FF Results --> Zone 2 (and FTP?) "wrong"?

Hi Wahoo X Forum. Just joined SYSTM and did the FF and have a question that I did not find a good answer to.

Overall I think the FF results do reflect where I feel I am:
Type: Pursuiter
NM 878W
AC 333W
MAP 246W
FTP 174W

(Strength: VO2, Weakness: FTP)

I would say for the first time doing this test, everything was ok. 5min effort was tough. I was very fatigued for the 20min FTP part, but I do believe I was at Threshold for the 20 mins and Heart rate stayed around Threshold for most of that part, creeping up in the end a bit. If I would try to actually ride 60 mins - 175W FTP could be not too far off. But: My FTP based on Ramp Test is 220W; my Garmin projects a FTP of 230W. I do see, why my type as Pursuiter leading to those differences. I don’t mind having a “realistic” FTP based on the FF - but it seems I run into a substantial problem with the calculated Zones.

Based on a FTP of 175W, my Zones (especially Zone 2) just are not right. I am not able to leave Zone 1 Heart Rate at 70% of 175, the ride feels like a recovery ride at best; Heart Rate below 100. If I use a FTP of 220W (like the Ramp Test suggests), my Zone 2 is spot on; Heart Rate in Zone 2, no drift, Speaking test and RPE - all tells me that I am in Zone 2.

Is it possible, that if you are a Pursuiter - that the standard Zone calculations do not work?

So what should I do? Manually crank FTP back up to 220ish, so my Zones make sense - or leave it at 175W - and do all my trainings far below the Heart Rate Zones? Should I base my Zones on my weak ability to sustain efforts - or my ability that shows up in Ramp Test or HM?



Hope all makes sense, English is not my first language.

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First off, welcome to Sufferlandria and well done on completing the FF, those are some awesome numbers.

What workouts have you done since the FF and how did they feel?

Were any of the results flagged in, I’ve never seen anyone post such a big difference between their FTP and MAP, your MAP is 141% of your FTP, which could suggest that your FTP is higher or with bit of training could be a lot higher.

I’m not sure from your post what HR zones you are using? Are you talking about the ones from you Athlete Profile in the SYSTM app? it would help if you could post them.

Thanks for your reply. I have done a bunch of workouts on Zwift (Zone 2, Tempo, Threshold) - based on my first ramp test there and a FTP of 215 - and always felt the Zones do feel right and also map my Heart Rate Zones very well.

I did now two Base rides on SYSTM after the FF - and at 65-70% of my SYSTM FTP of 174, I am not in Zone 2 for sure. I am very confident, that I know and feel my heart rate zones pretty well (HR Max 178, Threshold HR 156), at HR 95-105 I am just NOT in Zone 2.

HR Zones from the FF are literally the exact same that I got from my Garmin; indoors and outdoors. cTHR 156bpm. Zone 1: <109; Zone 2: 110-136; Zone 3: 137-148; Zone 4: 149-156; Zone 5: >156. (This was also very good to see in the 20min part of the FF, where my Heart Rate at Threshold was exactly 156 for most of the ride and then crept up to 163 the last 5 minutes).

I do think that with the test setup of the FF - the 20min test did result in FTP 174; and so the 141% MAP to FTP is in general correct I guess. But I do assume, that this is mainly driven by the fact, that if I am very fatigued, I lack the stamina for sustained efforts; while in a Ramp Test I get to FTPs of 230+ atm.

So the question is a bit: For Zones and Training Purposes, do I use a FTP of 220 (knowing that right now this is not really my 60min FTP?). Because otherwise my Power Zones are off and Zone 2 just does not make any sense. Yesterday I had to turn my fan off because I got cold on the bike indoors at HR of 95…

One thing I would say is don’t confuse your ftp and power zones with heart rate and heart rate zones. The two will never match up perfectly due to so many variables that can influence your heart rate.

It is also important to note that all the current trend and buzz about zone 2 training it is important to know which zone is zone 2. Meaning are you using a five zone model and are you focusing on spending that time in a heart rate zone, which means your power will vary; see note one :point_up:

Personally I would not worry too much about zones just yet. If you are starting out try some workouts and see how your body responds. Enjoy the process and once you understand your outputs then you can fine tune the metrics.

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Thanks Adam - noted. I am aware of possible issues with HR (and I want to train with Power Zones), but know from experience, that as long as conditions are the same, my heart rate in Power Zone 2 or at Power Threshold lets say might be 3-4 strokes off an a day, but not 25. And I can also tell you for sure, that at HR of 95 I am not in Power Zone 2. Since the “prescription” for me as a Pursuiter (and beginner) is to build more Endurance base, I thought it would be helpful to have a bunch of my training volume in (Power) Zone 2.

I enrolled into the Base training plan. There are a bunch of base session in it. And it prescribes 60-70% FTP rides and the workout description says: “The intesity of this workout varies from 60% to 70% of FTP, with HR remaining entirely in Zone 2”. My HR Zone 2 is 110-136. In this ride I was at 95-105.

The test is designed to take this into account, normally you would take 90-95% of a 20minute best power effort as 1hr FTP, but by going into the 20m effort in FF in a fatigued stated the 20m result is approximately equal to 100% of the 1hr FTP.

When I was ill earlier in the year I lost a load of fitness and did not want to do a HM or FF to reestablish my power zones. I did a week of Z1 followed by a couple of weeks of Z2 only, I used HR as my guide as you suggested. To keep my HR in zone I used the adjust difficulty in the Systm app ( easy if you have a keyboard, with the up and down arrows) to reduce the % FTP I was working at, this then gave me an idea of what % i needed to reduce my FTP when I went back to doing harder interval workouts. I’d suggest you try something similar just increasing the % difficulty by a few % every couple of minutes until your HR is in the middle of Z2.

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One thing I will suggest is to do Half Monty. It is the same test as Zwift and should give you the same results, within a watt or two. Then do the FF week and see if your estimated FTP raises. It does appear that your FTP is a little low.


You sound in a similar place to Maxomoto. I’ve just did FF after 18 months away from it.

I’ve always been rubbish at sustained efforts for 20 minutes (I gave up racing time trials because of this). I suspect you’ll get higher results for FTP by doing the half Monty test, and your workouts will feel appropriately tough with Half Monty numbers (do they feel a bit easy now?)

You can get better at Full frontal, but it takes a while to get used to it (and not go too easy on the 5 min test).

In the meantime, go and destroy some cyclocross races or some local 1-2min Strava KOMs!

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Thanks Richard. Exactly, workouts feel (a lot) too easy (everything is down one Zone pretty much). Will follow your advice, thanks. And yes, 2 min KOMs is where I can shine.


Welcome to SYSTM and to Sufferlandria @Critmark . Great you decided on giving 4DP a try. I am sure you will get results out of it soon, if you follow one of the SYSTM training plans.
However, having the zones correctly is crucial, and test results are only reflecting what you are capable of on that single day. For me personally, it took at least four Full Frontal tests before I really nailed one throughout with no single one section I was not unhappy with. So keep in mind there’s always some uncertainty.
Based on what you wrote about FTP-based workout sections being too easy, I would suggest to re-test your abilities doing a Half Monty test in SYSTM. It’s pretty straight forward and will update your FTP, MAP, and LTHR numbers if necessary. At the same time it’s not as taxing as the Full Frontal test so you can always fit it in at the end of a rest week.

For the next time you plan on doing a Full Frontal test, I would suggest to do that by completing the “Half Monty + Full Frontal” prep plan on the app to get the most accurate results.


As above, validate by a Half Monty.
If your existing ramp test was on another platform, it may not be comparable.

The other question is, during FF as you finished the 20min segment did you feel completely destroyed with nothing left to give. Or could you have gone on?

If you felt like you had more left, then you didn’t go consistently hard enough, so your number will be weak.

Last point, assuming you rule out the above, many Systm plans start really easy and people often question then. This is also normal. Trust the plan and the science that went into them

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Thanks BeatsMe (and Holger). No I think I pretty much maxed out on the 20 min part. Overall I feel the FF was very close to the limit a.k.a. puking. Will follow your and Holgers advice, do a few more HM and work into the plans. Until then I will manually up FTP for the Zone 2 / Base rides feel/HR based until my FTP catches up a bit in the FF. Thanks - you guys have been great!


Feel free to do Angels and see whether you prefer FF or other FTP numbers. I love Angels, but my legs hate it :rofl::100::biking_man:


You could also do a few workouts with a focus on FTP in level mode, see how you fare. Like wretched, angels or team scream.


The only thing I might add is to do the the 1 week Fitness Test Prep called “Half Monty+Full Frontal” when you test again. This should help your readiness for those 2 tests and give you a better chance of accurate results.
If you take those tests without your body being reasonably ready for the challenge, results are likely to be less accurate.
And personally, I would probably set my FTP at the 215 you mentioned you had on Zwift, and let that be the value used for that 7-day training plan. It sounds closer to reality to me, based on what you’ve stated.


@Maxomoto I have to ask you, because it’s not clear to me. Did you remember to intake some carbs under the FF test. That test burns some serious carbs and can empty you out pretty badly. Just a thought.

Good question. I did not, only water + some electrolytes. Usually I do not take in carbs/food in efforts < 90 mins and only on longer rides outside. I think I was reasonably rested and fueled before. (I have no real understanding of how much that “store” is vs a effort or TSS, do you guys?)

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These all out intervals in that test burns mostly sugar! So if you are not pretty well trained and your engine fuel capacity is not not big enough… ouch it’s not going to be funny… sugar cold!

I think it could be lack of sugar or, without knowing your setup, maybe a heat problem.

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