Sunday, July 28, 2013

Functional Threshold Power Test #2

Today was the end of a 'Rest / Test' week in the Build phase of my training season.

I decided that I'd do another Functional Threshold Test on the bike since the last one I did was back in mid-April.

Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is the power that you could hold for a 40km time trial.

As I headed out at 6am it started to rain. I *almost* turned back, but I talked myself out of bailing. After all, there isn't anything technical about the course I was going to ride, so even at a decent clip, it was still safe to be out there. Also regarding bike handling - I do have *some* skills. I've also ridden enough times in the rain to just put it aside.

Got to the start location at about 40 minutes - good warm up with some wind-ups where I was hitting some good numbers (watts) that told me it was a good day to test. Pretty much recovered from the hard part of the build that ended 4 days ago (interestingly, I was still feeling it on my Friday ride, so I'm dialing in the recovery periods I think pretty well).

After a quick swig out of my bottle I hit the lap button and rolled off.

The FTP test protocol goes like this:

  • Warm-Up: 20-40 mins
  • 10min at what you think your FTP will be (key is not to be too low (sandbagging) or too high)
  • Over the next 20min, try to slightly increase and zero in and hold it. Goal is to try and slightly negative split the 30 minute time trial.
  • FTP is basically the average of the last 20 mins (above) provided that you didn't under-guess the first 10 mins.

Yes, the test is not truly 40km, but the rationale (Coggan, Friel, et al) goes something like this: what you can hold for 30min is basically 5% more than what you could hold for twice that time. But in a race, you can push about 5% harder due to the adrenaline / excitement of racing. Most people can't push as hard solo (I'm one of them). So it's a wash.

FTP was 257 Watts - which is about a 15 W gain from my April test. I was pretty happy with that. My guess going into the test based on past weeks is that I was around 255 W.

btw: that put's me at 3.4 W/kg

Chris Froome (who just won the Tour de France) is at 5.8 W / kg - that's humbling.

Of course now that means I need to bump up all my training zones - but actually, I've been riding at the upper end of them for a couple weeks now, so no biggie.

After the TT I shut it down and rode Z2 for the rest of the 2 1/2 hours. Mostly in the light rain.

Ride Stats:

  • 61 degrees F / light rain
  • 43 miles / 2,130 ft climbing
  • Avg power: 153W
  • Normalized Power: 190 W

Pretty jazzed to start this week's training cycle!

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