It is 3 months since I last tested my FTP and I'd planned to do it around now to see what the result of my approach over the Winter has been and to guide my training over the next few months when hopefully I'll finally be able to get outside to do more of my riding. My plan was to try to maintain/build my FTP indoors over the worst of the weather and then to have a consolidation period towards the end of the Winter before introducing higher intensity training to round things off.
I am pleased to say that my approach of concentrating heavily on L3/SST work with some but not too much L4 over the last 3 months has borne fruit. A graph of my power/time distribution for the 3 months since my last FTP test is shown below:
Today's test was again performed in accordance with the protocol in H. Allen & A. Coggan's book including the full on 5 minute effort prior to the 20 minute effort, the results are shown below:
When I last tested my FTP in November 2008 my 5 minute power was 355W, my 20 minute power was 321W, and my FTP (95% of 20 minute power) was 305W. My figures today were 5 minute power 373W, 20 minute power 330W, FTP 313W. The approach I've followed seems to have yielded an approximately 8W FTP increase over the 3 months I've trained largely indoors and an improvement of 18W in my 5 minute power.
This means that since February 2008 I have increased my FTP from something in the order of 280W to 313W, just above 30W. I've always reckoned that an increase over 12 months of 20-30W, if already pretty well trained, was at about the upper limit of what might be achievable and on that basis I think I've pushed as hard as I can or need to for the moment.
Given the above the time is now right for my planned consolidation period, to allow my body to become fully accustomed to it's current status and to remove the stress (physical and mental) of attempted further adaptation. My plan now is to maintain the training wattages I have been working at to reach this point and not to increase them until such time as things start to feel really comfortable. I believe if one continues to force the issue and to constantly seek ongoing improvements that a crash is likely, so it's time to steady the ship and let everything bed in for at least a couple of months now. The Winter gains have been made so I'm reducing the pressure and consolidating before moving on.
To be honest I would be perfectly happy to go into the Spring having raised my FTP to it's current level. My current CTL is about 80 which I've been happy to keep at this level for several months. I want to raise that to 90-100 when the weather gets warmer with some long weekend rides whilst maintaining my FTP during the week. I think if I'd tried to go through the Winter indoors with a CTL of 90+ I'd just have got too tired before the Spring push.
Well, that's the plan!
[Uploaded 10/02/2009 17:59:41]