Thursday, May 30, 2013

FTP testing run amok

FTP test graph
Click too see bigger, because you care.
On Thursday I tried using the The Time Crunched Cyclist by Chris Carmichael method of testing Functional Threshold Power. It's basically two eight-minute attempts at full tilt. You take the average heart rate and power from your best run and that's it. He claims that it close enough for rock and roll.

I found a flat section of road in Brentwood and, even though you're supposed to do it on a windless day and it was blowing like mad, I gave it a shot.I averaged 197 watts at 164 beats per minute, so in theory that's my FTP that I use to set training efforts.
Edit: Or maybe it's five percent  lower that the five percent lower a twenty minute test gives. But Carmichael says the difference is built into his workouts, so even if it's not my real FTP it's a working number for the Time Crunched Cyclist workouts. Clear now?

But of course there are those who differ. Some claim that you really need a 20 minute effort, and furthermore that doing it on a grade is not only just fine, but the real way to make it work.

With that in mind I packed my bike up and headed for Mt. Diablo. Unfortunately half way there I realized I forgot my Garmin. Oh well. I was going to blow the whole thing off, but my daughter who I met in Walnut Creek pointed out I had a Strava app on my phone to track the ride, and I should go do it anyway. So, with no heart rate or power capturing I went for a ride.

I was feeling pretty good and pushed just a bit. Maybe the cat 6 racer in me came out because even though several riders blew past me I was determined to not let a guy who started just after me catch me. 

I was surprised to see a bucket full of PRs on Strava when I uploaded my ride. Now I really I wish I'd have had my Garmin to see what my power and heart rate were.

Look! Strava PRs!

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