Thanks for sharing the baseline test and results!
In “Training and Racing with a Power Meter” chapter 3 starts off with different ways of estimating FTP, from least complexity to most complexity:
- Power Frequency Distribution Chart
- Routine Steady Power
- Normalized Power
- One Hour Time Trial
- Critical Power
- 20-min Test Protocol
Yesterday I did a cat 5 crit on a flat course with 4 corners (the 3rd corner was rounded off a bit), each lap about 0.7 miles (1.13km). The first 3 laps were around 75% ftp for me, and then a 3 person team attacked and 4 of us followed.
During the break, those 5 minutes had me hanging on at 113% ftp when I finally gave up in an attempt to not completely blow up:
Yeah, 37% anaerobic and 17% vo2max for those 5 minutes and in retrospect I can see why my brain started listening to body. Probably could have held on, because they were also nearing their limit and not long after slowed down. Unfortunately I gave myself about 45 seconds of recovery and the Peloton passed me.
At that point I figured “why not see if I can really hold threshold” because I’ve been struggling with my breathing and vo2max lately.
And so for me, the crit turned into a 25 minute time trial, where I was pulling 2 college guys and other random stragglers that the mentors would try and get back into the race. Stayed mentally strong and pushed thru some breathing struggles, big win for me personally. Never looked at my bike computer once during the entire crit, just wanted to go hard and put in a well paced effort while gaining confidence taking corners at speed.
And so with that backstory, here are the results using the estimation techniques outlined in “Training and Racing with a Power Meter”
1. Power Freq Distribution Chart. From the book, a good estimate of your FTP can be obtained by identifying a drop-off in power above threshold, here is mine from the race with 15W bins:
This estimate put ftp at 240-255W ftp.
The book also mentions its good for heart rate, which put mine at 165bpm. For variety here is the HR graph for the crit with a dotted line at 165bpm:
2. Routine Steady Power. Here is a power graph with a little bit of smoothing because its easier to see trends versus TR power graph:
The dotted line is at 237W, so that is my eyeball estimate using routine steady power.
3. Normalized Power. I pulled this straight out of TR, its 236:
4. One-Hour Time Trial. This was only 25 minutes of time trialing. However for those 25 minutes my average power was 232W.
5. Critical Power. This involves a series of 3-40 minute all-out efforts, which I didn’t do.
6. 20-min FTP protocol. The protocol is:
- Warm-up (20 min warmup; 3x1 min fast pedaling; 5 min easy riding)
- Main set (5 min all-out; 10 min easy riding; 20 min time trial)
I arrived early and did 10 minutes on course reconnaissance, then attended the beginners race program which involved 30 minutes of cornering drills. So the warm-up was covered.
Which brings us to the main set. The 5 minute all-out (breakaway) was immediately followed by 25 min time-trial, without 10-min easy riding. Ignoring that, I selected the 25 minutes and used TR’s analytics to see my best 20-min was 240W, and best 8-min was 251W. Some of you are asking where did 8-min come from? Hey, I didn’t follow 20-min protocol so why not toss in 8-min data too? That gives a couple FTP estimates:
- 228W (240*.95)
- 226W (251*.9)
Using the techniques of estimating ftp from “Training and Racing with a Power Meter” on this race, I get the following:
- 240-255W from power distribution
- 237W from routine steady power
- 236W from normalized power
- 232W from “one-hour TT” even though it was only 25 minutes
- 228W from not-quite-20-min test
- 226W from not-quite-8-min test
Hope that helps folks with some more tools to use!