Being new to cycling and Zwift I decided I needed a measure of progress against my fitness - seeking to get back into shape and lose some weight after ~5yrs exercise-free after a knee injury caused by too much running.
So, mid January I did the 45min FTP test, leaving my Tacx Neo in ERG mode and got a not entirely unexpected low 125W FTP score (Strava reported it as 131W weighted average). Mid March I decided to measure progress and (this is where I went wrong I think) opted to try the shorter ramp test which resulted in an FTP of 182W (Strava reported weighted average of 145W). Last night I tested again, reverting to the 45min FTP test…and was marked down to 154W (weighted ave 152W).
I’ve spent the last month doing a consistent low/moderate intensity ride daily (1.5hr duration), using a training programme which operates on a percentage of FTP (Zwift controlled). The programme was chosen to target fat burning heart rates rather than much else. I’ve felt the ride getting easier and my heart rate data supports that - it was setting effort on the basis of the prior FTP of 182W.
I think the ‘answer’ I’m looking for here is that the ramp test isn’t as accurate as a longer test and so the 182W figure was always suspect, but would be keen to gain further insight. At the end of the day I’m looking for my FTP to give me a relative measure of progress (so should likely stick to doing the same test!) but also as input to set the intensity of future rides.