Musings

My Time Away

So, I heard at one point in time before I started writing a blog that if you make it past your sophomore year of writing a blog, it just might stick, and it might become a habit.  Well, I didn’t.  This post is not my rejuvenation serum, but I do have a few things to say, and chronicling them here seemed like a good idea.

A reason for the hiatus from writing here might be categorized with a short run down of things that have happened since I last wrote.  So here goes the shortened version:

  1. We moved home from Germany
  2. We moved into in-laws house
  3. Wife was diagnosed with 2 different cancers (breast, thyroid)
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    A few weeks before the “Cancer News”

     

  4. I stopped racing
  5. 9 months of surgery, recovery, fear, and long days ensued

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    Recovery in full swing!

  6. Wife was given clean bill of health
  7. I started racing again
  8. We bought our own house and moved out of in-laws house

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    The house where our kids will grow up.

  9. Kids’ lives got busy
  10. Another year flew by
  11. I was asked if I still write a blog
  12. I looked at my blog

And here we are! I know there is a lot to rehash within those bullet points, and I might do that some other time, but I doubt it.  We’ll see.  In all honesty, writing for me creates a placeholder in my life.  I understand why people keep journals.  I am very consistent in many areas of my life.  Just not that one.  I think that is O.K. too.  Pages are turned, new adventures begin.  Life goes in a different direction at times than where we originally intended it to go, and that seems to make it interesting.  One thing is certain; if I do start writing again, I will do so with more posts about my endurance events.  It seems that for my sanity during the past few years, I have at least stayed consistent with those.  So, stay tuned, or maybe don’t…

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Our current state of happiness!

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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.