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Climbing vs Flat FTP, Zwift, etc.

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Climbing vs Flat FTP, Zwift, etc.

Old 12-21-17, 05:26 AM
  #1  
Goldsbar
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Climbing vs Flat FTP, Zwift, etc.

I've been cycling for a couple of decades, but this whole power thing is new to me via an Elite Direto smart trainer & Zwift I've had for a couple of months. According to Zwift, my FTP is a not so world class 230W @ 68kg. That's not via an official FTP test, but rather "climbing" the main "mountain" with a lot standing and grinding often with power well above or below 230W. I've also averaged 200W for almost 2 hours while "climbing" "Mount Ventoux" on another virtual program.

I decided to try my first Zwift workout last night. It was supposedly moderate, but I was dying (calf twinges, knee started to bother me) and had to stop just under an hour. It was warmup, 1x220W 5 minutes & 1x195W 5 minutes 3 times, quick cool down, repeat another 3 sets of the 220W/195W. Should have lasted 90 minutes.

So what gives? It appears my FTP clearly isn't 230W for this type of workout or perhaps at all. Why can I maintain it with far less mental suffering than a flat "ERG" workout?
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Old 12-21-17, 06:02 AM
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Could be a number of reasons:
- Motivation. Were you riding the mountain in a group?
- Power meter accuracy. Do you have access to a powermeter independent from the trainer?
- Duration. Not sure how long the mountain climb is in Zwift and if you were applying any scaling to it. For example many assume their FTP is about 95% of their best 20min power (after 5min hard interval)

As long as your powermeter is consistent, it doesn’t really matter what your FTP is. If you do a workout like you did and can’t complete it, lower the target next time. Once the workouts start to feel easier, raise the target.
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Old 12-21-17, 06:20 AM
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Take the FTP test on Zwift, don't use the average from a ride. Remember too that workouts are supposed to make you stronger, so they push it, although if your FTP was 230W as you assume, you should be able to do that workout for an hour because it is below threshold. Whether you could then continue for another half hour is debatable. And if there were any sprints or surges during the time that took you over threshold you'll feel them and it would make the rest of the workout harder. So, my answer is your FTP is probably lower than 230, maybe 220 or 210? But don't think about maybe, just take the test and find out for sure.

And don't worry about accuracy of your trainer. They are all supposed to be pretty accurate.
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Old 12-21-17, 08:10 AM
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This is a topic for @Carbonfiberboy
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Old 12-21-17, 12:24 PM
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It's just fitness, and having to adapt to less (or no) recovery time between hard efforts. It's easier to do brief very hard efforts with lots of recovery time in between than it is to do sustained hard efforts with little recovery time.
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Old 12-22-17, 04:56 AM
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Hello,

Have you done a spin-down? The Zwift routine for my KickR used to be buggy, but seems to work pretty well now. It would most likely make a difference if you haven't done it.
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