Final Line in the Sand for 2013…

Yep, it’s that time again, to drag out the indoor trainer, wire up the bike with the powermeter to it, and commit myself to 20 minutes of bloody sheer agony.

We’re talking FTP tests folks.   A proper one now, with a proper accurate strain gauge based power meter.

Ride’s straightforward – a simple warmup, 5 minutes easy spinning followed by 3 x 110 cadence for a minute, with a minutes 80 cadence between ’em, and a 3 minute “psyche yourself up” break.  Then Nail it for 21 minutes, as hard as you can go…  As an indication, if my HR gets above 170 i’m in serious danger of blacking out – so, I pretty much dialed the pain gauge up until HR hit between 160 and 165 and kept it there for just over 20 minutes, including actually “sprinting for the line” at the end of the session.  Then “blew up”…

All this is to establish the highest average power I could develop for a period of 20 minutes.   According to the plot from Garmin Connect, this came out at 276 Watts. FTP is calculated as being 95% of your Max20minPower – so a FTP of 262.2 – we’ll ignore the 0.2 though.

FTP December 2013

This then has a “knock on effect” through all my training etc. until the next test (probably in february, before the serious outdoor riding season gets into it’s swing).   The Effect is basically to change all the Training Zones a little…

Power Zones December 2013

For once, I’m actually going to link to Garmin Connect rather than Strava for this Ride – primarily because GC Doesn’t bollock about with the TSS and IF data like Strava does.   And frankly, as it’s a trainer ride, there’s no segments or other crap to worry about.

And that’s it for me today – I’m now going to collapse in a chair for the evening, and try and drink enough water that I get the metalic taste of blood at the back of my mouth and throat to disperse a little.

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Testing, Testing 3,2,1, Vai !!

Yep – decided to see if all this base mileage guff I’ve done over the last 2 years or so since I decided to lose a bit of weight and ride my bike more had made any improvement.

Part of me wanted to pitch up at the local club 10 and pay on the line for one night. The far more sensible part thought “Don’t be so bloody stupid, they’re fit, skinny, on dedicated TT ironmongery, dressed in spray-on lycra and wearing Tadpole helmets. They’re also half way through the season and probably back to peak again after the nationals in June…”

So I took the far more sensible approach of just selecting a relatively clear, uninterupted section of quiet road and did an Impromptu 10.  It’s a speed test, NOT a Time-Trial – it’s not out and back, its a point-to-point, but it had a pretty consistent crosswind as opposed to head or tail. I wasn’t pacing, it was ridden solo, though I’ll admit to chasing down a couple of other riders in the distance as a means of encouraging myself.

It’s nothing special, and certainly not fast enough to be considering going to the club-10 any time soon, but for a fat old git, who last did a 10mile TT upwards of 25 years ago, I was fairly pleased with it…

I even managed to do a (marginally) positive split… (13:12 first 5 miles 13:11 second) … would have been faster on the end sector, but I’d misjudged my starting point, and the last 3/4 mile ended up being on a sector known as the “east cowick cobbles” –  it’s not ACTUALLY Cobbles, it’s just tarmac with 4″ deep holes every 10″ or so – feels like your riding a pneumatic hammer rather than a bike. I actually had to ease up a little as my vision was too blurred – hitting these at full sprint was just ludicrous!

Anyway… Just thought I’d share.

Oh – yeah – the linky to the ride…  – silly me!

And the ride to the start, and back home after, at suitably slower pace…