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FTP From 1 Hour Test

Old 06-16-20, 12:19 PM
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ZHVelo
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FTP From 1 Hour Test

I managed to find a route with no traffic light and minimal road changes (in fact, I had 3 roundabouts and 2 left turns, neither of which made me stop for cars actually, in the whole hour, which I think is pretty decent). The only issue turns out to be that there are too many downhill parts. And you drop the watts like crazy there, especially in corners (where I don't feel confident pedaling at all even tbh). I will go a different route that is flat, it has several roundabouts and 2 traffic lights, but I feel that is better than longer downhill parts. You can run up really close to them if it is red and then start up again. Yes you might get to 'rest' but tbh I just feel you lose momentum and the effort getting back to speed hurts, too.

But anyway, is it fair to add a few watts to the average? On Wahoo the average read 253 after 1 hour with nPower at 268. Funnily enough, afterwards, the first lap (I did not start with the warm up) it read 250 not 253, while Strava for that lap displays 255. I was aiming for 260 and I actually lost 10W on those downhill parts (gaining one on the uphill part in between) and after a 5 minute rest I got to a local hill on which I managed 267 over 7 minutes, so I think using 260 seems to be a fair judgment, what do you think?

ps the last test I did was 20 minutes (I try to do one a month and alternate between 20 and 60 minutes) and I managed 264 there so I can almost hold that for the whole hour now, which is pretty cool. The last 60 minute test I got 228 average, but used 235, because a few rides after I was still gaining like crazy and Strava suggested an FTP in the 240s.
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Old 06-16-20, 01:51 PM
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Most people use their FTP mostly to set targets for their intervals. In general the advice there is if the intervals feel too easy or too hard, adjust. So there's nothing wrong with it in your case. You'll also adjust your TSS scores which may or may not matter to you.
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Old 06-16-20, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Most people use their FTP mostly to set targets for their intervals. In general the advice there is if the intervals feel too easy or too hard, adjust. So there's nothing wrong with it in your case. You'll also adjust your TSS scores which may or may not matter to you.
Probably needn't have made a thread, this is pretty obvious I guess.
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Old 06-16-20, 03:49 PM
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If nobody made new threads, this place would be pretty boring.
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Old 06-17-20, 04:50 AM
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If you have access to an indoor smart trainer, it would be interesting to see how your road number compares to what a 30 minute or ramp type FTP test would come up with.

On Zwift, the climb up Alpe de Huez clone Alpe de Zwift takes me more than an hour and I usually end up averaging pretty close to what the FTP test (done on Zwift) said - usually within a few percent either way.

A couple of years ago I did the Logan Pass climb on Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park - something like 11 miles at 6%. That was my one opportunity for an on road test but it was on a rental bike and I hadn't even brought a heart rate monitor let alone had a power meter.
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Old 06-17-20, 06:36 AM
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I've never done an FTP test in my life but train exclusively with power. All my numbers are based on what I'm capable of doing at that particular period of the year.

Just like Seattle Forest said... make adjustments. Feeling good, maybe push the watts a bit higher or lengthen the duration. Feeling not so good, lower or bail.

After doing it for long enough, you can generally figure out within the first few minutes if the workout is sustainable or needs to be adjusted. The minutiae of a specific wattage on a daily basis just isn't significant the majority of time.

There are a few key workouts at a few key points in a year that I would want to hit much more specific numbers (hitting 95% of vo2 max, for example), but that's maybe a handful of workouts a year. Especially for things like tempo, sweetspot, and threshold, there's a solid 20i-40ish watt range built into the continuum of those zones. Sometimes it's just a matter of eeking out the time regardless of the specific wattage number.
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Old 06-17-20, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I've never done an FTP test in my life but train exclusively with power. All my numbers are based on what I'm capable of doing at that particular period of the year.

Just like Seattle Forest said... make adjustments. Feeling good, maybe push the watts a bit higher or lengthen the duration. Feeling not so good, lower or bail.

After doing it for long enough, you can generally figure out within the first few minutes if the workout is sustainable or needs to be adjusted. The minutiae of a specific wattage on a daily basis just isn't significant the majority of time.

There are a few key workouts at a few key points in a year that I would want to hit much more specific numbers (hitting 95% of vo2 max, for example), but that's maybe a handful of workouts a year. Especially for things like tempo, sweetspot, and threshold, there's a solid 20i-40ish watt range built into the continuum of those zones. Sometimes it's just a matter of eeking out the time regardless of the specific wattage number.
I would agree with intervals but not on sweet spot training. If you have no idea what your FTP is how can you tell what sweet spot is? If you do 2 or 3 20 minute blocks in one session, that is already harder to gauge than say 5 5 minute hard interval blocks in my opinion. Not to mention you might not feel it being too hard, until the next session, so you are always reacting to your body after the fact. Being right from the start surely counteracts this to a large degree and ensures you can do 3-4 such sessions a week.
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Old 06-17-20, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
I would agree with intervals but not on sweet spot training. If you have no idea what your FTP is how can you tell what sweet spot is? If you do 2 or 3 20 minute blocks in one session, that is already harder to gauge than say 5 5 minute hard interval blocks in my opinion. Not to mention you might not feel it being too hard, until the next session, so you are always reacting to your body after the fact. Being right from the start surely counteracts this to a large degree and ensures you can do 3-4 such sessions a week.
I'd posit the question of how you can train with power for any decent amount of time and not have an idea of what your FTP is just based off of that training?

I'd also question the super arbitrary and fairly random notion of 20 minute blocks (20 minutes is simply the amount of time it took Coggan to do a particular loop or section of road or something; it's not some physiological foundation of training). If you're going to do 60 minutes of sweetspot, do 60 minutes of sweetspot. Zero need for breaks unless you have a long descent or traffic/intersections. Unless this is your first few rides using a powermeter, you have an idea of what you can do. And then you adjust based on certain conditions. You do not need to be a slave to a number, though with practice you can actually get to the point of hitting a very specific number very well if you're that inclined. Like I said above, tempo, sweetspot, and threshold have the widest zones. If you're talking about more specific repeats/intervals, that range would likely be tighter.

I don't understand what you mean about not knowing it was too hard until the next session. How are you going to do 60 minutes of sweetspot too hard? You're not simply because of the intensity of that zone. Even if you manage to push that into threshold (which sweetspot essentially is, anyway), so what? That's great! Even better workout. It shouldn't have any bearing on your ability to do another workout later on in the week, though.

And if you've been at it a while, it should have little to no bearing on your ability to turn around and do another sweetspot workout the next day (though this depends on your experience and training level).

Even then, now we're back to adjusting based on day to day factors. Training is testing...

Last edited by rubiksoval; 06-17-20 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 06-17-20, 03:15 PM
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What software are you using off the bike? If it doesn't have a power curve, get one that does. (Golden Cheetah is a free download.)

I agree it's pretty easy to ballpark it after a while based on what you've been doing.

I also agree that training isn't crazy sensitive. When I did StrongLifts 5x5, it had me putting 5 lbs more on the bar every workout. We have great tools that report with lots of precision, but when it comes to forcing yourself into better shape, the right ballpark is enough. It's not the case that 5w lower is a waste of time.
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Old 06-18-20, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
What software are you using off the bike? If it doesn't have a power curve, get one that does. (Golden Cheetah is a free download.)

I agree it's pretty easy to ballpark it after a while based on what you've been doing.

I also agree that training isn't crazy sensitive. When I did StrongLifts 5x5, it had me putting 5 lbs more on the bar every workout. We have great tools that report with lots of precision, but when it comes to forcing yourself into better shape, the right ballpark is enough. It's not the case that 5w lower is a waste of time.
Mostly just Strava, I do upload workouts to GC as well, but don't look at it every time, I find it too cluttered. And it took me an hour to figure out how to enter my weight and FTP correctly for certain dates. But I am getting more used to it. The CP (ext) value is off though, it suggest 275 for me, which I know I can't hold. Maybe if it were 1 hour of uphill.
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Old 06-18-20, 05:48 AM
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Rubi is right. A test isn't super necessary depending on the intervals you do and how often you do them to know what you can do. Extend duration or up/down the power a touch. Take notes.

I rarely do a 20min test, mostly just for the cachet of having a 20min w/kg number to quote like I'm a kid or something. And some TT intervals are long enough I need to know that I guess.

It's just that getting a good long 20min or hour test is a big training schedule buster and taxing on the person.

You did really well it seems given what you had available. Only way to be more accurate is on a trainer, even a fluid or mag trainer. It will still vary depending on hot or cool your house is or what fan setup you have. I bake indoors sometimes, so power suffers.
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Old 06-18-20, 08:37 AM
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rubiksoval Do you still have the “no zone” chart? It may provide another way to think about FTP training and duration. I cannot post pics from this computer.

I have listened to podcasts where Coggan talks about the FTP training model and likens it to a construct where the one hour duration max effort for an FTP value, was arrived at by observation and it seems to work versus scientific method. Ask yourself this, why not 49.7324 minutes or 65.333333333333333 duration for FTP? It is unlikely that rigorous scientific method would have arrived at 60.000000000 minutes.

Training is about what is the goal. If the goal is fitness then most anything will work. If one wants to do a 20K time trial or a 2 kilometer pursuit, then the training becomes more specific for that event. The same for mass start events such as crits. If the goal is a century then distance is important and if the goal is a 5 hour century then long term tempo power is important.

I use more of a numerical method for FTP. I go out for a structured workout and make an educated guess at what my FTP is. I then test and adjust the FTP number but not duration during the workout homing in on the correct number. If the initial effort was too easy, I ask myself, if I increase the effort by X watts, will I be able to complete the workout?

Morpheus provides Neo insight in this clip from the Matrix about the training construct. I often think this applies to the FTP construct.

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Old 06-18-20, 09:32 AM
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Not sure about a "no zone" chart. Is that the power continuum/training effect chart? This has overlaid zones but shows the continuum well.



And this is helpful, I think.

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Old 06-18-20, 02:49 PM
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Seems to be working now. Here is the no go zones for duration as well as % of FTP.
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Old 06-19-20, 12:35 AM
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You are missing the headings on that. Is the first column % of FTP and the second % of LTHR?
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Old 06-19-20, 03:57 AM
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Personally I would never use 60 minutes max effort to measure my FTP, I just don't see the value for a number of reasons. Measuring it to show progress towards a specific goal maybe.

1. The mental aspect on long sessions as a more significant impact on the outcome
2. It's too hard to maintain a constant pace in the real world and results on a trainer are always different than outside
3. 60 minutes doesn't necessarily correlate to lactic threshold which is a better basis for training zones IMHO, more likely total time to exhaustion which is commonly in the 30 to 40 minute duration.

60 minutes creates a good point on a power curve but to me the 3 to 5 minute, and 15 to 20 minute durations are of more interest for setting interval targets. Like others said, performance in during intervals is ultimately a better measure of what your targets should be during them. If I can finish a 3x20 threshold workout without any fade at the end of the last one and my breathing wasn't on the ragged edge of control, I think I probably left something on the table and should have pushed a bit harder
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Old 06-19-20, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
You are missing the headings on that. Is the first column % of FTP and the second % of LTHR?
Here is the link to the complete no go zone article by Hunter Allen. Heading were not included in the chart.

https://www.saris.com/post/blog-trai...es-no-go-zones
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Old 06-19-20, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Here is the link to the complete no go zone article by Hunter Allen. Heading were not included in the chart.

https://www.saris.com/post/blog-trai...es-no-go-zones
Thanks, no because that table is a continuation of the previous where those headings are given
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Old 06-20-20, 12:24 PM
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This has been an informative thread. Thanks, folks. Questions which had occurred to me were answered without my having to ask. Nice.
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