Original post in my Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/34093939/posts/12275269
So I wanted to experiment with different pacing strategies for a 20min FTP test and see if I can come up with some customized rule of thumb for myself.
We all have experienced at least one form of pacing strategy for a 20min FTP test. It is also well-known that many coaches, e.g., Chad Timmerman (TR) (https://www.trainerroad.com/blog/author/chad/), etc., prefer a Ramp test over a 20min FTP test for the very reason. Some, however, prefer a longer test to normalize the pacing mishaps as they believe a Ramp test, depending on the VO2Max performance of an athlete, overestimates the actual FTP (https://www.empiricalcycling.com/about.html).
- Experimenting with different pace strategies pertains to a 20min test
- Stress-test my body to these 5 tests in a row with no rest day in between. (almost accomplished this!)
Exhibition Loops, Toronto: 5x (https://www.strava.com/segments/26055573)
- Each loop 2.4k
- Total distance 12.2k
- Estimated time per loop ~ 4.30 min
- Estimated time per 5x loops ~ 21 min
- Warmup: For all these tests, I warmed up for 15 min easy spinning and 2x1 min threshold followed by a single neutral loop around the route.
- During the test: I tested out 5 different pacing strategies shown below. Time was not a limiting factor, but the distance was, and thus, depending on the average speed of the day, there are between 20:36 to 22:52. Factors impacted the average speed were: (i) avg power, (ii) wind and weather condition, (iii) riding position. I tried to be on the drop as much as I could and I think I almost hold it for 80% of the total time.
- Cooldown: 20-30min of active recovery and easy spinning.
- Very very few data points
- Fatigue factor
- Rest and recovery including the nutrition consumed before and after the tests
- The effect of Weather condition on HR
Five data points are nothing but noise as oppose to something which can be inferred from, however, I feel my fourth pacing strategy (4th day) was more intuitive and natural for me to implement. I felt good and strong even after I finished it. Overall, on all 5 attempts, I did not reach my lactate threshold HR which is around 175-176 bpm and it shows that I have underperformed in all instances. That could be reasonable as I didn’t taper for any test, and these have been done back to back and accumulated fatigue could have played a role in the outcome.
Would be happy to hear your thoughts.