This photo came across my FB feed on Crystal Kovac's timeline. This lady inspires me on a daily basis and right now I am trying to bridge the gap and catch her wheel.
Today I did a 20 minute power test to establish my FTP (functional threshold power). This number represents the mean maximal power I can sustain over an hour. Using LWCoaching's power calculator, my FTP is 93% of my average power over that 20 minutes.
For my non cycling friends, think of this test as going ALL OUT HARD and feeling like you are either going to puke or die and then looking down at your time, realizing you still have 5 freakin' minutes left!
The temperature was not ideal (35 degrees) but at least the winds were calm. After a 30 minute warm up, I pegged it for 20. I knew that today's numbers were not going to be ideal, so I placed a piece of tape over the power number and then just paced it off perceived exertion. While I felt my performance was solid, as in I left it all out there, my watts were down, compared to my last test (May 2018).
Trying to find out a racer's FTP number is like asking a woman her weight. I am going full disclosure because I am chronicling my journey in what is soon to be my 51st year of life. By telling the world, err ... about 50 people, it will help me to stay accountable and focused on the task at hand. It is just a number, like my age and weight.
One cannot simply judge a cyclist on their FTP. Although the power to weight ratio (FTP/ weight in kg) is one of the best single predictors of performance, there are many more factors that determine an outcome of a race. Health on race day, technical skills, and mental fortitude to name just a few. FTP reflects your bike fitness and thus serves as a good marker of how your training is going. With challenging and focused training, my aerobic fitness should measurably increase every few weeks. Stacking LWCoaching 12 week training plans, I should hit my peak on September 21.
|This chart uses 95% of the best 20 minute effort|
Today my FTP was 176 watts. With a weight of 112 pounds, my power to weight ratio is 3.46. Now, while not as high as I have been in the recent past, it is still respectable. And with 7 months to prepare for the Marji Gesick 100, my goal is to get as close to 4 watts/kg as possible. Having that number will give me the confidence to see that sub-12 hours is possible.
So the way I see it is that the only direction is up. I officially go on Lynda's plan on Monday. Having used her as a coach for the past 9 years, I trust in her plans and know that she will get me physically ready for the MG100. It will be up to me to