Another freezing day so another ride of IronMan Australia for me. Didn't push too hard today and clocked up a TSS of 111.2 (NP 240W) which I was happy with and the 1:47 ride time was spent with 93.6% of the time with a cadence of 80-100, so NO free-wheeling for me, well, not much anyway :-)
Spent much of the time in my L3 HR zone so again another solid CV workout which was what was intended. Didn't want to really thrash myself today as I'm thinking about doing an FTP test on Tuesday (rest day tomorrow) to see where I'm at. Last tested myself on 11.11.2008 so that's plenty of time for things to have changed one way or another and I'm keen to ensure that my training zones remain appropriate. My gut feeling, which may well be very wrong, is that I *may* have made small gains but there is only one way to find out.
If I do the test it will be done identically to the last one in that it will include the full on 5min effort first, the only difference will be that this will be my first VeloTron test, I'll be confident in the accuracy of the results, whatever they are.
If I test and the results show a significant deterioration that would give me a pointer for the future as I've spent the vast majority of my training time over the last few months indoors, it will be an interesting experiment.
Below are 2 graphs showing my power/time distributions for the 8 weeks of Dec/Jan last Winter (upper graph) and the 8 weeks Dec/Jan of this Winter so far (lower graph). As you can see I have kept away from the upper levels but have done MUCH more L3 (+SST) work this year than last. I have actually been training at higher wattages than last year as a result of a higher FTP.
The result of this strategy so far has been that I have remained well, not felt so tired, and my current FTP is 25W higher than it was one year ago, almost to the day. I did an FTP test on 07.02.2008, my FTP was 280W.
Based on this I remain optimistic as in theory at least I should secure a further improvement when I introduce my L5 training when the time is right and I won't have wasted energy by doing higher intensity work in any great volume over the Winter.