Setting FTP-Workouts Feel Too Intense to Maintain

Hi all,

I’m relatively new to Zwift here! I’ve tried out a few rides and started the FTP builder workout plan. I have a Tacx Boost with external Wahoo speed and cadence sensors.
My FTP was set at 205 when I started the plan.
I quickly found it nearly impossible to maintain the watts requested in workout.
Workout wanted 100 watts, 150, 200, 220 etc. The max watts I could turn out was 134 watts with a cadence of 107.
That felt FULL OUT and I could NOT maintain that level for more than a minute or so at a time. My legs were absolutely spinning and burning!

Looking at my previous rides that were more casual effort (ones that felt similar to a casual road ride), my average watts are 50-60 and my max watts are in the 120s range for up hill portions. Average speed was around 10mph, max 20, maybe 5mph up hills.

Should I turn my FTP down to 120 or set it closer to the 50 average watts?
I don’t think I can maintain 120 watts for 20 minutes (this is close to all out effort)
I could maintain 50-60watts for 20 minutes (this is a casual workout, still sweating, heart rate up but not “dying”).

Overall, I’m still not sure if my trainer or app is set up 100% correctly as I feel like I’m putting in much more effort to get up to a similar speed I’d be going on my usual outdoor rides. I can’t last longer than 4 miles on Zwift before completely bonking out. While my road/greenway rides of 10-20 miles at average speed of 9mph never get to a point where I just want to stop and give up…

Any advice? What am I doing wrong here?

Why was your FTP set at 205W before you started the plan?

Before you can boost it with a training programme, you should have some idea of where you’re currently at. Maybe try doing one of the Zwift FTP tests to get a baseline value (Ramp Test Lite or FTP Shorter might be good ones to try).

Yes, definitely.

You can also tweak the power targets when you’re doing a workout via the Bias control.

Hi @Paula_Templeton

Welcome to the forum.

I would suggest setting your FTP to 100w and then do a FTP test as suggested by William.

with your trainer try the FTP Shorter.

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Agree with all the previous advice. I would just add that the FTP builder program should hurt and completing some of the workouts will be very hard. If your goal is to complete every workout (which is a good goal) you might need to use the bias control (+ or - 1% per click) to get through. There are also times when I’ve had to bail out on a segment by moving ahead to the next one- some days we just aren’t at our strongest. I’ve found the 4 week FTP builder program to work to make me stronger: it works.

Best of luck to you.