April 28, 2009


I have been slammed lately… April is proving to be a BIG month for me and I have been playing catch up on my rest days. I am stoked to grow my weekly builds into a good month now and will have more details on that in the next post.

Today is a solid day of rest for me and I am starting to plan out my next attack for the month of May. I learned a ton this month by loosely following a training outline but sticking like glue to my goals for the weeks and month. The hardest and biggest change for me was to NOT race. It allowed me to gain some consistency that I have always been lacking and let me set baselines for each sport. . .something I have never done before and should pay big dividends for the rest of the year(s).

The baseline for the bike was all built around the new power tap. Two weekends ago (did I mention I have been busy) I got in my FTP(Function Threshold Power) test on a long weekend ride. I elected not to race the Julian Death March and instead on that same day I put in 92 miles and about 10,000 feet of climbing up and around Palomar. The ride probably ended up being bigger than the race but it was training so the focus was very different. Although it was not the ideal protocol for testing FTP it was more realistic for me. Ideally you would want to be rested and get in a good 20 minute warmup before smashing yourself for 20 minutes with all you have got and then just crawl home. I was going into the test with some fatigue from the week and started the 20 minute ALL OUT effort after one hour into a 7.5 hour ride. Was I ready for it… I don’t think anyone ever is!

Vu was right about a few things... You need a hefty dose of motivation and someone to push you throughout the test. Twenty minutes is A LONG TIME when you are pushing yourself as hard as you can go. . . I was riding with Glen, Keevin, Rick and Luke and when we stopped at the mini mart I let them all take off before me when we got going again. I thought I would have some motivation chasing them down when I started my test ;-P The only problem was that they were not testing and we had an hour or more climb ahead. They are not stupid and were pacing themselves!

I caught Keevin, Rick and Glen in the first few minutes and then rode with Luke for a bit before the pain really set in. My first ten minutes was solid, 15 minutes hurt and I started to fade and made a final push to 20 minutes. Despite the lack of training at that intensity and horribly timing of some music on my Ipod I think it was a good test and now I have a baseline set.

I averaged 321 watts (322 Normalized) for the 20 minutes and taking 5% away (due to not using a 60min TT effort/time) I would get about 305 watts for my Functional Threshold Power. I averaged 165bpm on my heart rate during the test and 3,532kJ for the ride. A new record for me. If it is good or bad I am not sure but I have a baseline set and some insight into my strengths and weaknesses. One thing I noticed right away was that I could maintain a lower effort in watts for a MUCH longer time. Obvious I know but I think in the future I may do a 40min or even a full 60min test and then some 1-5minute sprints too.

Using that data and my gadgets proactively I have started off April with some quality training. My swimming, running and paddle sessions have a "local loop" that I am using to measure progress and my motivation is at an all time high. I have also seen my watts going up on each ride and it is really motivating... I have a long way to go but progress is progress. I am still weeks away from any race and stoked to be getting in the training time while the trails are green and not baking hot...yet. See ya out there!


Ryan Weeger said...

Youre putting out some solid wattage! I dont know much but the numbers look badass. We gotta ride El moro soon if you want, race simulation tommorow?

Slater Fletcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Slater Fletcher said...

heading out of town tomorrow for Napa Valley for the weekend. . . El Moro and some local ride soon for sure!