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FTP test fail - what should I do now?

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FTP test fail - what should I do now?

Old 01-05-12, 09:52 AM
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petalpower
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FTP test fail - what should I do now?

Took a FTP test today, and IMHO, I failed miserably. The last time I took a FTP test, was mid September and I came out at 257w.

This morning, I attempted to re-test in order to begin a spring threshold improvement training regimen, and I came out around 223. Granted the 257 was outdoors, and today's test was indoors. Also, I just came back from 2 weeks of traveling on Friday, and have only ridden the bike on the trainer 2x - one time being only a 45 minute recovery. While away, I did do spinning classes about 4x per week, and did some long runs 5-11miles.

Do you guys think I should ride another week, and re-test, or should I go ahead set up my 12 week plan based on my results today on the trainer, and being indoors?

Thanks
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Old 01-05-12, 10:00 AM
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rule of thumb is one week for every week lost in order to regain training. if you want, retest outside when you are well rested (your stress balance will be a good indicator, though i've set all of my long term power records on TSB between -5 and -15)

if you use all the periodization metrics, use 223 for now and back date it when you test higher a few weeks later.

one thing about riding inside: i really don't find it harder when I have a huge window fan cooling me down (thanks for the tip Mikey!).
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Old 01-05-12, 10:16 AM
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I'd split the difference between the 2 numbers, and see how that feels. If its too hard go back to the 223 number, and retest in a couple of weeks.
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Old 01-05-12, 10:19 AM
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257 to 223 is a loss of 13%. A lot of people report being 5-10% lower on the indoor trainer versus outside, so I wouldn't stress out about it. If you are going to be doing all your training indoors, use the 223 and work from there.
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Old 01-05-12, 10:23 AM
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Use 223 for indoor workouts, retest for outdoors. There's a bunch of information on why most people tend to produce lower FTP numbers indoors.

You should be retesting at least monthly in any case, or every three weeks if that's your rest/recovery cycle.
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Old 01-05-12, 10:33 AM
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Thanks for the advice guys. I'll also add that I caught a little bit of a head cold towards the end of my trip, which finally cleared up on Monday/Tuesday, so I'm sure that might have had an effect. Also, the test I took in Sept. was at the tail end of a training block ( I used the TCTP this year with great success ), so I think I was in pretty good form.

I think I'll set my FTP at 230 ( round up a bit ) and see how that feels. I'll be ordering one of Coggan's cookie cutter winter threshold improvement plans today and will use that into the spring crit series, which is in March. Once I'm done with it, I'll transition into my TCTP.
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Old 01-05-12, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by petalpower View Post
Thanks for the advice guys. I'll also add that I caught a little bit of a head cold towards the end of my trip, which finally cleared up on Monday/Tuesday, so I'm sure that might have had an effect. Also, the test I took in Sept. was at the tail end of a training block ( I used the TCTP this year with great success ), so I think I was in pretty good form.

I think I'll set my FTP at 230 ( round up a bit ) and see how that feels. I'll be ordering one of Coggan's cookie cutter winter threshold improvement plans today and will use that into the spring crit series, which is in March. Once I'm done with it, I'll transition into my TCTP.
Took me about 4 days after symptoms of head cold subsided and 2 days of training (first training session one day after symptoms subsided) before I was able to do things pre-sickness. Those first two days of training blows, and RPE will be really high.

If you are using the Carmichael plan, then a 13% decline isn't out of the ordinary. My biggest gripe about the book is that he sheepishly state the fact that when you get off form, it's not a slow decline but a freefall as you can't fall back onto some well-established base.
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Old 01-05-12, 10:51 AM
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i foudn that when i tested indoors i lost about 10% of my outdoor ftp, and personally i beleieve that my outdoor ftp has risen alot since i last tested it. i had a 20 min section in the middle of a 3 hour ride where i rode at only 5 watts less than my max 20 min power, and i wasn't struggling that much.
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Old 01-05-12, 11:03 AM
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I've never been able to do a test outdoors. Is there one that's shorter than 20 min?

I've only done my tests indoors.

220w. I was going to say "Welcome to my world". You're good enough to upgrade to Cat 2. Heh.
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Old 01-05-12, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by echappist View Post
Took me about 4 days after symptoms of head cold subsided and 2 days of training (first training session one day after symptoms subsided) before I was able to do things pre-sickness. Those first two days of training blows, and RPE will be really high.

If you are using the Carmichael plan, then a 13% decline isn't out of the ordinary. My biggest gripe about the book is that he sheepishly state the fact that when you get off form, it's not a slow decline but a freefall as you can't fall back onto some well-established base.

I agree with the rapid loss of fitness once the intervals are either stopped, or scaled back. I did have success though using the plan as I won 2 crits here in Colorado - which I don't think is an easy feat. at 145lbs, and a peak wattage of 1300, I was able to grab 2 wins - one on a very technical go-cart track where my confidence in cornering ( from racing motorcycles for years ) was helpful. So the plan has worked for me. Whether a traditional plan would yield even better results I don't know.

I run into burn-out issues when I start riding more than about 9 hours per week. Plus I have family ( wife and 4 month old girl ) and professional commitments that are my priority.
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Old 01-05-12, 11:06 AM
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it hurts the ego, but set it where you tested. that's why you did the test, correct?

start your program and keep an eye on your wattages. if you start blowing your zones out of the water or fail to hit them, then you know you need to revise.
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Old 01-05-12, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
it hurts the ego, but set it where you tested. that's why you did the test, correct?

start your program and keep an eye on your wattages. if you start blowing your zones out of the water or fail to hit them, then you know you need to revise.
+1
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Old 01-05-12, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I've never been able to do a test outdoors. Is there one that's shorter than 20 min?

I've only done my tests indoors.

220w. I was going to say "Welcome to my world". You're good enough to upgrade to Cat 2. Heh.
I've always done mine indoors as well, and I'm not far from you at 230. Of course, that is more fitting for my Cat 4 status.
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Old 01-05-12, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I've always done mine indoors as well, and I'm not far from you at 230. Of course, that is more fitting for my Cat 4 status.
Well, I'm not a 2 anymore so it's kind of a moot thing. I hope to get the number back up a bit though.
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Old 01-05-12, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rkwaki View Post
+1
+2
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Old 01-05-12, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I've never been able to do a test outdoors. Is there one that's shorter than 20 min?

I've only done my tests indoors.

220w. I was going to say "Welcome to my world". You're good enough to upgrade to Cat 2. Heh.
Really? I think my team's computrainer is very generous, either that or I should be able to just ride off the front of my Cat-4 races next year. To test it, I just do an all-out 30 minute time trial as I read in Joe Freil's blog. Am I doing it wrong?

Last edited by Debusama; 01-06-12 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 01-05-12, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Debusama View Post
Really? I think my team's computrainer is very generous, either that or I should be able to just ride off the front of my Cat-4 races next year. To test it, I just do an all-out 30 minute time trial as I red in Joe Freil's blog. Am I doing it wrong?
that's what i do, except 35 minutes and not all out. If i hit higher numbers in subsequent intervals sessions, i adjust upwards. i subscribe to training is testing
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Old 01-06-12, 07:47 AM
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Don't be a power absolutist

Comparing your numbers to others is stupid and counterproductive.

The FTP number exists for one reason only: To determine accurate training zones for you. you.


you.



you.




u.



you.


not anyone else.
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Old 01-13-12, 09:05 AM
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I went ahead and just used a pre-packaged winter FTP improvement plan from Training Peaks. Should yield better results than last winters "just ride the trainer" plan.
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Old 01-13-12, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Debusama View Post
Really? I think my team's computrainer is very generous, either that or I should be able to just ride off the front of my Cat-4 races next year. To test it, I just do an all-out 30 minute time trial as I read in Joe Freil's blog. Am I doing it wrong?
I can't ride off the front of any race. But my FTP is what it is. I can't climb either, not as well as most Cat 5s. In fact I get dropped on climbs by non racing men and women in their 50s on a local shop ride, some carrying some serious amounts of stuff on their bike.

Originally Posted by petalpower View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice. I went ahead and just used a pre-packaged winter FTP improvement plan from Training Peaks. Should yield better results than last winters "just ride the trainer" plan.
I was thinking I should change something from my jrtt plan but yesterday when I decided to "go hard" I gave up after 20 or 30 seconds. So jrtt it is for me, at least for now.
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Old 01-13-12, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
Comparing your numbers to others is stupid and counterproductive.
+1. Ignore the left side of the ewang chart.
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Old 01-13-12, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by petalpower View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice. I went ahead and just used a pre-packaged winter FTP improvement plan from Training Peaks. Should yield better results than last winters "just ride the trainer" plan.
If it's anything like the sample plan in the A&C book, it works.
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Old 01-13-12, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
+1. Ignore the left side of the ewang chart.
Dammit, well there goes the only part of this universe in which I am/will ever be a Cat 2.
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Old 01-13-12, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by petalpower View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice. I went ahead and just used a pre-packaged winter FTP improvement plan from Training Peaks. Should yield better results than last winters "just ride the trainer" plan.
I am sort of using this plan, there isn't much riding in the plan, but tons of gym work. 1.5 months into it and if I had actually followed the plan, the best I could hope for would be to maintain my FTP, based on what I've seen so far, there's no way my FTP would rise using the plan. I'm doing maybe 1 workout a week out of the plan and doing my own intervals on the days where the plan wouldn't help me.
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Old 01-13-12, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post
Dammit, well there goes the only part of this universe in which I am/will ever be a Cat 2.
I give you two years max, maybe less. You have all the right stuff.
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