Will the need for a ramp test go away in the future

Hello, I was curious if the need to do a ramp test will go away in the future (near?) if with intelligence in the software and analyzing recent rides/workouts you have done, will your FTP be able to be predicted (with some accuracy) without needing to do the test?

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I’d say not, the structure of a training plan, rest week and then test on newly adapted legs/lungs is fairly integral to the traineroad method of training.

Besides, who doesnt love a ramp test!? :wink:

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You might be able to skip the FTP test itself but the models are always going to require maximal efforts across your power curve to make any kind of meaningful FTP prediction.

For example, WKO has modeled FTP (mFTP). It’s pretty accurate during the racing season and when I’m doing hard group rides. But during base training in particular when I’m not doing any maximal efforts, it’s way off what I test that.

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I think considering that the Ramp Test was created because the average person has a really difficult time pacing an effort consistently that reflects their FTP, it would be interesting to see what kind of efforts (without being long/requiring steady pacing) would be used to calculate that! Would definitely take a lot of resources and analytics to compile that information from the breadth of an athlete’s workout data, would be cool nonetheless! But for now, the Ramp Test isn’t going anywhere. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

LOL RIGHT!?

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Workouts or rides don’t push you to the point of failure; the ramp test does. How will you (or the computer/algorithm) know what your point of failure (your highest one minute/theoretical power) is if you’re not pushing yourself to the limit to find that point? It will only be able to extrapolate your highest one minute power for a given ride or workout, which is not quite the same as pushing yourself so hard until you cannot continue with the express purpose of establishing your theoretical hour power. Or am I missing something?

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I don’t see why, unless some of those workouts and rides include maximal efforts, and you were going to do the same workout or ride at the end of every block. If you just finish every workout as prescribed, you probably gained fitness in the process, but there’s not enough information there to figure out how much.

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There are a number of “non-test” ways to estimate FTP. Here are two threads discussing one option and the ideology behind it. This and others (WKO and more?) use certain “max efforts” to estimate FTP. These likely need to come from things other than typical workouts. Things like races, hard group rides or deliberate efforts outside of “training” mentality seem necessary for these models.

I have no real idea how accurate or useful they are, but the Intervals.icu one seems reasonably close to my Ramp test results from 2020.

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It’s lower than my last ramp test so I’m going to say that it’s inaccurate, but of course I would say that :rofl:

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The best predictor is your feeling I would say. If you have a good sense for how Endurance, SS, TH, VO2 max should feel like you don’t have to test at all. That’s at least what I do. Haven’t tested in a year.

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If you know your body and your response rate to workouts the need to assess your FTP goes away. Figuring out your failure point on long threshold efforts can let you dial it in without any sort of assessment

Takes a while but you can definitely ballpark it pretty quickly and then dial it in with a few different workouts over the course of a training block.

As for the machine learning aspect - sure, it would be possible. Someone out there has the data to do something like this, but that doesn’t make it easy

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The question is why would you estimate your FTP without doing hard efforts. You will have a random number that does not have any validation and use other than another workout.

Personally I do not race and I happy that wko pushes me to do some max efforts and they give me a lot of satisfaction afterwards, because this way spinning on a hamster wheel is way more motivating and I like to see what is my limiter (physical, and what kind of physical or mental) during these hard tests.

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I definately have a problem!

Seriously though, I’ve started doing an extra ramp test while fully fatigued at the end of training blocks to get an FTP range. (Plus I enjoy them :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).
Prior to the tests above I hit 226 while totally knackered. After a week of recovery I couldn’t get my HR above 169 in 3 ramp tests spaced out over 2 days. In that situation the ramp test is a waste of time.
The intervals icu eFTP tracks my progress pretty well I and worked well when applied to a workout.
I think knowing how threshold should feel is still the best indicator by far.

PS. I reserve the right to take back my comment about ‘enjoying’ ramp tests at the end of build. I’m pretty sure I’ll feel differently if the numbers are near last years.

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I hope not. How else am I going to torture myself every 4-6 weeks?

I follow my data on intervals.icu. The estimated FTP is typically within a few watts of where I test via a ramp test. It is based on you doing harder efforts to determine where you should be in your FTP. I find it works well if I have been doing some harder all out efforts.

The advantage of taking a test though is you are aiming to do a hard effort and can measure the performance.

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Hmm I always thought it was because the average person a) hasn’t been asked and doesn’t try, b) TR doesn’t ask anyone to try except for some efforts like Tallac and Monitor +1 and a few others, and c) the 8-min and 20-min ask you to pace ABOVE FTP? Is this an inside trainer issue? Because I can’t be more average and yet I learned the pacing in my first year of cycling in my mid-fifties :man_shrugging: Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks :circus_tent:

:+1:

:+1:

EDIT:

look below!

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I think you need to start at ‘why are we doing the assessment?’ If it’s ‘to measure progress’ then it’s an OK measurement… but you have the PR chart which is a much better way to measure progress. If it’s to set intensity levels for all workouts then we know that phenotypes completely screw up the traditional Coggan’s levels above threshold. So using an FTP as a basis for for prescribing VO2/anaerobic workouts is ‘not best practice’ anymore. So if you’re doing it to prescribe sub threshold workouts the ramp test is so skewed by the athlete’s anaerobic and VO2 max contribution that it is mostly useless for setting a solid target there.

Make your testing more organic. Prescribe intervals that the athletes “can’t” do and use what they do do to figure out what their max is. Stretch a threshold interval a bit beyond their PB. Target their 3 minute interval 5% above their best. Find the gaps in the PB curve that you need to find the data you need for good prescriptions.

TR has some of the slickest and most modern UI/platform experience out there. To get to that ‘next level’ they need to leverage the data they already have into making prescriptions for the athlete.

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It wasn’t needed for those of us who can pace a 2x8 or a 20 minute effort…so sure, its possible it might go away, but what metrics would the science rely on to better estimate (“predict” implies a future value) the current training level? HRV? HR Efficiency? HR reserve? All of those things fluctuate due to non-performance related inputs, while FTP MIGHT remain very steady.

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I asked pretty much this question a wee while back.

With the data trainerroad is gathering every workout I believe it is entirely feasible that a plan/ftp should be capable of actually adapting itself automatically as you go along.

Someone said something about the a.i. that would be needed for that kinda thing and I disappeared into a daydream about Skynet and the terminator cycling on my turbo trainer and it all got pretty hazy after that.

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:rofl::joy:Terminator on a bike - someone should make that a meme.

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Xert already advertises “No FTP test ever”. From my understanding it uses your workout data to provide and estimate of FTP and bases your workouts off of that on the fly.

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