Bike Functional Threshold Power (FTP) test result: 270 Watts

Well, the steady improvement continues as my FTP test on the bike today indicates a new 270 Watt FTP Personal Record (PR)


…okay…enough of that…another move upward from the last 2:

Beyond the increase…cool!…today’s test on the bike was significant, and different in 3 ways, so not really an exact comparison, and not as precise…but to the good actually:

  1. I wasn’t as rested for this one as the last 2 with a BIG Training Day 3 days ago on Saturday
  2. My first test ‘outdoors’ on the hilly Shearer’s route that I use in training
  3. and today virtually all in the ‘aero’ position, only sitting up where I normally would for a position change on the steepest uphills when speed drops below about 13 MPH…the indoors tests were primarily sitting up which is/can-be a more powerful position

By the raw power numbers, it doesn’t get any better for a consistent test effort:

  • first half southbound: 270 Watts (146HR avg, 152HR max)
  • second half northbound: 271 Watts (149HR avg, 152HR max)

However there’s a few hidden things that tell me that my rested FTP, on the same outdoor course is probably closer to 275 Watts…although I’ll still call it 270W for training. (Endurance Nation Test protocol: 267 Watts normalized power for 42 minutes: 20 min on/2 min easy/20 min on)

I find that after a big workout, that on the 2nd day after the workout my muscles are the stiffest, and then improve from there…usually able to do a significant workout on the 3rd day, and fully recovered 4-5 days…of course, if I only trained fully recovered, I’d only train a couple of days a week and that wouldn’t do it…so it’s always some degree of residual tiredness

….and therefore if you think about it testing while a bit tired is more exact than rested, since you’re training tired…although races should be based on a more rested test, since you’ll be rested for the race…I inserted this at the end as I was wrapping up this post…more as a note to myself and perhaps to our other overly-deep-thinking-and/or-over-analysing readers 🙂

This week I have a couple of travel days out of the office tomorrow and Thursday, so the bike test didn’t fit there, so I decided to pull the trigger today…a day or 2 earlier than for a peak result…but since my last tests were indoors I was eager to set my ‘outdoor’ number since races are ‘outdoors’ and my race power goals need to be based on ‘outdoor’ results 🙂

During the warmup I could tell that I didn’t feel like I was on my ‘A’ game…not bad though…sort of ‘A-‘, so decided that I’d just flog it on the test…and thought of Yoda: Do or do not.  There is no try. and Bruce Lee If it kills you it kills you …and hit it as hard as I could on the day, determined to keep it at 270 Watts+…my FTP estimate based on my ride on the Big Training Day a few days ago.

In looking at the results, one thing that jumps out…and did during the test…is that my maximum Heart Rate (HR) never got past 152HR…no matter how hard I was hitting it…compare to 158HR on April 4, and 156HR on January 3…a lower than normal-for-the-effort-heart-rate has been a consistent indicator to me of tired body parts

…but push I did…by the end having to watch that I wasn’t veering out into traffic with the effort

…and that was the second part…I did only a fair job in power management today, between constantly shifting gears, up hill and down…and against and then with a wind at 15MPH gusting to 30MPH…and actually pretty amazed at how even the 2 splits ended up, since the power was _all_ over the place during the ride…but I wanted to establish my FTP outdoors, and Shearer’s road is the least hilly little stretch of road without getting in the car and driving for an hour…and I will get smoother as I get back into actually riding a bike again…and steering and shifting and stuff…rather than just running out smooth hours on the trainer.

So there it is…270 Watts FTP… maybe even a shade higher on a rested day and better power management…but I’ll take it…and use my new ‘number’ going forward.

sooo what does this mean…well, it means that my training workouts, that are laid out as a percentage of FTP, now move up another notch in Intensity…when I see a workout as 80-85% of FTP (270W), that now means that I’ll now ride at 216-230 Watts…last week at 263W FTP, that same workout would have been 210-224 Watts…in January with a 249W FTP, 199-212 Watts…that looks like a rather nice improvement when I see it that way 🙂

…there is of course an end to how much one can squeeze out of a Masters body

…nice to know that I’m not there…yet 🙂

…so disclaimers aside as noted in this post already, I charted my 3 test results and then ran a regression analysis (trendline) to see how it looked so far this year

…the good news is that it’s still a straight line…no curl off to the right, showing a slowdown of a ‘linear’ improvement…if anything a ‘little’ uptick over the last 4 weeks, but I’ll apply disclaimers and conservatively call it a straight line

alright…I’m a dreamer…so I ran the regression analysis (trendline) forward to Ironman Florida on November 3…IF and that’s a BIG IF…the trend remains the same, I’d be at a 300 FTP by Ironman Florida…inconceivable of course

…so that being said, not very likely…but mathematically ‘possible’…makes me smile thinking about it…and that’s a good thing…makes me feel that my 285W FTP goal to bike at 20 MPH that I set on December 6, 2010…’may’ just be doable

…for without a dream, what’s there to live for at all 🙂

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