Massive Jump in FTP

Hi All

I’m new to cycling and zwift. I have decided to get a triathlon coach to help schedule my weeks and one of his requirements was a FTP test on Trainer Roads. I measured in at 175 watts and entered this value into trainer roads, training peaks and Zwift.

Yesterday I did my first event, London stage 4, 30km. After the event it said my recommended FTP should be 224 watts, and synced this to training peaks which suggested the same. 49 Watt increase seems a bit excessive. Does the first and second FTP always have such a jump? Should I leave my FTP at 175 or should I change it based on the recommendation. I will do my next official FTP end of January.


224 doesn’t seem excessive. What FTP test did you do on trainer road? There are usually 3 types of FTP test that you can do, it is recommended that you do all 3 (with rest in between) to verify your numbers. For instance, if you did a ramp test only you should confirm the number with a regular or short FTP test as the ramp test is probably the most unreliable of the 3.

The best way to test your number is do a workout, if it is way too hard then you are over estimating your FTP, if its way too easy you need to bump it up.

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As already noted, the best way to determine an accurate FTP is to complete a test. I am wary of the Zwift auto generated FTP numbers mainly due to it being calculated from your ‘best 20 mins’ output.

You best 20 mins could be (and usually is) from minute one of an event. Many riders go full beans to try and get a good position and then survive until the end. This is not a good way to measure FTP in order to use within a training plan.

The FTP tests are designed to fatigue your muscles and cardio systems in a manner that provides a better result. The number obtained from a structured FTP test can then be used to structure your training plans which will be more sustainable.

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Not sure I agree Martyn (or maybe I don’t understand what you mean). A “structured” FTP test still asks you to perform your best 20 minutes and calculates the final value using an algorithm. I personally think that these algorithms are faulty for very many people as they are based on wide ranging means, but as has been mentioned by others in previous threads, as long as you use a consistent assessment you will monitor your progress adequately.

For what is worth, the only true FTP test is a 60-min challenge. I do this in ERG mode to test an FTP value. My Zwift generated FTP is ~10W higher what I can realistically hold for an hour and my Garmin generated FTP is ~5W lower than that.

On TrainerRoad last year, each of the my 3 different FTP assessments tests gave varying results. Using the highest value, my 1st workout pace after the change was unsustainable (I know now what purgatory feels like!) and I had to reset at a lower level. Coming over to Zwift with an FTP of 211, Zwift changed it after a ride to 230 which is still a lot less than my TR max of 250.

IMHO it doesn’t hugely matter what test you do but using the same test for consistent figures is the key.

On the jump I expect it was down to you being used suffering more - almost everyone can get better at going harder with practise :wink:

I agree - compare like with like is all that matters. It’s always easier to bury yourself in a race/group than a solo ride. The numbers will settle down after a while and improvements will be in smaller increments.

Or perhaps that says more about my improvements than FTP in general :open_mouth: