Testing week is done.
I now have base results for myself and each of my coaches athletes that we can keep an eye on and track progress through the year. It also ensures that we are working at the right intensity in each session. One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to triathlon training is not having a reason for each session. Commonly referred to as junk miles in running programs - each time you train there has to be a specific reason/goal/outcome for that session, even if it is a recovery run/ride/swim, the recovery element of it dictates the pace/intensity it should be completed at.
Training peaks is great for this as it keeps a tally of each persons training stress score (TSS) which is the stress on the body from each session. You can compare weeks on weeks and look for trends and use it to dictate volume and intensity.
So this week, I completed a functional threshold power (FTP) test. This involves a thorough warm up, including a 5min all out effort to rid your body of your anaerobic energy, followed by a recovery before an all out 20min time trial.
My previous best FTP was 280 which was just before I raced Frankfurt Ironman in 2015. I didn't have high expectations, and before I stepped on the bike I had around the 220 in my head. However after the warm up, I felt a little more confident and manage to hold 254w for the 20minutes - which I was more than happy about.
FTP is your average power for a 60min effort, so in order to achieve this we take 95% of our 20min power, therefore mine comes out as 240w. My target is ultimately to be in better shape than pre-Frankfurt, but would love my FTP to start with a 3!
Now, the other thing with power is that it is relative to your weight, as the more you weigh the more power you can push and the more power you need to push for a given speed. So there is two ways to get better on the bike, increase power and stay the same weight or decrease weight and keep the same power, this will both increase your watts per kg, but if you can increase power and decrease weight you are into a winner!
So with my weight sitting at 84.5kg, down from 85.6kg last week! My power:weight ratio is 2.84w/kg.
The second test was a critical swim speed test. Here, you perform a 400m time trial swim, followed by a 5min recovery swim then a 200m time trial swim. Now, I have only recently started swimming again for the first time Since July 2015 (Frankfurt), so the 400m was a reality check - put it this way it certainly wasn't evenly paced! My times came out as 7:02 and 3:28, which gave me a Critical Swim Speed of 1:47/100m. This number will form the basis of my main set work.
Finally, a run test - this year I am using Jack Daniels running formulas to ascertain running paces for different workouts. The principle of this is gaining a 'Vdot' score - this is obtained by performing a running test and the time for the given distance equates to a score. This score will then set your paces for the 4 different types of runs we will use - Long run, Easy run, Threshold run, Intervals. I decided that due to be early in our training program we would use a smaller distance as the test - 3km. In this test I ran the 3km in 11:57, this was an average pace of 3:59/km - which gave me a Vdot score of 48.
I will be retesting these values on a regular basis and charting the progress - hopefully constantly in the right direction.