Yet another, "i did a bad ramp test" question

Tuesday February 23rd i did a ramp test and got 290 Watt, This Tuesday 23rd of March i did another test and got 257 Watt. In the weeks from the 23rd of Feb to this week i was still averaging about 8 hours a week, doing mostly lower intensity and no sweet spot or other efforts, yet, a decent amount of volume to not loose 33 Watt on my FTP (-11%).

On both tests i reached a similar max heartrate (~195), however, this last tuesday, i felt weak and tired, which would explain the bad performance on the ramp test and much lower FTP.

I currently just started the base polarized plan of 6 weeks.

Yesterday i did Sheep Mountain, which is 4x8 min @ 100% FTP, and looking at those efforts, my heart rate was much lower than i would expect for 100% FTP efforts. my Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (heart rate @ FTP) is around 180 bpm (175-185), my max is over 200. Breathing was also lower then expected for threshold intervals and RPE was a lot lower than expected for threshold.

Threshold 1: 257 Watt - 165 bpm avg.
Threshold 2: 263 Watt - 168 bpm avg. (102%)
Threshold 3: 274 Watt - 170 bpm avg. (107%)
Threshold 4: 276 Watt - 172 bpm avg. (107%)

So now what? retesting is not really an option, i do not have enough time to be fully rested for another effort on the ramp test. Looking in the plan, the next polarized Z3 (hard) workouts are at power targets that, based on last nights workout, will not be challenging enough. I am fine with my FTP being actually lower than the 290 Watt i tested in February, but i do want the FTP to be somewhat on point for this plan.


  1. keep the 257 Watt FTP, and manually adjust during the workouts, using heart rate and RPE to get the right intensity.
  2. Set FTP to the result from february @ 290 Watt, with the risk of it being too much
  3. Set FTP based on the efforts from yesterday, i’d guess 280 Watt is about right
  4. substitute next weeks hard workout, Dry Peak, which is 4x 8 min @ 104% FTP with an 8 min. or 20 min FTP test?
  5. what else?

I would set your FTP at 270w (just over the average for the 4x 8 intervals this week.

Next week that will give you a target of 280w @ 104%, which is progress, and based on your information sounds achieveable without too much risk of trying to over achieve i.e risk of binning the season.
I would also increase the effort on the fly (maybe turn off erg if you use it and us slope or leave erg on and use +/-) after the the first two intervals to increase thr average wattage for all 4 intervals if possible.

If I did a longer FTP test instead of the 4x 8 session I’d do the Kolie Moore test as it is longer and more closely related to an hour effort which some (S#####) recommend for POL training.


Solid recommendation. I would definitely follow this suggestion and just manually bump up the ftp a bit and see how you feel. At this point you seem to know what efforts should feel like so just be honest with yourself and assess where you are. There are so many variables that can make one day feel harder than another so I wouldn’t place too much stock in a “bad” ramp test. I also don’t think you should worry too much about redoing it either.

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This is probably the best answer
IF you dont feel challenged enough you can always bump the %…

Unless something drastically change (like you changer power sources or bikes or you were sick) I would trust the system.

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Yup sounds like you may have had a bit of a cold or something. I agree with the others. I’d put your FTP to somewhere in the 270-280 range and keep moving forward.

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I pretty much always ramp-test low - like 10-15%. I know my FTP is in the right place, because a) I can do over-unders, they are hard but I can finish them, and b) I can do threshold workouts, they are hard but I can finish them. But ramp testing does not seem to be for me somehow. So I use threshold workouts (including RPE and HR) to tell if I’m ready to bump my FTP up (or down). Works for me.

In your case, I would compare threshold workouts you did between end of Feb and end of March, and see how those went. If they were ok, I’d keep the FTP unchanged.

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I do like ramp tests, but 1 minute intervals…blergh…i’ve used 2,5 minute intervals before, seemed “better”. I’ve been to a sportlab two times, there they have 6 minute intervals, to stabilize lactate which they measure by taking blood.

It starts at 150 Watt and every 6 minutes it increases by 30 Watt . So an average test takes between 40 - 60 minutes before you go nucleair :exploding_head: