How to maximise your FTP test?

/, Training/How to maximise your FTP test?

How to maximise your FTP test?

Ok, so you’ve decided to do an FTP test at home, here are some tips to try and help you maximise the results to provide usable and accurate data to train with !

Unsure what an FTP test is ? or why an accurate figure is important ?

Read this Blog

The FTP test is inherently hard to get right, it’s a fine line between going too hard and not going hard enough, between your muscles screaming as they fill with lactate to you feeling too comfortable. All to often I see FTP test data and instantly I can see the test has not been performed as well as it could have meaning the results are not accurate or useful. A good test should be a constant power effort throughout with a slight increase in the last 5 minutes of the interval but not too much as this will mean you could have gone harder at the start. By the end of the test you should should have emptied yourself and have nothing else left!

 

Below are some tips to help you nail your next FTP test:

 

  • Don’t Go Out Too Hard

This is the big one, get this wrong and you might as well scrap the results. If you’ve tested before you’re going to have a good idea what watts you’re able to hold for the duration so this step should be a little easier however newbie testers I strongly recommend consulting a specialist for your first power test or using the 5 minute max effort in the Ride Harder test protocol to try and estimate your sustainable wattage for the 20 minutes, generally you are looking at around about 80% of your 5 min max power figure. The best test results are going to be the ones that are derived from a 20 minute average with as few fluctuations as possible, steady effort is the goal here. Most people opt for the sensible approach of holding a little something back to start with, going hard, as close to your maximum sustainable wattage as possible but with a little bit in reserve for when it gets really hard half way through.  

 

  • Pace It

This goes hand in hand with the above point but it’s easier said than done. 20 minutes is a long time for this level of effort especially if you’re not a seasoned FTP test pro. You can alter your cadence every few minutes along with your retrospective power. Very slight adjustments of less than 5% will be enough to relieve some stress on the muscles and or recruit different muscles. Most people find cadence adjustments useful often pushing a higher cadence than usual during testing to reduce muscular fatigue but this will depend on your training style leading up to the test and level of muscular endurance. Select your natural cadence to start with and alter it up to 5% as the test goes on.

 

  • Stay Cool

An often overlooked part of the test is cooling, right now it’s winter and you’d be forgiven for thinking that you could get away without the fan in the garage for this effort but don’t be fooled ! Not cooling the body sufficiently during this test can negatively impact the results by as much as 15% needless to say rendering the test useless. I always advise starting out cooler than you’d like. Our protocol has a 5 minute maximal effort before the main 20 so this should give you a good idea of how warm you’re going to get but X 4 !! A large fan situated directly in front of the head / torso is the best approach I’ve found. It’s worth also remembering you WILL sweat on this one so cover your bike well with a towel to avoid it looking like a rusty from Cars 🙂

 

  • Free Your Mind and Your Legs Will Follow

Recruiting the Velominati Rules here but it really is true !

Your mind is your worst enemy. Do all your thinking before you start riding your bike.  Once the pedals start to turn, wrap yourself in the sensations of the ride . . .”

Everything other than this test, during this test, is a distraction. Asking yourself to give everything you’ve got for 20 minutes is a huge ask and one that going to take all your concentration. Do your cadence and power calculations before hand and write them down if you need to. Come into the test hydrated and take your final drink before the 20 minute effort not during you can survive this test without a drink, make sure you’re well fed before the test this is no time for on the bike nutrition, children, dogs barking, adverts in your playlist whatever it is get rid of it. For 20 minutes you need to focus and immerse yourself in this test !

 

  • Relax

Yeah, really. Relax. I know all these things above matter but if you’ve laid the foundations, taken the above advice in and done the small amount of prep work you’ll be fine. It is just you and your bike. Clear your mind, crank up your favourite tunes and give it hell! Having some banging tunes can really help motivate you especially towards the end of the test! It can really distract the mind and can squeeze an extra few watts out. Check out my playlist on Spotify for some ideas

 

  • Final Thoughts

Lots of other things feed into a successful FTP test, it’s an accumulation of small things but the main points are all above and if followed will no doubt lead to a great test.

 

I’ve mentioned above the complexity of the testing protocols and most are taken care of by planned workouts from Myself, Trainer Road and Zwift etc but there is no substitute for a professional power test. If you’d like to know more about what power test packages Ride Harder offers then get in touch

 

Good luck with your test !

James

#RideHarder #Trainsmarter

By |2019-11-05T11:06:49+00:00January 3rd, 2018|Testing, Training|Comments Off on How to maximise your FTP test?

About the Author:

My cycling career started in 2005 when I purchased my first road bike and I was immediately hooked. Since then I have completed numerous cycling challenges including Ironman, Lands’ End to John O Groats, Mt Ventoux (all 3 ascents), London to Paris, the BBAR challenge which included a 12hour TimeTrial and more recently the Mallorca 312.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Register to Our Newsletter to Get Our Free E-Book on Power Based Cycling

You have Successfully Subscribed!

This website uses cookies and third party services. Settings Ok

GDPR Privacy Notice

GDPR Privacy Notice General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Article 13 of Regulation EU 2016/679 1. Purpose of this notice This Privacy Notice provides mandatory information as required under Articles 13 and 14 of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regarding the transparency of personal data processing. Definitions of certain terms within this notice are explained in the appendix. 2. The Data Controller for personal data The Data Controller for the personal data processed by us is the Client Company of RIDE HARDER (the employer of the natural person whose data is collected, hereafter referred to as the Data Subject). The Data Controller will pass personal data of their employees to RIDE HARDER to manage training on behalf of those employees in connection with their business. RIDE HARDER, as Data Processor acting on the instructions of the Data Controller under a written contract with them, will subsequently use that personal data to facilitate training programs for the Data Subject. It is this contract which forms the ‘Legal Basis’ for the processing of personal data carried out by RIDE HARDER in these circumstances. RIDE HARDER will also become a Data Controller if it collects additional personal data directly from a Data Subject. In these circumstances RIDE HARDER will be acting under a ‘Legitimate Interest’ to legally process the data for the management of training for the Data Subject and to fulfil the contractual requirements for its Client. RIDE HARDER also acts as a Data Controller for any personal data held regarding its own employees, and legally processes this data under its Contract of Employment with those Data Subjects. 3. Your Rights As a Data Subject you have rights under the GDPR. These rights can be seen below. RIDE HARDER will always fully respect your rights regarding the processing of your personal data, and has provided below the details of the person to contact if you have any concerns or questions regarding how we process your data, or if you wish to exercise any rights you have under the GDPR. 4. Contact Details The identity and contact detail for the Data Protection Officer within RIDE HARDER is: THE OLD FORGE FORGE ROAD LANGLEY NORFOLK NR14 6BD 01508 521000 5. Data Protection Principles RIDE HARDER has adopted the following principles to govern its collection and processing of Personal Data: Personal Data shall be processed lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent manner. The Personal Data collected will only be those specifically required to fulfilltrainingprograms or other training-related requirements. Such data may be collected directly from the Data Subject or provided to RIDE HARDER via his /her employer. Such data will only be processed for that purpose. Personal Data shall only be retained for as long as it is required to fulfill contractual requirements, or to provide statistics to our Client Company. Personal Data shall be adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are collected and/or processed. Personal Data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. The Data Subject has the right to request from RIDE HARDER access to and rectification or erasure of their personal data, to object to or request restriction of processing concerning the data, or to the right to data portability. In each case, such a request must be put in writing as in Section 3 above. Personal Data shall only be processed based on the legal basis explained in section 2 above, except where such interests are overridden by the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Data Subject which will always take precedent. If the Data Subject has provided specific additional Consent to the processing, then such consent may be withdrawn at any time (but may then result in an inability to fulfill training requirements). RIDE HARDER will not use personal data for any monitoring or profiling activity or process, and will not adopt any automated decision-making processes. 6. Transfers to Third Parties To fulfill the training programs for a Data Subject it will in most cases be necessary to process personal data via a third party. Personal Data shall only be transferred to, or processed by, third party companies where such companies are necessary for the fulfillment of the training programs. Personal Data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area (EEA) unless the transfer is made to a country or territory recognized by the EU as having an adequate level of Data Security, or is made with the consent of the Data Subject, or is made to satisfy the Legitimate Interest of RIDE HARDER in regard to its contractual arrangements with its clients. All internal group transfers of Personal Data shall be subject to written agreements under the Company’s Intra Group Data Transfer Agreement (IGDTA) for internal Data transfers which are based on Standard Contractual Clauses recognized by the European Data Protection Authority. Appendix – Definitions of certain terms referred to above: Personal Data: (Article 4 of the GDPR): ‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person. Processing: (Article 4 of the GDPR): means any operation or set of operations which is performed upon personal data or sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organization, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, erasure or destruction. Legal Basis for Processing: (Article 6 of the GDPR): At least one of these must apply whenever personal data is processed: Consent: the individual has given clear consent for the processing of their personal data for a specific purpose. Contract: the processing is necessary for compliance with a contract. Legal obligation: the processing is necessary to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations). Vital interests: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life. Public task: the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest, and the task or function has a clear basis in law. Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for the legitimate interests of the Data Controller unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests. Data Controller: (Article 4 of the GDPR): this means the person or company that determines the purposes and the means of processing personal data. Data Processor: (Article 4 of the GDPR): means a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or any other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller. Data Subject Rights: (Chapter 3 of the GDPR) each Data Subject has eight rights. These are: The right to be informed; This means anyone processing your personal data must make clear what they are processing, why, and who else the data may be passed to. The right of access; this is your right to see what data is held about you by a Data Controller. The right to rectification; the right to have your data corrected or amended if what is held is incorrect in some way. The right to erasure; under certain circumstances you can ask for your personal data to be deleted. This is also called ‘the Right to be Forgotten’. This would apply if the personal data is no longer required for the purposes it was collected for, or your consent for the processing of that data has been withdrawn, or the personal data has been unlawfully processed. The right to restrict processing; this gives the Data Subject the right to ask for a temporary halt to processing of personal data, such as in the case where a dispute or legal case has to be concluded, or the data is being corrected. The right to data portability; a Data Subject has the right to ask for any data supplied directly to the Data Controller by him or her, to be provided in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format. The right to object; the Data Subject has the right to object to further processing of their data which is inconsistent with the primary purpose for which it was collected, including profiling, automation, and direct marketing. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling; Data Subjects have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing.