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Anyone do an FTP Test?

Old 03-03-18, 04:11 PM
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Anyone do an FTP Test?

So I did the FTP test. It was kind of miserable actually but I did it to see where I stood. Numbers don't lie right.

So my FTP is 299. That is a 2.41 w/kg. My 5 minute is a 2.88 w/kg, My 1 minute is 4.94 w/kg and my 5 second is 9.84 w/kg. (didn't get these numbers all from one run).

So those of you who know what you can do how do I average?? I know I am not a racer but I am a pretty fit rider for a Clyde or at least I think I am, arn't I? Does any of this really mean anything in the end? On the Zwift races I can keep up in the middle to front of the "D" class ok, although sometimes the winners of the "d" class are well over 3 w/kg so I really wonder how I would compare. I get destroyed in the "c" class usually but sometimes I can pull our a better bottom 10% depending on the course.

I did the test so this fall before the snow flies again I can redo the test and see if I have actually made any progress.

thoughts?
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Old 03-03-18, 06:05 PM
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What is an FTP test?
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Old 03-03-18, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
What is an FTP test?
Functional threshold power
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Old 03-05-18, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
What is an FTP test?
At it's most basic it is a measurement (somewhat theoretical) of the average power you can maintain for one hour.

And I say somewhat theoretical because the test isn't an effort over one hour ... you warm up, do a couple of intervals, and then about 25 minutes in you do a 20 minute interval that is supposed to be hard, but sustainable, and that's how Zwift measures your FTP
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Old 03-05-18, 08:01 AM
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299 is a very respectable FTP ... I think my current FTP according to Zwift is like 232. I started in the low 200s, so Zwift has made a difference to me.

Like you, I'll be interested to see how all of this translates to the outdoor season, and then how my outdoor work translates back to Zwifting in the fall.

As Clydes, I think our numbers tend to be a bit higher than another cyclist in the same fitness range, but who weighs less, just by function of mass. But still, an FTP of almost 300 is nothing to ignore.
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Old 03-05-18, 09:46 AM
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With Stages, 319W. With power2max, 280W. Both measured outside, on the same piece of road. Which one is (more) correct? We shall never know. I'm still a hair over 3W/kg, and figure it's easier to lose 10lbs than put on more watts. Meter accuracy notwithstanding, I've lost probably 5% of sustainable threshold power just due to age and (probably) training pattern. FTP power leaves me exhausted for days, but I can sustain a +200W average for 5 hours and do it again the next day. So pride aside, the accuracy edge is to power2max.

My peak power is awful. 10.4W/kg 1-second, 5.7Wkg 1-minute, 4.0W/kg 5-minute. I am actually comfortable with the 280 number-- I did a full hour last year with a 278W average, so 280 is plenty close enough for me.
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Old 03-05-18, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
With Stages, 319W. With power2max, 280W. Both measured outside, on the same piece of road. Which one is (more) correct? We shall never know. I'm still a hair over 3W/kg, and figure it's easier to lose 10lbs than put on more watts. Meter accuracy notwithstanding, I've lost probably 5% of sustainable threshold power just due to age and (probably) training pattern. FTP power leaves me exhausted for days, but I can sustain a +200W average for 5 hours and do it again the next day. So pride aside, the accuracy edge is to power2max.

My peak power is awful. 10.4W/kg 1-second, 5.7Wkg 1-minute, 4.0W/kg 5-minute. I am actually comfortable with the 280 number-- I did a full hour last year with a 278W average, so 280 is plenty close enough for me.


Nice!!

I would bet my outdoor is much lower. Indoor the pedaling is constant and the roller has constant resistance. I would think that would make for a much easier test. I agree 20min test to show an hour average is a bit sketchy as well. When I do ride for that kind of time 60-70 minutes my average wattage on Zwift is in the 260-270's range. BUT I will see how this fall comes into play when I do the test again in October. I plan to do a outdoor test right away this spring and then do both again in October. Just curious how the numbers play out over a years time.

I am hoping for real world numbers to be 275ish. I think for a person of my size that is pretty good for a very amateur rider with a massive bike addiction!
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Old 03-05-18, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
299 is a very respectable FTP ... I think my current FTP according to Zwift is like 232. I started in the low 200s, so Zwift has made a difference to me.

Like you, I'll be interested to see how all of this translates to the outdoor season, and then how my outdoor work translates back to Zwifting in the fall.

As Clydes, I think our numbers tend to be a bit higher than another cyclist in the same fitness range, but who weighs less, just by function of mass. But still, an FTP of almost 300 is nothing to ignore.

Thank you! I have been training like crazy this winter. I have hated the drop off like other years that I would get in the winter. Zwift has been a great tool this winter. I hope its been worth it.
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Old 03-05-18, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
So I did the FTP test. It was kind of miserable actually but I did it to see where I stood. Numbers don't lie right.

So my FTP is 299. That is a 2.41 w/kg. My 5 minute is a 2.88 w/kg, My 1 minute is 4.94 w/kg and my 5 second is 9.84 w/kg. (didn't get these numbers all from one run).

So those of you who know what you can do how do I average?? I know I am not a racer but I am a pretty fit rider for a Clyde or at least I think I am, arn't I? Does any of this really mean anything in the end? On the Zwift races I can keep up in the middle to front of the "D" class ok, although sometimes the winners of the "d" class are well over 3 w/kg so I really wonder how I would compare. I get destroyed in the "c" class usually but sometimes I can pull our a better bottom 10% depending on the course.

I did the test so this fall before the snow flies again I can redo the test and see if I have actually made any progress.

thoughts?
Not to bust your bubble, but I would not believe those numbers, Zwift or not. They sound a bit inflated.

Don't get mad now, but if your FTP was 299, you are in an elite class not even considering you are a clyde. My was tested out on a compu trainer at around 220 which though was pretty good considering I'm a clyde and I'm over 60. I can get up over 400 but I cannot maintain it for any real time period like 30 seconds. HR is my problem, not my legs. My max HR is now only 155 so that limits what I can crank out at this point in my life.

Tour riders average 4.5-5+ w/kg. Anything over 5 w/kg is smoking and would put one in the upper reaches of the pro peleton.

Given that, I know a couple of riders that have FTP's of 300, one of which is an ex-racer and they flat out scream on the road and have no problem holding 23-25mph on rolling terrain.

Your numbers if to be believed would put you in a CAT 3 class which is pretty good. I have seen a couple of races and I have yet to see a clyde in anything above a CAT 5. CAT 5 is the slowest at around 20+mph on a crit course. So if you are pulling those numbers you are in good company.

Again, not to be a debbie downer, but the 299 seems a bit to high. On the other hand, if that number is real, then you are a beast. Holding 299 watts for 20 minutes is really good and is a sort of bell weather in the cycling community.

If you want a real eye opener, check out Robert Forstemann and his attempt at toasting bread from power generated from a bike. He holds 700+ watts for just 2 minutes but the effort is superhuman to say the least. He is /was a world champion track cyclist. He is called "quadzilla" and for good reason. Massive power but my guess is that no one in the pro peleton can supply 700+ watts for over 2 minutes.

john
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Old 03-05-18, 05:08 PM
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299 for 40 mins is awesome, I'd be totally happy with that. I've yet to do the FTP test. I have an imaginary number I use (279w, kg weight x3). I know what I can climb at and what makes me blow up on climbs or sprints. I mostly ride alone so it's me vs the road vs myself on Strava.

In the real world, it's power to weight ratio. mostly when the road starts to climb. Keep it flat or rolling the higher FTP works to our advantage in holding tempo speed easier. That said I'm 6'1 so a sail in the wind.
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Old 03-05-18, 06:44 PM
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What are you using to measure power? Do you have a power meter? Are you using a smart trainer?


I was using a basic trainer last year with the Zwift and my FTP was in the 340's. Did OK in Zwift races. With a dumb trainer and the Zwift estimates my numbers were way higher than IRL.


Went outside and tried a few actual races and was shellacked. Last place pretty much every time. Once I got a power meter, I was able to get better numbers. The best I did, was in my second to last criterium, I had a 20 min power of 289. Now, I'm at 290 with a power meter on a Wahoo so we'll see what that translates to outside. I'm down 30lbs from where I was when I hit the 289 so the w/kg is better which is what matters for the most part.


Keep up the good work.
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Old 03-05-18, 08:16 PM
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@rutan74

Yes I believe what your saying. I do believe that the numbers are inflated. That is why when I can get out doors I will see how my power meter say I am. Not just my smart trainer on zwift. I too was leery of that number. Even if I am a 275 that is not a cat 4 or even close. The chart says otherwise.
See the chart here, I am barley out of the untrained section. Because I am untrained lol. Watts per kilo is a cruel thing to be measured by. Proís have massive power. I was reading that the average trained cyclist could keep pace with the peloton without a problem but when it would come to do it for 4 hours plus with climbs and high power sprints there is no comparison. Then do it 21 days in a row! They are amazing athletes!

https://www.cyclinganalytics.com/blo...he-power-curve


Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
What are you using to measure power? Do you have a power meter? Are you using a smart trainer?


I was using a basic trainer last year with the Zwift and my FTP was in the 340's. Did OK in Zwift races. With a dumb trainer and the Zwift estimates my numbers were way higher than IRL.


Went outside and tried a few actual races and was shellacked. Last place pretty much every time. Once I got a power meter, I was able to get better numbers. The best I did, was in my second to last criterium, I had a 20 min power of 289. Now, I'm at 290 with a power meter on a Wahoo so we'll see what that translates to outside. I'm down 30lbs from where I was when I hit the 289 so the w/kg is better which is what matters for the most part.


Keep up the good work.

This test was on a smart trainer on zwift. I will use my power meter on bike next. Then I can compare. I feel like a strong rider but no way could race, that would be an rear kicking no doubt.

Like I said before will do an another outdoor test then repeat both this fall. Hoping that I actually get stronger/faster.
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Old 03-05-18, 08:57 PM
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Racing is all about sucking wheel, dealing with surges and not doing any work unless your going to win or get a prime. Save the energy for surging from corner to corner.

You can always TT and it’s self suffering vs the road and winds.

Doesn’t hurt to try unless you crash....
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Old 03-05-18, 09:00 PM
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The trainer/bike-fitter at my LBS said that in a properly paced race, a rider will not be producing power 25-30% of the time.

You know, the opposite of what I do every day.
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Old 03-05-18, 09:41 PM
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Yeah but sprinting @1500 watts would kill me not to mention the 3k climb at 6% for speeds of 15mph....makes me cramp thinking about it.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:05 PM
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Those are actually plausible numbers. I think people are referring to the Hunter Allen (I think?) chart in which he correlated 5 sec, 1 min, 5 min and FTP power, on a watt/kg basis, to the typical power output of bike racers by gender and racing category.

My understanding is this chart does not really correlate that well with actual mass start racing but it does give people some kind of idea of what power output it takes to race.

Anyway, on this chart, OPs power correlates at all durations to either a cyclist untrained for racing or an entry level racer. Sounds about right for OP, who is not actually racing but is training. Absolute numbers can be deceptive, bigger people generate a lot more power than smaller people. But they have a lot more body to move, so what would be huge watts for me (not big) is not that huge for a larger person.

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Old 03-05-18, 10:23 PM
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^^^

That chart is a great indicator of why you don't see many +200lb tour pros. According to it, for me to be middle of Cat1, I'd have to be able to produce 880W for a full minute, and have an FTP above 450W.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:34 PM
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My FTP is 276 at just over 200lbs in puts me at 3.1 watts per kilo. I have no issues in believing the numbers as stated. There are very good riders everywhere, could the numbers be inflated, well sure they could but I'm more interested in having at least a number as it give you something to measure gains or losses by.
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Old 03-05-18, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
I would bet my outdoor is much lower. Indoor the pedaling is constant and the roller has constant resistance. I would think that would make for a much easier test.
Typically if thereís a difference between outdoor and trainer power, the trainer power is lower by 5-10%.

YMMV of course, some people just have a lot of trouble riding a TT effort/FTP test on the road, you have to wring it out of yourself rather than have a smart trainer or computer program like Zwift lead you through it. Some people achieve a similar effect by riding FTP tests on long climbs, which also kind of forces you to put out the effort.

But I think most people can learn to ride good tests on the road, you just have to stay focused the entire time and stay with the effort.
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Old 03-06-18, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
^^^

That chart is a great indicator of why you don't see many +200lb tour pros. According to it, for me to be middle of Cat1, I'd have to be able to produce 880W for a full minute, and have an FTP above 450W.

Yeah the big guys are sprinters....like peter s and such.

Originally Posted by youcoming View Post
My FTP is 276 at just over 200lbs in puts me at 3.1 watts per kilo. I have no issues in believing the numbers as stated. There are very good riders everywhere, could the numbers be inflated, well sure they could but I'm more interested in having at least a number as it give you something to measure gains or losses by.
Spot on. The number only matters as a tool of measurement. I can use it as a measuring tool. I know Swiftís numbers will be constant so itís easy to use it.

Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
Typically if thereís a difference between outdoor and trainer power, the trainer power is lower by 5-10%.

YMMV of course, some people just have a lot of trouble riding a TT effort/FTP test on the road, you have to wring it out of yourself rather than have a smart trainer or computer program like Zwift lead you through it. Some people achieve a similar effect by riding FTP tests on long climbs, which also kind of forces you to put out the effort.

But I think most people can learn to ride good tests on the road, you just have to stay focused the entire time and stay with the effort.
Your correct. You donít have a program telling you what to do so you must be more disciplined. I will find out as soon as the darn snow leaves.


That chart is crazy to me. No way I could ever put out 400-500 Watts for more than a minute let alone for 5 or 50 like pros do. Just amazing!
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Old 03-06-18, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
@rutan74

Yes I believe what your saying. I do believe that the numbers are inflated. That is why when I can get out doors I will see how my power meter say I am. Not just my smart trainer on zwift. I too was leery of that number. Even if I am a 275 that is not a cat 4 or even close. The chart says otherwise.
See the chart here, I am barley out of the untrained section. Because I am untrained lol. Watts per kilo is a cruel thing to be measured by. Proís have massive power. I was reading that the average trained cyclist could keep pace with the peloton without a problem but when it would come to do it for 4 hours plus with climbs and high power sprints there is no comparison. Then do it 21 days in a row! They are amazing athletes!

https://www.cyclinganalytics.com/blo...he-power-curve






This test was on a smart trainer on zwift. I will use my power meter on bike next. Then I can compare. I feel like a strong rider but no way could race, that would be an rear kicking no doubt.

Like I said before will do an another outdoor test then repeat both this fall. Hoping that I actually get stronger/faster.

Kudos to you. If those numbers are even close to real world, kudos to you. Anything close to 300 is incredibly good.

Again, not to bust your bubble (hey, keep it up!) but indoors to outdoors are two different animals. Not sure about Zwift but most trainers do not account for outdoor conditions like road surface, weight, and most of all, wind.

I would definitely focus on w/kg as that is the real number in my opinion. You can get a woman that can turn an ftp of 300 and a man at 300 too. If the man weights 200 and the woman weights 130, guess who is faster? Lighter of course and that is why the pro's are so fixated on body weight and bike weight. We clydes are not so fixated on those extra grams.

CTS has a test that they use to baseline you outdoors. It is the one they use to get you going as far as their coaching goes. Maybe you could do that as your road test to see if the numbers are close. The power meter outdoors will tell the tale of the tape.

Personally, and this is not a knock, the numbers are meaningless. If you are keeping up, then that should tell you that you are producing. Of course having a watt meter is very good when climbing so you stay within yourself and don't burn those matches too soon. On the flats, not so much.

Keep it up though. Like I said, if those numbers are close, you're doing great for someone at any weight let alone 270ish.
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Old 03-06-18, 12:29 PM
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Hard to compare numbers and weight to pros when they have staff to train them, feed them and fix them. Not to mention they ride 50k-100,000 miles per yr or 40-60 hours per week. Personally my goal is 7hr a week on the bike.....

As a non racer, I wouldn't worry myself with w/kg noise. Just ride your darn bike and enjoy it. The power meter is more like the margin line of a white paper when writing an essay. Sway within these lines and you will enjoy the ride, go outside the line and it might get scribblly and painful or drift off sleep because its too slow.

You have your FTP, train a percentage of the FTP. Do a 1, 5 and 10min test at say x amount above the FTP and see where you blow up. How bad do you blow up and how much can your lower the watts and still recover for the next hill/group ride surge. Say your 5min is 390watts but legs are limp afterwards and takes 10min to recover because they are full of LA. What if you held 370watts at 5rpm higher cadence, stays overall .5mph slower but recovery is only 2mins. Which of those would you want to ride at more often?

Once you have a ball park of these numbers, you can push yourself or make you friends have some pain when the road gets flat and favors higher power, but rest assured they will give you pain back when the road flips. AKA faster recovery between surges. If you don't group ride often like like me, go out and smash strava segments against my own time. Harder to recover when no one is there to draft and hide behind, but thats part of the sport


outside world power numbers according to my Stages PM on yesterday's ride,
61min, 807ft climbing, normalized power 266watts, power to weight is 2.89w/kg, end results 19.3mph average speed solo.

and I still had energy to run 5miles afterward
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Old 03-06-18, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
Hard to compare numbers and weight to pros when they have staff to train them, feed them and fix them. Not to mention they ride 50k-100,000 miles per yr or 40-60 hours per week. Personally my goal is 7hr a week on the bike.....

As a non racer, I wouldn't worry myself with w/kg noise. Just ride your darn bike and enjoy it. The power meter is more like the margin line of a white paper when writing an essay. Sway within these lines and you will enjoy the ride, go outside the line and it might get scribblly and painful or drift off sleep because its too slow.

You have your FTP, train a percentage of the FTP. Do a 1, 5 and 10min test at say x amount above the FTP and see where you blow up. How bad do you blow up and how much can your lower the watts and still recover for the next hill/group ride surge. Say your 5min is 390watts but legs are limp afterwards and takes 10min to recover because they are full of LA. What if you held 370watts at 5rpm higher cadence, stays overall .5mph slower but recovery is only 2mins. Which of those would you want to ride at more often?

Once you have a ball park of these numbers, you can push yourself or make you friends have some pain when the road gets flat and favors higher power, but rest assured they will give you pain back when the road flips. AKA faster recovery between surges. If you don't group ride often like like me, go out and smash strava segments against my own time. Harder to recover when no one is there to draft and hide behind, but thats part of the sport


outside world power numbers according to my Stages PM on yesterday's ride,
61min, 807ft climbing, normalized power 266watts, power to weight is 2.89w/kg, end results 19.3mph average speed solo.

and I still had energy to run 5miles afterward



Excellent point! In the end the we should just enjoy the ride.....what an idea
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Old 03-26-18, 07:31 AM
  #24  
daviddavieboy 
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
As a non racer, I wouldn't worry myself with w/kg noise. Just ride your darn bike and enjoy it. The power meter is more like the margin line of a white paper when writing an essay. Sway within these lines and you will enjoy the ride, go outside the line and it might get scribblly and painful or drift off sleep because its too slow.
For myself I can see the power meter as a tool to be able to pace myself. Often I find myself going too hard and then burning out. I can hold 300w for 3-4 min on the trainer and have an FTP of 240. My goal is to get FTP around 300.

My brother who trains for IM competitions asked me to do an FTP test this way. To warm up for 20 min with high cadence low power output then go all out for 20 min. Take the 20 min effort and he says the average power for that 20 min effort is my FTP. If you have any energy left you didn't go all out. Personally I did not do this but rather got my FTP from zwift.
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Old 03-30-18, 02:32 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post
For myself I can see the power meter as a tool to be able to pace myself. Often I find myself going too hard and then burning out. I can hold 300w for 3-4 min on the trainer and have an FTP of 240. My goal is to get FTP around 300.

My brother who trains for IM competitions asked me to do an FTP test this way. To warm up for 20 min with high cadence low power output then go all out for 20 min. Take the 20 min effort and he says the average power for that 20 min effort is my FTP. If you have any energy left you didn't go all out. Personally I did not do this but rather got my FTP from zwift.
Getting technical, but the formula is 95% of the 20 min power. I've heard people say that if you don't puke after the FTP test, you didn't do it right. If that's the case, I don't want to do it right.

If the OP got his number from the trainer on Zwift, he should use that number on the trainer. It may be quite different than the number from the PM. In the end it doesn't matter. Use whichever number as the metric for your training and run with it. The next test OP does, he should record the numbers from the Smart Trainer and the PM separately(if you have to devices to record the separate data).

Even if he just uses the data from the PM to train, he can see:

1. If he has seen gains with the smart trainer/zwift number since the first test.
2. The correlation between the two metrics. If they are the same, that's great. But if not, he can adjust his zones for each.
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