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Where to do a 20 minute FTP test?

mark8191mark8191 Posts: 60
Got my first power meter the other day and will be doing a 20 minute FTP test soon.

My question is, should I do the test on flat, hilly or mixed roads?

Posts

  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,502
    Ideally, a long straight road with consistent gradient and no junctions/lights to cross.

    Doesn't exist near me, so I do my 20min efforts on the turbo, using my 4iiii crank power meter. Usually in the ~17Km TT events on Zwift at Tempus Fugit, but by some miracle I got an improvement on "Greatest London Flat" yesterday.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • joe2019joe2019 Posts: 1,114
    I have a 7 mile climb from my doorstep which is perfect for an FTP test.

    https://www.strava.com/segments/6665364?filter=overall
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,517
    mark8191 said:

    Got my first power meter the other day and will be doing a 20 minute FTP test soon.

    My question is, should I do the test on flat, hilly or mixed roads?

    Turbo, if you have one. If not - get one :)

    Seriously, it is extremely difficult to find a completely flat or slightly uphill stretch of road of about 8-10 miles with no corners, roundabouts or lights. You absolutely need to do it on flat or terrain with a constant gradient, or you won't get a true result. Compare and contrast test 1 with test 2 - although they came out at pretty much the same number, the second one was all over the place due to it being done on the road, whilst the first is nice and consistent cos it was on the turbo. That's not going to tell you much about what you could sustain on a consistent effort for over a ride three times as long


    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Norvern Munkey/Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • tonysjtonysj Posts: 360
    I normally fo the test on a turbo but the other option could be find a quiet-ish road and do an out and back 10 mile TT. After warm up which for me is a ride out to the start of the TT. I did one the other week, the TT rather than a FTP effort, between a couple of roundabouts on an industrial estate motorway access on a saturday morning. Just do the ride as laps. 1st to start of Tt, 2nd lap at end of TT. Then I check garmin vonnect after the ride and look at the TT lap - 5%. Gives you an idea for setting your trainkng power zones.
    Good luck the FTP test if Fookin awful lol.
  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,445
    I also find my concentration drops when trying to do an FTP test on the road, especially towards the end of the interval when I'm wringing out every last drop of effort. Safer for me to do them on a turbo.
  • tonysjtonysj Posts: 360

    I also find my concentration drops when trying to do an FTP test on the road, especially towards the end of the interval when I'm wringing out every last drop of effort. Safer for me to do them on a turbo.

    I can imagine id be the same but i manage to do the 10 mile TT as its not really time based its distance but is over the 20 minutes so serves both purposes.
  • joe2019joe2019 Posts: 1,114

    I also find my concentration drops when trying to do an FTP test on the road, especially towards the end of the interval when I'm wringing out every last drop of effort. Safer for me to do them on a turbo.

    Best stay clear of time trials then ;)

  • mark8191mark8191 Posts: 60
    edited July 2020
    Best I can find around my way for a constant gradient on quiet roads. https://www.strava.com/routes/2716789294102816048

    Not sure if this ones gradient would be too much?

    Alternative would be a much flatter 6 mile loop but with a few roundabouts and a sharp corner. https://www.strava.com/routes/29047744
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,730
    cruff said:

    mark8191 said:

    Got my first power meter the other day and will be doing a 20 minute FTP test soon.

    My question is, should I do the test on flat, hilly or mixed roads?

    Turbo, if you have one. If not - get one :)

    Seriously, it is extremely difficult to find a completely flat or slightly uphill stretch of road of about 8-10 miles with no corners, roundabouts or lights. You absolutely need to do it on flat or terrain with a constant gradient, or you won't get a true result. Compare and contrast test 1 with test 2 - although they came out at pretty much the same number, the second one was all over the place due to it being done on the road, whilst the first is nice and consistent cos it was on the turbo. That's not going to tell you much about what you could sustain on a consistent effort for over a ride three times as long


    If they came out at pretty much the same number, does it really matter?

    I don't do any long tests any more. Used to use the 2x 8 minute protocol but these days I mainly use the ramp test protocol on trainerroad. It validates very well against hour long Zwift races, 20 minute TTs etc so why do it...

    Ultimately FTP is a somewhat arbitrary number that you use to set training zones. I don't really see why it matters if you get that from a ramp test, the 2x8, a 20 minute, or an hour TT, so long as it gives you a good number to train with.

    I find that if I'm doing workouts I've done regularly I can gauge my FTP accurately anyway. I know if my supposedly VO2 intervals are too easy or if I just can't finish...
  • mark8191mark8191 Posts: 60
    edited July 2020

    Ideally, a long straight road with consistent gradient and no junctions/lights to cross.

    Doesn't exist near me, so I do my 20min efforts on the turbo, using my 4iiii crank power meter. Usually in the ~17Km TT events on Zwift at Tempus Fugit, but by some miracle I got an improvement on "Greatest London Flat" yesterday.

    Would this be too much gradient?
    https://www.strava.com/routes/2716789294102816048
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,502
    mark8191 said:

    Ideally, a long straight road with consistent gradient and no junctions/lights to cross.

    Doesn't exist near me, so I do my 20min efforts on the turbo, using my 4iiii crank power meter. Usually in the ~17Km TT events on Zwift at Tempus Fugit, but by some miracle I got an improvement on "Greatest London Flat" yesterday.

    Would this be too much gradient?
    https://www.strava.com/routes/2716789294102816048
    The climb after that little spike at ~3.5 miles might give you 20mins, better odds in a headwind.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,517

    cruff said:

    mark8191 said:

    Got my first power meter the other day and will be doing a 20 minute FTP test soon.

    My question is, should I do the test on flat, hilly or mixed roads?

    Turbo, if you have one. If not - get one :)

    Seriously, it is extremely difficult to find a completely flat or slightly uphill stretch of road of about 8-10 miles with no corners, roundabouts or lights. You absolutely need to do it on flat or terrain with a constant gradient, or you won't get a true result. Compare and contrast test 1 with test 2 - although they came out at pretty much the same number, the second one was all over the place due to it being done on the road, whilst the first is nice and consistent cos it was on the turbo. That's not going to tell you much about what you could sustain on a consistent effort for over a ride three times as long


    If they came out at pretty much the same number, does it really matter?

    I don't do any long tests any more. Used to use the 2x 8 minute protocol but these days I mainly use the ramp test protocol on trainerroad. It validates very well against hour long Zwift races, 20 minute TTs etc so why do it...

    Ultimately FTP is a somewhat arbitrary number that you use to set training zones. I don't really see why it matters if you get that from a ramp test, the 2x8, a 20 minute, or an hour TT, so long as it gives you a good number to train with.

    I find that if I'm doing workouts I've done regularly I can gauge my FTP accurately anyway. I know if my supposedly VO2 intervals are too easy or if I just can't finish...
    Yeah - it matters. I know for a fact that what I did to get that number on the road I couldn't keep up for an hour (too much surging, a lot of vo2max efforts in there etc), whereas I've done a full hour at ftp before using the turbo and (although it was the grimmest thing I've ever done on a bike) I hit pretty much the same number I did on the turbo for the 20 minute test, proved by hitting LTHR about 5 minutes in on both and not seeing it drift up until the last 2 or 3 minutes when I was trying (and failing miserably) to wrong a bit more effort out. So, if you want your zones to be more accurate, turbo is the way to go.
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Norvern Munkey/Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • how about doing 2 x 8 min segments with a 10min recovery in-between if you can't finds a suitable distance for 20 min? Then just take 90% of the average power of the 2 segments and that should give you a decent FTP estimate
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,146

    how about doing 2 x 8 min segments with a 10min recovery in-between if you can't finds a suitable distance for 20 min? Then just take 90% of the average power of the 2 segments and that should give you a decent FTP estimate

    I've done that, but being the anaerobic type, it gives me a bit of an overestimate, I think... it worked out at 260 W, which I am reluctant to think I can hold for 60 minutes
  • mark8191mark8191 Posts: 60
    edited July 2020
    I ended up doing the test about two miles into this route https://www.strava.com/activities/3751537305

    Slight decent part way through but was the best I could find locally.
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