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FTP Test question

Old 04-02-08, 12:40 PM
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FTP Test question

I can average about 300 watts for an 8 minute uphill interval. The CTS info that comes with the PM wants you to do a 3 mile flat TT 2x to get an FTP value to extrapolate from. I'm dubious about my ability to put out 300 watts over 6-9 mins. without a hill to 'motivate' me.

Am I a Wussy or is this typical? How the hell is anyone going to push themselves quite as hard on the flat as they will going up a 1.5 mile climb? I don't think I can go as hard. I will try of course. Still waiting for Saris to send me that extra PT mounting kit so I can get it on my TT bike by this Saturday (Sandy Hook TT) but I think they sent it via carrier pigeon, so that may not happen.

Discuss.
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Old 04-02-08, 12:42 PM
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My "climbing threshold" is about 30 watts higher than on flat which is in turn about 30 watts higher than on the trainer. I need a race to reach my threshold on the flats. Then again some people do better on flats.
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Old 04-02-08, 12:43 PM
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It's typical, pcad. I can consistently generate more power on a climb than on the flats. It might have something to do with gravity being a constant force and air resistance/wind not.
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Old 04-02-08, 12:48 PM
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Not to get all technical on you Road Nazis, but I think it has to do with the fact that going uphill is harder. Like my pal C. Lane always said:

'You don't need no stinkin power meter. If you want to go faster, pedal harder.'

He was of course, correct. Now, back to your hand wringing, over analyzing, byzantine graphs and indecipherable acronyms. Paging Dr. W.
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Old 04-02-08, 12:49 PM
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Well technically you could just push as hard on the flats, but mentally that's harder for a lot of people.
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Old 04-02-08, 12:50 PM
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Hey Pcad,

When are you going to ship me your power tap so I can test it out? Just to make sure it's not broken and giving you wrong numbers and such.
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Old 04-02-08, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Am I a Wussy or is this typical?

Discuss.
Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
It's typical, pcad.
...and yes, you are a Wussy.
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Old 04-02-08, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by substructure View Post
Hey Pcad,

When are you going to ship me your power tap so I can test it out? Just to make sure it's not broken and giving you wrong numbers and such.
After you blow your brains out subby. You can use it in the Afterlife TT.
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Old 04-02-08, 01:08 PM
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I can't motivate for any kind of a TT. Well longer than 30 seconds anyway. Uphill the whole "don't wanna fall over" motivation tops the "I don't wanna go hard" de-motivation so I can go a bit harder. But that just means I go hard enough that I don't fall over in a 39x25.

Why don't you do an 8 min TT x2 on the trainer? That was an alternative in the various CTS DVD/tapes I have. Crank 8 minutes of tunes that make you angry and go for it. Or is that just as bad?

cdr
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Old 04-02-08, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
After you blow your brains out subby. You can use it in the Afterlife TT.
Sounds good. I'll make a note of it.
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Old 04-02-08, 01:25 PM
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My FTP is about the same on hills and flats. Took more to keep it in the right zone on flats, but over time it has gotten easier. Try it at 280, if you can do more bump it up next time, or the second interval.
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Old 04-02-08, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
I can average about 300 watts for an 8 minute uphill interval. The CTS info that comes with the PM wants you to do a 3 mile flat TT 2x to get an FTP value to extrapolate from. I'm dubious about my ability to put out 300 watts over 6-9 mins. without a hill to 'motivate' me.

Am I a Wussy or is this typical? How the hell is anyone going to push themselves quite as hard on the flat as they will going up a 1.5 mile climb? I don't think I can go as hard. I will try of course. Still waiting for Saris to send me that extra PT mounting kit so I can get it on my TT bike by this Saturday (Sandy Hook TT) but I think they sent it via carrier pigeon, so that may not happen.

Discuss.
If by FTP you mean Functional Threashold Power, this is the power that you can hold for a 1hr TT. Any extrapolation from less than 20 minutes is not going to tell you much anyway - 20 minutes is bad enough. - TF
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Old 04-02-08, 01:34 PM
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We have a very precious few hills that take more than 3 minutes to climb around this neck of the woods.

But the concept is intriguing.
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Old 04-02-08, 02:43 PM
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You can put out just as much power on the flats. It's all mental. It's possible that a change in position could change things, but you can always ride in the same position if you want.

My hill repeat hill has a flat spot in the middle, and I can hit that at the same power level in a 5-minute test. Here's an old graph from one of these tests (helps make the high graph quota in this forum). You can see the speed go from 12mph to 26 mph, but the power hangs tight.
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Old 04-02-08, 03:09 PM
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Here is a 30M TT, in hills.



Although a little choppy, up and down the hill pretty constant power. Couple of turns waiting for cars in there.
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Old 04-02-08, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by recursive View Post
We have a very precious few hills that take more than 3 minutes to climb around this neck of the woods.

But the concept is intriguing.
You have a couple that'll twist my bibs in a knot.

PCad, the default answer, as always, is yes you're a wussy. Now motivate.
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Old 04-02-08, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TurboTurtle View Post
If by FTP you mean Functional Threashold Power, this is the power that you can hold for a 1hr TT. Any extrapolation from less than 20 minutes is not going to tell you much anyway - 20 minutes is bad enough. - TF
Tell Mr. Carmichael of CTS (Lance's long time coach) that you think his training methods are bullsiht.
Get back to us on how that works out for you.

That is all.
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Old 04-02-08, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
You can put out just as much power on the flats. It's all mental. It's possible that a change in position could change things, but you can always ride in the same position if you want.

My hill repeat hill has a flat spot in the middle, and I can hit that at the same power level in a 5-minute test. Here's an old graph from one of these tests (helps make the high graph quota in this forum). You can see the speed go from 12mph to 26 mph, but the power hangs tight.
You beast you.
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Old 04-02-08, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Tell Mr. Carmichael of CTS (Lance's long time coach) that you think his training methods are bullsiht.
Get back to us on how that works out for you.

That is all.
You can set effective training zones based off the test. However, this does not mean that the test accurately measures FTP.

So if your goal is to just get faster, his stuff will work. If you want an accurate measure of your FTP, then use a different test.
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Old 04-02-08, 03:53 PM
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Agreed, even though this is the test I used . I didnt compute it because I did it at a CTS shop with computrainers. How exactly is it taken from these 3 mile tts? It's not the average is it? 90%?
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Old 04-02-08, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by recursive View Post
You beast you.
I've seen a lot of VO2Max improvement since December. 5m power up from 386W to 454W at the same weight. I think I could hit 460-465W right now, but I can't test with the training and racing beatdown I'm putting on myself
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Old 04-02-08, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Am I a Wussy or is this typical? How the hell is anyone going to push themselves quite as hard on the flat as they will going up a 1.5 mile climb? I don't think I can go as hard.

Discuss.
I believe it is typical. A LOT of people report being able to push hills harder. Whether it is the upright position (hip angle and such), the lower speed (people aren't as inclined to be afraid of falling at slower speeds), or the fact that gravity is pretty constant resistance, where wind resistance can be finicky, a lot of people report that.

How can you push yourself that hard? It's mostly a mental thing.

I believe they ask for a flat TT because more people can find 8 minutes of flat road than 8 minute climbs. Use the climb data if you like. Considering the estimate anyhow, there is so much room for error, that either way you get a rough approximation at best.

By the way, your FTP is 267 watts. Keep it up PCad.
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Old 04-02-08, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
I've seen a lot of VO2Max improvement since December. 5m power up from 386W to 454W at the same weight. I think I could hit 460-465W right now, but I can't test with the training and racing beatdown I'm putting on myself
Huh? You either just started riding bicycles or being in Austin you are acquainted with Lance's doctors... 18% gain in 5MP is just not possible in a trained cyclist (or rather HIGHLY unlikely)... You sure your power meter is properly calibrated?
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Old 04-02-08, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
I believe it is typical...It's mostly a mental thing.
Yeah, I am actually the opposite in that I have seen bigger #'s on flats than on climbs... but it is mental I agree... I love going fast and have trained myself to push big gears at high speed... love to try to breakaway etc., hate climbing! I do think some of it can be related to inertial pedal load (much lower when pedaling small gears, ie. when climbing, thus the lower naturally selected cadence, etc.), but most of the contribution is mental.
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Old 04-02-08, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Caval„o View Post
Huh? You either just started riding bicycles or being in Austin you are acquainted with Lance's doctors... 18% gain in 5MP is just not possible in a trained cyclist (or rather HIGHLY unlikely)... You sure your power meter is properly calibrated?
The power meter is fine (though I'd like to do a stomp test). I think my training wasn't properly calibrated. I was heavily focused on sprints and 1m intervals before I got the PowerTap. Once I saw how ridiculous my power profile looked, I changed up my training.

I added tons of SST and 7 to 20 minute intervals. Sprints and 1m intervals only once/month now. VO2Max intervals are the same volume as before. At the same time as the training focus shift, my office moved to a better location, so I'm commuting every day. My volume has gone up from 5.5-6 hrs/wk to 9-12 hrs/wk.

The gains in FTP have been substantial, and have brought everything up (even my 5s and 1m power have seen big gains). I haven't had a reliable 20m test recently, but I think my FTP has gone up from 306W to 350W since December.

Sunday I got confirmation by handily beating a bunch of Cat 2s while winning a M35+ road race. This was my first win since 1992 (12 years of "retirement" in there).I've also seen my familiar TT times go way down (45 second improvement on 8 miles!).

So, I think that I was nearly untrained at threshold, and now I've got a nice year or two of catch-up ahead of me.
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