Enjoy Your Own Every 12-Week Pain Spa
Nuthin’ sez self-luvin’ quite like 20 minutes of sheer, unadulterated, pedal-driven implosion.
Taken in doses, equally-spaced, 12-weeks apart.
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- Test your fitness — and your resolve — every 12 weeks
- When you prepare for it, it can actually be…pleasant. Sort of.
- On the other side of an FTP test, it feels so good, you don’t want another for…at least 3 months
If you’re new to bike racing, the letters “FTP” could stand for pretty much anything. And you have to admit, seen standing around together, they’re a rather suspicious looking lot:
Freaking Thrashing Pedals
Frankenstein Tickles Pinnochio
Frozen Tomato Pickles
They stand for Functional Threshold Power. And it’s something I’ve written about here, a lot.
So, why am I writing about it, yet again?
Because I just took my first FTP test of the season, and man. As the late Bon Scott of AC/DC sang, “Lock up your daughters / lock up your wife / lock up your back door / and run for your life” because goodness, it was ugly.
Glad you weren’t here to see it.
That said, I’d love for you to have your own self-pampering FTP experience. In fact, even if you DON’T race or plan to race, don’t you just really wanna know how you stack up? Huh? Aren’t you even a teensy bit curious?
The Civility of Self-Assessment
Something as tough as a Functional Threshold Power test should have some nice comfy bits surrounding it. Not to dull the pain of literally thrashing yourself into a whimpering puddle of crybaby goo, but to remind yourself that, as a disciplined soul, you’re one of the special ones. So, here’s a little snapshot diary of the simple things I do to help make the test a little bit more — civil.
My Pre-Scream Routine[callout icon=“hb-moon-bike”]The idea behind a test that seeks to understand just how much power you can dish out for an hour requires that you behave like a prop at a day spa: a towel. Believe me — you do get wrung out.[/callout]
I was pleased with my first test of the season, albeit — I made a noob mistake: the first few minutes I was just a little too intense. Then, at the end, the last 4 minutes or so, I was a little overgeared: trying to force too much out of one cog too much. Ideally, you want your power curve to be a nice, gradual, upward slope for 20 minutes. Mine had a little waver and the front and end. Doing these things really well is a bit of an art, and it really helps you hone your time trial pacing skills.
And the coffee and oatmeal will taste absolutely divine. I promise.
[icon_box icon=”hb-moon-bike” icon_position=”left” align=”left”] Question: During race season, you can use your power or heart rate numbers to gauge fitness. What is your FTP routine like? [/icon_box]