Workouts seem easy after initial FTP. Should I retest or adjust my ftp?

ftp
ftp-testing

#1

I did my first ramp test last week and my FTP came out at 202, but it took me until the 2nd last interval to fail. My initial estimated FTP must have been way low (as per the on screen text in the ramp test).

I just did Monitor today and in the 4th or 5th interval the on-screen text says something like you’ll be feeling the fatigue by now but I wasn’t. I’d been working for sure but I wasn’t tired and my legs felt good. I think I finished the ramp test when I did because I’d been going for so long (28 minutes) so I was burning out rather than blowing up.

So my question is should I re-test or just bump my FTP up a bit (and if so how much)?


My First Ramp Test
#2

If you really want to do a ramp test again then go for it. Otherwise, I would just up the FTP by 3-5% and see how it feels.


#3

Yeah, I’d say try bumping it up a little by a little and see how it feels with something tough. I used to do this all the time in the pre-Ramp Test days, because there was NO WAY I was re-testing on the 8-minute test. Over-unders were a good check in on FTP to see if my legs were sufficiently loading up on the overs and clearing out just a bit on the unders.


#4

28 mins??? I’m no experts so others can confirm - but is that not crazy Long? I blew up after 19:30 so came out with FTP just a few under the initial TR est.


#5

I think he’s including the five minute cool down, which is still long. 20 minutes gives you a little growth in my experience. 23 minutes is a lot of growth. Or just a bad initial starting point.


#6

My first ramp test I had the FTP set way too low and ended up in the same situation (with 202 as my FTP, too). After the first week of the plan I did another test with the new FTP as a starting point, and it went up more than 10%, which ended up being a good value for the workouts afterward. I’d recommend a retest and then continuing from there, as it seems starting with too low of an FTP makes for a sketchy ramp test.


#7

Ah yes. As you say 23 mins would suggest a bad initial starting point


#8

Thanks for the replies everyone. The workout was 33 minutes long including the 5 min cooldown. I started with an estimated FTP of 147. I think I’m going to re-test. I’ll report back the result.


#9

you can either do that or just increase ftp in 5 or 10 watt bumps until you where you need for effective workouts.


#10

If you’ve just done the ramp test and you’re on SSB1, then it is expected to be easy. I retested two weeks in because as a total noob I was developing those easy gains rapidly. The tss is super low on the ramp test though, so if you feel like another test, go for it.


#11

Think I had a very low starting point (134 IIRC) cos my ramp test was best part of 40 mins inc the warm up and cool down!

But I well into my plan now so next ramp test should show a big jump as it’ll be a better test too.


#12

If you set FTP too low then surely the first parts of the ramp test don’t impact the outcome much (if at all) as they all in far lower zones than you are testing or that cause you difficulties to ride at.

It doesn’t ramp up to a significant level until it hits a significant power and starts making you really work.


#13

I think that the reason a falsely low starting point is problematic is not the early intervals but the later ones. The lower the initial FTP setting the smaller the steps up will be - so you’ll end up with a much longer period of work required at or above your threshold before the steps hit what should be your max


#14

The Ramp Test is 5 mins at 46%, then 1 min steps increasing 6% of FTP each time. So, if your FTP is 250, your Ramp Test will look like this.

If your FTP is set correctly, then 250/0.75=333 so you can expect to stop the test around 19:30.

Now, let’s imagine that the FTP setting is way too low. Your actual FTP is 250, but you estimate it at 175. The same test will look like this:

The same 333 failure point (assuming you get that far) won’t be reached until around minute 29-30. The issue here is not the first 20 mins, but the following 10 mins where you are at Tempo and above. In the first example, you will spend 11 mins at Tempo and above, but in the second test it’ll be 15. That extra 4 mins at high levels of FTP will be very fatiguing (especially since you’ve already got 20 mins of pedaling in your legs) and I doubt you’ll reach it all the way to the last step.


#15

A lot of this must relate to the score of 1-10 we give when we sign up. relating to how we currently grade ourselves. Is there any better way to do that I wonder.

My initial estimated FTP was 237 and was 234 from ramp test so it was very close. I gave myself a 5 or a 6 from memory based on the fact that I could have done 18-18.5 mph runs over the summer which for me felt like a 6 ish or so.


#16

Basically what I did. Figured from road work my FTP was sub 200 and ended up doing a 37 minutes test. Never realised it was % graded as opposed to a straight wattage step like previous ramp tests I have done.


#17

Yea, I didn’t know what to grade myself. I haven’t cycled in 18 months but I run and I’m pretty fit having just run my first marathon. I went low on the onboarding process because I didn’t want to over do it being well out of practice.


#18

@GPLama’s ramp test on Zwift has you set your initial FTP to 100W every time. I used the FTP from it as my initial value for TrainerRoad. And the two tests agreed within a percent or two. So perhaps another way to get started.


#19

Yes, I think the 1-10 has a lot to do with it.

When my wife first starting using TR, the FTP wizard gave comical (for me) results. She had never cycled before, so she said she was a 1, which have her an FTP estimate of 27. The test starts the first 5 mins with a power target of 12! The wattage floor for the trainer is around 70 watts, so it would have taken her 45 mins just to get the step where increases in target wattage were actually making pedaling harder. Her real FTP was more like 140, but it would have taken 113 mins to make it to that step. I had to stop the test and force her FTP to be 100, which still took around 28 mins to hit failure.


#20

Haha. That’s hilarious.

@chad @Nate
Is this something that needs looked at?