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Did my first FTP test - Any tips from here?

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Did my first FTP test - Any tips from here?

Old 09-29-15, 07:04 PM
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Jarrett2
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Did my first FTP test - Any tips from here?

I did my first FTP test this evening.

Any tips on where to go from here?

I guess I multiply that by .95 and set it as my FTP in Garmin Connect and Strava?

The start building a training plan around that?



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Old 09-29-15, 08:52 PM
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Which testing protocol did you use? Does this data represent a single power interval (which one?) or the entire ride?
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Old 09-29-15, 10:12 PM
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20 minute max. Yes, that's the whole ride.
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Old 09-29-15, 11:24 PM
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You might want to do a more sophisticated test at some point. You can probably find several versions on the Internet, or buy a copy of "Training and Racing with a Power Meter". Most tests involve some decent warm-up before the power interval. Common formats are two 8-minute power intervals (if you're pressed for time), two 20-minute power intervals, or a single 20-minute interval after some shorter high-intensity riding. Tests that involve two 20-minute power intervals are supposedly the most accurate, but take more time (10-15 minute warm-up, 20-minute interval, 5- or 10-minute recovery interval, 20-minute interval, 10-15 minute cool-down).

The goal is to maintain steady power through-out the power interval but to go hard enough that you're almost out of gas by the end. It took me about three tries to get the intensity right. The first time I went too hard at the beginning of the intervals and couldn't sustain the power until the end. The second time I backed off a bit too much and had some gas left in the tank at the end of the intervals. The third try was just about perfect.

BTW, you'll get more repeatable results if you do the FTP test on a trainer.
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Old 09-30-15, 04:11 AM
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Not to be a smart a$$... but to the uneducated that 344w average for 20 minutes seems its pretty dang amazing...
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Old 09-30-15, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
You might want to...
Thanks for the info. I have that book and used that method. I did a warm up, then the 20 minutes, then a cool down. I just recorded them separately so that I could have the FTP test in a single file. I feel like I hit the intensity pretty well on this one. I'd rather ride on the road than the trainer, personally. I live in an area where we can ride all year long, so trainers don't get a lot of use here outside of a structured spin class.

I was hoping someone here knew a little more about using the power meter once the FTP baseline was established, that could offer some tips to go from here. Anyone? I'll keep reading the book as well.
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Old 09-30-15, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by scrming View Post
Not to be a smart a$$... but to the uneducated that 344w average for 20 minutes seems its pretty dang amazing...
Thanks. I don't know if its good or bad at this point.
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Old 09-30-15, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Thanks. I don't know if its good or bad at this point.
Well any Pro will tell you it's all about Watts/Kg. It's the latter half of that equation that's stopping you from being a pro!
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Old 09-30-15, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Well any Pro will tell you it's all about Watts/Kg. It's the latter half of that equation that's stopping you from being a pro!
lol, yeah that's the only thing stopping me
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Old 09-30-15, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Thanks. I don't know if its good or bad at this point.
Well, if that puts your FTP at 326w, that's a good chunk o' watts, but to motivate 280lbs, it probably doesn't feel spectacular. I ride peak season at 218lb and 300w FTP, and while it's good enough to keep me with the fast kids on rolling terrain, if it gets hilly, I'm pretty much going OTB on the climbs, and really humping to catch back up on the backside (while they're recovering). Long story short, I'm far from being one of the best, and could put another 20w of FTP to good use myself, so I can clearly understand how someone in that 320w range, but 60lb heavier, could be wanting more if they were ambitious.
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Old 09-30-15, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
lol, yeah that's the only thing stopping me
Well yes, you need to start riding carbon as well, clearly.
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Old 09-30-15, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
I was hoping someone here knew a little more about using the power meter once the FTP baseline was established, that could offer some tips to go from here. Anyone? I'll keep reading the book as well.
There are different zone systems, but using power, I personally use a 7-zone system.
Take your new FTP value and set that at 100%. Zone 4 is around 100%.

Then fill in the following chart:

z1...less than 55% of FTP
z2...55--75%
z3...76--90%
z4...91--105%
z5...106--120%
z6...121--150%
z7...more than 150% of FTP

Then you construct training around these zones. When out riding for the day, you have a targeted zone to be in. In the off-season, almost all (if not all) of your rides will be in z1 or z2 as you develop your base. Base is extremely important. Think of it as the base of a pyramid: the bigger the base, the higher the point can be.

As you approach the season, you'll start adding in days where you target higher zones. On these days, you'll be conducting intervals at the higher zones, while recovering at lower zones. You'll still be riding base on 3 or 4 days (out of 6 training) and only targeting these higher zones on 2 or 3 tops. Your body needs time to recover & adapt to the higher demands.

All of this is immensely easier on a trainer as you can "dial-in" the resistance. But, living in the real world, it's more fun out on the road. So, if you can, avoid large hills. And discipline yourself to cut back the wattage as necessary when going up any smaller ones. And you may want to avoid group rides as they have a tendency to pull you out of your prescribed zones as you ride faster to stay with the group. This type of training is very difficult.
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Old 09-30-15, 09:08 AM
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Cool, thanks for the info!

I went ahead and put FTP of 327 into my Garmin and Strava.

I need to setup a training profile that has this info on the main screen so I can monitor it as I ride.
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Old 09-30-15, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Thanks for the info. I have that book and used that method. I did a warm up, then the 20 minutes, then a cool down. I just recorded them separately so that I could have the FTP test in a single file. I feel like I hit the intensity pretty well on this one. I'd rather ride on the road than the trainer, personally. I live in an area where we can ride all year long, so trainers don't get a lot of use here outside of a structured spin class.
It's the same in my area... but I still do FTP tests on the trainer. For me, it's difficult to find 20 minutes of road where the slope is constant, there aren't any stop lights/stop signs/intersections where you need to slow and the wind is going to be the same every day of the year. Doing tests on the trainer, which is about the only time I use mine, leads to more repeatable results. I think repeatability is important, since you're going to base your entire training routine around this number.

I was hoping someone here knew a little more about using the power meter once the FTP baseline was established, that could offer some tips to go from here. Anyone? I'll keep reading the book as well.
If you're confident in your FTP measurement, then you should use it to calculate your power zones and start doing interval training based on those zones. The sort of intervals and training you do will depend on your riding goals (Sprint faster? Ride longer? Climb higher?). You can probably get detailed training suggestions in the Road or Race forums if you don't want to read the books.
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Old 09-30-15, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Then fill in the following chart:

z1...less than 55% of FTP
z2...55--75%
z3...76--90%
z4...91--105%
z5...106--120%
z6...121--150%
z7...more than 150% of FTP

Then you construct training around these zones. When out riding for the day, you have a targeted zone to be in. In the off-season, almost all (if not all) of your rides will be in z1 or z2 as you develop your base. Base is extremely important. Think of it as the base of a pyramid: the bigger the base, the higher the point can be.
Zone 1 is for active recovery. Zone 2 is for all-day endurance. Base training is probably best spent in Zone 3 (= "tempo" ) with some work in Zone 4 (= "threshold"). Training exclusively in zones 1 and 2, which are significantly below your FTP, isn't going to do anything to improve your fitness in my experience.
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Old 09-30-15, 09:34 AM
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FYI, here's a pretty good overview of FTP testing and the resulting power zones:

https://kurtkinetic.com/blog/posts/h...raining-zones/
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Old 09-30-15, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Well, if that puts your FTP at 326w, that's a good chunk o' watts, but to motivate 280lbs, it probably doesn't feel spectacular. I ride peak season at 218lb and 300w FTP, and while it's good enough to keep me with the fast kids on rolling terrain, if it gets hilly, I'm pretty much going OTB on the climbs, and really humping to catch back up on the backside (while they're recovering). Long story short, I'm far from being one of the best, and could put another 20w of FTP to good use myself, so I can clearly understand how someone in that 320w range, but 60lb heavier, could be wanting more if they were ambitious.
Here's a fun little calculator...

Bike Calculator

I put in 280 pounds, 6.7 miles, 240w... and came out at 20 MPH and 20 minutes... which lines up with OP results... assuming he's 280... I didn't see that listed anywhere... 240 seems like a more realistic number, IMHO.... (power meter is on my list of things for next year... LOL)
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Old 09-30-15, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by scrming View Post
Here's a fun little calculator...

Bike Calculator

I put in 280 pounds, 6.7 miles, 240w... and came out at 20 MPH and 20 minutes... which lines up with OP results... assuming he's 280... I didn't see that listed anywhere... 240 seems like a more realistic number, IMHO.... (power meter is on my list of things for next year... LOL)
So you sooner believe calculations from a web site than you do actual readings from a power meter? Amazing.
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Old 09-30-15, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
So you sooner believe calculations from a web site than you do actual readings from a power meter? Amazing.
Is it a properly CALIBRATED power meter??? I can put your car on a dyno and show you it making 1,000 HP, does that mean it's really making 1,000 HP because i measured it vs doing time/distance/weight calculations?

It it simply doesn't add up. 344w and only averaged 20 MPH. Either OP weighs significantly more than 280, was riding up a hill or had a terrible head winds. Or all 3 of them.
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Old 09-30-15, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by scrming View Post
Is it a properly CALIBRATED power meter??? I can put your car on a dyno and show you it making 1,000 HP, does that mean it's really making 1,000 HP because i measured it vs doing time/distance/weight calculations?

It it simply doesn't add up. 344w and only averaged 20 MPH. Either OP weighs significantly more than 280, was riding up a hill or had a terrible head winds. Or all 3 of them.
Is a 5 1/2 mph headwind considered "terrible"? That's all I had to put into that calculator you linked to to bring a 344W average for a 280 lb rider down to 20mph average.

Equally, I would sooner believe real world results than some estimate from an algorithm that is a complete black box to me. For example, does the calculator include such factors as increased drag big guys have over a 150lb rider?

I have no idea if @Jarrett2's power meter is calibrated, however, his readings are not crazy IMHO.
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Old 09-30-15, 01:04 PM
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There was a little wind last night and the road wasn't absolutely flat. There were even some turns I had to let off on to make it around. Just part of the real world. I rode some in the drops and some in the hoods when I got tired. And I am 280, just me. The bike usually weighs 21 lbs will my tools/flat kit/saddle bag on it.

Last night I had two full water bottles, two Light & Motion headlights and a 60 lumen tail light on it. I also had a bunch of stuff in my jersey as I thought I was going on a longer ride when I started. If I was doing it again, I probably wouldn't take half that stuff. So the total weight of me/bike/clothes/tools/jersey pocket stuff was well over 300 lbs total.

My power meter is as dialed in and calibrated as I can get it. I've followed every step on the Garmin and Stages setup pages, twice. Every time I do it, it says calibration successful.

Going forward, I'll try and scout a better, straight, flat 7 mile stretch to do the test; but for now this is what I have to work with.

Last edited by Jarrett2; 09-30-15 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 09-30-15, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
There was a little wind last night and the road wasn't absolutely flat. Just part of the real world.
I fiddled a bit with those calculators, and you don't need to put in much of a grade or headwind (i.e. real world things) to drag a 344W/280lb rider down to 20mph average speed.

I just find it hilarious that with all the arguments people have over estimated wattage/kcal etc, that when someone comes along with an actual real world power meter readings, people wouldn't believe them, preferring to stick with their black box estimates!
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Old 09-30-15, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
I just find it hilarious that with all the arguments people have over estimated wattage/kcal etc, that when someone comes along with an actual real world power meter readings, people wouldn't believe them, preferring to stick with their black box estimates!
I expected that, I mean its BF after all. Who needs facts here?

I might try and reach out to some cycling coaches to see if there are any that would be willing to work with a fat guy at getting stronger and losing weight.
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Old 09-30-15, 01:43 PM
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Go to the 33 in the racers forum and read the "just started traning with power" thread. It's very long but full of info.
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Old 09-30-15, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
I expected that, I mean its BF after all. Who needs facts here?

I might try and reach out to some cycling coaches to see if there are any that would be willing to work with a fat guy at getting stronger and losing weight.
Never said i didn't believe you... just that 344 seems higher than what you would typically see from someone who already isn't on some type of training plan.... typical recreational riders would be under 300w for an average on an hour ride...

I come from a drag racing background and i know plenty of guys who measure their power on the dyno but their timeslips (trap speed) simply don't correspond to the HP/TQ numbers...
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