6 Wk FTP Builder - Newbie

Hi there, I’m new to Zwift and I’m 3weeks into the 6Wk FTP builder.
Its going well so far, but I have one question. My FTP is set at 150 and during the workouts it asks me to reach 130 - 150 depending upon the workout.
Thing is, and I don’t want to sound big headed, but this almost feels too easy for me, and I can easily crack 200+ for the duration of the intervals.
Should I go as hard as I can, and go over the required wattage, or reduce power to match the workout???
I’m not 100% sure my FTP setting is correct at 150, maybe I should perform an FTP test to make sure.
Cheers
Dave

I think you know the answer. Do a FTP test that way you will have the correct targets for your workouts.

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Do an FTP test but likely the result won’t be too far off of what Zwift estimates as they are pretty good at the estimation.

The truth is that FTP Builder is an easy workout series and rarely does it really challenge even a beginner rider. I’ve done a number of the FTP Builder workouts and never felt tested.

My favorite training plan so far has been Build me Up - I am at week 10 right now of 12 and it’s really pushed me. I like that it works cadence and positioning as well.

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FTP is the amont of power you can hold for an hour. It is normal you can do more than your current FTP for short training intervals but that’s not the goal here. Training under your FTP witll “push” your FTP higher and that is why you’re mainting sub-FTP numbers for prolonged periods of time to work on your aerobic capacities. Your program will also make you do over-FTP intervals to “pull” your FTP higher by working your anaerobic capacities.

My suggestion : stick to the plan, see the results post-FTP test on week 6. You won’t waste your time during those 3 remaining weeks. MAYBE it isn’t optimal, but you’ll make some kind of progress for sure. Afterwards, I would try a different plan, maybe Build Me Up or Active off-season

Cheers!

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Ok thanks, I think I’ll persevere with the plan and take the FTP test once I’ve completed the 6 weeks.

I was expecting it to be more challenging, but I guess that’s not the case, having said that, I’m definitely seeing and feeling an improvement, especially when I’m on the bike in the real world. :+1:
Cheers

Thanks for your advice, it makes sense :+1:
So I’m better off sticking to the power levels in the workouts, rather than going too hard. Sometimes I think going 100%+ is going to yield better results, is this not correct?
Although I’ve been riding for some years now, this is the first real structured training plan I’ve attempted so I’m learning as I go.
I’am seeing and feeling an improvement out on the bike, so I’m definitely sticking with it for the rest of the plan.
Thanks again for your advice.

Going 100%+ of your FTP will make you work on your anaerobic capacities (which you won’t be able to sustain for long period of time)… yes improving aerobics somewhat but not specificially. That is why good training plans will have both type of trainings, sometimes during the same workout… or not. So, you will encounter workouts which seems “easy” because the potato isn’t beating superfast… but it is still working and improving your aerobics. I suggest doing some research on Resting Heart Rate and the training zones associated with it. These zones are closely related to your FTP.

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FTP tests are essential PRIOR TO THE START OF TRAINING, yet boring. Enter a race or event during which you are pushing your power levels for a minimum of 20 minutes, up to one hour. Zwift will automatically adjust your FTP to a level that more accurately reflects your current conditioning. Adjusting your FTP in the middle of a training programme happens all the time (that’s the objective!) - so by all means carry on with your existing plan, as each component builds on the prior. If you understand pacing dynamics, a 40km time trial event is usually ideal. Events of this nature are on offer every day. You’ll have some fun, and competition tends to coax out more accurate metrics than an FTP test. Enjoy! And let us know…

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Thanks for your answer. I am in pretty much exactly the same position as the OP. In the early weeks of an FTP building program, and finding the workouts barely challenging. I took part in a group ride earlier this week, a group that was - to be honest - clearly over my current abilities. And sure enough I found a screen telling me that Zwift had recalculated my FTP 20 points or so higher.

I might have blown up riding with the big boys and girls, but I got the satisfaction of getting a more realistic FTP reading than my original one.

Thanks again for your info. And your point about “competition coaxing out more accurate metrics” is well taken.

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Thanks for all your advice. So I’ve now finished the FTP builder program and taken an FTP test tonight which returned a figure of 171w. This was my first FTP, so I’ll have a better idea of pacing next time, but I thought it went well and I certainly felt like I was at maximum effort come the end.
I wasn’t expecting much more than 150 tbh as it’s the first structured program I’ve done.
I definitely want to build on this so any recommendations?
I’m also keen to join a group ride to see if that helps pull me along.
Happy Zwifting!

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Hi David @David_Roberts12,
How did you feel about the workouts at the end of week 6 in the FTP Builder? I also just finished that program (for the 2nd time) and thought it was good for me. I enjoyed feeling confident that it wasn’t going to throw something at me that I couldn’t handle. Well, except for the last couple of workouts that were more time in the yellow zone with less rest. I did have trouble with those in the last week. When I took the FTP test after the first 6 weeks, I did have a modest increase.
What I would really suggest, just having tried it for the first time this week myself, is one of the Tour de Zwift groups. I rode in a women’s D group ride yesterday and loved it! I rode faster than I had ever ridden before and managed to stay with a group that was keeping me in the yellow/orange/red zone mostly (I have it set to give me that readout at the bottom of the screen.), and I was thrilled to finish the ride and get the little message that my FTP had increased (which would be the result of the 2nd 6 week plan). I kept expecting to run out of steam over the 25km course and was really surprised and excited when I saw that we only had about 6km to go. I thought - Wow! I am going to make it!!
I really am a beginner, so I am thrilled with every bit of progress and honestly don’t have super high expectations about what I want to be able to do or much of an idea as to what is reasonable at my age. I thought my goal for the year would be to ride at 2w/kg, but after yesterday’s ride, which was between about 1.8 and 2.5, I might need to rethink that goal.
This is my first week in the Build Me Up plan. I feel like a bit of a cheat to have signed up for it because I don’t think of myself as an intermediate rider, but I did want about 5 hours a week, and that was the only option aside from the beginner plan, which I’ve already done twice. Have you had a look at that plan? I’m scheduled to do the Devedeset workout tomorrow and it scares me a bit, but I’m going to just see how it goes.
Congratulations on your progress and let us know what you decide to do next! Ride On!

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Hi @Beth_Klawun,
Well done on your achievements.
Yes I though the program was good overall, although I now realise I should have done an FTP test to begin with so I had a reference point.
Having said that It hasn’t done me any harm, and I’m sure I’ve improved.
I like the sound of the group rides and I’m keen to try one after you’ve described it.
Not 100% sure which program to try next, I’m really an MTBer at heart so will probably look for something with low cadence and high torque to help with climbing.
Keep up the good work :+1:t2:

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