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FTP testing: ramp test vs 20-minute test

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FTP testing: ramp test vs 20-minute test

Old 03-04-21, 11:53 AM
  #26  
adamrice
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Hermes—What do you mean by "chainless"?

In this case, OP is probably rating the ramp test as a 1 or 2 and the 20 minute test a 3. That could be an early indication of the type of rider OP is and what events OP would be good at.
The thing is, the hard part of a ramp test, for me at least, lasts about 5 minutes, and the point of the test is to ride until you fail. But with a 20-minute test, if I'm attempting a higher FTP, it starts feeling hard about 5 minutes after the test period starts, but I still need sustain that output for another 15 minutes, which is mentally and physically tough. So there's a bit of apples-and-oranges going on. In my case, my training has emphasized lower-intensity riding, so if anything, I'd think a ramp test would put me at a disadvantage.

In any case, I'm using this to calibrate my training. I'm not particularly interested in riding 1-hour TTs, so the artificiality doesn't bother me if one test has been statistically shown to produce results comparable to another test, as appears to be the case.
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Old 03-04-21, 12:36 PM
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Chainless means the level of perceived effort for the power produced seems unrealistically small. For example, I may do some VO2 work which is 110% -120% above FTP. I start the workout and it seems so easy to make power that I stop and recalibrate the power meter to make sure it is reading correctly. I raise the power for the next interval to 120% and it feels easy. Maybe someone disconnected the chain.

Edit:

As the workout proceeds, later efforts feel easy and I continue to raise the power target such that the final VO2 effort is the best one of the day.

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Old 03-04-21, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Hermes—What do you mean by "chainless"?



The thing is, the hard part of a ramp test, for me at least, lasts about 5 minutes, and the point of the test is to ride until you fail. But with a 20-minute test, if I'm attempting a higher FTP, it starts feeling hard about 5 minutes after the test period starts, but I still need sustain that output for another 15 minutes, which is mentally and physically tough. So there's a bit of apples-and-oranges going on. In my case, my training has emphasized lower-intensity riding, so if anything, I'd think a ramp test would put me at a disadvantage.

In any case, I'm using this to calibrate my training. I'm not particularly interested in riding 1-hour TTs, so the artificiality doesn't bother me if one test has been statistically shown to produce results comparable to another test, as appears to be the case.
The goal for a 20 minute test is to pedal as hard as possible for 20 minutes. Let’s think about that for a moment. Does every pedal stroke have to generate the same force? How effective was the warmup prior to the commencement of the 20 minute test? Was your body prepared for the first gonzo pedal stroke and each succeeding pedal stroke being the same?

If I were going to do a 20 minute test, I would warm up but not too much but I would include some anaerobic work but not too much. Pedal easy and then start the test. And I would start at a lower power. If you think you will do 300 watts, start at 285 for a couple of minutes and ramp it up to 300 and see how that feels and then for the last 5 minutes, blow it out. If 285 seems hard, hold it for longer and see if you can raise it.

If 285 continues to feel hard and in fact power starts to fall, then gut it out as best you can.

I turn the 20 minute test into a very gradual ramp test with a higher opening power level.

Speaking for myself, I have NEVER done well starting any race, test or any athletic thing starting out too hard. I always prefer to start easier (if possible) and to finish strong. I just feel better about myself.

I would murder a ramp test since it fits my profile and mindset.
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Old 03-04-21, 02:47 PM
  #29  
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We would do 3 tests in a session, start with 30 min warm up, firstly one hour mini ramp test with a tube shoved in your mouth measuring O2 & Co2 and being jabbed to measure blood lactate, 10mins recovery and then 1min full bore to get and hold max wattage a warm down and break for lunch. Next up was a proper ramp test with 25w increases every 5mins starting at 100w base and you bury yourself till you blow, again taking lactate measurements and O2 & Co2 and taking the same on your recovery to see how quick your body can get rid of lactic acid. I've seen top cyclists who are rubbish at testing win big races and vice versa
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Old 03-05-21, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
Agree with Surak - I tried the longer and short FTP tests, the ramp test, a long complicated multi-part test, etc. The classic FTP equivalent number was within +/- 5% across all of them - well within the real (not claimed) accuracy of most power readings done on different days.

I'm not a racer, so to me FTP is just a marker to check periodically to see if the riding and/or workouts I've been doing (or not doing) lead up to the marker going up or going down.
I am not a racer either, but I find that FTP and the associated zones are a great help in pacing. Be it for a short or long climb, or long rides.
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Old 03-15-21, 01:21 PM
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I've done the short tests (two 8-minute efforts with a brief rest in between), and the Sufferfest 4DP test (20-minutes as part of an hour-long group of tests). My FTP score in the short tests has been significantly higher than the 4DP tests. And as a practical matter, the 4DP test more accurately describes what I can do out on the road. I always thought that the FTP numbers for me on the shorter tests were inflated. It's far easier to grind out an effort that you know will end in a few minutes than to sustain it over a longer period.
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