Hi Adriaan & Jay,
As I mentioned above, the trainer will be in ERG mode for the initial part of the test. If you haven’t established an FTP number via prior tests or free riding, the game will “guess” so it has something to base any workouts you do on until it gathers more data.
From my experience when I was new to Zwift, and from reading other articles, the game has a tendency to guess high. Meaning it wants you to produce more power than your current fitness level allows. Don’t worry, you’ll get there ! Just for now we need to get you a better starting point.
Even if you’ve done FTP tests in the past, you’ll want to check this number to make sure it seems reasonable if you’re having trouble. For example, if your last FTP test was 3 months ago and you scored a 250 but you haven’t ridden since then, it’s not likely you’ll be able to achieve that anymore and the ERG phase will simply be too aggressive.
- Open your User Profile once you’re in the game via the Menu.
- Where you enter your name, weight, birth date, etc. there’s a field labeled FTP. A percentage of this number is what the game is basing the ERG phase of your FTP test on. This is the phase before the actual test.
- Lower this number to like 60 if you’re a beginner. If you’re an experienced rider that has completed FTP tests in the past you’ll likely be able to guess a better figure. Just don’t over-estimate and risk not getting to the actual test phase.
- Try your FTP test again and see if you can successfully proceed through the ERG phase (warm-up and ramp-up intervals) and into the actual test.
- Note that once you’re in the actual test phase ERG is disabled and you may have to change your gearing to establish a cadence and power output you plan to maintain for 20 minutes. If you’re spinning out and can’t make more power, shift up.
If none of the above describes your problem or you tried them and you still can’t get through an FTP test it may not be related to the initial FTP figure. I always recommend using whatever utility is appropriate for your trainer to update its firmware and calibrate it. Check for updates monthly and perform calibrations weekly.
Also, make sure you have a solid connection from your trainer to your computer. There are articles you can search for that cover identifying connectivity problems and how to resolve them.
Hopefully this helps someone and best of luck in reaching your fitness goals! If you Ride On, you certainly will! :) By the way, I’m not associated with Zwift other than being an avid user who tries to contribute where/when I can. They have help available and they can even analyze your session logs to help identify potential problems if you can’t get to the bottom of it through the community.