Avoid the temptation of doing this — a big last-minute anaerobic contribution can artificially lift your power number, disproportionately skewing your results. In this case, their FTP could be accurate, but they are asking their body to work in a way that is entirely foreign. There will be clear signs if your pacing or another variable affected your FTP results. Your email address will not be published. Jonathan Lee is a Level II USA certified cycling coach and the host of the Ask a Cycling Coach podcast. Jonathan Lee is a Level II USA certified cycling coach and the host of the Ask a Cycling Coach podcast. I’m 45, going into 2nd full year racing CX, and while it’s my first full year on TrainerRoad plans I had been following other (albeit lesser) structured plans for a few years and started on yours latter half of last year. The original protocol for the test includes a 5-minute interval at full 5-minute power followed by a 10-minute recovery section and then the main test. alicespringsathlete.wordpress.com. This is important as it allows you to pace according to your current capabilities. On the over-powering – I run virtual power on a fluid trainer – so always difficult to get strong precision over an interval – especially as the power climbs and the intervals become shorter. A more common scenario is when a rider is doing a workout that contrasts with their current abilities. I’ve been using TR for the past few years and have always tended to bump up my FTP 1-2 watts per week to try to keep pace with my fitness improvements from one FTP test to the next. What is your opinion on using fitness fatigue metrics as a measure of the best time to do the FTP test, and aerobic decoupling as a measure of whether intensity during the test was optimal? If you don’t feel fully rested on Saturday, do some easy pedaling and push back to Sunday. That’s a great question Kevin! We recommend you complete the Ramp Test for all cyclists regardless of experience or discipline. Even if a road is scientifically pan flat, you’re going to encounter varying surfaces, rolling assistance, etc. Let’s say I did 250 2 months ago, and I followed a plan… in my next FTP test at which power shall I pace myself? Shoot us an email at support@trainerroad.com and we’ll be happy to see what’s up. When an athlete gets started with TrainerRoad, the first workout they’re asked to do is a Functional Threshold Power test, aka an FTP test. I ran out of gears and my Wahoo Kickr was only at ~230watts. Since new riders are exploring their limits and familiarizing themselves with riding at those limits, their “actual FTP” may differ from their “performable FTP”. Power-based, structured interval training is one of the most accessible and accurate ways to measure performance for cyclists. You should also check your FTP sporadically to monitor your progress throughout your training. FTP Testing Tip:Whichever FTP test you decide to use, make sure to stick with it. It gives you a current snapshot of your fitness so that your workouts won’t be too hard or too easy. If you have accurate ways of measuring fatigue, it can be a great way to go about things. The problem about shooting for a number is that in most cases, it will cause you to overreach your potential or not fulfill your potential. But man, the test kicked my butt. We know this guide covers a lot of information. If you are training regularly, you should reassess every 4-6 weeks. Glad you’re back on the bike. Do different types of trainers affect your FTP? If you’re able to elevate your effort substantially at the end, it’s a sure sign you didn’t pace well. What form do the lines take? If you have any questions we didn’t address here, or you’d like a little more explanation about one of these topics, feel free to leave it below or email our support team at support@trainerroad.com. My concern is that if I adjust my FTP accordingly there will be a massive jump in intensity quite suddenly. With that in mind, new riders can safely assume that their FTP from their early assessments may be close, but not spot-on. This is an estimated measure of your highest sustainable power, measured in watts, that can be held for one hour. Your power to weight ratio is a particularly important metric if you’re going to be riding on hilly routes. Learn more about other topics we covered in the latest episode with our resources below: For more answers to your cycling training questions, listen to our podcast Ask a Cycling Coach — the only podcast dedicated to making you a faster cyclist. I ended up getting a suggested FTP of 265 watts. Remember, the best cadence is one that is within your personal range. Create a custom training plan with Plan Builder, complete workouts indoors, outside, or with friends, and prove that your training is working with post-ride analysis tools. I really hate doing the testing because it hurts so bad and I had been doing the 20 min test. Everything else should remain the same. TrainerRoad includes three FTP testing methods—Ramp, 8-minute, and 20-minute tests. Required fields are marked *. Is there a way to find out what it was? If you happen to be going from a power meter to VirtualPower exclusively for your indoor training, be sure to keep the same power curve selection that jives with your trainer. While starting out conservative is a good choice, I wouldn’t put a specific number on your pacing. Anyway I’ve been back on the trainer before hitting the road. I’m sure it won’t be much of course. I dislike it enough that I skipped the last one Rx’d for Sweet Spot Base LV1. Leaning toward doing the test on Saturday, after Friday’s rest and in place of Andrews. Usually, FTP tests take a bit of skill and practice to assess your FTP accurately. I racked my brains trying to figure out what the issue was. For further explanation, check out the videos below. Adding a couple of watts each week will work for a certain length of time, but as time progresses and you get closer to your physiological potential, you’ll see a decreased rate of improvement. I am actually doing all right so far with the straight jump to 306. Has anyone else tried this normally for the 20 min I pick a lose target to shoot for take a few minutes to settle in at the current FTP then start increasing as I go. When trying to sustain your highest power possible for the entire span of that hill, you’re going to be completely exhausted when you finally reach the top. You can easily work out your power to weight ratio. Hi, I have a question about recovering from illness. If you don’t feel these sensations, it’s a good sign that the “over” portion of your intervals aren’t truly over your threshold. Ideally, your graph should be a subtle smile. I’ve heard you guys say that FTP test results, by definition, can’t be too high. But if you are testing outside or using the traditional FTP tests, it’s unlikely you’ll nail it your first time. If you’re on a structured training plan, you don’t have to decide which FTP test is best for you. Hey Jan! When you pedal fast, your trainer will ease up on the resistance to allow you to hit your power target. report. This has everything to do with Erg mode, a feature your smart trainer has to control your resistance. Felt like it was my heart/lungs stopping me more than my legs (though they hurt too). Answers to your most technical and unique training questions. The reverse happens when you slow down. The crux of power-based training is a benchmark called FTP, which stands for Functional Threshold Power. My cycling buddy seems to think an FTP test is not valid if heart rate during the effort is too high–say 170-180, which is where I find myself during the 20 minute test. Why is the “Intensity %” disabled to not allow an increase in the slope %? I already did an FTP test before (using a different software) that was around 230. Would ramping up over the course of a week or two be a better approach?) You can be confident that you will become a faster cyclist, and over 1,500 stories from TrainerRoad athletes prove it. The Ramp Test is a test to failure. All the data below and more is shown to Cycling Analytics users in interactive charts on the athlete statistics page, so consider creating an account if this is interesting. Power meter arrives tomorrow so will be good to get an idea of where I actually stand wattage-wise. Your email address will not be published. Other examples of poor steady-state efforts include graphs that show a high spike during the first interval, then a dramatic drop and graphs that show a conservative, well-paced effort for the first 90 percent of the test, then a super spike in effort during the final 10 percent. The results of your FTP test are largely determined by how deep you can go. The ramp portion of the test should, ideally, take about 5-20 minutes to complete. An FTP assessment, especially when you’re new to testing, is best done with the guidance of a professional coach. Pushing your limits is a learned skill and one that improves over time. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since the pod cast. Can anyone help me? If you follow one of our structured training plans, your assessment tests are already scheduled for you at the right times throughout your training. FTP is not a value statement of you as a cyclist. Fortunately, TrainerRoad’s Ramp Test has made testing your FTP much simpler. You can read the workout text during your FTP test is essentially what Coach Chad would be telling you if he were right there guiding you through the workout. While improving 20-minute power can be a sign of progress, we don’t know if we’re truly increasing FTP, which is the amount of power that can be put out at maximal lactate steady state (MLSS). Does expensive cycling kit make you faster? Rough rule of thumb, if your expectation is 200watts FTP then use a ramp rate of 10 watts per minute, 250 then 15 watts per minute, 300 then 20 watts a minute, and start at 50% of your anticipated FTP. This test starts at a much lower wattage, and increases in smaller steps each minute, compared to the original ramp test. Log in or sign up to leave a comment Log In Sign Up. I started the 20 min test with my current FTP at 275. You’ll now see your power zones when you ride. /* Add your own Mailchimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. This will help you determine the difficulty level of the workout, as well as determine whether it’s too easy or too hard according to its stated objective after you’ve completed it. I’ve just finished my first 8-minute FTP test on TrainerRoad and I am negatively surprised by how low my FTP is. Power is a metric derived from measuring two different things, speed and force. Then I’ll do the scheduled 2-hours on Sunday and sub in something else next Tuesday. I have just completed SSB level 2 heading into the sustained power build plan. This will update the intensity of every TrainerRoad workout you do to match your current fitness level. If you have any doubts in the accuracy of your FTP, you can apply that quick fix of a 2-3% intensity increase until you feel you’re in the right spot, but we always advocate testing as the best way to resolve this issue. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. I am using a Kinetic smart trainer and confused about what gears I should use for the FTP test. It’s usually works out fairly well in that I often find my next suggested FTP from the test matching closely with where I have my current FTP set. If your chosen method is different than what you were originally using and you plan on sticking with it, reassess your FTP. By definition, the top of Zone 3 is where the body goes from an aerobic to anaerobic condition. Again I backed off. No decreases or backpedals and I was only really huffing and puffing for the end of the third block. You will need to reassess your FTP any time you change your power source. Thanks! Join for the latest training, racing, and software updates from TrainerRoad. Once you've calculated your FTP, input it into the Wahoo App's Profile page and select your desired number of zones (6 to 8). This will likely be the case if you were having an off day or didn’t pace as well as you could have during your test. The only way you can judge your FTP on good or bad standards is by its accuracy. After listen to Chad I think I’m going to switch to the 8 min test, get warmed up start the test at my current FTP for say 2 min then just try and smash the last 6 min by steady hard riding! What do you guys think? Smart trainer and power meter calibration matter as well. Good to hear Keith! A ramp test is designed to estimate your FTP. This is due to the intent of the Specialty Phase being refinement rather than growth. This is the same process whether you’re … i used this my first 6 week SSB training and it seemed about right. The point is: because there are fewer variables to consider, assessing your FTP inside will provide more sound data, i.e., accurate assessment results, than what you’ll get outside. Just try to maintain your cadence during the FTP test. You can also estimate FTP from a recent best 45-60 minute power output. It’s just your starting point. You can actually change this so that the resistance applied by the trainer during the testing interval is harder. Once your test interval begins, you’re free to shift all you want. Join for the latest training, racing, and software updates from TrainerRoad. Thermoregulation is basically where 75% of our energy goes — that’s your body’s energy going into cooling that could be going into your pedals. Ready to get faster? As the second block started I had trouble even maintaining that same power and really fell apart a few minutes in. My contrarian approach is to judge my own FTP and power zones, based on how I feel when riding at the top of the current Zone 3 (aka sweet spot). There’s a very important reason for this. If your graph makes a more pronounced smile, it’s an indication that you went out too hard, settled in too long because of that initial burnout, then had too much left to give toward the end, so you drilled hard the last few minutes. Depending on the results of the test, you will be assigned different … And would it also be reasonable to expect more increases per week during the build phase vs. base? New episodes are released weekly. 4. On a 0-dark-30, out of bed and onto trainer weekday routine. FTP Testing Tip:Use TrainerRoad’s Ride Notes feature, a notepad, or the notes app on your phone to add setup details before your test. As a result, their FTP and relative power levels are likely to be underestimated a bit (or a lot) rendering all subsequent FTP-based workouts less productive than they would be otherwise. How do I find results of my FTP test? You’re on the right track with this one Keith. Because of this, you should pace your efforts based off of perception. In the case of BKOOL Cycling, you can do a 5-minute FTP test and a 20-minute FTP test. So after what I thought was a solid and consistent first 8-min. What hearing do you suggest is used during the FTP test? What your body goes through during an interval workout. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';fnames[3]='ADDRESS';ftypes[3]='address';fnames[4]='PHONE';ftypes[4]='phone';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Your email address will not be published. If you’re on an electronic trainer for your FTP test and your cadence gets low, it’s likely pedaling will suddenly become extremely hard for you. I don’t even know what to say, this made things so much easire! Newer riders or athletes that are far from their physical potential will see more than seasoned riders that are close to fulfilling their potential. FTP, or Functional Threshold Power, is a cycling performance measure, which is invaluable when it comes to professional cycling and training for key cycling events.Testing FTP performance will give you the chance to improve your pacing strategy, track your training progress and win the cycling race. I think I made the point before that both linear and step ramp test results are very dependent on the ramp rate being appropriate for the athlete. I like your approach of giving yourself a day or two to rest prior to the test. With a power meter, you’re able to precisely measure how much work is required of your body at any given second of your ride. I’m still able to hit my FTP but obviously, not able to sustain it as much as before. To give you an idea of what you can expect from your test, imagine you’re at the base of either an 8-minute or 20-minute hill. In order to do this, go into the Devices Tab, click on the Wahoo Kickr, and change the mode to resistance. I’d raise the intensity slowly until you get to that point where you anticipate your FTP may be. If you’re new to endurance sports or structured training, it may seem like your FTP is too low. FTP is just a number used to calibrate your training. I’m just finishing Sweet Spot Base Mid I – starting week 6 today. It happens. For example, Lamarck‘s four threshold intervals are 10 minutes long with only two minutes rest in between. When riding indoors, it’s essential. The 5-cycle results are calculated based on the results of two FTP tests—one regular and one cold temperature test, run at a lab temperature of 20°F (-6.7°C)—as well as the HWFET, US06 and SC03. Although I ride 3-4 PZ rides weekly, I avoid the FTP Test itself. With time, FTP testing will transform from something exciting to something dreadful and then back to something exciting again. If I did it already, and followed TR plans, to how much power should I aim? Should I conduct a new FTP test or keep my current FTP and go to build phase until I could sustain it again? While in this state, an athlete will fatigue in between 30 and 70 minutes (known as time to exhaustion, or TTE)1rather than the traditionally defined 60 … FTP Testing Tip:Before you do a workout, read the workout description. They’ll be just right for your current fitness level while still pushing you the right amount to help you achieve your fitness goals. When completing the FTP test what rpm do you recommend? What do you think? Then start pedaling forward at a quick cadence. This is because your smart trainer will automatically switch out of Erg mode into Slope mode for you just before your test intervals start. Going into an FTP test where you feel like you've made big gains, it's easy to overestimate yourself and burn yourself out too early. We’ll look forward to hearing from you—thanks! I have found that riding that at 5-minute power works well and I get FTP numbers that I would expect. The good news is that shifting isn’t something you need to do with a smart trainer. One thing to keep in mind is that nutrition is another variable to control. There are a couple of things to consider in this case. If you still feel like you have gas left in the tank, you likely didn’t pace as well as you could have. Eat how you’d normally would for any other workout. Shifting too much in Erg mode can also confuse your smart trainer, causing it to seize up. A custom training plan, automatically built for your goals. Just like a scientific study, you have to have controls. Another good way to make sure that your FTP is accurate is to monitor HR as well during long sweetspot workouts (88%-94% FTP intervals). It will still feel difficult at first, but if you’ve given the trainer a chance to reset, you will be able to pedal right through that wall and get back to it. The same fix of raising your FTP 2-3% is suggested. All that being said, it is certainly possible to under-assess your potential. I have a big grand fondo coming up on June 20 so I will be signing back up for Trainer Road and starting a plan in the next week or two. The major benefit of the ramp test over a traditional 20-minute FTP test is the reliability of the test. It gives you the chance to get answers to your cycling and triathlon training questions from USAC certified coaches Chad Timmerman, Jonathan Lee and special guests. There’s no need to make any adjustments to your eating habits before your test. It’s best to schedule your next FTP assessment 4-6 weeks after your first one. For the best results, you do want to have some carbs to maximize your performance. I did my first on the smallest gear (to the pedals) and relatively low secondary gear (apologies in advance, relatively new to cycling so not sure of all the terminology). Rider 2: 3.41 Watts/kilo. Mental and physical triggers cry out for full rest to recover, but you are teaching your body to recover while still working hard. It has made a big difference that I really felt in the first race of the year. Listen to the episode’s full recording below to hear this and other questions from cyclists get answered by our certified cycling coaches. Set your FTP to 100w in Zwift before starting the ramp test workout. You already know there are a ton of distractions, but have you considered those little micro rests you get outside? That’s what you want. But cycling performance is more than a high FTP. When I tested to begin Sweet Spot Mid I (https://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/3260629-8-minute-test), I did it fasted at 5am (my normal weekday routine), poorly rested and in the midst of a head cold – less than ideal! FTP Testing Tip:Decide if you’re going to use VirtualPower or your power meter for training indoors. */. As far as how much of an increase you will see, that depends. as a triathlete I`m trying to keep a high cadence and currently doing the test at around 100rpm, these are my latest result figures, FTP 341 watts, 4.49w/kg threshold hr 157 bpm. Answers to your most technical and unique training questions. Sort by. It is 181. if you go on the main menu there is an "FTP test" option which, if i recall correctly, will give an option to accept result as new FTP at the end. Driven by science and data, TrainerRoad provides the training, planning, and analysis tools you need to become a faster cyclist with a focused and straightforward system. If you have a wheel-on trainer, these variables include tire pressure and trainer pressure. What commonly happens is an athlete will jump on their bike to test without making note (quite literally) of a few key variables. This morning I did Mount Baldy -2 (https://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/rides/3532483-mount-baldy-2) in place of the scheduled FTP test to start Base II. Shift your gear around until you are spinning efficiently when working at your physical limit, and this will lead to the best results for your test. My average output for the 20-minute test was 73 watts. Learn how your comment data is processed. I’ve done two workouts since, and the data shows that I’ve been over-powering my intervals by 1-3% with no notable power fade on the last intervals. Safe to apply similar shift as I work through build and specialty plans the rest of season? I think the 20 min is more accurate, and would suggest I was working too hard using the 8 min test FTP, hence the reason I hit the wall. These free rides are done 100% in resistance mode so you will be able to test out different levels and find the right one for you. Generally if you do a test without a power meter, results are usually high than with a power meter. Figured this would also be a good indicator workout for the accuracy of my FTP. And I’ve also heard you say that using the 8-minute test it’s OK to essentially throw away one of the two 8-minute blocks (if it didn’t work out for some reason), and manually set your FTP at .9x the keeper 8-min. The best cadence for an FTP test is the one that you normally use. Create a custom training plan with Plan Builder, complete workouts indoors, outside, or with friends, and prove that your training is working with post-ride analysis tools. You’re the one with the brains here. In fact, you shouldn’t even compare the power data of two power meters. 4 comments. The effort is ideally a consistent effort from beginning to end, where any variation in your power profile would appear as a very subtle smile. When it is, that’s the only time you can make side-by-side data comparisons. Remember, the goal of testing isn’t to meet a particular number but rather, to measure your best performance you can do on a given day. Instead, it’s goal is to collect sound data from a consistent effort that will represent your maximum sustainable power for 60 minutes. After your FTP test, your new FTP will be the anchor for all the power zones we set for you. Divide your FTP power output by your body weight in KG’s. However, if your FTP isn’t accurate you could be missing out on the benefits of training with power. The Ramp Test is short but challenging, and you have to dig deep in the last few minutes. Having said that, the Ramp Test is the best option for testing indoors. The warm-up ride will give you information on the test, warm you up, and help you figure out what output level to start the test at. Sweet Spot Mid I went well – only missed one workout, did the Sunday endurance rides outside. But it’s important to clarify: while every workout you do on TrainerRoad is interval based, every workout is not considered HIIT — if it’s below Threshold, it’s not HIIT. I hope that answers your question Simone. And don’t forget about environmental specifics. There are many different ways to determine your FTP, but the most efficient and accurate method is the TrainerRoad Ramp Test. Keeping a steady cadence during the test is helpful—especially if you are using Erg mode. It definitely sounds like the 8 Minute Test could be a good option for ya. With the 8-minute test, you will have two 8-minute intervals you have to pace for, while with the 20-minute test, you have a single, longer pacing effort. It is for me personally, but many athletes see little to no difference between testing results from both tests. I don’t know how different they all would be. This is the intended nature of the test, so don’t sweat a high heart rate. After each “over”, you should feel a burning or flooded sensation in your muscles and be out of breath. One other thing to note here: If you’ve done it before, moving forward, don’t compare your indoor and outdoor FTP test results. If it works well, I would definitely advocate utilizing this format in the future. Chad’s FTP assessment workout text is derived from the years of indoor training classes he taught. This results in more accurate FTP test results for our lighter and more novice Zwifters. The first step is to establish your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) with a short test. Try TrainerRoad with a 30-day, money-back guarantee. Required fields are marked *. Max, if its any comfort, I have been using the 8 min test during sweet spot base and into build. For example, if you’ve been using VirtualPower, then you decide to invest in a power meter for your indoor training, your power data will most likely differ. Posted by 3 months ago. 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