Well if you’re looking to improve FTP, find motivation. For me, that came in the form of a reply to a hiring manager for a position in the 2nd biggest Triathlon Mecca in the world, TUCSON! That’s right today I was notified that I’ll be receiving an offer for a position in Tucson, Arizona, home to some of the greatest triathletes around like Ben Hoffman, Heather Jackson, and TJ Tollakson (founder of the Dimond bicycle company). So with that motivation and the move coming soon at the end of July, motivation was running high.
Last Saturday was the Tavis Ultra. After the 3hr10min race, I ran 40min of cool down. Then, I was on the trainer for 4hrs5min to give me a TSS on the bike on the day of 300TSS which is the max you would want to hold for an Ironman. Later, I went and lifted for 1 hour. It was a 9 hour training day with total stress of 475TSS or about 2/3rds of an Ironman.
Obviously the next day I was shattered so took the day completely off. Tuesday was an 80minute, 4KM swim set with a 1km swim in 15:10 (50m/wetsuit), only 1 second off from the prior week. After, I did a 38min run cut short because I was still extremely fatigued. Wednesday at lunch I ran on the treadmill easy for 1 hour at 8:34/mile and hit my lowest weight of the season 185.4lbs/9.4% body fat (go figure). When I came home I ran for another hour with some good Zone 2 AE Intensity at 7:53/mile that would in all honesty be considered Ironman Race Pace. The plan was to do at least 1-2hours more of training per day but since Sunday was so big, I listened to my body and cut these sessions short.
Thursday (today) was supposed to be a 4.1km swim and a 75minute run but as I sat on the bus coming home from work, looking out the window, and thinking of Tucson I noticed the wind in the desert bush. Then, I realized my legs felt good and thought that instead of doing the indoor FTP test I had planned for, I’d push the swim to Friday and have a go outside.
At home I talked to Fi, drank my ARO caffeine, ate some vegan cake, anzac biscuits, and 3 shot bloks. My disc was still on from the race and I headed out. First I biked past TBR and over to the casino. I took the 1 mile drag around 350 watts to open up the legs. Then down Gap Rd through TBR and headed towards the airport and Santa Theresa. I went out around 350 watts and thought it might be too high considering my last 20min test inside was 3 weeks ago and I held 317 (301FTP @ 95%). But I just went with it and gave myself motivation. I found myself to be nearly as motivated as my all-time FTP PB’s of 345 (Oct’15) and 348 (Aug’16) and both 30min tests at 100%.
5minute increments were: 349, 346, 351, 357 for a new FTP of 333 @ 95%. This is an improvement of 11% in the last 3 weeks and nearly puts me back to the best levels of fitness I have previously achieved. After a 10min break, I held threshold at 337watts for 10:04 and 29.8MPH (wind assisted) taking 3s off my PB but still falling short of Ryan Coppola’s KOM.
As a self-coached athlete, I had the right balance this week of recovery, plant-based nutrition, and motivation. I’m still not in the best shape of my life but that is why an Ironman training plan is at least 12 weeks long! I’m looking forward to racing Cairns in just over 6 weeks in the best shape of my life. Stay tuned, it’s going to be a BIG weekend.