My question is if there are any recommendations on how to prepare for doing a ramp test (as in, some sort of [mini-] plan to optimize a ramp test?)
Background is that I’ve been a TR subscriber for about 14 months and am otherwise pretty happy with the AI FTP detection now inherent in the software (and which I believe has been good at tracking my FTP changes, both up and down) but am wondering if ‘exclusively using’ the AI FTP detection will turn into a crutch and prevent me from developing the skills needed to successfully execute an FTP test (ramp or otherwise, like an 8 or 20-minute test). I’d be hard-pressed to describe how ‘getting better at ramp/FTP tests’ would correspond to some ‘on the bike’ scenario, but I am convinced that ‘avoiding FTP tests because they are hard, and the AI FTP detection will automatically do that for me’ correlates to me not developing an arrow in my cycling quiver (to borrow the phrase).
I’m coming up on the completion of my training program (“A” event in a week, followed by the usual endurance rides the week after) and my thoughts have turned to what is going to be next, where I don’t have any particular “A” events beyond what I’ll do next week and thought that perhaps I might take a month or so (with the corresponding thought that a month is as somewhat random period) to choose) to do workouts that might lead to more success with the ramp test (and to some extent, given I yet to have a specific event to prepare for, maybe doing some preparation for an FTP test might be something to try).
And, not that I’m somehow ‘afraid’ of doing a ramp test (even if it’s a workout where - ideally and as I understand - you should complete it with a ‘10 out of 10 effort’, and it’s a draining workout), more that the parameters (power profile many minutes above my existing FTP, higher HR and for longer than other TR workouts, [likely] at or very near VO2max, etc.) seem to all be new.
Quick background is that my last ramp test was when I started with TR (Jun '22), where I stopped the test more on a mental limitation (sort of psyching myself out with the hard workout, I suppose) than a physical one - whereas now (many TR workouts later), I’m more used to pushing myself at powers above my FTP (think threshold/VO2 max workouts and such).
Part of me is like ‘just pick a new plan and do the ramp tests at the beginning of each block’ though on the other hand that might seem to preclude ramp test-like workouts (examples: Guyat, Piute -2, Rendezvous, Ragged, Dragontail, Tower, Tulaichean, Xueshan, Lolota) which I believe would help me get used to the ramp test.
In any event, what thoughts do you all have on ‘preparing for a ramp test’?