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Tip of the Week -- FTP Power Tests

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Tip of the Week -- FTP Power Tests

Postby natellerandi » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:53 am

For those who use power on the bike, here's a quick tip on how to approach your semi-regular FTP tests as you track your progress.

After doing the 20min test for the first time and establishing your FTP, we tend to get excited about maximizing our progress come the first re-test and during subsequent re-tests over time. Our tendency is to come out of the corner swinging. While this may result in a great re-test, it also may result in crashing-and-burning during the final 5-10min of the test.

My suggestion is this. Take the average watts for your last 20min test and start there. Hold that wattage for the first 10min of your re-test. If after 10min you're feeling really strong, then ratchet your effort up little by little over the next 5min. Then, if at 15min you're still feeling strong, press even more and then give it all you've got the final 2min.

Your result will be very similar to negative splitting a race -- which is a best practices approach to any distance event. This also prevents you from being overzealous the first few minutes -- something that is very easy to do -- and thus end up slowing down in the latter stages of the test.

Holding back the first half of the test takes a bit of discipline. But, it should also allow you to maximize your test results. Over time, you can tweak your approach. Maybe the first 10min of holding back needs to be 8min or 12min, for example. The key is to always find ways to refine the test protocol so you get the most out of it and remain excited about the work you're doing to make yourself a better athlete.

Happy Training,
Nate Llerandi
natellerandi
 
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