Thanks to everyone that showed up at Bicycle Heaven Saturday morning for performance testing.  It’s a tough thing, 20 minutes all out on a trainer.  Now that you’ve made the effort and nearly lost your cookies (actually Matt was the only one that made me a little nervous in that regard), make sure that you use it to the best of your advantage.


As an example, if you laid down 250 watts average for the 20 minute duration you can use that to estimate your Functional Threshold Power (FTP).  FTP is the same thing and Lactate Threshold (LT) and Anaerobic Threshold for our purposes.  While a typical FTP test involves a 30 minute TT, 20 minutes on a trainer is the outer edge of what most of us can effectively do and fine to establish your number.  Take 5% less power, as that is an agreed upon formula when estimating power for twice a specific duration, and that is at least very close to what you can maintain for a 45 minute effort.   This turns our 250 watt 20 minute effort into a 237.5 watt FTP.  Since the 20 minutes is a bit short I would set that at 230 watts.


Now your job is to increase that number.  Your heart rate doesn’t change too much, maybe just a few beats.  If your average heart rate for that interval was 160 then by February or March you’ll want to be pushing higher wattage at just about the same heart rate for that duration.  You have to take your time.  Go through the base phases and test again at FTP.  Then the first build phase and test it again.  By the end of your 2nd or 3rd build phase you’ll have been doing intervals at your FTP and know the number pretty well, though another test before the racing starts is always helpful.


Our first CompuTrainer (CT) session (Tuesday night, December 11th) will focus on Aerobic Threshold (AT) and Speed Skills.  AT is at the high end of zone 2 so the CT intervals will be set at 85 – 88% of your FTP.  Speed Skill work will be in the form of some high cadence intervals and you’ll be surprised at how fast you can move your feet!  We’ll go through each phase as I would coach a cyclist.  It is not by any means a replacement for a good coach, but at least will keep you on some semblance of a planned approach to your off season preparation.


Rob Kelley