I’ll try and make this short and sweet as I look at some analysis at my two recent FTP Tests.
3 weeks ago I set a PB in my FTP test on Thursday of Rest and Test week. I pushed 348 watts into a bit of a head wind and had a great paced effort with 10 min increments of 347, 345, 351. Although I had to dig on the final 3rd, I felt I could have left a little bit on the table. My strava form was negative but fitness was at an all time high.
Today I am again in rest and test week with higher fitness and improved cycling form. (I adjusted our season to 3 week build cycles versus the 4 week cycles we typically have done because 5 days ago we competed in the Alice Springs Marathon). I haven’t run since but have swam and biked. I’ve had 2 quality 4.2km swims thanks to our swim coach Robbo and I had a good 2 hour progression step bike two days ago. My recovery from the marathon has been good. My body adjusted with the stress to the cardiovascular system diminishing as well as back-to-normal body weight. The legs were of course sore and today still felt slightly heavy. But, I rode the 55minutes to work at a full recovery effort.
During the day I had cereal with almond milk, cliff bar, sis bar, 2 mandarins, apple, PB, salad, brown rice pilaf from my favorite cook book Simple, Tasty, Good which is a plant-based cookbook based off of The China Study. 2 teas and then a caffeine supplement and package of shot bloks. 5min w/u and then stop/start right into the effort.
The pace was faster and the temperature warmer. In Hindsight I could have ditched the thermal. The plan was to go out a bit faster, and pick it up over the last 3rd for a U shape power profile. Of course, the first 5 minutes felt great and I was holding 364 watts and I was quickly past the LTHR of 152-154 vs a screwed up HR last time. By the 10minutes I was down to 357 watts at 42kph.
Soon the turn on the N. Stuart Highway and HR backed down to 150-152 but power was falling. 151 HR on power of 338 and VI picking up was highlighting a bit of decoupling. Sweat was pouring out of me now and at minute 24 I lost it and then was just in survival mode with the last 10 falling to 316 on HR of 148.
Although this FTP test was 337 compared with 348 from 3 weeks ago, putting this effort together 5 days after a 3:19 marathon isn’t that bad. I have good awareness of my body and how HR perceives effort. For example, I know my FTP is around 355-360 based off of my HR during the first 10minutes. I should have gone out around 355 vs the 365 and that would have netted a better performance. It’s only days like this that allow you to dig deep and build that mental toughness; you don’t gain it just by reading quotes. i.e. you have to put in the work.
Lastly, I have gone from a 53-39 to a 55-42. I don’t know how much of impact it had today without a big tail wind, but this was one of the fastest rides I’ve ever done averaging 26mph or 42kph for the 30min effort into head wind/cross wind.
I hope you have been able to gain something from this.