Technically, this should be Saturday Spins, as I did my trainer ride on Saturday and not Sunday. But I really need to change this so that I always bike on Sundays. I just can’t get motivated to run on Sundays for some reason, and I don’t have a problem spinning.
Anyway, Saturday was a big day. I did my first ever FTP test using the Trainer Road software. In short, an FTP test establishes a baseline in your current cycling fitness by having you perform certain types of rides in a given time, and then using an algorithm to get your power. I don’t have a power meter, so I’m using TR’s Virtual Power. It uses known ranges across different trainers, combined with speed and cadence information.
My session started with a ten minute warm-up, one minute of fast spinning followed by a break, repeated three times, a five minute pre-run of my test, another break, and then the 20 minute effort that would be used to establish my FTP. Now, I wasn’t quite sure how it worked at first…do I match the numbers on the screen as closely as I can, or just go about my business. The answer, of course, is to ignore them. The initial baseline is an FTP of 200. There was no way I was coming even close to those numbers, usually off by 90 or so.
I managed to stay in the saddle for most of the ride, not having to stand up and give my butt a rest until in the cooldown phase (the final ten minutes). But I did die towards the end. You can see that during the final five minutes of the test, I was gassed and had to ease off significantly. I actually felt sick, I was working so hard. When it was all said and done, it gave me my new FTP to use: 95. Ouch.
It was good though. That was my longest ride ever, and I finally have some sort of baseline to see my improvements. Most riders or triathletes have FTPs in the 200s, so I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m also proud that I stuck with it and didn’t quit, though I badly wanted to.
What about you? Did you ride or run this weekend?