Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    My Bikes
    Cannondale, Trek
    Posts
    1,102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    FTP Went DOWN ... What The ---

    Had my FTP measured in October. The number wasn't very high, but it was a basis to work from.

    I haven't been on the road as much as I'd like during the cold season, but I've done some very strenuous mountain hikes, ridden about 50 miles a week, and attended a tough weekly CompuTrainer class - which went well, and it looked as if my FTP had gone way up.

    Had my FTP measured tonight, and expected at least a 10% gain ... but it went down by 2 watts!

    WTF?!? As much as I'd like to find an excuse - there's no special reason for a poor performance, and I was feeling fine when I started. I just didn't do well, and I've no idea why!

    I'll be riding a bit less this winter, though I'll still be doing tough mountain hikes, and will be doing another very tough CompuTrainer course each week.

    I guess the questions are:
    - Should I expect it to fluctuate like that?
    - Does it matter?
    - How important do you consider FTP to be?
    Regards,
    Duncan

  2. #2
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Let me check.
    My Bikes
    Of course.
    Posts
    11,248
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DGlenday View Post
    Had my FTP measured in October. The number wasn't very high, but it was a basis to work from.

    I haven't been on the road as much as I'd like during the cold season, but I've done some very strenuous mountain hikes, ridden about 50 miles a week, and attended a tough weekly CompuTrainer class - which went well, and it looked as if my FTP had gone way up.

    Had my FTP measured tonight, and expected at least a 10% gain ... but it went down by 2 watts!

    WTF?!? As much as I'd like to find an excuse - there's no special reason for a poor performance, and I was feeling fine when I started. I just didn't do well, and I've no idea why!

    I'll be riding a bit less this winter, though I'll still be doing tough mountain hikes, and will be doing another very tough CompuTrainer course each week.

    I guess the questions are:
    - Should I expect it to fluctuate like that?
    My FTP can fluctuate by 60 watts over a season

    Quote Originally Posted by DGlenday View Post
    - Does it matter?
    No. Yes. Maybe. Depends. See below.

    Quote Originally Posted by DGlenday View Post
    - How important do you consider FTP to be?
    As a training tool it's a good number to work off of. If you're doing a lot of one hour time trials, bigger is better. Beyond that it's irrelevant for racing because in a race, it's not the number, it's when the number is. I know a lot of guys who can crank out 1600w sprints when they are fresh. They get in a break with me and after an hour they are lucky if they can break 800. Most races are won with the ability to recover from effort, and go again strong.

    I work with guys who do 10k TT's. Their FTP is nothing to write home about but they can knock a 10k out of the park. If you want a big FTP then you train for one hour steady state rides. You won't win a lot of races but the guys will appreciate you towing them around.

    There's a lot of variability to testing and training BTW. 2w is well within a margin of error.

  3. #3
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western MA
    My Bikes
    Yes
    Posts
    11,678
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Two watts is noise. We could lock you in a freezer for a week, thaw you out, test you again, and you could have a 2W difference. I suggest you read a little more about training with power. Beginning racers get fixated with the ewang. Don't do that. Try and keep everything in perspective. I have found that the best indicator of fitness is form. You'll know when you have it, and you'll know when it's starting to fade away. If you're on form, the absolute power isn't that important.

    My FTP dropped 60W from September to November, and I didn't live like a sloth for those two months, either. In fact, I rode too much, which pushed my FTP down.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    My Bikes
    Cannondale, Trek
    Posts
    1,102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks, guys - I was hoping for some perspective.

    I actually feel at least as strong as when my FTP was measured in October - so although I can't help feeling bitterly disappointed, I won't let it bug me too much.

    I'm doing a 60-miler on Saturday - and will use that as my own (subjective) measure of form.
    Regards,
    Duncan

  5. #5
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Let me check.
    My Bikes
    Of course.
    Posts
    11,248
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I'd also point out that it's quite possible to not move FTP (what kind of test are you doing BTW?) but improve the degradation curve past FTP (60 minutes). In other words your 60 minute number may not improve, but your 90 minute number might.

    So much of this depends on how you train, at what exertion and duration, and how you follow it up.

  6. #6
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    My Bikes
    Giant Propel, Cervelo P2
    Posts
    5,483
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    All I can do is echo what has already been said, and offer myself as an example of it. I've been training hard, and training smart. My FTP hasn't increased nearly as much as other areas of performance, and I would never worry about 2 watts in either direction.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  7. #7
    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    My Bikes
    Cannondale, Trek
    Posts
    1,102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    ...what kind of test are you doing BTW?
    It's done on a CompuTrainer. This is a copy/paste from the results sent to me by my coach:

    On a trainer, warm-up easy for 15 minutes;
    Over the next 5 minutes, do five (5) hard 30-second efforts, followed by 30 seconds of soft-pedaling. The purpose of this drill is to open up the blood and oxygen flow and to increase the heart rate prior to the 20-minute effort, so dont go too hard. Push a wattage you think you can sustain for 10 to 20 minutes.
    Pedal easy for 5-minutes and prepare yourself mentally for the 20-minute test, as its going to hurt!
    Start the 20-minute test by selecting a wattage/intensity you think you can sustain for the full-20 minutes. The cardinal rule of time trialing applies here: dont start out too hard. Keep in mind that the best cyclists in the world can only sustain 400-500 watts over a 1-hour period of time, so if you find yourself starting out at 500 watts, you know you are likely going much too hard. Its best to start out easy for the first two minutes, and then build progressively to a wattage/intensity level you think can sustain.
    Hold that level for the first 15 minutes, and then give it your best effort during the final five minutes. (If you find yourself fading in the last five minutes instead of holding steady or building, then you may have gone out too hard. Keep this in mind for your next test).
    Take your average wattage for the 20-minute period of time and multiply by .95.
    Your functional threshold power = 20-minute CP test x .95

    The power and hear rate zones are calculated using percentages developed by Dr. Andrew Coggan

    Heart rates are also taken every 5 minutes.

    The results are distributed showing FTP, and the various power and heart rate zones.
    Regards,
    Duncan

  8. #8
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western MA
    My Bikes
    Yes
    Posts
    11,678
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That looks like it's right out of Carmichael. It might be a little conservative, but all tests should be viewed as relative to one another and not to anything else. In other words, stick to one test, compare results using the same test, and only compare your own results. If you performed each test the same way, I would say that your FTP has not changed. What did your coach say?

  9. #9
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,734
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OP, leaving aside the technicalities, why did you expect a 10% gain on the basis of 50 miles per week and a computrainer class? I'd have thought that was a maintenance schedule at best.

  10. #10
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western MA
    My Bikes
    Yes
    Posts
    11,678
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    OP, leaving aside the technicalities, why did you expect a 10% gain on the basis of 50 miles per week and a computrainer class? I'd have thought that was a maintenance schedule at best.
    +1. A 10% gain is significant. Plus, we measure training in hours@effort level, not miles. Again, I would try and learn more about training with power first before setting unrealistic expectations for yourself.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    Posts
    6,170
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To add to RacerX's post you can also improve your short term power (15 seconds or 1 minute or 5 minutes) and not see a change in FTP. Or you can improve the time that you can ride at 90% of FTP while not changing FTP. It depends on how you train and that should depend on what you're training for.

    Since you have a coach you should have gone over your goals with him and he (or she) had made a plan for you to help you meet them.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Louisiana
    My Bikes
    Cannondale CAAD9
    Posts
    3,767
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Shovel - That's more likely Friel; Carmichael requires two, eight minute TTs and takes the higher of the two results, multiplied by .90.
    Last edited by revchuck; 01-11-13 at 10:22 AM.
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  13. #13
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Let me check.
    My Bikes
    Of course.
    Posts
    11,248
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Couple of other comments:

    Miles is a poor metric for tracking workload. I can do 50 miles in 5 hours or 50 miles in 1.5 hours depending on terrain. Duration is a much better metric.

    On that subject there's no substitue for time. A really pinpointed program might have a trained athlete good for crits on 6 hours a week. That number can get some progress in a less trained person, but you better not be farting around at all.

    Indoor training/testing needs to be do with a lot of ventilation, circulation, and cooling.

  14. #14
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western MA
    My Bikes
    Yes
    Posts
    11,678
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    A really pinpointed program might have a trained athlete good for crits on 6 hours a week.
    I wonder who that might be.

  15. #15
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Let me check.
    My Bikes
    Of course.
    Posts
    11,248
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    I wonder who that might be.
    Ivan Dominguez.

  16. #16
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western MA
    My Bikes
    Yes
    Posts
    11,678
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ivan is a Russian name.

  17. #17
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Let me check.
    My Bikes
    Of course.
    Posts
    11,248
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Ivan is a Russian name.
    You can tell when the Soviets stopped supporting Cuba by the names.

  18. #18
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western MA
    My Bikes
    Yes
    Posts
    11,678
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have never supported Cuba.

  19. #19
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    My Bikes
    Giant Propel, Cervelo P2
    Posts
    5,483
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I love Cuban food... and if you want a cigar, well...
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  20. #20
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western MA
    My Bikes
    Yes
    Posts
    11,678
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I love me a Cuban sammich. You can keep the cigar. That was another time.

  21. #21
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    My Bikes
    Giant Propel, Cervelo P2
    Posts
    5,483
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Haven't touched a cigar in a decade, as that no longer fits the nature of the choices I make. But if I did want a cigar, then...
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  22. #22
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western MA
    My Bikes
    Yes
    Posts
    11,678
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well a Cuban sandwich ain't exactly healthy either, but....

  23. #23
    West Coast Weenie Esteban58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA.
    My Bikes
    2013 Caletti, Trek 7500 fx
    Posts
    639
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One of the reasons I ride is so that I can enjoy the occasional food blowout without paying for it... although that's also probably why I'm losing weight so slowly...
    there is no signature.

  24. #24
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My Bikes
    Too Many
    Posts
    8,295
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  25. #25
    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    My Bikes
    Cannondale, Trek
    Posts
    1,102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    OP, leaving aside the technicalities, why did you expect a 10% gain on the basis of 50 miles per week and a computrainer class? I'd have thought that was a maintenance schedule at best.
    A few reasons:

    - The first time I did an FTP test was also the first time I'd ever been on a trainer.
    - Several people I ride with regularly had a higher FTP (measured in both Watts and Watts/Kg) than me - yet I have no problem keeping up with them on the road.
    - During the fall session, in most of the exercises including intervals, ErgVideos, and various others, I was far stronger than my FTP would indicate.

    So I didn't think the FTP I measured in October was reflective.

    Anyway - I'm "over it" and will try it again at the end of summer, to see if there's been any significant improvement. By that time I'll have been cycling for 2 full years, will have far more miles under the belt, and hope to have competed in a few races. I've just started reading Friel, and between that and this sub-forum, am slowly educating myself.

    Thanks again for the sage advice in this thread.
    Regards,
    Duncan

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •