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flunked FTP

Old 12-24-20, 08:03 PM
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jay1680
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flunked FTP

I keep failing both the 8 min and 20 min FTP test on my Wahoo Bolt. Is there a trick to passing?
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Old 12-24-20, 08:10 PM
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billridesbikes
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You can’t ‘flunk’ an FTP test. What do you mean exactly?
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Old 12-25-20, 02:31 PM
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bill's right. you cannot flunk the test. if doing the typical 8 or 20min test you ride as hard as you can. at the end your performance is translated into your FTP. if using zwift's step ftp test you ride until you fail but fail means you cannot ride anymore. this is different, your target power level increases until you cannot turn the cranks anymore. then ftp is calculated.

so, what makes you think you failed?
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Old 12-25-20, 02:47 PM
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I'm going to assume by flunking you mean you failed to finish. Anything else should give you a number, which would not be a flunk.

If that's the case, back off the initial effort. If necessary, put a post-it over the Watts during the test, and focus on RPM.

The resulting number only has meaning to you, as a baseline for comparison for future tests.
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Old 12-25-20, 07:43 PM
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Yes, most folks go out too hard, much too hard is totally normal because it feels so easy for the first 2 minutes. It just takes practice to learn how to do it. After failing a couple tests you should have a pretty good idea of what your starting watts should have been. Try it again with a day off before it. If by minute 6 or 15, you feel like you went out too easy, take it up a little. I do best at about 96 rpm, but everyone's a little different.
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Old 12-26-20, 07:10 AM
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Stop trying to do an 8 minute and a 20 minute test. If you're not completing them then you're not well-versed enough with power and how it correlates to your efforts yet, so spending the next few months doing workouts will alleviate that substantially.

Secondly, by doing workouts from the next few months, you will have a far better idea of the power you're able to generate over longer periods, thus there's no need to even try to do one of those tests unless you just kick a kick out of them (which it sounds like you don't).

Thirdly, 8 minutes and 20 minute tests are NOT FTP tests. Your FTP is NOT the power you can put out for 8 minutes or 20 minutes, and any number extrapolated from that is a pure guess that may or may not be remotely accurate.

Training with power does not mean doing random, short "tests" to come up with an arbitrary number that you then pretend is a number you can hold for 45-70 minutes.

See what power you can hold for 30 minutes based on a number you've already done for 30 minutes. Try to hold it longer. Then try to hold higher power, etc. You can do this with any duration. Treat it as a workout and not a test. The training IS the testing.
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Old 12-26-20, 08:45 AM
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I've started doing more like Rubik says above and it works fine for me.

For 2020 I do have a power figure for the TT bike for 60min from a 25mi effort. So, I can use that as an ftp. By definition, it was as hard as I could go for right at an hour.

Most non-pro riders have a lot smaller aerobic engine than they think. So the % drop from 8min to 20min to an hour is a lot bigger than the cute little 5% figure. Making it tough to use and nearly a waste to have taken the time to do the test.

Try some workouts. If too hard, adjust down 5 to 10w. Too easy, add a few watts. Then you're already there.

I'm also becoming more of a fan of "free ride" tests if you want a number. Not erg mode set to a mythical number. That way you can change your gears if necessary, or cadence as you manage your effort. I like finding a mountain on Zwift to climb and if I want to "know" a 20min number, just try to hit a new PR or get the KOM jersey for it.

But sounds like you tried to set up something in ERG mode at a fixed power and failed to make it. Don't do that. You need to be in free ride and able to change gears and cadence if necessary.
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Old 12-26-20, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Thirdly, 8 minutes and 20 minute tests are NOT FTP tests. Your FTP is NOT the power you can put out for 8 minutes or 20 minutes, and any number extrapolated from that is a pure guess that may or may not be remotely accurate.
Andy Coggan considered critical power testing (one kind of short effort, one kind of long) to be reliable enough that he included it in his list of seven deadly sins for determining FTP. https://wattmatters.blog/home/2008/0...adly-sins.html
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Old 12-26-20, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Andy Coggan considered critical power testing (one kind of short effort, one kind of long) to be reliable enough that he included it in his list of seven deadly sins for determining FTP. https://wattmatters.blog/home/2008/0...adly-sins.html
That's not what the OP is talking about. He's talking about an 8 min and a 20 min "ftp test". Neither which are, in fact, FTP tests. He's not talking about critical power modeling based on multiple (or even two distinct) data points.

In any case, #s 6 and 7.

Also, FTP has never been defined by Coggan as one hour power, despite the definition this article starts with.
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Old 12-26-20, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
That's not what the OP is talking about. He's talking about an 8 min and a 20 min "ftp test".
His/Her terminology may be imprecise, but putting 8 and 20 minute efforts into the critical power model would be a very good way to estimate FTP.
Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
He's not talking about critical power modeling based on multiple (or even two distinct) data points.
I'm not so sure of that.
Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Also, FTP has never been defined by Coggan as one hour power, despite the definition this article starts with.
You should read more carefully (emphasis mine). https://wattmatters.blog/home/2008/0...adly-sins.html

"FTP is the highest power that a rider can maintain in a quasi-steady state without fatiguing for approximately 1 hour. When power exceeds FTP, fatigue will occur much sooner, whereas power just below FTP can be maintained considerably longer".
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Old 12-26-20, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
His/Her terminology may be imprecise, but putting 8 and 20 minute efforts into the critical power model would be a very good way to estimate FTP.

I'm not so sure of that.

You should read more carefully (emphasis mine). https://wattmatters.blog/home/2008/0...adly-sins.html

"FTP is the highest power that a rider can maintain in a quasi-steady state without fatiguing for approximately 1 hour. When power exceeds FTP, fatigue will occur much sooner, whereas power just below FTP can be maintained considerably longer".
This guy is not asking about power modeling. He's talking about "tests" on his Wahoo Bolt.

Why are you telling me to read more carefully when you're the one quoting people that aren't Coggan?

What does Coggan actually say?

Originally Posted by Andy Coggan
Both an all-out 50 min effort and an all-out 66 min effort would provide reasonable estimates of your FTP. That is because 1) the exercise intensity-duration relationship is quite flat in that region, and 2) FTP has never been defined as the power you can maintain for 60(.000000.....) min.


When in doubt, go to the source, which is why newer definitions don't include anything about approximately an hour or any other time.

Last edited by rubiksoval; 12-26-20 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 12-26-20, 07:31 PM
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OP here. Sorry for being imprecise. I am using a Wahoo Bolt in the menu under planned workouts it lists two tests, a 20 minute FTP test and an 8 minute FTP test. Both tests take about an hour with intervals and rest periods. I complete the intervals according to the instruction for each interval (40% or 100% effort) but at the end of the hour the Bolt says failed FTP test.
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Old 12-26-20, 09:27 PM
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The above FTP discussion being absolutely the case, there's still an issue. I've seen and used training plans where the author wanted you to start out with their defined FTP test, or their defined test came up soon in the plan. The explanation is that the rider's FTP doesn't matter to the author, who is setting up power specs based on the results of these tests, not on some FTP determined by some other test, like an hour of power for instance.

If the OP is using a digital or text training plan, I think just do the test that's in the plan and don't worry about the fine points. That number's going to be quickly changing anyway. But if the idea is to get an actual FTP to ride to in general, then yes, the hour of power is the way to go. Everyone who does the quickie test, just to get a number, would probably be amazed at how far off their hour number that is. Like perhaps the majority of riders using power. I think that was mentioned already, so I'm just stressing that point. It's not just how much power one can put out, it's also how much endurance you have at that power. I think the motivation to suffer that much for your sport is not universal, hence the popularity of the quickie tests.
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Old 12-27-20, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jay1680 View Post
OP here. Sorry for being imprecise. I am using a Wahoo Bolt in the menu under planned workouts it lists two tests, a 20 minute FTP test and an 8 minute FTP test. Both tests take about an hour with intervals and rest periods. I complete the intervals according to the instruction for each interval (40% or 100% effort) but at the end of the hour the Bolt says failed FTP test.
Hi - Here is my guess. The test has certain segments and wants you to be at a certain power at each segment and if your power is too far off it ‘fails’ even if it’s is only one segment. It does this to kind of help you make sure your at your anaerobic threshold and not actually anaerobic during part of the FTP test. This is probably ‘dumb’ programming on Wahoo’s part that it doesn’t give you the power during the actual FTP part of the test, or at least more verbiage about exactly why it thinks it’s ‘failing’. The 20min test on Zwift also has segments, but doesn’t ‘fail’ if you’re too high or too low on a segment.

I looked on Wahoo’s website, but couldn’t figure how their FTP test worked. You might want to try to scroll through the device and see if there is a way to increase the % at where a fitness test will ‘fail’. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.
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Old 12-27-20, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jay1680 View Post
OP here. Sorry for being imprecise. I am using a Wahoo Bolt in the menu under planned workouts it lists two tests, a 20 minute FTP test and an 8 minute FTP test. Both tests take about an hour with intervals and rest periods. I complete the intervals according to the instruction for each interval (40% or 100% effort) but at the end of the hour the Bolt says failed FTP test.
So which one did you do? If you did the 20 minute test, look at your average power over the twenty minutes and multiply by 0.95. If you've done the 8 minute test, multiply by 0.9 and that will be a rough estimate of your FTP. You only need that number as a training tool. If workouts are too difficult to finish with that number you can try lowering the number by five and having another go. And remember to fuel your workouts and rest well.
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Old 12-27-20, 04:46 PM
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You do have a power meter don't you?
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Old 12-27-20, 07:48 PM
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Bingo, I am an idiot, The test needs a power meter. I thought it would use the data from my HR monitor.

Last edited by jay1680; 12-27-20 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 12-28-20, 02:15 PM
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Huh. That's a new one.
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Old 12-28-20, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jay1680 View Post
Bingo, I am an idiot, The test needs a power meter. I thought it would use the data from my HR monitor.
I use those tests to control a Wahoo Kickr bike using its ERG mode.
Are you sure those tests will work using just a power meter?

BTW I found I didn’t have enough experience pacing in order to get accurate or repeatable results.
So I created a FTP ramp test workout file and uploaded it to the Bolt over a USB cable.
Problem solved, no pacing required.

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Old 01-01-21, 12:01 PM
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jay1680 I'm not familiar with the Wahoo Bolt, but if it has a function or workout plan to establish your FTP, does it also have something to establish your FTHR or LTHR or other metric methods?
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Old 01-01-21, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jay1680 View Post
Bingo, I am an idiot, The test needs a power meter. I thought it would use the data from my HR monitor.
So are you just using the Wahoo Bolt as a bike computer and do not have the Wahoo trainer or similar smart trainer?
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