Month: January 2015

13 Percent FTP Increase in 8 Weeks

Yeah, I know, everybody brags about large gains in a short amount of time.  Drop 10 pounds in 4 weeks, realize 10 percent on your investment in only 90 days and so on.  However, this is a post of what happened and not what someone hopes you will believe can happen so that you will purchase a product.  I will also give you the product for free because I found it amidst my searching for a free training plan.

Backstory:  I had a disappointing year on the bike.  I did not hit any of my goals during my races on the bike, and this was annoying because biking is usually my strongest discipline.  I can attribute it to a few things, or in other words give excuses, but plain and simple I just want to be faster on the bike.  So during my down month of October, I scoured the world wide web to find a PDF version of a training plan that I could carry out on my trainer during November and December.  Hunter Allen graciously made available such a plan.  Here is the link: Hunter Allen Wheelbuilder Training Plan.

I won’t bore you with the details of the workouts, but I followed it to the letter.  I think I only missed one workout, and hit every single interval.  I developed programed workouts from my Garmin Connect account that would step me through each interval of each workout.  Before I started the plan I did a 20 min FTP test and after the 8 weeks I did the same test again.  The data from the column on the right in the image below is the test done before the plan and the one on the left is the one after it.  I train on a Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer and with some back-end-calculations I obtain virtual power with the help from the following information from the vendor’s website:

The formula for the Road Machine is a cubic function. If we let S stand for “speed” in miles per hour, and P stand for “power” in watts, the formulas are as follows:

P = (5.244820) * S + (0.019168) * S3

For example, to calculate how much power is produced at a speed of 16.1mph while riding the Kinetic Road Machine, plug 16.1 in for “S.”

P = (5.244820) * (16.1) + (0.019168) * (16.1)3

P = (5.244820) * (16.1) + (0.019168) * (16.1) * (16.1) * (16.1)
P = 84.4416 + 79.9935

Power = 164.435 watts

Two FTP 20 Minute Tests before and after 8 week training plan.

Two FTP 20 Minute Tests before and after 8 week training plan.

For November 4th the average power calculated from the average speed for the 20 minute test was 235 watts.  The protocol stipulates that your FTP is 95% of that number or 223 watts.  On January 3rd the average power was 266 watts which produces an FTP of 252 watts.

BOoyah!  I know I still have a ways to go to get my FTP to where I want it (>275), but gaining that 13 percent puts me back to where I think I was mid-summer during my best year to date.  Not bad for a free training plan.

My 2015 Endurance Event Plan

I titled this an event plan because it is not necessarily a race plan.  A few of the events I plan to participate in do not like to be called races.  OK, fine, semantics aside it is my plan for 2015.  An international move will also be involved within this plan, and though that is not necessarily a sanctioned endurance event where I might receive a medal, or finishers certificate, doing such requires endurance of a different type.  I also know that an international move shoots a hole in my schedule for consistent training due to packing, travel, time zone fatigue, bike transit time, etc.  The last three or so years I have usually planned an endurance heavy early spring, and then specialized throughout the summer and early fall.  This year is similar.

March 28th- ARA 200KM Brevet website

April 18th- ARA 300KM Brevet website

April 25th- ODLO Ingolstadt 1/2 Marathon website

In May I have yet to find a Triathlon in Germany scheduled on a Saturday that I could easily attend.  I might have to make up my own…

June- Move back to USA

July 4th- Liberty 5K website

July 11th-Cache Valley Olympic Triathlon website


July 31st-August 1st- DOXA Relay Races website

August 22nd- Utah Half Triathlon website

Early September-Alaska Trip

September 25th-26th- Salt to Saint Relay website

In the recent past I have set up my decreased intensity months as February, June, and October, and this year it will be the same out of luck more than anything.  With this schedule my A race is the Half in August, where I will seek redemption from my not so stellar 70.3 performance in September.  I am also a little worried about the Half Marathon in the spring being only a week after the 300KM Brevet, but I can’t allow myself to miss out on my German hometown’s Half Marathon while I still live here.  The last event of the schedule (SalttoSaint) is also tentative as I don’t know how I will be feeling at that point and whether I will want to be away from the family for another weekend in the month of September.  All planned it should be an eventful year.  So as the artist formerly known as Snoop once sang, “come along with me…”