FTP test - Average power or normalized power?

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Kermithimself
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by Kermithimself

When I do my FTP testing during the summer I have a route that's not completely optimal. I guess the best thing would be a relatively flat course with no corners. Well, this is a course with rolling hills and some corners where I need to slow down quite a bit. So I was thinking whether or not it would be better to look at normalized power instead of average power for FTP?
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devinci
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by devinci

if the time at zero cadence is minimal, I'd use the average power without zeros. Other method would be using the trainer for a consistant method with your (20min test ?) or do a ramp test on the trainer, its shorter and a consistant protocol will give you a good idea of your progression.

KWalker
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by KWalker

Depends on the duration of your test and what software you use. You can always smooth the file a bit, but I think a better thing is to see how much NP and AP vary. Its supposed to be a quasi semi state test so if its like 3-5w I wouldn't worry a ton, but if its a big amount I'd find a new way to test.
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nathanong87
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by nathanong87

i tested outside from march til about august (missed 1 or two months), but like you it wasn't super ideal in a sense where somewhat rolling, and 2 acute roundabouts where i would have to coast through them....1-3 seconds. You can see the elevation change in the strava link i posted.

but from those 20minute test , and using the adjusted FTP for future workouts, it seemed to work well.

i just had to remember to put on my 11t to pedal (and keep power up) downhills, and go into small enough gears while going up hill to maintain the same cadence but somewhat steady power. someone will probably come in here and tell me my protocol sucks, but ehhhhh i am not bothered to change it for outside and will probably continue on 2013 the same when testing outdoor =)

segment highlighted below...
http://app.strava.com/activities/23458419#z2386|3594" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

mrfish
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by mrfish

In theory you should use normalised power, since it calculates the equivalent constant power output you would have achieved if you had ridden on a perfect course.

But in reality I wouldn't get too hung up on using average power. In my view it's a useful measure since if you can do 300W round the test circuit with a few gaps in pedalling, then you can also achieve 300W on a typical ride on a similar circuit.

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shoopdawoop
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by shoopdawoop

I would say use average power; FTP is a training metric first and you want it to reflect your ability over your typical training and racing terrain. Its nice to see the bigger number that np will likely provide but it will also likely make your workouts too difficult (assuming you are training on ap and on similar terrain as your test circuit).

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Kermithimself
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by Kermithimself

Thanks for the replies. But what if we look at it differently? Let's just asume that I've done an FTP test, and the NP and AP are different.

AP: 300 watts
NP: 315 watts

Now, I'm setting off on a 40 km TT, but if I aim to hit my AP level, my AP at the finish line will probably be lower than 300 watts when accounting for turns, coasting, braking etc. Whereas if I aim to hit the NP level, I'll probably cross the line with an AP of 300 watts. Situation 2 will get me quicker across the line?

Would this be correct to assume?
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nathanong87
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by nathanong87

just try one. see what happens...

Ghost234
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by Ghost234

If you're seeing that big of a gap during a FTP test - you're pacing is bad. Most FTP test/ITT should have AP and NP within a few watts of eachother.

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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

Like Ghost said.

There's no point in a 20 min test where you should not be pedalling.

Thus your AP & NP should be pretty much the same.

Andrew69
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by Andrew69

Ghost234 wrote:If you're seeing that big of a gap during a FTP test - you're pacing is bad. Most FTP test/ITT should have AP and NP within a few watts of eachother.

Or as the OP said, the course is less than ideal.
I simply dont have a course that is really suitable either and my VI is often 1.05-1.08 on a FTP test.
But in the end it doesnt matter, so long as the test is repeatable and you are getting a similar VI in each test, I wouldnt worry about it at all and would use NP.

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rainerhq
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by rainerhq

I have done 2 FTP tests and average power in these tests is identical. Today I did 25km TT and 20min avg is 12w higher. Should I take todays number as my FTP? -5% of course.

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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

I'd certainly use the more recent 'test' (read: best 20 minute power) as the basis for your FTP.

Also try an ergo 20 minute test to see how that compares to the power you produced in the TT.


Looking at that file, it also looks like you might have been one gear too high as well. Cadence is good, but maybe just a little high to allow you to be really 'over' the gear.

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MattSoutherden
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by MattSoutherden

Looking at your ride, you did 305W for 20min, but 302W for the whole 40min TT. I would guess that your FTP would be a bit over the 290W that would be 95% of 305.

As I just said on another thread, I wouldn't try and ride to such a precise value unless you have Tim Kerrison on your coaching team. Keep an eye on your 30s power for dropping below about 280. or up above 350ish.

If you just want to set a value for training zones, I'd go for 295-300. If you find that you consistently fail to hit the numbers during your workouts, then HTFU. ;) No, drop it down a bit, or make sure you aren't doing too much.
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rainerhq
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by rainerhq

Yes, I want to set a value for training zones. If I take 95% of 302, it would be 287.
In two FTP tests, I have done, FTP was 278. I did those tests in april and may.

After this TT I changed FTP value in my computer to 287w.
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