Disappointing Ramp Test

ramp-test

#102

Nailed it. This should be added to the official workout text :wink:


#103

Erg vs resistance and your pacing aside, the trouble you’re having is that the target wattage (for the 20 minute period) displayed on the test is 102% where it actually needs to be 105.2% (1/0.95) to get the same FTP result as you started with. By luck you increased the workout intensity to 104% and got very close to the target wattage: 102% x 104% = 106%.

This is a something that TrainerRoad should change as it doesn’t give a correct indication of the power that you need to hold to give an increase in FTP. It’s a bit like in the ramp test when it tells you how well you’re doing when you’d actually have a decrease in FTP if you stopped at that point.

Mike


#104

It’s the same with the 8 minute test - the target wattage is marginally lower than the break even point - assuming it’s still a 0.9 multiplication factor.


#105

So it is. Should be 111.1% rather than the 110% in the workout file. At least it’s a bit closer. Still pretty annoying though.

Mike


#106

I am not totally disappointed but just need/want some advice.

Completed General Build last weekend and did the Ramp test last night at start of SS Base medium vol. My ramp test result 4 weeks ago was a good increase from 254w to 267w. This is about as high as I have managed in my 4 years of cycling. 272 last summer on road. My result last night was 262w (down 5w) which I accepted. I have been feeling a bit tired this last few days and may have been able to get the same as last time otherwise but that was my limit.

During the ramp test I need to get past the 365w ramp. It seems totally impossible for me at the minute.

What training can I best do to enable me to pass this plateau?

My Vo2 Max seems to be around 320w. Should I try Chads Vo2 Max Booster for 2 weeks???

My plan was to do:
SS Base Med Vol 2 then
Sustained Power Build Med
40k TT Speciality

Recent Ramp Test
Previous 4 week test

Thanks


#107

How useful will VO2 max be in your races (TT plan - do you do anything else?), and how close do you think your FTP is to topping out?
If you are focussing on pan flat TTs (so you’re going to be around threshold the whole time), and you can still raise your FTP by working the other zones then I wouldn’t worry about focusing on VO2. There’s no point in changing your plan to improve how well you test if your racing doesn’t match the demands of the test.
On the other hand, if your racing involves time spent in these power zones, or if you feel that you have hit the limit of how high you can push your FTP, then maybe focusing on VO2 for a bit is worthwhile.


#108

How useful will VO2 max be in your races (TT plan - do you do anything else?), and how close do you think your FTP is to topping out?
If you are focussing on pan flat TTs (so you’re going to be around threshold the whole time), and you can still raise your FTP by working the other zones then I wouldn’t worry about focusing on VO2. There’s no point in changing your plan to improve how well you test if your racing doesn’t match the demands of the test.
On the other hand, if your racing involves time spent in these power zones, or if you feel that you have hit the limit of how high you can push your FTP, then maybe focusing on VO2 for a bit is worthwhile.

I have been primarily focused on TT s and my primary goal this year is to improve 10 and 25 mile tt PB times. However I did some Club Level Road Races last year and would like to have a go at the Masters Open Racing league this year but feel my higher zones and 5s 1m and 5m power is weak.

I would love to get my ftp moving towards the 300w but feel stuck at present.


#109

VO2max work is useful no matter what type of racing you do but don’t get sucked into it just because you want to ‘game’ the ramp test. Sustained Power Build MV has quite a lot of the longer VO2max intervals so should do the job as intended.

My advice would be to get used to doing the 20 minute test - it is essentially what you’re trying to get good at as a TTer so these efforts should be second nature. All of this chat about the ramp test being easier to perform (by removing pacing and reducing the amount of pain) isn’t always what you want and sometimes you just don’t get a result that gives a true reflection of you physiology.

Mike


#110

So I had a disappointing Ramp Test yesterday that I like to share. My FTP dropped a massive 19%. There goes all the build-up I’ve done last year.

I’m looking at several causes that might have influenced my outcome FTP. Just wanting to share and get your thoughts about it.

  • In September I started working with a personal tri-coach who builds his trainings using HR zones. Until december I’ve been doing a lot of easy indoor rides with focus only on my HR zones, and not using any power. Before that I’ve been using TR for about 2 years, with consistency (especially last year). So I did about 3.5 months of totally different training than I was used to.

  • In late December I’ve been struggling to train consistently. Even the schedule my coach made for me I was not able to fit all session in my schedule, due to several reasons at home/work and Christmas time as well. I started faithfully in the beginning of 2019 to get back on track with my consistency.

  • I was very ill for the last two weeks and also our little son wasn’t feeling well. So it took of a lot of time of taking care for him, and myself as well. I’ve not been able to do any real training in that time.

  • So last days I’ve been feeling well again and wanted to get back into my training. I’ve decided to get back into TR training more instead of using my coaches approach. Disscussion with him has been done about that and how to fit that in my schedule.

So I did the Ramp Test yesterday to establish my FTP for the coming period. I felt terrible and could not get anywhere near my previous FTP. Not sure which of the above reasons have caused it, but I suspect all of them to have had some impact.

What are your thoughts?


#111

I wouldn’t even adjust your FTP based on a 5w drop, especially if you were tired. General Build isn’t easy and you could well be carrying fatigue even after your rest week.

Being close to your previous FTP peak, it’s going to be tougher to make gains, but they’ll keep happening if you’re consistently training and increasing your training load.


#112

Thanks. I think it’s probably all about consistency and progression over time. Hopefully I will have a breakthrough to a new realm.


#113

Makes a lot of sense and the 20 mnute test does seem more relevant to TT efforts too. Thanks Mike.


#114

Had my ramp test yesterday to start Sustain Power Build High Volume, after SSB 1 & 2 high volume completed a week ago and then a weeks Alpine skiing last week.

Been feeling a bit below par with a cold and tired since the skiing but thought I would give it a shot. The result was my FTP dropping from ~350 to ~270 W. This didn’t surprise me as even the 50 % ftp was feeling unusually difficult so the writing was on the wall early on. Needless to say, I’m not going to adopt my new FTP but will probably wait a few days before trying again!

This was the first time I’ve felt the test was unrepresentative, even as someone who is a primarily a time trialler and usually struggles to complete intervals above 110 % VO2 max, the results from the 20 min tests have been comparable to the results from the ramp test.


#115
  • What is the time span between these two tests?
  • Did you use exactly the same test protocol and prep for each test?
  • And this all seems to have been very low intensity.
  • So about 4 weeks max (with the next comment mattering a LOT).
  • So the prior 4 weeks is actually only 2 weeks of training.
  • Not surprising in the least. You might as well have been off the bike for a month (or more) with the history you have behind you.

Where to go?

  • Nobody likes this answer, but forget that old FTP, period.
  • Take the FTP you earned from the test and start training at that.
  • You can always retest in a couple of weeks or manually increase the FTP if you find the workouts become easy from a quick bump in fitness.
  • You may consider that old FTP a target, but I think it can be detrimental in many cases. Better to focus on getting in a consistent schedule and start nailing workouts, regardless of the FTP number.
  • You have nowhere to go but up, so get after it :smiley:

#116

The last test was also a Ramp Test, so I did the same test each time. Main difference was that last time I was full on in training for my middle distance triathlon, and this time… well you’ve read how the last period has been. :wink:

There were about 5 months between these tests. I didn’t test regularly when I started with my coach, because I wanted to give him the benefit of my doubts in his ability as he was one of the top long distance triathlete from our country.

Your tips for where to go are exactly what I’m planning on doing.

  • I accepted the lower FTP proposed after the test and did a follow-up Carillon -5 to get in some additional work.
  • I’ll need to get back into consistently training and I’m confident that it will rise again. Because I’ve done it before.
  • My target has never been a specific FTP number up to now. And it will not become one. Building consistency is my focus and the rest will follow.
  • There is a lot to be gained from where I’m now, so that’s motivating (a little…) :smiley:

#117

Do you have a power meter or smart trainer? Did your tri coach know that when he prescribed HR zone training on the bike?


#118

Yes I do have a smart trainer that he is aware of. He just prefers to use HR for most of the time, especially in off-season.


#119

Man, that’s interesting. HR has its uses, but anymore it is most valuable when compared to metrics that measure actual work/effort, like power for the bike, and pace (or power if you’re into Stryd) on the run. Specifically, aerobic decoupling in the offseason and base periods can be extremely useful in letting you know when to progress to your build phase or when you need more baseline aerobic work. Coaches are entitled to their own philosophies, but HR is an antiquated metric by which to program training (IMO, of course) with the advent of power and GPS-pace based metrics, and especially with the availability of an indoor smart trainer on the bike.


#120

Great thread, and some excellent points in particular from @mcneese.chad and @stevemz to bring some context to our disappointment!

I’ve just started struggling with Ramp Test, and I can’t figure out why. I’ve done 2 seasons of TR now, topping out at around 266w FTP each year. This season has been going great, until now!

SSSB1
Tested Oct 2nd - bailed at 18m23s - FTP = 244w

SSB2
Tested Nov 14th - bailed at 21m02s - FTP = 256w

As part of this I managed Lamark on Dec 14 that averaged 262w for the 4 intervals.

GB
Tested Dec 31st - bailed at 20m25s - FTP = 265w

I think I managed the most of the first section of General Build quite well. Most of the Tuesday sessions I dropped the intensity by 1-2% as I have always struggled with Vo2 and the last 2 seasons have been focussed on Sustained Power Builds. By doing that I managed to complete all the sessions (taking into account the comments on the podcast about duration at intensity, rather than heights of intensity) and missed only 1.

Then in week 4 I had a crash whilst commuting, and took a few days off, which led me to my next test;

Tested Jan 27th - bailed at 330w - FTP = 247w

Gave myself another week with a few primer sessions (Goddard, Diamond, Trulli) to get my head back into intensity again. Enjoyed those sessions and began feeling better.

This morning feeling well fuelled and confident I went again;

Tested Feb 6th - bailed at 18m0s - FTP = 240w

I train with a Rotor PM so that’s always consistent, however I changed trainer from Elite dumb ti Kurt dumb at the start of January. All of Build has been completed on that so far, so I can’t see why that would be the cause?!

I’m thinking of going for Lamark again at the weekend and see where that leaves me, as dropping everything based on where I was before I started seems wrong.


#121

Can you comment on the feel and potential of inertia differences between the trainers?
It may account for at least some of your issues.

With the Ramp, I suggest lowering your FTP a bit before the test (to something equal to or less than you really expect you are at (and NOT where you WANT to be). My reasoning is that if you Ramp test with too high of an FTP, you can still get a test in, but the steps are 6% of your FTP at the start.

If you are having trouble, it’s possible that the larger steps are taking more out of you than somewhat smaller steps. Maybe a stretch, but worth consideration.