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  1. #2501
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Hi, going to try an FTP test today. Was going to do a 20 min test with appropriate warm up, etc. Coach who sponsors our club suggested an 8-minute (actually two 8-minute) test. Given my disdain for going hard by myself in training, the 8-minute test has some appeal -- shorter focus and less inner-self berating to go fast. 20-minute test seems to be much more the de facto approach for the test. Thoughts?

    Also, said coach thought that doing the FTP test on a trainer was better than doing it outside because the results will be more consistent and comparable down the road. Of course this would be pure mental torture for me. Thoughts on this?

    Last, I knew this training with power would be a big mistake. Looking at three races worth of normalized power data, I should probably try competitive knitting. I might have enough sustained power to hold a lead over some of those competitive ladies in my age group.

    BTW, I read a lot of the training with power thread in the 33 and didn't see anything on this. Also tried the search function but FTP is too common a term.
    Last edited by Cleave; 04-30-13 at 01:31 PM.
    Thanks.
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  2. #2502
    West Coast Weenie Esteban58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Hi, going to try an FTP test today. Was going to do a 20 min test with appropriate warm up, etc. Coach who sponsors our club suggested an 8-minute (actually two 8-minute) test. Given my disdain for going hard by myself in training, the 8-minute test has some appeal -- shorter focus and less inner-self berating to go fast. 20-minute test seems to be much more the de facto approach for the test. Thoughts?

    Also, said coach thought that doing the FTP test on a trainer was better than doing it outside because the results will be more consistent and comparable down the road. Of course this would be pure mental torture for me. Thoughts on this?

    Last, I knew this training with power would be a big mistake. Looking at three races worth of normalized power data, I should probably try competitive knitting. I might have enough sustained power to hold a lead over some of those competitive ladies in my age group.

    BTW, I read a lot of the training with power thread in the 33 and didn't see anything on this. Also tried the search function but FTP is too common a term.
    That 'pair of 8 minute tests' is the recommendation for the time crunched program. It seems to have worked for me for some value of worked.
    I did it outside (on a stretch of the time trial course) - a fairly steady uphill, not that steep (1-2%). This was just with HR, for what that's worth.
    I agree that doing it on the trainer might really suck - even doing the interval workouts on the trainer sucked, so glad to be back outdoors.
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  3. #2503
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    two eight minute tests sound more painful than one twenty minute test.

  4. #2504
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    ^^ +1

    I like using the trainer b/c it is reproducible. Too many factors outside influencing not just the test itself but the warm up. Also, if you do it right, you are pretty ruined afterwards and it's nice not to have to ride home from somewhere.

    I do the Allen and Coggan protocol. It sucks, but it has sucked less as I get better at pacing. I have done a few tests in an indoor class i take, but it's hard to compare b/c they don't do the same warmup/blow-out protocol. So I'm never quite sure what to do with the number afterwards.

    Whatever you decide to do, do it the exact same way each time - time of day, how tired you are from prior workouts, nutrition, hydration, sleep, course, wind, temperature... all factor in. The more of these you can control for, the better you will be able to interpret your results.
    ...

  5. #2505
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I think that 'my coach is better than your coach' - that's what I think. Do it outside, just pick a spot with no possibility of a stoplight and somewhere you can use each time you do it. And most people believe the closer you go to 60', the more accurate it will be.

  6. #2506
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the responses so far.

    So far there is no consensus.

    I am going to do the test on our Tuesday twilight and Pasadena Senior Games course (1.75 miles per lap) since it will be closed to traffic tonight and every other Tuesday through August for Cat 5 criterium practice. I figure I can stay out their way and them out of mine if I give them a 1 minute head start when they head out.

    Esteban58 and gsteinb, as I think about the 8-minute protocol further, working up the mental fortitude to hit it hard again might be too much for me.

    valygrl, the warm down / ride home is definitely a concern for me but I can ride as slow as I want at that point (6 mile ride home).

    AzTR, are you farking nuts! I can do a 40K TT because it's a race. 60 minutes at race pace by myself? I'd need a personality transplant from a major Type A person.

    Still open to inputs from others. TIA.
    Thanks.
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  7. #2507
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, I do the 20', after a simple 30' warmup.

  8. #2508
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    I like the 20m test outside. Trainer is a bad idea unless you're planning on doing most of your training on a trainer (or you're a basement rat like Gary on his rollers); generally your numbers will come out 7-12% lower than out side for a variety of reasons. Unless you know that number (the adjustment) you could be off by a fair bit if you develop your bins based on a low test. It's especially problematic on a 20m test where you're applying a formula to the 20m number.

    I use the San Gabrial River Trail. You could use the Santa Ana.

    You can also pull a pretty good number out of certain race data if you know what to look for, especially in TT's. That's more problematic and a better spot checker than an actual test.

    Once you find a good 20m course stick to it, and the same protocol over the 2 days leading up to it.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 04-30-13 at 03:52 PM.

  9. #2509
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    First, do not put too much emphasis on the results of the FTP test. It may be good, medium or not so good. You will get better at the test itself. I do the 20 minute test with an adequate warmup such as 30 minutes. I prefer to do it on a grade versus flat to rolling. It is easier to make power (for me) climbing. However, I am much better at flat to rolling today than when I first got my power meter.

    My wife did a 60 minute FTP test on the TRAINER per Roger's request when she was thinking about doing the hour record. She did it with the last 5 minutes at increased power. There is no arguing with the result of that test other than should the FTP be adjusted upward due to the trainer being more difficult.

    I think you should do one hour on the trainer as hard as you can go.
    Last edited by Hermes; 04-30-13 at 04:30 PM.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  10. #2510
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    I do twenty minutes because my coach says do twenty minutes. I still haven't found a really suitable stretch of road close to home to allow me to keep a steady pace and not be interrupted by lights, stop signs, downhills, and a need to turn around because it was too short. Cleave, I think you have THAT part figured out. Absolutely, me too on the race pace when it's not a race. I don't test particularly well because of the lack of "motivation" or what ever it is, and coach knows that. He used one of my past races as an FTP test. There's nothing like running from a dragon to get me to dig deep and keep at it.

    20 minutes on the B2 today. Three stops for adjustments. I got it from barely tolerable to not too bad, and then I took it to my LBS for a tune up. About the only thing it did well was shift. The cables were all stiff, the rear wheel was way out of true, and the saddle needed adjustment. My LBS has my fit numbers and they're going to apply what they can. They're going to fix all the wacked out stuff on the bike, too. Oh, I entered the two events I hadn't entered at the SG, as well. Now I'm in a 5K and 10K TT, and a 20K and 40K road race. Age group 60 - 64. The proverbial "level playing field".
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  11. #2511
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Today's schedule calls for 6x(3'+3') over/under intervals. Crapload of wind though (Wind NNW 21 G 29 MPH). I always have trouble maintaining consistent power in the wind, particularly if it's a tail, but I do get home faster.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  12. #2512
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    Cleave - As noted above, the two eight minutes efforts are Carmichael's field test. Take the higher of the two efforts, deduct 10%, and that's your FTP. It supposedly tracks with doing a 20 minutes effort and deducting 5%. I like the eight minute effort because I can find a three mile section of clear road much more easily than I can an eight mile section.

    I'm with you on the let down on power levels. Mine's between pathetic and non-existent. The scary thing is that I'm still a lot stronger than the people I used to ride with.
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  13. #2513
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Today's schedule calls for 6x(3'+3') over/under intervals. Crapload of wind though (Wind NNW 21 G 29 MPH). I always have trouble maintaining consistent power in the wind, particularly if it's a tail, but I do get home faster.
    I ****ing hate the wind. I simply can't do proper intervals in high wind, it messes with my head.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  14. #2514
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    I ****ing hate the wind. I simply can't do proper intervals in high wind, it messes with my head.
    I got used to it in Texas. I just tell myself that other people hate it, and Honey Badger through.

    Riding in the wind hardens you up for when you're doing a TT with one of those ^*&(%!!! false flats that make you feel like you're slow and underpowered.

    I was supposed to do some 1-2 minute attacking intervals today. I'm pretty whipped from the weekend and my legs are still sore. Think a day off is in line.

  15. #2515
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Before I met Ex I used to do MAP tests on the trainer to set the season baseline, then bump and chase from there. Now I do 20 minute tests outside on the same course, same time of day, similar fatigue level. It is an out and back with a flip turn in the middle but those 10 seconds don't change the result much.

  16. #2516
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    I got used to it in Texas. I just tell myself that other people hate it, and Honey Badger through.

    Riding in the wind hardens you up for when you're doing a TT with one of those ^*&(%!!! false flats that make you feel like you're slow and underpowered.

    I was supposed to do some 1-2 minute attacking intervals today. I'm pretty whipped from the weekend and my legs are still sore. Think a day off is in line.
    I just try to remind myself that it's the valley racer's secret weapon to punish the skinny Bay Area climbers.
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  17. #2517
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    My coach has me doing two 8 minute test because he knows I am adverse to 20 minute pain segments.
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  18. #2518
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Well, that didn't go well. It was cloudy, cold (for SoCal), and breezy. The warm up felt OK until the 5 minute effort. Could tell that the engine room didn't have enough dilithium crystals. During the 20-minute test I couldn't get myself into a TT pace or heart rate. Got a number but I don't know if competitive knitting would even work. NP from each of two big races in prior 9 days was over 10 watts higher than average and normalized watts from test. I guess it was at least a reasonable solo workout. I'll try again in two weeks.
    Thanks.
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  19. #2519
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Well, that didn't go well. It was cloudy, cold (for SoCal), and breezy. The warm up felt OK until the 5 minute effort. Could tell that the engine room didn't have enough dilithium crystals. During the 20-minute test I couldn't get myself into a TT pace or heart rate. Got a number but I don't know if competitive knitting would even work. NP from each of two big races in prior 9 days was over 10 watts higher than average and normalized watts from test. I guess it was at least a reasonable solo workout. I'll try again in two weeks.
    it's weird, isn't it? I went out and did some VO2 max intervals yesterday, nothing extreme, just two sets of 3x3", 3" rest between intervals, 6" between sets. I was rested (circumstances had conspired to keep me off the bike for two days) and fuelled, and I warmed up thoroughly, but throughout the session I struggled to get my HR up. RPE close to maxing out, HR stubbornly sticky. Why, I have absolutely no idea.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  20. #2520
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    When your HR pegs well below maximum, that's usually a sign that I need rest.

  21. #2521
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    When your HR pegs well below maximum, that's usually a sign that I need rest.
    Yes, I know. That's why I'm confused, because I really don't think I did...
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  22. #2522
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Yes, I know. That's why I'm confused, because I really don't think I did...
    It happens, and is why the power meter can be such an invaluable tool to decipher what might be going on. It gives you another data stream.

    As Shovel noted HR can be tied to rest. Heat and cold can have an effect on HR, I did a recent TT where I had the same sticky HR and I'm pretty certain it was the cold and my time out in it that helped stick it. I've had allergies and illness impact this too, and hydration as well.

    So while I have no definitive answer, I certainly admire the problem

  23. #2523
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Yes, I know. That's why I'm confused, because I really don't think I did...
    Ex brought up some good points. I'd add that rest comes in many flavors. You may have had a day off before the test, but if you are at the end of a long build or racing block, fatigue may be more global.

  24. #2524
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    While we are on the subject of HR, have any of you any experience of or views on iThlete? Claims to assess the impact of training stress by measuring variability of HR, and gives you a score indicating whether you are moving into the red and need to rest, or still fresh enough to do the hard session you had planned.

    My friend who does some coaching has been using it and is impressed. He's also tried it with a very classy U23 elite rider whom he believes to be overtraining - iThlete agrees with him. We're thinking of adopting it for our little team to help coach the kids. Difficult to persuade them that they need to do less - and sadly they are more likely to pay attention to a gadget than to the voice of experience.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  25. #2525
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    While we are on the subject of HR, have any of you any experience of or views on iThlete? Claims to assess the impact of training stress by measuring variability of HR, and gives you a score indicating whether you are moving into the red and need to rest, or still fresh enough to do the hard session you had planned.

    My friend who does some coaching has been using it and is impressed. He's also tried it with a very classy U23 elite rider whom he believes to be overtraining - iThlete agrees with him. We're thinking of adopting it for our little team to help coach the kids. Difficult to persuade them that they need to do less - and sadly they are more likely to pay attention to a gadget than to the voice of experience.
    Interesting concept. Wonder why they didn't make it PC compatible as well. No experience with it though I've read some discussions.

    Another PM selling point vs. HR; you can quantify workouts to a high degree of accuracy and use that info to schedule forward. If it works as claimed this could be a nice supplement to that, especially during illness.

    Getting people to discard the idea that if they aren't riding well they need to train harder, and that miles/hours equate automatically to good performances is difficult. When I start with a new athlete it often takes some time before they understand that I look a month down the road and they usually look at what happened an hour ago. It's not just kids BTW, it's sort of a standing joke that people pay coaches so they can ignore them and do what they feel like.

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