I just wanted to give a shout out to everyone on the FasCat Team for not only the excellent training plans but the additional info you provide via your blog, forum and podcasts. It helped me learn so much more about my training and how to execute a plan in the real world. All of these have significantly helped me over the past year and for that I am very grateful. I can’t say I FTFP the whole time as I had a few curve balls along the way but for the most part I did well.
For a little background I have been a cyclist for about 30 years (give or take a few years here and there off the bike to spend more time with my kids) and I just turned 54 years old. I have been doing structure training in some fashion for the last 6 years but never really could see the marked improvement I was looking for.
On Saturday I did my first ever 20 minute outdoor FTP test (all of my other tests have been Ramp Tests or the 2x8 minute test). I also lost my HR connection right before the test which really sucked as I really wanted to see the data to help set my zones, but maybe it was best I couldn’t see it. We do not have a 20 minute low grade climb where I live or a 20 minute stretch of uninterrupted road so I did have a quick turn at the 12 minute mark. I have at least learned over the years to never go out too hard but in this case I went out too easy.
The first 12 minutes I average 320 watts and the last 8 minutes I average 338 watts. After factoring in the quick U-turn at the 12 minute mark my average was 323 which would set my FTP at 307. I should be happy with this but at the end of the test I just had that empty feeling I should and could have went harder. Within a few minutes I met up with my riding buddies and we did almost a 4 hour ride where I had my best ride of the year and set a 8 second power peak on the sprint at the end.
I always ask myself this question at the end of my tests. If a bear was chasing me would I have gone faster? My answer this time was with out a doubt “Yes”. There is zero doubt in my mind that my average for the test should have been 330 but lesson learned. The plan was awesome and the information along the way was excellent. There are just times you need to trust the training and let it rip!
I am looking forward to taking a couple of weeks away from structure to just ride my bike, but I am really looking forward to putting in the work over the off-season to see how much I can improve by this time next year.
Again, big thanks to the FasCat Team! #FTFP