Wednesday, January 30, 2008

3x15' at FTP

Today I didn't feel that great heading out the's a good thing nutty came along or I would have ended up on the couch eating chips. We headed over to the crit course and I had originally planned for 4x15 (2' rests) but pretty much drilled it for 3 intervals and was fried so I called that good (wimp!). Pretty good pacing tonight: 280w, 282w, 279w.

I really need to do some FTP testing one of these days but I'm pretty sure I'm heading back up to around 280w which for me is pretty good. Right now 280w feels hard but I can get "comfortable" here & hold it. Last year I hit 280w as my FTP max during the racing season. I've never had numbers this good this early so I'm encouraged (& added bonus: I weigh less-->

1 Comment:

Rich W said...

I got a good question via email I thought I'd share:

Q: I noticed today that you did some FTP intervals. Your wattage for those 3 efforts were 280w, 282w, 279w but your FTP is 275w. Why did you go over your 100% mark for those efforts? Wouldn't that be getting into your VO2 zone?

A: Andrew Coggan calls "level 4" to be anywhere from 91-105% of your threshold power (see page 53 of his book). If I go with the assumption that I currently have an FTP of 275w then around 280w is only about 102%. Since I was doing shorter intervals of 15' I shot for the higher of the 91-105% range (because I was going to get a couple minute rest). If I was doing 2x20 or 1x40 I would probably shoot for 275w (or at least start there and try to finish strong if I felt it).

Also since I don't formally test my FTP I'm always trying to push things a bit on these intervals to make sure I'm at my max threshold power...if I push too hard then I'll pay for it later in the interval when I have to go at a lower intensity to recover (this is why looking at them in WKO is important). I also go by perceived exertion a lot at threshold...I sort of can feel when I'm headed into VO2 range, my breathing becomes ragged and I start to really suffer!

I think it's good to mix these workouts up a bit...doing longer 40+' intervals at a lower wattage (95-100%) and sometimes ones like I did yesterday at just above FTP. For me my VO2 intervals will be in the 310-320w range for 5' (this is in the neighborhood of 115% of FTP).