I did my first ever FTP test (RAMP TEST) with TrainerRoad back on July 3rd 2018.
I was using the Elite Turbo Power Muin B+, its a great trainer, direct drive and very quiet with an inbuilt power meter (not a real power meter), the Misuro B+. So…this is what I did my first every FTP test on. The result was 238 watts.
From there I started the full distance triathlon plan and my FTP numbers were as follows:
August 2018 - 273
December 2018 - 280
May 2019 - 312
I was very happy with these FTP numbers, I always put it down to the fact that when I was younger I was very fit, I represented Ireland in Tetrathlon [running, shooting (like the skiers in the Olympics), swimming and cross country horse riding]. So I kept telling myself “its muscle memory Phil, your body remembers, this is why you are pushing such high numbers”. I also climb some big mountains around the world so presumed I had a big base. Oh, how I was wrong.
Last week I decided it was time to get a Garmin Vector 3s. I’ve always wanted one as it would be great to have real power numbers for my commute. Around the same time coincidentally I moved from Base into the Build phase of a half distance plan, bring on the v02 max sessions!!! I started using the new power meter instead.
From here I was not able to complete any of the vo2 max sessions, I was able to get halfway and then failed miserably. I decided to get a powerful floor fan because I thought my RPE might be high due to core temperature…this got me a little further but I was still failing.
I decided to test both power meters together, the Muin B+ was reading at 200 and the Garmins were reading at 190. Ok I said, ill reduce my FTP from 312 to 302 and try again. The same thing, failing vo2 workout.
I decided that it would be best to do another FTP test, this time with the new power meter. I was a little shocked and saddened by the result (and embarrassed, only because I was sharing the wrong info all along). The result was 264, a full 48-watt reduction from where I thought I was. I was happy that I understood why I was failing workouts but sad that I was not as advanced as I thought I was.
Seemingly, when the Muin B+ goes above 300 watts, just like what would happen in an FTP test, the wattage number its produces can be way too high, in my case, it was 48 watts too high.
So now I’ve adjusted my FTP and am looking forward to actually getting through the vo2 max workouts for a change
I started to doubt myself mentally, thinking that I was too weak to get through it, all sorts of things were going through my head, “am I sick? am I weak mentally? is this as far as I go?” I even started reading the book Endure to see if I could glean any info (its a great book by the way).
I decided to share this because someone else may run into the same issue with this trainer and or overestimation of FTP.
I love TrainerRoad and the community here. It’s such a great learning experience and I’m very grateful. Thank you all.