I did a ramp test, which was obviously wrong, so I re-did it with better results, but still had me thinking the FTP was a bit low (154), but decided to stick with it and see how my first workout goes.
Did my first workout today - Mount Field 1 (what TR selected for me) - and it was pretty easy. My avg HR was only 121 bpm, which barely puts me in my zone 2. Is it supposed to be this easy? I did work up a sweat but barely, and I had no fan on. Some fatigue in my legs (but I squat 3x week, including yesterday). Should I re-do the ramp test, adjust my FTP upward a bit? or will TR and my trainer adjust for me? Cadence wise, I was able to maintain my normal cadence but it did feel a bit like I had to refrain from going a bit harder to stay there or else I’d start going to 105+ (I try to stay mid 90s)
I don’t mind “easy” if that’s what it’s supposed to start out like but just want to make sure I’m doing things correctly.
Mount Field -1 is 3X12mins at 80% FTP, so it should be pretty easy but having your HR in low Z2 probably means it was a bit too easy. However, with TR’s AI, they should be able to recognize that it was too easy and adjust your future workouts to make them harder. I’d stick it out and wait to retest for another month.
If you don’t have the patience for that, you can pick ‘alternate’ workouts that are slightly harder and ramp up the intensity that way. But that is a recipe for burnout if you aren’t careful.
Finally, I’d say your third option is to bump up your FTP by ~5-10% right away. Seems like you could do this, but without much training history, it’s hard to know, and again is a recipe for burnout if you’re too aggressive.
Generally speaking, any given workout you get isn’t going to be hard on it’s on when you’re fresh and at the beginning of a plan, but may be once the cumulative fatigue of weeks of workouts builds, not as much. Trust the process here. Rate the rides honestly in the post ride survey and like AT take control. If will compensate over time. If in 3-4 weeks from now, everything is still easy, then possibly retest.
My newbie experience is that picking up an alternate at higher level, will safely speed up the process, while staying within the boundary of whatever plan are you on. So next time you have sweet spot you could try and select and alternate that is Stretch or Breakthrough and see how it goes. If your first workout was so easy, it feels like you have room to raise the level quite a bit.
I take it you mean -1 and not +1 which doesn’t exist. It looks to me that Mount field -1 is a low level SS workout (SS PL 1.1 and IF 0.73) which IMO should seem quite easy. You’re in the system now trust it and don’t worry about it let AT and AI FTP D do the thinking, especially if you have several months to your A race. If you think it is a bit close to your A race you may think about giving them a nudge as the other posters are suggesting but personally I wouldn’t bother.
I use intervals.icu (and WKO5), which gives me threshold(ftp) notification for any max effort above ?12? minutes. I believe it’s more precise as it takes my anaerobic capacities into account. My short power is abysmal so I always underperform ramp tests.
Another way to test ftp fast is to do a max effort that raise your heartrate to ±95% of max, and directly follow by your “ftp” power. If you are at ftp the heart rate will stay constant. Everything above will raise HR, anything below will lower HR. I usually do it for about 20 minutes (and ramp up power for the last minutes until I explode) as it works well with all the different algorithms, and may be the perfect VO2Max workout, but it could be done just for 3 min. The 3 minute all-out test - YouTube
For me, 1 hour 60 TSS treshold workout should be almost easy to complete. 1 hour 70 TSS treshold workout will be lots of pressure on me but still it will be finished successfully and 80 TSS would be fail probably. When I am coming from a break, I am using this reference to validate my FTP. But of course everyones ranges can be different.
Welcome to TrainerRoad! We created both Adaptive Training and AI FTP Detection to speak more effectively to your fitness beyond just isolated testing protocols.
That said, @benb is right on the money that "with TR’s AI, they should be able to recognize that it was too easy and adjust your future workouts to make them harder."
However, they’re also right that "picking harder workouts is “a recipe for burnout if you aren’t careful.”
It’s been hard for me as an athlete to reconcile with not all training needing to totally tax me in every workout. That’s not productive in the larger design of your fitness progression, so first; be okay with a workout feeling not super challenging, (and good job marking it as such in your survey!), and second, trust that Adaptive Training is going to intelligently guide you to make your workouts the appropriate intensity.
It will only learn more and more the more workouts you complete, and continue to dial you in!
You may have more questions that arise as you move through your training, feel free to DM or post again if you need help or clarification with anything!
Curious, how does the AI recognize that a workout was too easy? my HR? Something else? And then how quickly does it adjust?
For example this first workout I’ve described, like I said my avg HR was barely in zone 2. I would think the AI would figure this was a bit too easy and adjust the future workouts, should this be happening? If it does adjust, does it increase the FTP or select different workouts? When I look at future workouts, they don’t seem much different from the one I just did in terms of difficulty.
Your survey response post-workout! You marked it as ‘easy’, so. Adaptive Training served you an adaptation for select workouts that follow to be more difficult. You can see this in the Workout Level of your future workouts that changed.
Immediately post-workout and survey in your pending adaptations.
There are a number of reasons why heart rate isn’t the most reliable metric for difficulty, especially in its variation between athletes. This is why post-workout surveys are so informative to AT. More on HR [here].
Your workout level will increase, then as you complete workouts at a higher level, your Progression Levels adjust to reflect that work as a statement of your current fitness!
AT may suggest workouts with a different profile than originally assigned, where your target zone for that day may be reduced or increased in intensity, while still meeting the goal of that zone or system for the workout. We see this model in Workout Alternates as well.
Adaptations are meant to be gradual and achievable, but it’s important to not stress too much about your first workout that is, by design, meant to be very achievable.
Be patient with that workout difficulty increase, trust AT is calibrating each time you complete a workout and answer a post-workout survey, and give yourself a chance to settle into the workload and complete some workouts that are designed to be challenging before making any big changes. I bet you’ll be appropriately pushed as AT moves you forward.
I believe there might be an issue with this. The post workout survey lowest rating is easy, so if a workout is “very easy” or “very very easy” AT has no way to know and will adapt, I believe, in the same way, regardless if the workout was easy or incredibly easy.
Closed loop adaptive systems work really well if the starting point is reasonable. If the starting point is at the extreme of the range or out of range they take a long time to converge.
This is a general consideration on adaptive algorithms, not specific to AT, because I don’t know exactly how it works.
AT will know the distinction, and respond to those ‘easy’ outcomes differently!
If you’re increasing the intensity of your intervals and exceeding power goals of the workout, combined with an ‘easy’ response on post-workout survey, you’ll be accelerated in the difficulty of your adaptations more severely than just doing what’s assigned and marking it as ‘easy’.
update after two weeks. I’ve done all of the prescribed workouts, and then have been adding an easy spin day on Sunday, so a 4th unscheduled workout. It’s gotten to a point where I do rate some rides moderate, but overall still feels fairly easy as my HR is still solidly in zone 2, and more towards the low end, even for workouts that are supposedly temp/sweet spot and threshhold. So things have picked up a bit but not by a whole lot. On the unscheduled rides, I actually bump the intensity up 10% too.
One thing I’ve noticed after 2 weeks is that I seemingly need no recovery time from these workouts. I haven’t done so yet because I have my fitness pretty scheduled out, but if I wanted to, I feel like I could easily go on a 5 mile run right after, or do some heavy squats. Far less recovery need than post-lifting or post-running, even easy runs.
The next ramp test is still a month away. Debating whether I should just re-test now? Just looking at the workouts from now until then, they don’t seem that much harder than the ones I’ve done, mainly because I know I could ride that FTP level fairly easily. Or if I keep going, is that light week before the ramp test really necessary? Just noticed the week before the next ramp test has workouts with very low TSS. I can’t imagine that doing much for me at all.
If they are still very very easy you could always click Alternates and then select one with a higher Progression Level, or one labeled as Breakthrough. If you do some of those and they are still easy and you select easy in the post workout survey then everything should ratchet up significantly.