A new week, a new month, and a new FTP.

Last month I began my slow rebuild for Quarter 3 of 2023, aiming to absolutely smash my previous terrible FTP figure right out of the water. It shouldn’t be too hard, my results were … dreadful.

After that disaster I decided that I needed a strategy to undo some of the bad habits I’d formed from doing a lot of unstructured riding. I set myself a goal of doing at least one SST session each week, along with a race, an ‘endurance’ paced ride (not endurance length), and then another harder ride at the weekend, and a free ride on Sunday.

I’ve been sticking to that plan.

And as part of that plan I decided to knock down my FTP figure from the previous value I’d used just prior to my failed FTP test – a figure of ~249w as best I recall – down by 14w to 235w.

I figured I would ride at 235w for July, then 240w for August, then 245w into September, which would take me up to the end of the month whereby I’d hope to stretch myself in the test – having gained back some / all of my prior form and fitness, and hopefully hit the 3.72w/kg target I’ve set for 2023.

Even though my FTP has been 9w higher at its peak, I was nevertheless nervous going into this one. What if I couldn’t make it though? Where would that leave me? I have DNF’d SST sessions in the past, so this isn’t unheard of.

When I upped my FTP in Zwift to 240w, I found that the days session was only going to be 5w harder in the “on” block. That would be 4x 5 minutes at 230w.

The “off” blocks would remain as 4x 5 minutes at 210w.

That did make me feel better about things.

However, once underway I have to say it didn’t feel much different to previous weeks.

And that does kind of translate through to the final figures that I’ve pulled from previous SST sessions from my Strava results:

And then previous weeks:

Basically then, a difference of 2w average, and 10 calories more for the same duration. A lower heart rate today, too. Magic.

All in then, a pretty good start to the week.

Tomorrow will be a more relaxed endurance paced effort, so it’s more about bringing something with me – a book or a game – to kill the time.

Hopefully this is the start of the nice, gradual uptick I envisaged.

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