FTP Test Results: Q2 2023

The too long, didn’t read summary: massively down.

Amazingly though, I’m not going to be 100% negative about this. There are some key takeaways from what is, without putting any spin on it, a really disappointing (if not totally unexpected) outcome.

OK, let’s dive right in.

There were several challenges going into this FTP test.

Primarily: I didn’t want to do it.

I know most people do not look forwards to any sort of test, particularly fitness ones. Knowing I’ve had this coming over the last few weeks has seen me find excuse after excuse for not getting it done.

The one good thing about doing the yearly reviews is that I have forced myself into a system now where I have to do it. At the end of every quarter I do the FTP Test to assess progress. Here we are at the end of Quarter 2 2023, so it had to get done.

That said, I could skip it, but that wouldn’t be helping me.

But as I say, just because I have to do it, doesn’t mean I want to do it.

And that is a big thing. If I’m not mentally in that space, everything feels that much harder.

Second: It’s been hot lately. I know some of you live in hotter climates and are used to 30c+ or whatever. I’m not. And today it’s been another hot one.

There were cooler days midweek when this would have maybe gone better, but I didn’t take them. So here we are.

Third: and on the subject of doing this ride midweek, I did intend to do this on Thursday. The week has been a bit messed up as I was away on Wednesday. A long day at 12 hours, 5 hours being travel.

That wasn’t a rest day.

But I gave myself Thursday off, rather than hitting this ride as planned. And then, who wants to ride on a Friday? Not me. So I wimped out then, as well.

Today was defacto unskippable as a result.

That doesn’t mean I felt any more inclined to do this today than I had at any other point this week. Perhaps those nerves worked against me. The anxiety. Perhaps if I had tackled this earlier in the month, rather than let it sit and dwell on it, things might have gone better.

The truth of it is: I expected to be down this time around.

There are reasons for this, chief of which is lack of proper training.

You can’t just turn up to an FTP Test and expect to do well. It takes preparation, and mine has been lacking.

Shorter rides, few to no structured workouts, no longer endurance rides…

All I’ve really done lately is to race. And whilst that’s fun, it’s not the way to train for this.

OK, so all of that said, I did say I wasn’t going to be entirely negative.

I am aware of why I struggled today, which is a positive as it means I know how to improve for next time. It will soon come around. 12 weeks is no time at all.

The key thing I absolutely need to be doing is Sweet Spot Training sessions. Ideally one a week, perhaps even two. I don’t like doing them, because – again – I have struggled with them recently. But needs must.

Those sessions are the perfect training for these harder efforts. Mentally and physically.

Another thing that is positive today is that I never gave up.

God, I wanted too.

I wanted to quit when I couldn’t make it through the first 5 minute hard effort. That was a low point.

And then at 17 minutes remaining, I knew I would really struggle today, and I just wanted to call it a day. But if I did, I would then need to come back and do it again… only, sooner. Motivation.

So as bad as it got today, and it did get progressively worse, I never threw in the towel.

Annoyingly, there were several times where I tried to crack on, to claw something back. And it felt like I was pushing harder than I had been 20-30 seconds ago. I’d look up, and see the wattage had dropped further. Absolute mental shattering.

Anyway, the numerical outcome was terrible.

And I realise I haven’t even updated my weight in Zwift – it’s still showing as 66kg, which is absolutely wishful thinking at this point.

Which does mean the number are even worse.

But hey. We have a way forwards, some semblance of a plan, and the FTP test for Quarter 2 is over and done with.

Things can only get better.

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