It’s been a really busy few weeks since my last post. In terms of Charlie, I have had good sessions with Steve at Skyhook including our end of 6 weeks FTP testing.
The sessions have been coming to the end of this period and they have progressively been getting harder and then at the end we had the FTP test to see how much more power I can produce over an average time.
This is the testing part of my training which lets me see if I am getting any stronger. One thing on the programme is that things never seem to get easier so its difficult to judge if you are making progress.
I have noticed during the workouts every week the little recovery sections where you get a rest and only work at 60% of your threshold for small periods, gets shorter and shorter.
You really need a period of showing yourself you are getting better otherwise you would get disheartened. The best test for me is the road, however doing the 6 weekly FTP test with Steve shows how much you have really improved (if you have).
The test was a Tuesday and prior to this I had a steady weekend, eat good food and plenty of fuel in anticipation and kept my blood glucose levels steady.
Recently I have learned that if the session is normal speed (cadence) but a reasonable heavy load around the threshold I go down in glucose readings, but if there is an injection of pace in the session I go high. So it’s a real difficult one to get to grips with before setting off.
I have had a few power normal cadence session and a couple of occasions had a low and not been able to recover quickly enough, so I need to make sure I ask Steve what is coming up the session before, so I can fuel myself properly. This needs to start mid-afternoon and not 10 mins before the session.
The FTP test is more of a normal speed grind and over in 20 minutes. The difference is instead of the system setting the power the ride is based upon a gradient, so you decided what gear and how much power to put out. It has 5-minute interval where you push harder and harder. The first 5 mins is just below the threshold, next 5 mins is at threshold power, next 5 mins is above and the last 5 you go at it like a bat out of hell.
I was set and ready and my current FTP is 190 watts. I did my warm up as normal for 20 mins and started the 20-minute slog.
The first 5 minutes felt very solid and I noticed on the large flat screen I was holding my current threshold of 190 no problem, the next 5 I had already started to exceed my threshold. I was a little worried I had started to overcook it a little in the first 10 minutes. Steve tells and reminds you during the test not to go to hard as you will have nothing for the second half to push your average up over your current threshold. The final 10 minutes started, and it started to hurt but I tried to put this out of my mind by pushing and pushing slowly increasing my power. I got to the last five minutes on the count down and thought what the hell its only going to hurt once! As you can see from the graph I hit the last 5 mins hard and the final 2 minutes I peaked.
The last 10 seconds were hell but then the beeping countdown to the end keeps you pushing until you just collapse on the bike. I had to get off as I was shaking and took a seat for a couple of minutes until I continued with a 20-minute warm down back on Charlie.
Once that was over I had to wait for the computer to work out my result, suddenly, the screen said I was a hero. (Steve tried to get a photo as he had not seen that before, but he was too late) but then it announced I had increased my threshold by 10 watts, which is a decent achievement / improvement on 6 weeks works. This really confirms to me that the work Steve is doing with me is paying off and more and more I keep training and upping my threshold the more I am looking forward to carrying out this challenge and I truly can’t believe how I am changing during this progress in terms of strength and the fat has dropped off my legs it all just muscle, oh well that’s what I am sticking to.
Apparently, the weather is getting better but as I write this we have had yet another flurry of snow in Sheffield.
See a picture of Narnia from a friend.
Once it does it is time to start winding up the training and the amount, so my program will look something likes this.
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Skyhook indoor training
Wednesday – 30 mile recovery ride on road
Thursday – Skyhook indoor training
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Decent road ride 50 miles +
Sunday – 30 mile recover ride
What social life !!