Decreasing FTP

I have been doing indoor training for the last 5 years, started with sufferfest, traineroad and now wahoosystm, 99% of my training is indoors. I started with a FTP of 235 and I am currently, as today at 203. My FTP has been stalled or decreased even if, subjectively, i believe i had worked my butt of in the trainer. I am not a cyclist by any measure but i race triathlons up to 70.3, and as last year i would usually have top 5 times on the bike legs of the local sprint and olympic (20 and 40K bike) triathlons. My question is, what am I missing here? Same weight, lower FTP, same equipment, but faster? Am I just really bad at testing? What should i look to improve? Forget about FTP and dont complain if i am getting faster at my races?

For reference I am 47, 5’6", #178, i use a wheel on trainer with a power2max crank powermeter.



Is it a general trend in every test. Maybe you are training too hard, I have had my FTP drop when i have over cooked it on the bike, rest and then build back up. You may find riding more easy rides will help (counter intuitive to a sufferlandrian), but it works!!


With you saying you’re going faster, is that for the same power as previously or lower power? Have you changed position on the bike to be more aero but sacrificing some power? Generally there is a trade off between aero position and power but if you’re going faster you’re winning that one!


How do you manage the workouts on the lower numbers, do you still have the feeling you’re putting in the same efforts?

@TTDragon has a good point though - you can gain a lot by being a bit more aero.

It can also be a fuelling thing, that you’re getting better at fuelling your system.

Or you’ve improved your “time to exhaustion”: that even with a slightly lower FTP, but with the capacity to hold it for longer, your average speed is higher.

How about your swimming sections, is there a chance that you’ve improved there so that you’re less exhausted when you start the ride?

Slightly lower power, last year with an FTP of 215 I averaged 242W for the 20K, but rode 1:30 faster than the year before with an FTP of 235, same bike and equipment, but I can see what you guys are refering to, my swim was a little better and I think even if my bike position hasn’t change, I probably became better at stay “tucked in” for longer periods.

The test thing it’s really what I can get my head around but I guess I would have to deal with it. I still think that I missing something, I don’t seem to get an improvement related to the ammount of time and effort I am putting in, maybe I am just meant to suck on the bike, which is too bad because I am not that great of a swimmer/runner :rofl:

Thanks everyone for the input.

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the last time i tested i did a half monty which is easier to do, then the 4dp test the next day or a day in between. I had slightly better numbers on the full frontal. Maybe something to see, it was good to have an idea of my fitness before doing the full frontal!

@DANI_TRI_TO_WIN - can I get a snap shot into what generally your weekly training looks like? Another question I have is, when you test, are you giving yourself a bit of a taper, or are you going into the test with some training fatigue? Last question, for now, how has life been as of recently, especially during the week leading into a test? Life stress can really take its toll and should be considered when analyzing performance.

I am doing the sprint triathlon program 8-10 hr/week, that includes swim, bike, run, strentgh and yoga, the ramp test it was prescribed at the end of a rest week. Funny enough, the swim/bike/run workouts felt pretty easy during rest week but i didn’t feel rested, maybe the accumulated fatigue was too much?

Stress? I used triathlon as therapy. I work 50 hr/week plus 1 hour commute each way and i also own a small construction business that i manage on the weekends, i usually get 8-10 hours worth of workouts a week and 6 hours of sleep a day. Rest is usually my weakness and something i really have to work on. But that has been like this for a few years, as BonJovi said: I’ll sleep when I’m dead😉

I feel like i perform better in races than expected, yet my number are weak on test, maybe the tapering towards the race?

Again, i don’t want to sound like im whinning but I don’t feel like my power numbers reflect my training, i think I am dojng something wrong.


@DANI_TRI_TO_WIN I noticed nobody as mentioned this, have you noticed any changes in your cadence? If your still spinning the cranks at the same rate then yeah that’s a definite loss of power and I’m at a loss too, however, if you have reduced power but your cadence has gone up than you have just exchanged grinding for spinning which effectually means you have transformed how you get the energy out of your body by lessening the stress on the muscles and placing more of it on your cardio-pulmonary system. I bring this up because you mentioned about getting faster during races and don’t understand how because your test numbers are going the wrong direction. This the only thing I can think of that would balance that out.


These numbers tell me that you tested significantly low.
You didn’t give a time, but i’ll assume 20k @ 242W is approximately 30 mins.
242W is 113% of your tested FTP of 215W = not really possible. 105% is probably around the upper limit for 30 mins which would translate to an FTP of ~229W

There can be any number of reasons for testing low.
You said in a later post that you didn’t feel well rested after a recovery week.
Add in poor sleep, maybe bad fuelling, bad pacing, overheating etc and its easy to get a result that isn’t reflective of your best.

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The good thing is you are now quicker than you were five years ago.

That test looks like an anomaly to me and is simply a point in time number that bears no relation to the power you’re putting out on the road as that large number for 20 kilometers testifies to.

I assume the same PM was used in both scenarios? (Ie the crank based PM)?

Even if it wasn’t I wouldn’t go down the road of being ‘rubbish’ at testing.
If your real world speed is quicker, you’re posting top 5 results, then you’re a cracking strong athlete and looks like you’re doing the right stuff.

When it doesn’t interfere with your training sometime, set yourself up well for a full frontal and do it again (I know I like to ‘achieve’ numbers in that test myself). But only do it knowing the trainer is calibrated the right way or you’re using the same PM somehow, you’re rested as if for an event and then see what happens. But it doesn’t really matter if the actual results outdoors are there


@DANI_TRI_TO_WIN That may work for a hard core rocker but not an athlete. We get our performance enhancing adaptations during our rest and recovery.


Power is power, the cadence isn’t important in that equation. 300 W at 90 rpm is the same as 300 W at 60 RPM. It’s


@Sorley77 Here is a site you might want to read up on.


I think what he means is that 300w @ 60 Cadence, is the same 300w @90 Cadence, because (from the article you linked)

P = F * V (more commondly put at Power = Torque * Cadence), so

From the article you linked
“Therefore, there are three ways to produce more power: 1. we can apply more force on the pedals, 2. we can increase our cadence or 3. we can do both things at the same time, as when we sprint!”

So you can produce 300w @ 60 cadence and 300w @ 90 cadence, because P = F * V , so power is power, and how it is produced is not soley reliant on cadence


Hey mate, it does sound like you have a pretty full schedule, which can leave you feeling tired, even after a recovery week. Another factor to consider is heat, how hot is it in the room you tested vs air temp outdoors when racing. Another thing to consider is time of day when testing vs racing. Racing is typically the first thing you do that day, and you’ve blocked off time to prepare for it. If you are testing after a long day at work, chances are you are not going to be performing at your best. Mindset and motivation can be another factor, how motivated were you, and what was your state of mind, positive, negative, absent? As you maybe getting the feel for here, there are a whole host of reasons, and we may never pin down the exact one. If the problem persists, I might recommend working one on one with a Wahoo Coach, even by starting out with a chat with a coach.


@PedalMonkey This is what was written…

“Power is power, the cadence isn’t important in that equation. 300 W at 90 rpm is the same as 300 W at 60 RPM. It’s”

what I would like to focus on is that Sorley77 says the cadence isn’t important and I beg a differ on this, mathematically and physiologically. You have repeated the case for one of these points and used the article I cited from as evidence to bolster that point. I have to say I completely agree with you to a point.

The point you are missing is the physiological cost in this which is my second point that I originally made about it, if DANI_TRI_TO_WIN has indeed changed their cadence than this will affect muscle activation and energy consumption.

so to say that cadence is not important, would be like leaving out one of the variables in the equation from the article I cited; therefore 300W@90rpm = 300W@60rpm is false.

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Correct. Power actually = Torque x Cadence
To achieve the same power, if cadence goes down, torque goes up…aka G.O.A.T

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like I said

But just to be clear 300w is 300w, how you produce it (F * V) may differ (like I said) , just don’t presume that a change in cadence will cause a negative change in energy usage, as like the article says

“During the last decades many studies on cadence were done but it has not been demonstrated that there is a certain optimal cadence for cycling and triathlon.”


And you have absolutely made the case for why I brought up cadence to DANI_TRI_TO_WIN in the first place about their decrease in FTP.