Okay, I did a Half Monty on Tuesday and then followed it up with a new FF today. And now… I’m really confused.
I thought I had my rider profile all sorted out. And even tho I’ve switched from a dumb trainer to a smart trainer I thought I had everything dialed in. Now? I’m not so sure.
I think I have a couple ideas of what happened. First, here are my results.
Half Monty results from Tuesday:
That was 3 days after my 100 mile (yes, mile) ride at the end of my metric century plan. Also my first HM after getting my smart trainer. You can see my old NM and AC numbers are legacy Virtual Watts from my dumb trainer, so ignore those for now. My FTP went down from 255, but so did my LTHR because I was still fatigued from Saturday. So really, my FTP is about the same since it’s just my fatigue that’s making my FTP number lower.
Now, here are today’s results:
Everything up, except for my FTP which dropped 20w.
I nailed the first 2 sprints. Then I nailed the 5 minute test. Nailed it beyond my expectations. It was hard and I wasn’t expecting to get even 302 since my highest MAP in a FF has been 283. But when I started it didn’t feel has hard as I expected. At the 3:30 point I was pretty sure I was going to get at least get 302 it was just a matter of how long I could hold on. For the last 2 minutes I was chewing stem, but every time I looked up my power was at or above 302. When I finished I was at 326, so I knew I nailed the MAP portion. The question was how it was going to affect the 20 minute test. And unlike my last FF, this time I didn’t feel that burning heat-burn feeling in my throat. So, I was expecting decent numbers for the 20 minute part.
Last time my legs felt toasted from the 5 minute test and I struggled with the 20 minutes and I ended up dropping 2 watts. This time, however, it was way worse. There was no burning in my throat. It was all in my legs. I just couldn’t hold a steady pace at any wattage. I was all over the place. Less than halfway thru my legs were so toasted I had to soft pedal for a few seconds. I ramped back up but died again around 7 minutes. After that I tried as best I could to hold any pace over 200watts. But I was still all over the place. It was my most miserable 20 minute test ever. I thought about abandoning it a few times, but forced myself to push through it and work as hard as I could so I could get to the 1 minute test and get real 1 minute numbers from the smart trainer.
Then I did the 1 minute test and it was not only the first time I ever actually completed it, I managed to somehow hold over 400 watts up until the last second. My legs were burning like never before, but I gave it all I had.
My LTHR is back up to 157 and my HR was looking higher overall, so my recovery from my 100 miler was definitely helping.
So, what happened?
Well, this might be part of it. I started a session of FF, but stopped after 5 minutes because I realized it’s been almost 2 weeks since my last smart trainer calibration, so I stopped to do a spin down. This took almost 20 minutes because of Bluetooth connection issues between the apps. First i tried to just pause FF while I did the calibration. But that didn’t work because the Wahoo app would never notice that I hit 22.4mph. I was pushing hard to stay up over 23mph 2 or 3 times and the Wahoo app wouldnt start the spin down. So I ended up having to close both apps, restart my phone, disconnecting and reconnecting my smart trainer. Then once I finally got it to work and calibrated, I had to restart FF from the beginning. So I used up some gas getting up to 22.4mph or higher at least 3 times - plus the extra stress. So maybe that contributed by putting out too much effort before my FF?
Am I still fatigued from my 100 mile ride? Or from doing HM on Tuesday? I was easily able to hold 220w in the constrained portion of HM on Tuesday.
Did I overcook the 5 minute portion? My MAP from Tuesday was 302, but I got 311, today.
I’m 44, so I’m not young, anymore, but I’m not that old, either.
I’ve never had an issue holding an effort for the full 20 minutes, before, even at a lower wattage. I’ve always been able to stick it out in my other two FF’s and all 3 HM’s. In my previous HM (August 19) I held 240-245w for almost the entire constrained portion. This time I was toasted and just couldn’t do it. It just seems out of character based on how I perform in all my workouts. And instead of saying 228w is my new FTP I really feel like it’s actually a failed 20 minute test? Is that possible?
My weakness has always been repeated efforts. Now my weakness is supposedly sustained efforts? But I actually usually excel at those workouts. All the workouts now being recommended to improve my weakness are ones I nail and enjoy like Thin Air and It Seemed Like Thin Air and The Wretched. I just came off the Metric Century plan and was doing a lot of tempo and sustained Z2 efforts. I love Defender (it’s probably my favorite workout) and when I did it at 235 FTP I was riding at 10-20w higher in level mode even during the last set. That was on Aug 13 right before I did HM on Aug 19 which bumped my FTP up to 255. I can’t imagine my FTP actually dropped from 248 on Tuesday to 228 today. If I decide to do another HM next week I’m sure I’ll bump my FTP right back up. Should I do that? Are my legs just fatigued from the Century Plan (intermediate) and from doing 100 miles possibly sooner than I should have (1 week ago)?
I know the FTP workouts are going to be too easy at 228. They were too easy at 235, but were feeling about right at 255. I feel like I should bump it back up to at least 248. Should I manually bump it back up? Should I do another HM? Did I overcook the MAP portion? Ahhh!!
When I did my FF back on July 4 I felt tired and sluggish during the 20 minute portion and even tho I was expecting (based on how I was performing in all my workouts - that I was going to bump my FTP up higher than 237, but instead it dropped to 235. Yet, even then, I was still able to fully complete the 20 minute session without stopping. It really does feel like my weakness is repeated efforts rather than sustained efforts. heh.
Any thoughts from the coaches? I’m thoroughly flummoxed. I thought I knew exactly what kind of cyclist I was, but now I’m thoroughly confused my today’s effort.