Your FTP improvements


Think all the VO2 work helped pull your FTP up even further? What were your pre/post Crit Spec #s?


Yes probably. My FTP (according to the Ramp Test) at the beginning was 347, and the many VO2 max sessions felt extremely hard. After several weeks, seeing target numbers starting with ‘4’ felt normal and by the end high 300s required concentration but without eliciting much pain. FTP at the end was 384 according to Ramp Test, 393 according to the traditional 20 minute protocol that I did 2 days later.


@jacobrides Incredible progression - congratulations!
Similar numbers to your start in october here, but this is after a year of training. So I’m not very positive on hitting 5w/kg next year… :smirk:

Started in Feburary, always around 79-82 kg:

February 19th: 192 W, 2,3 W/KG
@20 Minute FTP Test. Figured I went too easy in the test. After a couple of workouts, I changed to 207 manually.
Started SSB I Low Volume

April 16th: 246 W, 3 W/KG
@Ramp Test X / Beta.
Did some group rides after SSB I
Started SSB II Low Volume

June 4th: 261 W, 3,2 W/KG
@Estimated based on taking NP of one hard hour from a group ride the week before.
Started Sustained Power Build Low Volume

September 17th: 281 W, 3,4 W/KG
@New Ramp Test
Wrapping up the season with some Triathlon Specialty, a couple longer rides and now back to base again for the last couple of weeks.

Very happy with my improvements for my first year of real cycling. Having been a runner in the past, I know very well that these are “newb” gains and i can expected to see diminishing returns. Going from a 65 min 10k to a 50 min one was less work than getting from 50 to 45 min.

Focus for the next 12 months is base training coupled with some weight loss first. I’m 80kg @183 cm currently, where I ideally should be a lot more closer to 70kg. I think this is the kind of low hanging fruit there for W/kg increase. After that, I plan on doing mid volume versions of the plans I did with LV this year. Let’s see how that will work out :slight_smile:


Feb - 205
Mar - 223
Apr - 239
Jul - 244
Aug - 230 (This is when i bought a power meter and began using the 4iiii power instead of my kikr snap)
Sept - 238 (Started SSB1 med volume)
Oct - 258 (Start of SSB2)

Currently i am 258 @ 80kg so 3.2w/kg. Hoping to keep on the upward curve and to drop some weight before next season but at the moment im just going to concentrate on bringing the numbers up and will try and cut some weight in the new year

6wk average TSS is now at 442 so volume seems to be pretty good and hoping to hit next season in pretty good shape!


Repeated the ramp FTP test after completing Sweet Spot Base II. New FTP is 147W, up 12% from when I started Sweet Spot I. Coupled with weight loss, FTP/kg is now up 18% from doing the two Sweet Spot Build Phase Plans. I now stand at a mighty 1.77W/kg. I still have a long way to go, on both power and weight, but I’m really pleased with my progress.

Only problem is, now I go on to the Sustained Power Build plan…gulp!


I’ve just completed Sweet Spot Base I (Mid-Volume) with a few extra endurance zone workouts thrown in. Apart from a couple of mountain bike rides, all rides have been on the trainer.

Raw power has stayed almost exactly the same (actually 2W drop to 292W), but W/kg has increased from 3.60 to 3.76 during this training block (and from 3.38 W/kg when I first got my trainer in July).

Not surprised by raw power staying the same as I’ve been focussing on weight loss, so happy enough with the results (although a small gain would have been nice). I came into the test feeling pretty tired with sore legs, despite coming off the back of a rest week, as a mountain bike ride on Saturday wiped me out, but I don’t think it would have made too much difference to the result.

Depending on how the next few weeks of workouts go, I might re-test midway through the next block if I feel like the workouts aren’t tough enough. Just starting Sweet Spot Base II now and will follow up with Sustained Power Build and then Climbing Road Race. Hoping to see a slight increase in power with a bit more weight loss by the end of SSB II and then some bigger power gains during SPB.


Did you notice a difference in your speed on the road when you went from 200w to 250w.


I started using TrainerRoad in 2014 ish, went from around 200 to 230 and then back down again as i stopped training as much.

My biggest gains were in 2015 when i got to around 245. 2016 - 217 saw more improvements raising to 274.

Now i feel i have plateaued somewhat and am stuck at the 262 - 270 mark (for context i’m 67kg, so around 3.9 - 4.0 w/kg). The only way i think i can improve further is to do more volume, but with a young family i’m maxed out for time.


VO2max intervals.

Scary :ghost: but short & effective :+1:.


I did, nothing huge though. Certainly feel more comfortable at higher speeds.

First season racing was a reasonable success. Managed to grab a couple of top ten finishes so hope I can push on next season!


Use to do a lot of Trail running and Squash… going up stairs, slight twisting of knee and my Anterior Cruciate Ligament tore badly. A week later other knee did the same with lots of clicking… Physio explained after 35 years all knees degenerate. As I was well over 40, it isn’t going to get any better. So I tried a few times to get out running after giving it plenty of time to recovery and both knees would swell up. So that was the running career over. Squash wasn’t too bad surprisingly, but with putting extra weight in without running, I got to a final and couldn’t compete. So Squash Racquets were hung up, miss that lots.

Putting on the weight, around 20kilos over a couple of years I needed something to burn it off, new wardrobe was getting expensive! That’s when I purchased my first and only MTB in Nov 2016. Back in the 80’s I used to have a 7 mile paper round, did that for six years every day, lots of hills, so I got my biking legs early on with that and also racing down single lane roads with my mates.

Anyway with the new MTB I did a lot of outdoor riding, winters in freezing rain and snow, bl***y freezing… Strava segments would show I was improving. Tried running again and end up 6 weeks doing nothing as knees reacted. Do I never learn! So I was looking for an exercise bike, something I could do anytime any weather as I was getting fed up of freezing bits, sometimes I’d really feel the cold, never get warm. After lots of researched, decided a static trainer would give more choices, so got myself a cyclops hammer and Zwift membership back in Feb 2018.

I have found Zwift a great start into the world of training, had never heard of FTP etc. Did a lot of their plans, academy was good too, but wanted something more structured, something I could track and plan better. I’d been exposed to training peaks and todays plan but I didn’t get on with them.

That’s when thanks to a GPLama Youtube video I heard of TrainerRoad. Loved the visibility of the CEO and Coaches in their podcast videos and that they are continuously improving the platform. So I took the plunge and signed up for a year. Only been on it 4 weeks but its pushing me, some of the workouts I’ve struggled with, but find it’s at the right level. Have another ramp test next week, so it’ll be interesting to see any improvement. Don’t expect any big changes but I’ll be happy to keep the number moving up. Previous FTP tests or changes were made during Zwift rides, so I know some weren’t under the proper test conditions. Did take a slight downward trend moving to the ramp test, but accept that as I know it’s a new test/metric, one that will work with the workouts and has done so far.

Still intend keeping the Zwift membership, I’ve hit level 25 now. I don’t race in real life and don’t intend doing, but that option is there on Zwift and find races on Zwift hard. Going to reduce TSS on TrainerRoad after current plan, keep a base level of fitness going through structured workouts and throw in the odd event or race on Zwift to up the TSS for that week. Variety in life is good! I’ll know how well that goes after the winter season. Anyway enough of talk and show my FTP improvements. I’ll update as time goes by.

Zwift - FTPTests and Event sets
29th Mar FTP 239w @ 110kg = 2.17w/kg
11th April FTP 246w @ 109kg = 2.25w/kg
7th May FTP 262W @ 107kg = 2.44w/kg
16th July FTP 283W @ 100kg = 2.83w/kg
31st July FTP 307W @ 100kg = 3.07w/kg
3rd Oct FTP 310W @ 96.7kg = 3.205w/kg

Trainer road - Ramp test 2018
8th Oct FTP 299W @ 95.5kg = 3.13w/kg
5th Nov FTP 310W @ 95.5kg = 3.25w/kg Half way through SPB MV
3rd Dec FTP 319W @ 93.1 kg = 3.43w/kg end of SPB MV

P.S… I do have a target for all this training, want to do a very long endurance ride over several weeks… going to take a few years to get the level of fitness I want for this :slight_smile:


consistency is the key if you are limited for time. Keep the valleys from lasting too long and you will have an overall higher TSS throughout the year.


I always break through with a loooooong ride that has me completely gassed and out of my element an hour or more before the finish.
I usually ride mountain so if I go for an 80 mile road ride I see massive gains the next week. It’s a type of ride my body isn’t used to in terms of duration and muscular demand.


I’ve gone from 219 seven weeks ago at the start of SSB 1 mid to 251 in the ramp test last week at the start of SSB 2. I was quite stoked with that improvement. I think there are a couple of things to consider beside straight fitness improvement though.

  1. I did the ramp test much better, really went to failure and emptied the tank whereas in the first ramp test I just went until I thought I was done.

  2. I was playing with my power source at the start of SSB 1, trying to get comfortable with KICKR, stages, power match and various permutations.

  3. Having done 6 weeks of structured training I’m much more comfortable on the trainer.

Now the bad side of such a big FTP increase…starting the next plan. I’ve just finished week one of SSB 2 mid and the Sat/Sun workouts just kicked my butt: 90% of FTP now is well over 100% of FTP last week. I got through Kahweah ok but it was tough and I got off the bike thinking that was the hardest indoor session I’ve done. Then along comes Geiger +2, oh man that was hard. It was ok until the start of interval 4, that was hard I was hanging on mentally. Then interval 5 wrecked me, physically the legs were ok, they were burning, cadence was about 85-87 but heart rate was up to 170, I was sweating like it was raining, and mentally I was gone. I got through by switching my hand position on the bars every minute. Interestingly all the stats came at bang on target, although Strava rated it “brutal” and that single workout equivalent to the entire last week of SSB 1.


Wow @justinm, that’s a near 15% increase in FTP over the 6 weeks.
As you say you may have undercooked the first ramp test. I ‘cheated’ a bit in that I did the ramp test in preparation for the ramp test, as my KICKR, TR and structured bike training were all new to me. As such, I spent a week or so tuning in to all three elements.

Huge kudos on getting through the workouts at the new FTP, very impressive.


This is pretty much as expected. Those workouts are no joke and when you did similar stuff in week 5 of SSB 1 you were doing it at an FTP number that was already slightly out of date so they felt easier than they would’ve with a more accurate number.

This is totally fine. Kahweah is a brutally hard workout - if you aren’t hanging on by your fingernails at the very end of it then you’re either on a very good day or your FTP number might be a little off.


Where abouts are you guys based in Scotland?

I’m up here in the frozen North East and there never seems to be any opportunity to race outside of club TTs.


@willball12 I’m in Aberdeen. You could look at the Aberdeenshire Duathlon and Triathlon series. If don’t do swim and run you can find ‘partner’ and do a relay.
The Aboyne Duathlon is akin to a TT as its 30KM flatish.


I’m in Inverness. There’s loads of stuff going on. There’s the north road racing series, plenty of TTs. Our club hosted the Scottish 10TT championship and the Scottish road race championships this year.


I’m just outside Perth. There’s loads of racing around your way, more than anywhere else in Scotland almost. Grampian Evening Series road races, lots of stuff around Inverness (Culbokie & Balblair road races, Miltonduff road race) and a load of TT’s.