It was exactly this time last year that I started to focus on being a better cyclist by focussing on turbo sessions and using trainerroad. Then, My first ftp test was 205 watts. Last night I tested myself again before starting on the sweetspot base programs and I have a ftp of 256 watts. This was really pleasing and quite a surprise as I have spent the month kicking back and not done any turbo work at all. Somehow my ftp has jumped from 233 to this new figure and I think there are a few things at play here.
Firstly, temperature. All summer I have been slogging away in the shed when it has been at least 20 degree outside and I have not used any form of artificial cooling whereas last night it was barely above zero. It seems that I was dropping more watts than I thought in an effort to keep cool. I thought it might be a few but am surprised that it was almost 20. Secondly, freshness. My one criticism with Trainerroad programs is that they are quite intense and can leave my legs feeling dead when I need to do another tough session. I think the month's break while doing a little bit of exercise to tick over has actually left me feeling a lot fresher. Lastly, I am more practised at taking and pacing an ftp test which leads to a more accurate result. Anyway, it's all good and great for me to start the base phase with a pretty healthy ftp number.
I became a parkrun tourist for the first time last weekend. We had a weekend break in Weymouth so I decided to go along to the the Parkrun there in Lodmoor Country Park. I managed to squeak into the top 10 with a 19:16 but the weekend before I had achieved a Parkrun PB at Bushy Park and got under 19 for the first time with 18:55. Over the next few months I am going to tick over and try to incorporate some intervals and see if I can get down to a low 18, before starting to build a bit more endurance and try to remain injury free.
I'm still reeling a little bit from entering the Outlaw but I am excited about the challenge. I am going to race a bit less next year, particularly tting, but will focus on key events over the year to build towards the Outlaw triathlon at the end of July. I still feel there's a lot I can do to bring down my 10 and 25 times while my 50 and 100m tt times are still there for the taking and with another winter of focussed work I knw that I can have another good season.