Thursday, April 7, 2011

April Time Trial

Last night was the TCSD time trial at Fiesta Island.  It's a 3 loop (12 mile) course that is pancake flat and occasionally windy.  I'm supposed to be doing a bike fitness test like this TT once a month in order to determine my Functional Threshold Power (FTP), but I haven't done one in months.  I have had a few days of rest following the Oceanside, CA 70.3 this weekend so I was feeling strong, but had low expectations.
I took a warmup lap, but it only ended up being half a lap because I was running late - I felt OK.  5 minutes of warmup is not enough for a 30 minute hard effort, I'll have to improve on that next month.  My goal was to try to hold 220 Watts, a far cry from the 268 I had done last June, but you have to start somewhere.
I came out of the gate and settled down at about 250 Watts.  I knew this was too much.  Even though I felt good, I had lots of experience that told me I would fall apart before I hit the finish line.  For some reason I ignored my common sense (I do that a lot) and kept my power in the 240+ range for the first loop.  When I started the second loop, I still felt great.  My legs burned a little bit, but my breathing was even and controlled - I felt strong.  I decided to up my goal from 220 to 240, and kept up the pressure on my legs.  Lap 3 was more of the same - legs burning more intensely, but certainly not going to fail - and my breathing was fine.  The result?  248 Watts, 23.1 MPH.  Not bad!  You can check it out yourself here: April 2011 TT.

Here's how the 3 lap TT breaks down:
Lap 110:562491419722.6
Lap 210:402441449423.3
Lap 310:282511439523.6

The whole point of this is to figure out where my FTP is.  TrainingPeaks tells me that the best 20 minutes during this TT was 248 Watts average, so that's my CP20 (Critical Power, 20 minutes).  Since FTP is estimated as 5% less than CP20, I end up with:
FTP = CP20 * 0.95 = 248 * 0.95 = 235 watts.

So that's a start, we'll see where I end up next month.  I don't expect to see much improvement for a while, I have a couple of months of mostly run training for an upcoming marathon.

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself. - Galileo