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20 min FTP test route?

bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
I've done a couple of rides with my power meter now and need to do my baseline FTP test next week. The challenge is that I just dont have a suitable 20 min route I can use, that doesnt have either too much height gain/loss or road junctions...

My 'best' choice appears to be a stretch of A road that would be about 13-14 mins long at that pace, and is pretty close to flat, but has roundabouts at both ends as it joins other main roads. On a good day you can get round without interruption but not all the time. It also tends to be headwind one way and tailwind the other.

So, 2 questions:

1. Would slowing for a roundabout make THAT much difference over a 20 min test? I could probably use Golden Cheetah and remove that portion of the data and calculate av power from the rest so would that help?

2. Does the tailwind have much impact? I'm assuming that as long as I'm going at the right effort level it just means faster speeds rather than changing my power for that section?

thanks
Your Past is Not Your Potential...
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Posts

  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    1. No
    2. No, yes
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    The turbo...

    Always repeatable and consistent...
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    NapoleonD wrote:
    The turbo...

    Always repeatable and consistent...

    You say that, try doing a 60mins of sweetspot in the kitchen with the oven on.
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    thanks guys :D

    Nap - wanted to do it outdoors as thats where 90% of my training is and it seems there is lots of comments that indoors gives different readings.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • To answer the OP questions once more:
    1. No
    2. Yes, with tailwind and the same effort level, you go faster. Doesn't impact the test results at all if you maintain the same effort.

    Now about testing indoors / outdoors.

    First, NapD is right by saying that indoors test is always consistent.
    Second, indoors doesn't give different readings (personal experience)
    Third, the standard test schedule suggested by Hunter&Coggan (5min VO2max, 15min rest, 20min @ 105% FTP) indoors is mentally hard. Especially, if you're doing it the first time ever. I'm not really sure if this is worth the benefits of the first point :D, and I'd suggest to make the first test outdoors.

    Accurracy isn't so important for the first time since you probably do not have a ready-to-go training program ready anyway.
    50% in legs, 50% in bike :p
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Bigpikle wrote:
    thanks guys :D

    Nap - wanted to do it outdoors as thats where 90% of my training is and it seems there is lots of comments that indoors gives different readings.

    If you do all your testing indoors, it won't matter so much if your indoor and outdoor readings are different as you will be able to accurately track your changes if you do the testing the same way each time.

    However, if you use your test results to calculate power zones, then it IS important to get the readings correct for the type of training you do.
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    mrlobber wrote:
    2. Yes, with tailwind and the same effort level, you go faster. Doesn't impact the test results at all if you maintain the same effort.

    That depends if the higher (and lower) speeds change the gearing and inertial situation such that the watts you can achieve are different. Many people have significant problems putting out the same power with a strong tailwind as a strong headwind - the same as up and downhill change things.
    mrlobber wrote:
    Second, indoors doesn't give different readings (personal experience)

    For others it gives significant differences, until the OP knows which he's very wise to set his FTP in similar conditions to the riding he'll be doing.
    mrlobber wrote:
    Third, the standard test schedule suggested by Hunter&Coggan (5min VO2max, 15min rest, 20min @ 105% FTP) indoors is mentally hard.

    They've both distanced themselves from the suitability of this test.
    mrlobber wrote:
    Accurracy isn't so important for the first time since you probably do not have a ready-to-go training program ready anyway.

    If you're using it for measuring TSS or anything then it's important to be accurate, 10% out can have significant impact on TSS values leading to very wrong conclusions.

    OP - do not edit out any sections (the rest you get around the corners will increase the power you can do) find a longer route and ride for longer even if you have to rest through a few roundabouts the longer the test the less that will matter. (e.g. do the route 4 times or something)

    It's unlikely that the headwind/tailwind will have a significant impact for most people. Particularly if it's not a very windy day. You'll soon learn if it does though as you'll have different power numbers going both ways.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Pokerface wrote:
    If you do all your testing indoors, it won't matter so much if your indoor and outdoor readings are different as you will be able to accurately track your changes if you do the testing the same way each time.

    Not necessarily as there appears to be adaptations to training indoors which can lead to a rapid closing of the gap between indoor and outdoor power - so you won't be able to tell the difference between an improvement in performance or simply a closing of the difference because you've got more used to it. Perhaps after a few weeks of bad weather having you do more indoor wook.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    P_Tucker wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    The turbo...

    Always repeatable and consistent...

    try doing a 60mins of sweetspot in the kitchen with the oven on.

    No. That'd be silly.
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    jibberjim wrote:
    mrlobber wrote:
    mrlobber wrote:
    Third, the standard test schedule suggested by Hunter&Coggan (5min VO2max, 15min rest, 20min @ 105% FTP) indoors is mentally hard.

    They've both distanced themselves from the suitability of this test.

    is there a better test as this was my plan?


    OP - do not edit out any sections (the rest you get around the corners will increase the power you can do) find a longer route and ride for longer even if you have to rest through a few roundabouts the longer the test the less that will matter. (e.g. do the route 4 times or something)

    are you suggesting to ride for more than 20mins for the test? If so do I just use it to select the best CP20?
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Bigpikle wrote:
    are you suggesting to ride for more than 20mins for the test? If so do I just use it to select the best CP20?

    Yes, ride for an hour and take the whole hour... or 50 minutes and take 90something of it - e.g. if you get 242 for 50 then 235 is a good enough number...
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    jibberjim wrote:
    Bigpikle wrote:
    are you suggesting to ride for more than 20mins for the test? If so do I just use it to select the best CP20?

    Yes, ride for an hour and take the whole hour... or 50 minutes and take 90something of it - e.g. if you get 242 for 50 then 235 is a good enough number...

    A 20 minute effort is easier to pace and still ride all-out. Less likely to be affected by traffic and road furniture as well.

    All you then need to do is establish what the right 90-something percent factor is for you.
    More problems but still living....
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    NapoleonD wrote:
    P_Tucker wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    The turbo...

    Always repeatable and consistent...

    try doing a 60mins of sweetspot in the kitchen with the oven on.

    No. That'd be silly.

    Word.
  • jibberjim wrote:
    That depends if the higher (and lower) speeds change the gearing and inertial situation such that the watts you can achieve are different. Many people have significant problems putting out the same power with a strong tailwind as a strong headwind - the same as up and downhill change things.

    It does of course, but, if you have powermeter, you could obviously try to keep them constant :)
    jibberjim wrote:
    For others it gives significant differences, until the OP knows which he's very wise to set his FTP in similar conditions to the riding he'll be doing.

    Agree in this case, I was just quoting my personal experience.
    jibberjim wrote:
    They've both distanced themselves from the suitability of this test.

    Didn't know this, honestly. Is there any place where I could read what they suggest doing now? After all, it still stands in the latest edition of their book printed black on white, thus, if there are advancements made in the principles they've outlined there, it obviously is very important.
    jibberjim wrote:
    If you're using it for measuring TSS or anything then it's important to be accurate, 10% out can have significant impact on TSS values leading to very wrong conclusions.

    Agree, however, I still would suggest that unless you're governed by more or less experienced coach or have significant experience beforehand, the conclusions you might make from the data are notwhere detailed enough to significantly impact your future training schedule (especially if you repeat the test monthly in which case you would have a new set of data after 4 weeks already), even more so if books on the topic (as suggested from the fact you previously posted) are already somehow outdated.
    50% in legs, 50% in bike :p
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    mrlobber wrote:
    It does of course, but, if you have powermeter, you could obviously try to keep them constant :)

    But the point is that if there are physiological reasons why the lower / higher inertia situations change the power produced then "keeping the power the same" will not necessarily help you in identifying your FTP but cause you to blow up or otherwise.
    mrlobber wrote:
    Didn't know this, honestly. Is there any place where I could read what they suggest doing now?

    I've generally seen them endorse Alex's write up at http://alex-cycle.blogspot.com/2008/05/ ... -sins.html Although the actual ideas there aren't new, but well explained.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    and after reading Jim's post I found this on the Training Peaks site, which is very similar to whats written in the book but without the formal test option...

    http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/ ... power.aspx

    Little frustrating for a newer power user therefore to determine their FTP without a large volume of appropriate power files to analyse :(
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    As long as you stick to the same protocol you'll be fine. Don't get too hung up on it.

    My coach has me doing 20 mins after my usual warm up for various reasons, physical and mental.

    It has and does work for many many people so it's not suddenly completely wrong...
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    I guess consistency is the key, so thats what I'll do then.

    Just not sure why I dread doing the test so much?!
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Bigpikle wrote:
    Just not sure why I dread doing the test so much?!

    Testing is very good training! If you don't dread training, you can't possibly dread the test.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    You could also find a local 10m TT course, these will be fairly good with regards to junctions etc, and it will be an out and back test, or even a circular route so the wind direction will even out over the effort.

    I would also do the test when you are fairly fresh to get the best out of yourself
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    SBezza wrote:
    You could also find a local 10m TT course, these will be fairly good with regards to junctions etc, and it will be an out and back test, or even a circular route so the wind direction will even out over the effort.

    I would also do the test when you are fairly fresh to get the best out of yourself

    I thought about doing this, not least because it gets me an intimate knowledge of the course too...
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    I do this/have done this (ride a local tt course). I've gotten up at stupid o'clock so there'll be no traffic around. Trouble was the line between racing and training was getting very blurred. I also questioned myself if I was taking things too far. Saying that, braking comp. record on the famous Glyn Neath bank course one early Sunday morning when there was no one else around was very satisfying :roll:
  • incog24incog24 Posts: 549
    Is the line between racing and training not always blurred when you're doing a test? I reckon I probably go harder on them than I do in a race. You can't fall off the turbo! Well, not without a lot of effort anyway...

    +1 on the 5min max test followed by a 20min test being totally mental. I'm not sure I could put myself through that on any regularity. If you're aiming at 10mile TT's anyway, its arguably no use. Even though a 20min test is partially anaerobic, I imagine you'd be more concerned with 20min power than FTP anyway.
    Racing for Fluid Fin Race Team in 2012 - www.fluidfin.co.uk
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    Right, had a couple of days away this week on business, so no cycling and decided to finally do the test yesterday.

    I got a decent warm-up in and went for it. I think I went slightly hard at the start and paid for it in the last 6-7 mins but struck lucky with roundabout traffic and got round without too much slowing down, and went for it until the end. At the end I was pretty sure I had given everything as I literally had to stop as I really felt like throwing up! My legs werent burning with pain but my chest/breathing was terrible. I was screaming at myself the last 30 secs as I pushed it to the end!

    Not sure it was the best test ever but Golden Cheetah tells me I managed a Xpower of 216w for the 20 mins. I know there is debate about what % to use but if I simply go with 95% for now that gives me 205w as a start point.

    My question is that Golden Cheetah now gives me a CP of 211w after entering that workout, so I'm wondering which figure to use? I only have a handful of rides with power data in GC and this is the only one I would say has any real maximal efforts in it, apart from a few short hill efforts on past rides. Am I best off using the CP number from GC or the result from my test?
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    My understanding of the CP algorithm is that if you haven't done a truly maximal effort of a few minutes as well as a longer maximal effort then your CP will be overestimated.
    More problems but still living....
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    xpower 216w
    95% value 205w
    cp estimate 211w

    You've had a week off=lost fitness or super fresh

    First test.

    Do you think it matters which one of those three very similar figures you use?

    Go out and re test soon and aim to beat those figures, that's the true use of any test imho. Train and see if you can improve.
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    I dont think it really matters as they are within 2.5% of each other and it doesnt dramatically affect zones or anything, but I was interested to know. From what I've read I'm more inclined to just use the CP figure GC spits out.

    A week ago I did thrash it as hard as possible up my local 'killer climb' so might just take the max effort from that and add it to the 20 min number and see what CP comes from that?

    Its just that the number 'feels' a tad low, based on how easy it has been to hold 200-210w for shorter intervals. I need to just keep learning more about power levels on different rides and gather as much data as possible. I just want to establish a base line to track progress, so at least a low start means I should be able to see some short term progress fairly fast!
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    amaferanga wrote:
    My understanding of the CP algorithm is that if you haven't done a truly maximal effort of a few minutes as well as a longer maximal effort then your CP will be overestimated.

    The AWC would be understated yes, but remember CP is not equivalent to FTP, as on top of the CP there's also the AWC spread out over the 60minutes such that FTP must be larger than CP.

    But of course CP is just a model, it may not be accurate.

    BigPikle 210 is fine (don't go for 211 as an FTP the 1 watt is below the accuracy of your power meter and your natural daily variation and the nearest 5w just looks better as otherwise you're putting an accuracy you can't possibly ascertain, it's like saying you weigh 74.67 kg.)

    The CP will likely be using the max effort from the climb.

    One thing to note is that a maximal longer effort shouldn't leave you feeling sick. The nausea comes from when you're working anaerobicly, which in a well paced test should be dribbling out slowly over the entire duration - you shouldn't be able to nail it so much at the end that you have much anaerobic energy left that you can get to the levels where you exhaust it that way.

    You'll have some of course because the way the body works is that it will always hold something back until the end, but it shouldn't be massed. With just 20 minutes especially if you have a lot of Anaerobic energy available you could get there but ideally you want it to dribble out to pace it well. It probably won't've made a huge difference to your numbers, but it does mean you can pace the test better.

    For me, holding FTP does feel easy for 10 minutes, it's only after that when it becomes tough.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • The sick feeling will come if you have never done 20 minutes all out before and especially if its cold and you cant breathe. did my first ever test in the same conditions and felt like passing out afterwards. :shock:

    it gets easier and now you have a starting point the fun begins. :D
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    I'm sure I could have paced a lot better, but its really my first 20 min effort except some on the turbo last year. Part of the issue was after going round the roundabout at about 14 mins I ran straight into a headwind (blowing NE and opposite to the usual wind direction here) so ended up pushing hard into the wind. Wanting to go all out I pushed it hard and hence went anaerobic at the end - probably not helped by ending up in a lower gear and spinning much more to overcome the wind. It was about 1 deg max at the end as well which didnt help :(

    Still, first one down and baseline established. Time for plenty of SST & threshold sessions for a while and see what happens! :lol:
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
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