Failed a ramp test today, so the answer is No.
I think that’s an inaccurate description of those systems. In order for those models to have accurate data, you’re required to perform maximal efforts of various durations. And you have to do so periodically so that the model can update to reflect your capabilities. Typically that’s short, medium, and very long power tests. The more maximal efforts you have, the more accurate the power model. If you read/listen to the guys working on WKO4, they tend to prefer tests that are well over 20 minutes for their maximal long efforts, and generally disparage the 20 minute culture, as being a general deterrent to the training that a lot of athletes do.
I actually quite like the iLevel system, and I think it’s a neat way of trying to quantify what sorts of power ranges you need to do for each zone, given your unique power curve.
If Nate can coax the program into monitoring the quality of your effort such that it can determine if the training stress being provided is appropriate why test? Effectively every effort you do would constitute and ongoing test of FTP, with the data from prior efforts serving as a verification of the current judgement.
I would think that if TR knew your max HR and knew your power profile from previous workouts, based on your HR response to steady state work, they should be able to determine your aerobic training zones without knowing FTP. Of course they would translate that HR% into a power target for the WO’s and then adjust with further data capture.
Maybe they should use that approach for base programs until the cyclist’s aerobic system is better developed. Thus no testing unit you go into a later stage training program.
I voted no but that’s assuming that there would be some workout placed in each phase of training that would closely approximate an FTP test but it wouldn’t technically be an FTP test.
Maybe splitting hairs, but I can’t see any other way the Ramp, 8 Minute or 20 minute tests could legitimately be ignored without some “stealth FTP test” in the process.
I currently (being early ish in my training life) increase my FTP if I can maintain my cadence and power targets plus 1% for back to back workouts.
Granted, there’s been a few times I’ve had to step back again, but generally it’s been an upward trajectory.
It’ll be interesting to see TRs approach to this!
I’ve posted this here before as a feature request.
The newest Stages head units are providing this, based on Mean Maximal Power duration curve. Golden Cheetah and WKO4 have done it for a while to as “mFTP”. XERT does a similar thing.
As has been said above, it’s just an alternative way of gathering data as to a rider’s maximal power output at different lengths of time and an “FTP” (meaning, roughly, 60min power output) can be extrapolated from that.
(Yes I am aware of the ongoing debate and argument over Critical Power and FTP and whether either means “exactly” 60 min maximal effort - or something else entirely - but for the purposes of what we’re talking about here that is what it means).
If you want to see if your cycling fitness has improved between 2 points in time the absolute best way to test that is to complete an identical test at those 2 points in time. No other method will be as accurate.
I see exactly why TR would want to implement this though… it’ll be great for the marketing department as a fair amount of people don’t like the testing side of it.
My preferred method of looking at my progress is to compare my power profile of a recent strong ride to my power profile for the year which includes many other strong rides. Thus, I compare days when I have felt good and had a number of strong efforts to other days when I have felt good and put in strong efforts. So I compare efforts on days when my body was strong and felt activated rather than comparing efforts on planned days when your mental or physical readiness might not have been similar. Sometimes you just can’t plan when your body is ready for action.
After beta testing the ramp test, and not trusting the guys, I think going forward I’d trust TrainerRoad to decide whether I needed to do a test or if they had the protocols in place to make it no added value.