Unrealistic Goal? :)

Hey all. New here :slight_smile:

It’s now 11/12/2020 and I’m in week 4 of Base 1. I’m 45 years old and my goal is to be able to climb Rist Canyon (here in Colorado) in 45minutes while I’m still 45 (Birthday is June 19). My best time so far is 58 minutes, 55 seconds (strava estimated that I averaged 203watts for the segment).

Ftp at the beginning of using TR is 202 (151lbs). I’ve calculated using Allen Lim’s climbing power formula that I’d need to produce average power of either 251w (at current weight 151lbs) or 243w (at 145lbs - lose 5lbs) (I added a few lbs to account for clothing and such :wink:

I guess my question is if it is realistic to see gains going from 202 to 243+ over the course of a full training plan without weight training (in this case about 30 weeks accounting for a week off here and there).
Oh, I’m doing mid volume with a climbing specialty at the end…

Over this past year I was riding regularly but probably only averaging 70 miles/week. This is my first time with structured indoor training and I can tell both in the way I feel and the metrics (TSS) that I’m training now like I never have before. I run TR and Zwift at the same time as I like to use their physics engine to get a sense of how many “miles” I’m still doing will indoor training.

For quick reference, that formula is:

bike + rider weight (kg) x 9.8 x elevation gain (meters) / time (seconds) = power (watts). Add 10% for rolling and air resistance.

So - does this sound like a “fools errand” - an unrealistic goal? I’m a realist so it’s all good - just thought it would be a fun goal to shoot for.

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Try it and find out!


I think you’re saying you want to hit ~3.7 W/kg w/in the next 7 months? Completely possible.


Is this it?

If so, that’s a monumental task to go under 45 minutes. That would put you in the top 80 out of 3547 on Strava.

Nice goal to have though and I’m sure others tgat frequent this forum will tell you if it’s possible.

Good luck! :+1:

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Nice! Did you do weight training to help realize those gains?

Nah, the only other sport I also regularly did was running.

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That’s the one! Thanks!

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Thanks. appreciated!

I’m not a paying Strava member, so I can’t see - but what kind of power were the riders around 80th place putting out? (assuming some of those rides have real power figures, and not estimated)

I’d suggest to the OP to do some Strava stalking and look at the power figures (and an idea of power/weight if rider profiles are public) of riders doing similar times as a benchmark.

It’s totally doable.

But I would say it is going to require that single focus for the next 30 weeks. But then the reward on your birthday will be worth the effort.

Go for it.


I did just do a bit of that - don’t think that weight is public on Strava but the power figures do match up for the lighter riders in the 240-250 range. Will have to do more stalking :slight_smile:

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Sweet. Yep, that’ll be my focus over the winter/spring and then goofing off the rest of the summer other than perhaps the Mt. Evans hill climb.

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I’m also good with being just under 46min :wink:

Ok, so looking at Strava times between c.44 and 45.5 minutes for athletes in your approximate weight range, the average power (if we exclude estimated power data) was actually just under 300w. In short you’re looking at holding very roughly 4.3w/kg for c.45 minutes.

I’d suggest that’s pretty challenging, especially in 7 months, but not necessarily impossible…


A 20% gain is not unheard of. It just depends on where you are starting at and whether you still have those noob gains in your legs.

The most important thing is to enjoy the journey. You may get there or you may not. Give it a shot!


For sure! Looking to do my second ftp test after the first 6 week base to see where things are at - hoping for some newb gains. Know that the more fit I get, the gains will be more gradual.

FTP Test after SSB Mid Volume 1 went from 202 to 224! Def had some noob gains to enjoy!

I did another attempt on Rist this past week and got a new PR that was 1:26 faster. Think it was around 57:29. My ngEco power meter showed I had an average power of 221 for the segment.

Funny, I was using Best Bike Split to pace myself and noticed that if I went by BBS pacing, I was going to be slower than projected so I instead used my previous PR on Strava to pace against. I think I lost about 30 seconds at least on the attempt due to the confusion initially.

Either way, the gains feel great! Also noticed that even though I pushed myself really hard, I’ve never felt better immediately after - I think my body is definitely getting more used to the regular training…


First of all, congrats to your first achievements! Would like to add what others pointed out already: if you want the challenge then go for it!

But at the same time don’t take it as a miss should you only make it to the top in 47 minutes or so.
Also, what I can say is that there will be days/weeks where training just doesn’t feel appropriate… you may feel tired, not motivated, maybe there is some pain because your bikefit turns out to be a bit off. Whenever that happens: don’t overcook it, listen to your body and make sure you have proper rest and eat a lot of good food whenever possible. Also, while training may (and will) be hard and painful, that pain should never be there off the bike. So don’t ignore those signs. Your body will thank you :slight_smile:


Thanks Hannes. For sure. Even 47 would be amazing and over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at reading my body for when I need to rest. I’ll have some built in rest due to travel anyways. I actually have grown to love those occasional 2 day rest times where you can just feel your body resting/healing/getting stronger.

Very interested to see how the next 6-week block goes and how much or little my ftp will change. I definitely felt like I failed more aerobically as I felt like my legs still had the strength but when my pulse was at 185 (10bpm over my rule of thumb max hr), I was done! With that, I feel the continued endurance training is going to massively help as I move forward through this.

Anyhoo, enjoying the journey. I’ve learned in many other pursuits in life that the journey is where all the “fun” is - even amidst the pain :slight_smile:

The power required is more than 58.9/45 multiplied by the power you produced on your 58:55 ride. If the Strava estimate of 203 was correct, the you will need to produce 266W. This assumes that the work required stays the same. Since air drag is exponential, the actual power required will be higher. This also assumes that your weight doesn’t change

Power is work divided by time.

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