I’ve owned a PowerTap G3 power meter for well over two months now. You’d think I would have already done my first FTP test, right? Yeah, I’ve been procrastinating. To be 100% honest, I don’t like going all-out. I know, I know, it’s all part of training efficiently.
One of our coaching friends, Rachel Zambrano (Inferno Endurance Sports), recommended the Sufferfest Rubber Glove video. Rachel definitely knows what she’s doing – she’s a Knight of Sufferlandria (in other words, she’s one bad cyclist). I loaded the video into Maximum Trainer’s built-in video player window and started pedaling.
This is my result:
I learned a lot from this simple test. Here’s a quick recap of points A to D:
Point A: start of FTP test. This is where the suffering begins and, to be honest, I was going into it blindly.
Point B: silly me! I seriously thought I could maintain 230-240 watts for 20 minutes! Ha! You can see just how long that thought last (less than 2 minutes).
Point C: I stepped down a bit, something more manageable (or so I thought). I decided I was going to maintain 170-180 watts for the remainder of the test. Again, I overestimated my abilities!
Point D: after the first two slaps to reality I think I found a power level I could maintain for the rest of the test (about 160 watts). That last blip at the end of the test was my final little “push.” It hurt. :D
Things I learned from my first FTP test:
- I’m a weak cyclist
- Don’t go out too hard at the beginning
- It’s not fun
- Being mentally prepared is a MUST
- It’s a necessary evil
- Have a fan
- The Rubber Glove video made it more enjoyable
- The Maximum Trainer software is excellent
- There’s a lot of room for improvement
My 20 minute average was 175 watts (175 * .95 = 166). So, my FTP is 166 watts. Not much but I own it. It’s mine and I have to live with it.
I think if I would have started a bit lower, I could have maintained a higher 20 minute average. I’ve read over and over not to go out too hard at the start. I’m pretty sure my next test will go much smoother and give me a better FTP.