OK. Give me you best FTP test protocol. I have the book training and racing with power and I am looking for local class on trianing with power, but still am new to power and want to get an accurate FTP test done before I start my training Plan for a September IM. I think the book is a little fuzzy on the original FTP test but is great for info after that. Thanks for the help.

On the trainer, I did the protocol described in your book (Training and Racing with Power, a series of shorter efforts, 5 min all out, then 20 min all out and 95% of that number). When outside, I do a good 45 min warm-up and did a full 1 hour effort. Whatever method you use just be consistent and do the exact same method each time so you can compare one test to the next.

So just a series of warm up and then a 5min all out followed by a 20min all out only? The book describes a protocol based on you already knowing you FTP and using %'s of that in the test protocol. I’m still confussed on the best and most accurate way to figure your original. For reference here is some WKO+ data from one of my last rides using a PT hub. I also use a Quarq on my tri bike but the data always seems to be lower by about 10w or so with that one. Go figure? Like I said earlier, I really need to find a local class and get some hands on learning. I am very comfortable with using the power meter and now it is time to start using the data and training with it.

Entire workout (201 watts):

Duration: 1:16:02

Work: 915 kJ

TSS: 103.5 (intensity factor 0.907)

Norm Power: 231

VI: 1.15

Pw:HR: -2.35%

Pa:HR: 13.09%

Distance: 23.239 mi

Elevation Gain: 796 ft

Elevation Loss: 206 ft

Grade: 0.5 % (595 ft)

Min Max Avg

Power: 0 805 201 watts

Heart Rate: 93 184 158 bpm

Cadence: 12 173 87 rpm

Speed: 0 30.5 18.4 mph

Pace 1:58 0:00 3:16 min/mi

Altitude: 0 597 347 ft

Crank Torque: 0 1440 203 lb-in

Temperature: 59 62.6 60.8 Fahrenheit

If you know your LTHR then there is another way.

Warm up for about 20 minutes. and then pick a low wattage (say 100 watts) and stay there for 5 minutes. Hit the lap button. Every 1 minute increase the wattage by 10 until failure (remaining seated the entire time). The point where your heart rate crosses the anaerobic zone is your threshold.

“Best” and “most accurate” aren’t always the same thing. By definition FTP is what you can sustain for an hour. If you do a 60 minute TT all out, it is 100% accurate by definition for that day. But…60 minute all out efforts suck and they can be hard to fit into a training plan, so there are ways to estimate it.

Bottom line is, it doesn’t matter that much. Pick a method and go with it. Your FTP is going vary from day to day anyway. Pick a method from the book and start there ( I use .95 x 20 TT power). If your work-out misses your target wattage by 5-10 watts because your FTP is wrong, it won’t make much difference.

First you will get different values from the PT compared to the Quarq, since they measure at different points in the process crank vs hub. The Quarq should read higher than the PT since there are not drivetrain losses at that measurement point, so the power difference is likely due to being able to product higher power in a road position vs a TT/Tri position.

RE: the test protocol, for the first test, I just used RPE ad HR as a guide to hit the various zones described in the warm-up sequence. Then once you hit the 5/20 min intervals, they are full effort, no holding back, just try to pace yourself so that you pretty much fall off you bike at 19:59 of the 20:00 min test. At the end of the day, it is a value that YOU use to define training and racing zones for YOURSELF. One approach might give you a value +/- a couple of watts form another approach, but when you re-test you improved by 10 watts, it’s still 10 watts whether you go from 290 to 300 or 295 to 305. So a consistent approach s key for you to be able to see if you improve and by how much.

A 60’ all out effort is the only true and accurate measure. Hats off to whoever is willing to do that because I’m not.

At Endurance Nation we use the common 2 x 20’ with a 2’ easy spin in between and take the NP for that 42’ as your FTP.

Here’s what the gurus have to say about determining your FTP: http://alex-cycle.blogspot.com/2008/05/seven-deadly-sins.html

I personally use number six on the list to get my FTP.

The protocol is only there to give you an estimate - unless, of course, you’re using the all-out, drop-dead-at-60-minutes version. The FTP you obtain from any method will be used to develop approximate training zones. The only real difference beyond the method is how you train within those zones.

As an example, last year I tested using a 5/10/20/10/20 method that consisted of a 5 minute all out effort, 10 minute spin, 20 minute all out effort, 10 minute spin, then one final 20 minute all out effort. The first 45 minutes are there to put some sting into your legs. It’s theorized that in the final 20 minutes you can sustain approximately 105% of your FTP, so you simply divide the NP of that last 20 minute interval by 1.05 to get the result.

This year, I’m using the 20/2/20 (EN method described above), and I’m presently at the fitness level of my first test last year. My estimated FTP is roughly 10W lower using the EN method (around 4-5%). The difference is that now I’m pushing intervals at the upper end of the ranges versus last year where I was flirting with the lower end of the ranges. My FTP is technically 5% lower, but I can sustain a relative power that is 5% greater. Long story short, my true FTP is the same in both cases. The protocol, itself, is a shot from the hip.

no

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1h time trial…best protocol…

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