I finally gathered up my courage today, placed my trainer in front of David Harmon, Sean Kelly and the 2013 Tour of Flanders, and did my first ever FTP Test.
Well, I guess I had done this before, but in the ‘old days’ before I had a power meter we used to call them Lactic Threshold Tests. Bet that brings back some memories, eh?
The test is done to determine your Functional Threshold Power, which is supposed to be the maximum average watts you can produce over a 60-min period. There are several ways to do this test, including of course, a 60-min time trial. Luckily nobody is that nuts on the internet and most sites recommend shorter efforts. What I chose was the same as Coach Rob had me do for the past 3 years – 20 minutes as hard as I could go without the lactic acid building up enough that my quads exploded.
As usual with these things, while I was in the middle of it I thought I was going to die at any moment, but right afterwards I ‘knew’ I could have gone harder.
The results are below, but the short story is that I had an average of 236 watts, which, after multiplying by .95 (to get your theoretical FTP over 60 min), comes out to and FTP of 224 watts. This, apart from telling me that I can power a window fan for an hour, is what will now determine the 7 power zones I train in once January hits, adjusted every so often since this number will presumably rise through the season.
One note I should add is that I think I could do better on the road. When I climbed Ventoux the other day my best 20 minutes was just under what I did today and I really wasn’t pushing very hard. I wonder if anyone else has found the same thing.