2/10/13

FTP.........or.......PFFFFFFTTT!

Wow!

That's about all I can say after this afternoon's scheduled FTP all out 20 minutes time trial test to set power levels for the next 6 weeks of training.

Due to weather conditions this weekend, I flip-flopped Saturday and Sunday's workouts so I could ride outside in the sunshine on Saturday.  I had a nice ride and was out there about 2 1/2 hours.  I got home aournd 5 pm, showered and as the evening went along I started to feel aches and pains in my joints, muscles and a nasty headache.  I pretty much tossed and turned throughout the night, but did manage to sleep for 10 hours.  I woke up with the same headache, aches and pains.  I was even dizzy.  I pounded water all morning and day trying to flush whatever it is out of me, but to no avail.  I'm fighting something, but it hasn't broken out yet to show me exactly what it is - cold, flu, etc...?

In spite of that cruddy feeling today, I did 55 minutes of warm-up on the upright Life Cycle C7i trainer (pictured on the left) in the basement to get ready for the 20 minute FTP test.  Keep in mind, the computer on the LeMond recumbent trainer is the only one that reports the average HR, average Watts, average cadence, etc... between the two machines we have in the basement.  Therefore, I decided to use the LeMond (pictured on the right) even though my cycling muscles are not really adpated for it.   I put clipless pedals on it and did some more warm-up on it to get acclimated to it for the test.

P1010001

Everything I read said to use the first 2 mintues to ramp things up, then by the end of the first 5 minutes to be in the pace I could hold for the duration.  Everyone said not to go out too hard at the beginning and I'm sure that with practice of doing something like a 20 minute TT - I would get the hang of it, but ouch!!!

I was hanging in there at 267-272 Watts until the timer said I was 11:47 into my twenty minutes and it was like the rug was suddenly pulled out from underneath me.   I had to back off a bit.  And then a bit more.  I tried increasing the cadence and using an easier gear.  Then I switched to a tougher gear, but a bit lower cadence.  Back and forth I played the game.  And I watched the Watts dip to 254, flip to 244, and flop all around - as in way too low - before I mentally forced myself to tough it out and finish the test while attempting to get things back up and flying.  I was fighting it for sure.  Maybe I had gone out too hard in the first 2 minutes and was paying the price.  No doubt an all out 20 minute TT is a tough one.  I had also read that in the last 3 minutes you want to ramp it up and give whatever you have left.  So when the clock struck 17:00 - I amped it up and was pushing 302-305 Watts.  I was able to push through the pain until the clock hit 20:00.  Whew!!!! 

Mistakes made may include not being rested enough for this (should have done it yesterday); my body is fighting something which at this point - which I don't know what - most likely was a contributing factor; perhaps went out a bit too hard from the get go and had to back off a bit midway through the TT; and lastly - using the LeMond trainer may not be the most accurate judge since a seated recumbent pedal stroke is not 100% the same as one used sitting up in a normal cycling position.  But I had to go with the equipment I have that will report the data I need.  The upright C7i computer doesn't do what I need which I still kick myself about because the C9i was only a bit more when I bought it, but way back then had no idea I would ever need the extra computer features.  I was pushing a cadence that I've never really been comfortable pushing and ended up with an average of 93 rpm.  I'm pretty sure I do spend a lot of time in the low 80's and even in the 70's during a mountain bike race.

I guess the good news is that my average power for the 20 minutes was 36 Watts higher than the last time I eeked one of these stinking efforts out.  The final 3 minutes where I was pushing 302-305 using Friel's formula of my weight - (my age - 35 X .05) says that to be competitive I need to have an FTP of 302.4.  Fat chance on that!!!  Either way - via raising my FTP and or losing more weight - says that there is still plenty of room for improvement to improve my competitive chances.  I'll also have to get more experienced at laying down a 20 minute TT test as it is a discipline in and of itself that needs a physical and mental routine to get the most accurate reading.

I cooled down after the effort to end the week at 9:50 of training (that number includes everything - weights, cycling, stretching, foam roller, core work).   I turned off the floor fans and headed upstairs for a shower.  Then Tara and I ran out the door to catch the 4:10 showing of Silver Linings Playbook.  What a great movie!!! 

Watching the Grammy's now winding down on a Sunday evening getting ready for the work week.  And I feel myself starting to sweat out a fever as I am really perspiring now.... 

PFFFFFFFFFFTTT!

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