Xmas through to Mid-January was a troublesome time for me. It initially started off when I fell of my turbo trainer whilst warming up. Lots of hilarity from everyone I told but I fell onto a large can of paint and that caused serious bruising to my ribs which proved very painful. About a week later I coughed (quite heavily) and caused damage to my intercostal muscle which proved excruciatingly painful at times. That caused quite a few days of missed training and to cap it all I then had a bad chest and cough/cold combination. However in that time I put my TT bike onto my turbo trainer and spent some time adjusting the saddle so that it is now both comfortable and I feel I have similar power to my road bike.
Cue the FTP test. I had read many discussion about riders having two FTP values, one on their TT bike and the other on their road bike with the TT bike FTP value often being lower, by as much as 10%, to their road bike.
My current FTP was 240 and the 5 minute blast before the 20 minutes was 297. I was not sure what to start out at as I did expect a decline in power due to the TT bike. I started out targeting 295 and was pleased to complete the 5 minutes bang on target with my HR under control.
Onto the 20′ test. I started out at ~250 and averaged 254 after 5 minutes, 257 by 10 minutes and was constant at 257 by 15 minutes. I felt I could possibly have pushed more then but wanted to control it and just raised it a little in the last minute to finish on 259 and an FTP of 246. That is probably my highest FTP ever. I did reach 257 three years ago but that was using a Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer and once I moved to a Kickr that measured about 30 watts less.
Overall I am very happy with how things are going. I started using a coach at the begininning of October 2017 and it was a bit of a suck it and see approach as I wasn’t sure whether it would have the desired effect or would be worth the money. A friend had seen some very impressive results and I was tempted to approach that coach but I wasn’t sure whether I had as much commitment as he had. In the end I picked a guy after seeing some of his posts on the Time Trialling forum. He seemed to make sense and that’s all I really had to go on. The decider for me was that a fellow club member had moved down to Plymouth earlier in the year and she recommended him on Facebook. I had a long discussion with him and we agreed to start working together. As far as I am concerned it has been an excellent partnership. He has been very supportive and delivered lots of good training sessions with some variety, which is hard during the base period. He has always been available if I need to make contact, although I find the comment section on Training Peaks to be sufficient for most things with the odd email thrown in.
On my part I have completed those sessions pretty much to target and I have fitted work/family commitments around it pretty well. I am guessing I have about a 97% completion rate which I am very happy with. I feel stronger and my FTP has gone up. I think the only thing I could feel disappointed about is that there is, to my eyes, not much evidence of improvement as yet. I am quite numbers focussed and I know the only numbers that matter are when I get out on the road but it would be nice to see more evidence even in the base phase. However as I said earlier, my FTP is probably at it’s real highest level ever which is good and my TSS each month is much higher than it was previously and with very little outdoor riding which is always good for an artificial boost.
I am using Conrad Moss, based in Devon – although location is totally irrelevant to me. He can be found on Facebook. Velopower Performance Coaching. I would highly recommend him and if you were thinking about using a coach have a chat and see what he can offer.
Whilst doing the sessions Conrad sets me I often listen to podcasts and frequently triathlon based ones. One of my favourites is Oxygen Addict and a recent interview was with Cam Wurth, the Australian cyclist. It is a an excellent listen and I burst out laughing as he talks about him and Froome , in full Sky kit, being passed on one of the climbs in Tenerife by a couple of cyclists with panniers on. That would be a story to tell the grandchildren. Have a listen – Oyxgen Addict
My next post will cover of the Sufferfest Tour of Sufferlandia which I have just completed. Available in a couple of days time.