Need training advice

I have just been going out and riding to start to get fit. I have ridden about 6 times and been making progress. I decided to start a training regimen and did the FTP Builder workout. The workout seemed really weak and not going to test me or push my fitness. I had the choice to do or skip the first two weeks. It suggested to skip the first two weeks if you are already fit, which I don’t think so.

Still my itnervals were 110 watts for 4 minutes then 80 watts for 2 minutes. The workout was 48 minutes long. My two previous workouts were 42 and 60 minutes long with an average of 130 watts output. Since this workout was not providing any challenge I added 20 watts to each portion so 130 on the hard interval and 100 on the rest interval.

I looked ahead at the other workouts for 2 weeks and into the future and it is only about week 5 or later that the watt expectations seem like they would push me in some way. I have to admit I am not very patient and try to push myself always.

What should I do to make this training more challenging for now? Can I retest my FTP? Should I manually set it to higher? Or if I follow this training regimen will Zwift realize it is under training me and adjust settings to push me harder?

How did Zwift give you an initial FTP estimate for the workplan? Did you do a ramp test, a traditional FTP test, a 20mins+ race or TT etc.?

A lot of workplans will start relatively easier, the idea being that by riding in your power zone 1, you will promote fat burning rather than carbohydrate burning and promote mitochondria density growth that will help with zone 4+ intervals later in the workplan.


Did some FTP research. Thought i had done an ftp test when i started zwift, but the procedure doesn’t look familiar. I think i just started pedaling. I dont know i could have even lasted 45 minutes 3 weeks ago.
I will do an FTP ramp test tomorrow. I will then start the training regimen again. I have to confess i suck at sticking to a workout that does not push me. I could use a plan that helps me build smarter.

Sounds like your FTP is too low.
The ramp test may be a good start
I recommend the short FTP test.
It essentially becomes a 20 min interval.
You have to do it a few times to learn to pace yourself.
You can ride in France and go up Ventop as hard as you can for 20 min too.
Zwift will update your FTP whenever you have a better 20 min effort.
Don’t compare 20 min FTP to the ramp test.
They tend to vary.

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You can manually set your FTP if you think it’s wrong, and the intervals will change based on that. I made a lot of small adjustments to mine when I was last doing a programme of workouts. You can give it a nudge until the workouts are tough but achievable.

You can also make adjust up to ±10% at any point during the session, with a button on the menu bar (and companion app). This can be slightly buggy but usually works ok. This doesn’t change your underlying FTP, it’s just temporary for the duration of the workout. It shouldn’t take long to get it reasonably well dialed in and you’ll soon start to feel improvements.

I was about to start a new question about next level training when I saw this thread. I’m a new Zwifter, about 5 months, and after 4 months of short rides decided to try the Beginner FTP. I had no idea what I was doing, didn’t do a ramp test or any other FTP measurement, and just picked 200 out of thin air and see what would happen…I’m in the last week of the workout and it has been amazing - perhaps I had a good guess, perhaps I still dont know what I’m doing, but the workouts at FTP have been challenging but not so much that I could not complete them. Today’s Threshold Development went to 110% FTP at 105 RPM. Since it seems to have worked for me as a beginner I’m now focused on next stage development - trying to figure out what’s next to build on the 6 week beginner program. I’m checking out some works outs maybe the 10-12 week FTP builder….any thoughts out there? FYI, and I don’t know that it matters. , I’m 67 and started riding to recover and rehab from 2 hip

Or you could do what i did, just not put anything in, do a couple/few freerides, and Zwift will estimate your FTP.

This will mostly over estimate or under estimate your FTP.

  • Going full out for 20min will give you an inflated FTP
  • Not going hard and just riding will under estimate your FTP.
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Here is an update. After about 10 rides my ftp was set at 155. I did a short FTP test and it was reset to 136. This might mean my workouts will be even more boring on the FTP builder training regimen. I will try to stick with the regimen to see how it feels.

One thing I noticed though was as I was warming up and as I changed efforts the watts being displayed was all over the place, fluctuating wildly. As i was warming up it was showing an error i think “tire is slipping” I had my wife tighten the resistance wheel on my dumb trainer. Once i got to the 20 minute FTP stretch the wattage output was more stable but it seems to still fluctuate quite a bit.

Do you calibrate your trainer before every ride?

I have a dumb trainer. I am assuming the takes my inputted info my tire size, weight, speed, cadence, and trainer model and extrapolates a wattage. Even if not exactly accurate it gives me a base number to work from. The problem I was seeing was spinning at a cadence of 82 showing 20 mph the wattage would fluctuate sometimes wildly.

Can you calibrate a dumb trainer?

One last thing to note. My sensor (one sensor does cadence and speed) was acting up last ride the cadence was erratic dropping out and showing 1/2 or less of my actual pedal rate. I put a new battery in before riding today and everything seemed to be working right on the speed/cadence side today.

No you can’t. Best is to keep your tire inflated to the manufacturer spec.

When tightening resistance knob test that the wheel doesn’t slip by quickly rotating the wheel back and forth.

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