Tuesday, May 12, 2009

FTP: Fantasy Threshold Power

Tonight I did two sets of 2 x 3 minutes in Zone 5.5, which was harder than threshold, but not all out. I'm not sure what specific training adaptation I was supposed to gain from this workout, but I like to think of it as a "fantasy threshold" workout. I say that because the workout was at the power level where I want my threshold to be in a few months. It was a chance to "hang out" at 200 watts without having to commit to a full 20 minutes of it just yet.

I'm only mildly embarrassed to admit that my "fantasy threshold" is 200 watts. It probably seems pretty low to most people, especially guys, but from my observation and research I feel pretty confident that I will be "good" by the time I reach this level. Not elite, but good.

I'm not sure where the elite benchmark is, because most people guard there numbers pretty closely. I don't blame them. If I had more at stake, I would probably not let my competition know the details of my training and fitness, but I doubt that anyone reading this is getting too worried just yet.

No matter how much you think you know about the competition, you really don't know anything until you race. It reminds me of a part from one my favorite books, The Triathletes, about what the Hawaii Ironman would be like if everyone just showed up and compared training logs. However, being a true story and not a work of inspiring fiction, the working class privateer that I rooted for throughout the book goes home empty handed.

So I'm happy with my arbitrary goal of 200 watts and I feel like tonight got me just a little bit closer. I know there are several other major factors that will or will not contribute to my success this season, but it's nice having just one that I can monitor on a daily basis.


zenbicyclist said...

How do you measure your power? I used a Polar Power Meter once but it seemed about as accurate as the speedo in my daughter's Barbie Jeep.

Lindsay said...

I have the most basic model of Power Tap (the wired kind), that I bought used for $350 last summer. What brand did you use?

zenbicyclist said...

I need to get with the times and get a Power Tap, I see a lot of people use them. I used a Polar 720i, it calculted wattage based on cadence, speed, and the frequency of the chain. It didn't actually measure torqe so it was very suspect. Going down hills it thought I was puttng out 750 watts. Right.