Since last August when she arrived, I have rarely spent a day without getting in her saddle. I pedaled and huffed and puffed. I got a professional fitting, I joined the
cult, ahem, the Power Zone Pack. New shoes came, as well as a more powerful fan. I have cycled my legs off for about 6.5 months.
It’s been, to say the least, an obsession.
She is my Peloton bike. The bike gives me something with which to focus my training. It’s been a sanity saver in a year of crazy-making monotony. It’s anchored my days and my mind. I have become all of the Peloton memes and I don’t even care because I feel so good. This from SNL is my current favorite:
With this type of training, power zone training specifically, the rider works within their own zones, and steadily improves over time measuring specific metrics, primarily power output. Yes, I am a stat nerd and love poring over the numbers and seeing how my average cadences have improved over time, hitting personal records, and even racing friends up the leaderboard.
This morning I took what is my 5th FTP test. This is an all-out effort for 20 minutes that calculates your FTP, or Functional Threshold Power. Everything you got, holding it steady (or not so), and leaving nothing in the tank by the end. Puking is optional. (I have never puked after the test, but I’ve been razor-thin close.) It’s a beast and if you let it, will mess with your mind. At the end of each 6-8 week challenge, there is the opportunity to take the FTP test – and update your power zones, thus making classes a smidge more challenging. Ever increasing time under tension, you get stronger, update work capacity, adapt, rinse, and repeat. It’s torture…. and addicting.
After reading many posts about strategies to attack this FTP monster, analyzing my stats and then setting goals – I climbed on and rode the plan. Complete with corny inspiration and strategy on the school whiteboard that is directly in my sightline as I ride:
Until about minute 14 when I abandon all plans and decide to just not die.
Good thing my cheerleader came out during the warm up and not during the actual ride when I thought I might die!
Steady increases over time. Consistency trophies as the coaches call them. The 2nd test I was able to scratch out a 19% increase. Then 13% from test 4. The last 2 tests are holding steady at 6.5% increases each.
Annnnd in the end….I didn’t die. I did crawl away from my obsession with new zones. Not too much harder, but just spicy enough to be challenging. I will take it! My goal was to get my FTP over 200. Definitely not ready for that yet.
It will come. Goals always do.