Thanks for the advice. Regarding my power data, I use a Stages power arm/crank (both while riding on a CycleOps Hammer smart trainer and when riding outdoors. The only real difference is that when riding outdoors, my Stages arm/crank syncs to my Garmin 520 cycling computer versus directly to TR (when on the trainer).

Hm. Do you use erg mode with power match or resistance?

Thinking about if there’s a different power reading indoors v out. But also, having said that, you haven’t tested since January, and with the amount of time that’s passed a 10% increase since January isn’t abnormal. But Avg Power of 300+ for two hours would put your FTP gain well north of 300w FTP.

TR doesn’t really calculate speed/distance. if you were to do the same workout twice and pedal 100 rpm avg it would be represented as a further distance traveled than if you had rode at 80 rpm avg.

As others have stated it would be best to ramp test ever 4-6 weeks

Erg mode while on smart trainer. The only thing I can think of (regarding the FTP) … maybe my initial FTP was lower than it should’ve been. I could’ve made a mistake when performing the test - it was my first one.

This very well could be the case. If so, I’d say schedule a recovery week soon and then retest.