Workout failures after ramp test and FTP bump

3 weeks ago I did a ramp test and was super happy with my huge FTP bump. I went from a 249 to a 277ftp. I was especially pleased because my last two tests amounted to no FTP bump at all.

After the bump I have not been able to complete a training session. I have really struggled and reduced the difficulty during the ride. I have even reduced my FTP to 270 (a number I would still be happy with)

Any suggestions, or thoughts? What should I do now ? Should I reassess?

I’m feeling a little discouraged. Maybe I just need a break for a while?

I had the exact same thing happen to me. Blindly followed it and suffered through a few months of training as you described. A ramp test many weeks later that yielded the exact same results made me go back and inspect things in the initial test further. I noticed a spike at the end, approximately four seconds long. While I stayed in the saddle, I think I made a push to overcome the declining cadence. If I include this four second push in the calculation my FTP is 6 watts higher than if I exclude it. You could argue that I had that energy in my legs, but honestly I think I would have been better off excluding it and settling for the lower value.

Do you think I should redo the ramp test?

Not sure. Do you see any anomalies in your test like I did? Remember it takes 75% of the best 1 minute power.

Another thing that I experienced was that for the test I would put on loud music and watch a POV bike race on YouTube. It’s both a distraction to the pain and motivation to PUSH. The problem is that if you don’t do those things during your hard workouts it can be mentally tough to demand the same performance from yourself. So I’ve started doing this for hard intervals now and really think it helps me get through them. The TR crit videos work or I recommend the World Cup XC races on RedBull TV.

These are just a couple of examples of things that have happened to me that caused me to struggle to adopt a newer/higher FTP. Even if you can’t pinpoint something that’s causing your workouts to be overly hard, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t something making them overly hard. Think it through. What’s different?

Coach Chad said in a recent podcast that people get faster all the time without excessive suffering (the episode on DOMS I think). From that perspective, I’m certain you will still get gains even if you reduce it a few percent for a while. As motivating as a higher FTP number is, remember that it’s a journey.

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That’s good advice, the loud music and POV video. I will try that👍

Just drop your FTP. It’s only there to set the difficulty of the workouts, and if they’re too hard then it’s too high. You can always bump it back up again if things are too easy.

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