Your FTP improvements

I have been training mixed indoors and outdoors for about a year and a half. I started TR, last April and have been very consistent. I had several times prior done an honest 236 watts outdoors, and assumed my outdoor ftp to be 240. Close enough. Just before starting TR, I did an outdoor one hour ride at 253 NP. I started the MV sweet spot base and my first TR ramp test gave me an ftp of 212. I figured fine, and the first couple weeks were so easy that I made small increases, settling on 220 feeling very tough, but maneagable. 6 weeks later, I retested at a disappointing 210. I left it at 220 and continued. My 12 week ramp test gave me 205. I said, screw this and went for a hard outdoor ride to test my sanity. 253 watts for an hour. Okay. So I set my ftp to 253 and did LV short power build, riding Z2 on Wednesdays and Sundays. 4 weeks later, did an outdoor ftp test and got 265. Now, we’re cooking with butter. Continued the next 4 weeks of build outdoors and I was consistently doing higher watts than prescribed for the VO2 max interval workouts on Tuesdays (usually doing 340 watts when 320 was prescribed). Thursdays and Saturdays were still tough so I just did what my head unit told me. Then, we went on vacation for a week, then I caught a cold for a week, then the entire state of California lit on fire. So, I didn’t retest, but just finished a 4 week sustained power build.

I have now used plan builder as some buddies last minute want to try for a sub 5hr Century Nov 8th. It will start on Tuesday. I have noticed that although I am stronger, I am mentally not as tough, so I am switching back to full indoor on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, with a short Z2 outdoors on Wednesday and a long Z2 on Sundays. I’m sure my ramp test will be low, but that’s okay. I now know that it doesn’t mean my outdoor riding (where it matters) will improve.

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Relatively new to TrainerRoad and training with power plus also new to the forum - so hey everyone :wave:

Did my first ramp test on TR on 18 August this year - 187W

Followed sweetspot base low volume (I think so anyway, used the plan builder), mainly out on the road rather than on a trainer. Retested mid-way through on 8 September - 216W

Then retested at the end of 6 weeks - 231W - (23.5% increase in 6 weeks!)

Weight is somewhere around 82-83kg.

My initial aim was to get to 200W but that came much quicker than I expected. Have since been following sustained power build (also low volume) and will be retesting in a week or so - looking forward to seeing where I can get to.

I chose to use TrainerRoad because the low volume plans were just at the right level for me to work in around doing crossfit. I thought progression would be much slower, I don’t expect these gains to continue but I’ll enjoy them while they do!

Curious if anybody has set FTP aims before - not sure what a realistic goal would be in terms of % improvement? I’ve not got an event planned or anything but like to have some sort of target in mind, is FTP even a good thing base a goal on?

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I would bet most people who train with power have an idea of where they want their FTP to be, but I wouldn’t necessarily set a FTP goal. If you really need a target, 300w and 4w/kg are common milestones people try to achieve. As you have said, gains wont be linear, so you cant really pin down when/if you can get to a certain number. There is more to training than FTP as well, so don’t get too caught up in the number. Just be consistent and see where the training takes you, especially since you don’t have a specific event to target.

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My experience is after achieving these goals most significant change is the fact you have to eat more to fuel your body (and this is the place where you invest most of the money that you could spent on a new bike) and you have a great number no one cares about :stuck_out_tongue: not to forget you constantly worry that you could loose it…and yes, you are faster on the bike so you can do Z2 when you friends doing a threshold and after 30 min you will be doing recovery ride on a group ride…or you find a new friends and they all faster than you and they are doing recovery ride when you are doing threshold :wink:

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Never really stopped and thought about improvements till now. When i look back, i’ve actually gained more than i thought:

Biggest thing i changed was volume and also doing more z2 rather than sweetspot. Volume was a big step up though (over time)

also eating more carbs, and less fat/protein

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Been following the zwift build me up plan now for the past 12 weeks. During this time I’ve only missed one workout and have maintained running and swimming as I’m training for a triathlon. Because the plan is solely a cycling plan there have been times when the overall workload has been quite challaging and recovery has been an issue.

I ve only ever done a bit of cycling in the past but after signing up for my first triathlon I knew I’d have to do some proper training. Thats why about 16 weeks ago I bought a wattbike and joined zwift. After a bit of playing about I started the the 12 week buikld me up plan with the intention of making some performance gains on the bike and identify weaknesses.

At the start of the plan I undertook a ramp test to determine training metrics and benchmark starting fitness.

The results of the start ramp test gave me a ftp of 220w at 74kg / 2.9wkg

So today was test time again but zwifts final workout is the 20min ftp test. Since I’d gained my origanal ftp using the ramp test I wanted to use the same method again to keep things equal. I’ve been obsessing about trainer road and have been waiting for the zwift plan to come to an end so that I can join.

I did the trainerroad ramp test this morning which resulted in a ftp of 248 at 73kg / 3.4wkg an increase of 13% over the 12 weeks.
Been new to cycling I was expecting a decent power gain so I’m happy with that depite wanting more (I’m greedy)

I still needed to do the the 20min zwift workout to finish the plan so after ignoring the advice given on a diffrent thread I decided to extent my morning ride. My reason for doing it was that even if its purpose was no longer to gain accurate numbers I would at least get a decent workout and spend a bit more time at or around threshold. Wasnt expecting much and didnt know if I was going to even try for the 20mins knowing it wasnt going to be a true reflection of where I’m currently at.
Anyway after a long walm up and some shorter pickups I started the 20min and decided to see how I felt just above old ftp. Every 5mins or so I increased the power by 5-10 watts before ending with more or less all out. I was tired at the end and close to my limits but felt ok considering I’d done the ramp test as part of the same ride. The result of the 20min test were alomost identical as the ramp giving me a ftp of 245w .

I’m happy with my improvments but the results from the 20min test surprise me as I thought i wouldnt be able to get to that number due to the fatigue gained from the ramp test. This then makes me question my ramp test. I can honestly say I did the ramp to the best of my abbilty. My legs totally shut down at 330w and my heart rate was the most I have ever seen it on the bike at 181bpm which is in fack my max running heart rate which i rarely hit.

Hoping to hear peoples opinions on these test results. What do the show? My strenghs and weaknesses? In running I’ve always been better at longer distances and do better at longer training sessions at a more moderate intensity. Do these results show this?

To recap - New to cycling - 12weeks training - Start ftp 220w / 2.9wkg - End ftp 248w/ 3.4wkg
Been new to cycling these numbers dont mean all that much other than a 13% increase in power over a given time. Id be interested to hear peoples thoughts on this increase and where I’m currently at.

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Any improvement is good. Now follow the Sweet spot Base I and II plans and see what happens :wink: !
I had an improvement from 229 ftp to 265 ftp after SSBI and SSB II being new to structured training a couple of years ago . Keep following the plans and trust it, also remember that progress is not linear and expect some set-backs along the way

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Before cycling: competing in Power Lifting in the 90kg class.

  • February 2019: started road cycling
  • Also February 2019: becoming completely obsessed with it, starting to drop weight and training daily.
  • Late March 2019 first FTP test: 259 for 20min at 81kg bw.
  • May 2019: 306W for 20 min at 78kg
  • Until October: riding outdoors, building endurance and having fun.
  • October 2019: 314W for 20 min at 74kg
  • Also October 2019, beginning of a 8 to 11hr per week block perioidization Plan, focusing on TT performance by progressive overload.
  • December 2019: 326W for 20 min at 73kg
  • Entire January: illness with high fever.
  • February 2020: 312W for 20 min at 69kg (losses through illness)
  • May 2020: 338W for 20 min at 70kg
  • July 2020: 352W for 20 min at 329W for 1hr at 70kg.
  • October 2020: 372W for 20 min at 71kg.

Very happy with how things are going.

PS. Writing best 20 minutes instead of “FTP” because I cannot do 95% of this power for 1hr. Maybe 92% or so.

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Awesome results, congratulations!!

That weight loss was huge. What height are you? And also what plans did you follow, and what kind of volume?

Height is 190cm/6’2”.
Weight loss was a big factor earlier on. I definitely lost a lot of fat, but also a lot upper body muscle. I used “look stronger” by classic standards, although I am clearly as fit as I have ever been. Still the visual change may not be for everyone, as I am pretty slender now.
I am doing 8 to 11 hours weekly, progressing in intensity and volume in 4 week blocks and an easier week at the end. FTP test every 8 weeks. 450 to 600 TSS usually.

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I did a ramp test today and I scored a 300! Very excited.

I started with TrainerRoad on October 31st, 2017 with an FTP of 222. Since then, I’ve done countless FTPs tests. Often only gaining 3-5 watts, or even dropping 3-5 watts. However, I’ve slowly managed to keep building towards my ultimate goal of hitting 300 and today it happened. Just in time for the cancelled cyclocross season :smiley:

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First FTP Test Today on Traineroad - after a Road Race on Sunday, Rest on Monday, Tuesday and FTP Test Today was feeling strong.

Have been an “outside” rider until recently, with a few weeks of illness thrown in at the start of my first training block. Managed a 253 to 281 FTP Increase at 60kg (4.7 watts per kg).

Happy with that - eyes on 300 and pumped to see when TR will get me there!

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Amazing numbers at your weight!

I will soon do my second TR ramp test. So far I’ve improved from 238 on Sufferfest earlier this year after a bad motorcycle crash in February. Have some experience training, but this is the first time i’m trianing with structure for cycling.

First 6 weeks of TR will be done tuesday the 3rd of November. Just over a week from now. Will report back then. I feel strong, legs have visibly changed, will go all out.

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I started cycling in June 2019. Newbie gains were relatively good until December.
I did a whole bunch of long outdoor rides with friends smashing ourselves up every climb, then the autumn arrived and Zwifting became more and more prevalent for my midweek sessions. After January Trainerroad made up most of my training volume and by July I gained another 15W… But more importantly my muscle endurance improved a whole bunch.
Unfortunately I crashed in August when I found some unexpected dirt on a fast corner… admittedly I got the KOM on the descent so it’s not like I didn’t deserve to crash…

The shock and road rash kept me off the road for two months
Now I’m at it again hoping to push past the 265W barrier

Height 5’9

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