Trust the process or retest? FTP Ramp

Okay, so I’m super brand new to trainer road, but have been using Zwift as a training tool and for winter indoor riding since March of 2019. I was using it for Zwift racing to help build me up for the outdoor season this year, but when the outdoor season was cancelled, I went to using Zwift and focused on the indoor racing.

Just before I got massively sick, sometime in April, I did the Zwift ramp test and it estimated my FTP at about 267. When I started feeling better, I tried to do the same intensity but I couldn’t even finish sweet spot training as prescribed. So I retested and it went down to 256, and again down to 240. I have been using the Zwift workouts at 240, and have been consistently completing them but most of them are Zone 2 - 3. I did finish a torturous V02 one.

Fast forward to today, and the last time I did a ramp test was 7-8 weeks ago, so I answered that I haven’t test my FTP with the TR Ramp test. So the test started me out with an FTP of 160 something, and I was on the ramp for quite awhile. It ended up estimating my FTP at 202, after I stopped spinning in the 270s at failure. It’s been two days since I last worked out.

I definitely know I have been capable of a heck of a lot more than that and had done a short race three months ago where I held an average of 261 watts for 19:14, (but I did get sick again in early October and that has been the last race I’ve done) so my question is, should I get over my ego, accept the fact that I’ve gotten sick a few times, that my training hasn’t been that intensive and trust the process? Or should I retest and see if I can do better so that my training plan is more aligned? I guess I’m just nervous about wasting time with way too easy work outs.

Thanks in advance friends!

My FTP in September was 333. In October I took a break from structured training, re-tested at the start of November and I got 282. I was sure the test was wrong, maybe it was the position of my saddle as I was on my TT bike? I re-tested the next day with the saddle down 2cm and guess what? I got pretty much the same result! 283.

Re-test if you want. It’s only approx 20mins, but I’ve accepted that I lost some fitness pretty quick, but sure you’ll get it back quick if you are consistent and stick to the plan.

You will benefit more if your FTP is set correctly than if you set it too high.

That does make me feel a lot better, thanks sad_geoff

If I was you, I would stick with the current FTP even if it is a hit to your ego. Try the first couple of rides and see how it feels. If you have done sweet spot efforts one Zwift, compare the sensation to the workouts you perform on TR. If they are relatively easy, no reason that you can’t manually bump up your FTP.

Trust me, you will be thankful that your FTP is set properly the first time you attempt over-unders.

I had the same disappointment when i managed two increase my FTP from 248 to 251. I was feeling like a gorilla before the test and extremely disappointed with less than 1% gain. After several rides in speciality phase. I decided to accept it but tweak the workout +4-7% on the days i feel better. Next test is on Monday let’s see what will come out.

Sadly enough, i noticed it very late how important the fueling is (i know chad and others mention fueling nearly in every episode) and kept my old habit of fasted rides on the first half of speciality phase and after ~1 kg muscle loss in all these overloads i started eating before the ride almost equal to what will I burn, that’s the time i started conquering 20 mins above ftp intervals like a king.

My suggestion: take it as it is, push yourself during the workouts and tune up without jeopardizing tomorrow’s interval. It feels much better to see you are improving and able to increase the intensity compared to reducing it

I was due for a retest after wrapping up my easy week of the 12 week sweet spot training when I ended up crashing my bike on my way home and getting a concussion. I was out for two weeks, and I found it hard to find the motivation to ride. Since then, I’ve been on and off, and I’ve probably did more ramp tests than actual training rides because I couldn’t stick with a plan and my calf issue kept flaring back up. Each time I did the ramp test, my FTP dropped a bit. I took some time off of the bike and focused on running for a few months, and now I’m starting back up again. I skipped the ramp test this time around, and did a tempo ride to get the block started and test out the calf. So far, my previous FTP result seems to be accurate, so I’m not bothering with a ramp test until I start the next block or if I feel the workouts seem to be too easy or too hard.

The ramp test is just a measure of what you’re capable of at this point in time. Trust the process. You’ll probably get back to your previous fitness level even sooner as you remind your body what structured training is again. Be patient and give yourself time.

Happy Training and Cheers!

After mulling over the advice, I ended up retesting since it was only going to be 20 minutes of my life, and got 13 points higher to 215. I was looking through my absolute best power curve today, and realized that even though I have had an estimate in the 260s, the absolute best one hour power I’ve ever done is 239. Sooo I feel like 215 is quite realistic and feel like I could hold it for an hour, and my lungs and legs were super gassed by the time I finished.

Thanks again for all the advice!