Monday, March 26, 2012

What the Hell Happened?

I’d heard it said before, that it often takes years (4-5) before you begin to realize some of your potential.  After my bike test on Thursday, I’m beginning to believe.

OK.  I really should believe EVERYTHING my coach told me, either through email, over the phone, or through her blog.

I put off doing the test on Wednesday.  My legs just weren’t recovered from Sunday’s half marathon.  I went for a four mile easy run instead.  When I woke up Thursday morning, I decided to do the test over lunch.  That would give me time to wake up, fuel up, and mentally prepare.

In the past, I have dreaded these physical tests.  My motto this year?  No Excuses.  Period.  and yes, thank you Biggest Loser for joining me.

In between work, I assembled the bike, trainer, and electronic gadgetry.  By the time lunch rolled around, there was little to do but suit up and get to work.  Little to no thinking, at this point, is a good thing.

The Trainer Road 8 minute test starts out with 28 minutes of warm up.  A few high cadence and clearing efforts are thrown in to prime the muscles for the test.  At the 28th minute, the first 8 minute interval is kicked off.

Having already flipped onto my big ring, I neglected to follow instructions and immediately spun up in a high gear.  I practically giggled when my pace settled in at 270 watts.  Now, I held no illusions about this test.  I mean, for my last test, I settled in around 220 watts, and I couldn’t even hold that for the full 8 minutes.  Still I resolved to hang on for as long as I could and see what happened.  That seems to be a pattern with me these days.

The interval didn’t get hard until about 4 minutes in.  That was when I realized that I just might be in the right place.  I kept my cadence right at 90 and struggled to keep my watts above 270 for the remaining 4 minutes.  When the interval was over, I was elated.

For the next 10 minutes, I spun easy and recovered, knowing that another similar interval was to follow.  About half way through the recovery period, I mentioned to my wife that I didn’t think I could hold those watts for another interval.  At the 44th minute, I started my second interval.

This time, I followed instructions and used the first 45 seconds to power up to 270 watts.  By the time I had settled in, a minute had already passed.  The second interval, of course, was harder, but still, I managed to keep my power within range of 270 watts, and I felt like I gave the test my all.

After an 8 minute cool down, Trainer Road saved my workout and recommended a new FTP for my workouts.  I was surprised and pleased to see: 238.  That’s a 33% increase in virtual FTP from my last test.  How cool is that?  This is what my test looked like on the computer.


I’m very pleased with this test to say the least.  Not only did my vFTP improve considerably, but the test itself was much much clearner.  No tapering of the watts at the end of each interval.  Purrrty!

I’m looking forward to starting the Intermediate Base Plan II and integrating it with my triathlon training.  Unfortunately, I made a mistake on my annual training plan.  My first race is on April 29th, not the following week.  I’ve lost one week of training on the plan.  It’s not a huge deal.  I’m so far ahead of the plan with my current fitness level.  I just have to make some adjustments to get things back on track.

Happy Monday, y’all!



Molly said...

Well done!!! Kicking some ass this year!

LBTEPA said...

Wow! Well done!

Carolina John said...

Nice! Dude that is some serious power. You're going to be flying through tri season. must be all of that off-season weight loss.

Michelle said...

We all believed in you, Wes - glad you're seeing the results you wanted! You are going to have an amazing season!

it's all about pace said...

great results... graphs and charts... BONUS!

iJuls said...

Way to go, Wes. That's awesome!

Stuart said...

Very nice consistency across the two test zones. Have you looked at any of the videos, they will have you riding at your FTP for the hour and only $12 for the privilege!