FTP Tests Last 17:55, Right?

An outdoor ride, at lunch time, in late November. I’ll take it.

Conditions outside looked dry. Cold, for sure. But dry. And of course, as soon as I set off it started to drizzle. Boo.

Not to be deterred I had a plan in mind. I’d try and do a 20 minute effort. An FTP road test, if you will. I wasn’t going to be able to do it efficiently – not like on a turbo – as I would have to stop at a junction, and along the way there would be a sharp left hand turn. But by and large, I was expecting to be maxing out.

And by maxing out, I had in mind 3.5w/kg average.

The aim was to ride at 3.5w/kg or greater for 20 minutes. But things didn’t go exactly according to plan.

So, right out of the house I realised the cleat situation had been made worse. Worse than it was on Sunday. I’d messed up my adjustment and the position had me toe in, rather than heel in. Whoops.

That should, I reckon, have convinced me not to be putting an excessive amount of pressure on the joint. But no. Like a clown I went for it anyway.

That wasn’t – oddly – the thing that really narked me.

As I got to the start of where I wanted to begin my 20 minute effort, I pressed the lap timer on the Garmin, and off I went.

About 4 minutes in, sweating and heaving, I needed to take my mind off things. How long was left of the 20 minutes? How many minutes had I actually done so far?

Well… whoops. I did not have a screen with that information on. No average wattage on the lap, no time on the lap… nothing. So I did a bit of rushed, and optimistic mental arithmetic, and concluded I must be about 4 or 5 minutes in. I figured I’d keep pushing until the ride time clock said 25 minutes.


In fairness I did push till the clock said 25 minutes. And that coincided almost perfectly with the aforementioned junction I knew I’d need to either entirely stop at, or come to a crawl to be safe.

I pushed the lap timer as I hit the junction, and had to slow for another cyclist. As I made my way out I looked down and saw the timer just as it ticked off.

17 minutes 55 seconds.

It certainly had felt like 20 minutes. I guess the final two minutes of the FTP test are the hardest. And briefly, oh so briefly, I thought I’d push on again for the remaining two minutes.

But no. My motivation was gone.

I kept the ride going – rather than turning in early. I was wet, both with the drizzle and the sweat, but enjoyed having a much more relaxed ride on the long way home.

Tomorrow should be an indoor session – the next Norseman ride.

Well, that’s the plan.

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