Using a workout as a FTP test

Hi all, I have decided that through the winter, i want to perform some sort of test every 3 weeks, to keep track of progress, but also fatigue, freshness etc.

However, if i am testing as often as every three weeks, ideally i want to utilize a high quality workout (reserved for saturdays when im fresh) that i can use as a test. My idea was to do for isntance 10x3 minutes on resistance mode, and use the average intervall power as an indication of performance, and see how it develops over time.

I could ofc do 40 minutes or 1 hour steady average power, but this seems very hard on the motivation, and very dependant on pacing. The ramp test is fine for testing, but is not a full value worjout by itself in my mind.

Any suggestions or solutions?

Testing every three weeks may not be ideal, usually it’s advised to perform a test every four weeks if you are following a layout where you work for three weeks and then recover for one week. There are also many coaches who recommend to test less than that, like every 2, 3, 4 or even more months.

Obviously it’s subjective, but to me three weeks don’t seem enough to develop many adaptations (Coach Chad often says that it takes up to 6 weeks to see improvements) and also I don’t understand how you would structure a plan like that. I mean, when would you do recovery/de-load weeks?

Aren’t overunders a weekly FTP test basically? :joy:


Well a very simple structure would be something like:

1 week sweetspot (3 x sweetspot + 1 vo2max)
1 week Vo2max (3 x vo2max)
1 week reduced, with test at end of week (1 quality workout + testing at end of week)

In each week the plan would be to have 3 hard workout, focusing on the weeks “theme”, but never go below 1 vo2max workout per week.

This is to have a very simple setup that is quite adaptable. I do veried training, both floorball, running and cycling, and i try to make it social, so need an adaptable plan i can work with. Hence i like the idea of touching ground every 3 weeks to get an indication of how my level is. Now i dont expect major improvements for every 3 weeks, and im fully aware that some times i might test lower than previously, but i still want that “honest answer” abit more often.

These are the only things mentioned that would resemble an FTP assessment unfortunately. Of course as mentioned, a hard over/under workout will probably tell you if you’re in the right ballpark.

Nonetheless, in my opinion some options are:

  • Kolie Moore FTP test protocol. Maybe you won’t like it the first couple of times, but it’s both a great workout and a test that gives you an accurate estimate of your FTP and TTE.

  • 20 minute FTP test: it’s still a workout and, depending on how much anaerobic you are, a good estimate of FTP with the 95% formula

  • 30 minute test: Yet another test, however a 30 minutes all out effort can be fun to do once in a while and an effective workout.

  • Lamarck is a great workout that can give you an idea of where you FTP is, but not an actual number you can rely on.

A max 5m to 8m effort can be used to estimate FTP (like does) or you can just look at that number. With regards to pacing longer efforts: If you have gone out too slowly just keep the power for as long as you can (i.e. do more than 8 minutes or whatever the target was). The power and duration you end up with will give you an FTP estimate which will be higher for more time.

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Honestly, though, your plan looks too intense and “repetitive” to be done through all winter, especially if it should be your base phase.

Also, considering that you do other sports, you won’t be fresh for every workout and that’s not ideal if you are doing 3x VO2 Max per week.

I don’t know if you are subscribed to TR, but I would follow a Low Volume base plan and adjust it depending on your time availability and FTP test preference.

Thanks for alot of suggestions. I am quite experienced with training hard, and although a TR member i also do alot of selfmade workouts.

For sweetspot i really like my selfmade 6x 10 minutes at 93% of FTP. Its abit low, but at the same time i am able to do it two days after eachother at times.

For Vo2max i like 10x3 minutes, or different variations of 30/15 blocks.

All together i usually workout 6 times a week, usually 3 on bike, 2 runs and 1 floorball day.

Kolie Moores test protocol referred above is a decent workout or a nice hill climb nearby that you can use a gauge on performance on a regular basis as part of a longer ride