20 Min Power-Based Field Test

Sorry I am a duck out of water when it comes to all of this. Up to this point I just ride and then ride some more. This is the first time I have ever started a training plan and I need some help. To get started in using my training plan I need to to a 20 min field test and everything I have see talks about a power meter. So do I need a power meter to do this test? Secondly I see posts about doing so sort of 2x10 for a total of 25min to get an understanding of the wattage you might try to shoot for? When the day comes to do the test do you have any recommendations on how to warm up to be able to perform at my best? Then when this is all said and done what do I do with this information Im assuming I am going to put this into Training Peaks and my training will adj? While I am trying to get all this figured out do I start with the training program I purchased?


Hey Russ,

All our training plans are designed around efforts done at a particular zone. These zones are set up based on your threshold. You can either use power or heart rate, though we do recommend power.

Yes for athletes we coach we may give them a 2 x 10 minute full gas workout the week before a field test to help them determine a pace they can hold for the full 20 minutes. But it sounds like you have experience riding so you should have a good idea of the type of effort you can hold for 20 minutes. Being new to power just don’t even look at it and ride a 20 minute effort as hard as you can. Just remember the first 5 minutes may feel ‘comfortable’ while the last 5 will be anything but comfortable. So let the effort come up to you and don’t sprint from the start.

When the day comes to test in the workout builder in TrainingPeaks is a warm up protocol to do before the effort. It includes ramping up from a mild effort towards the effort you will do for the test and then 2 x 30 second full gas efforts.

Here is some great information on the field test:

When you are done with the effort you will go back and analyze the data. You will look for you peak 20 minute power and multiple it by 95% to get your threshold power. Then you put that threshold power into TrainingPeaks. I actually made short video of how to do this.

Once you do that all your workouts will have specific power targets to hold for your workouts. Also again you can use heart rate for any of the workouts and just use your heart rate threshold from the 20 minute test.

You should complete your field test first before completing the rest of the plan. This way you know the effort to hold for your training. It is the first workout in every plan to be completed on Tuesday.

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