What’s this thing, “Functional” Threshold Power

blown

I’ve been thinking about FTP more and more as I gear up for a century next weekend. I’m not saying anyone is wrong, just some food for thought

I teach indoor cycling at a big box gym. I have several certifications, most notably training with watts. I am not an aerobics instructor. I don’t teach at SoulCycle or any of that ilk. I teach using sound cycling principles, not push-ups on the handlebars.
 
The past two weeks I’ve taken my classes through 20-minute functional threshold tests. I’ve done this myself using Trainer Road and Sufferfest and both apps have increased my FTP based on my virtual watts. I’ve also watched many in my virtual communities go as hard as they can for 20 minutes and the apps call it their FTP.  In my education, this is incorrect.
 
FTP means ‘functional’ threshold power, an estimation of what you can function at for 60 minutes, not 20. It’s not balls to the wall, hard as you can, throw up at the end effort. One of my group called it her ‘forever pace.’ The rate of perceived exertion is 6-7 out of 10 – you’re breathing hard; you can recite a line of Mary Had a Little Lamb but need to take a breath. Train at too high an effort consistently and you will feel the effects of overtraining.
 
I have this problem myself – I get all jacked up about the numbers and go hard, hard, hard, but only end up feeling like complete carp halfway through the season. I was training at too high an effort when I should be at my ‘forever’ pace.
 
My FTP on both Trainer Road and Sufferfest is 220w. My indoor FTP on the Keisers at the gym is 240w. Which is right?
 
It doesn’t matter. 220w on my bike on the trainer feels the same as 240w at the gym: sustainable (rpe 7) for one hour. What matters is that I have a concrete number to work with, just like that evil number on the scale.

Anywhere But Here @Safetysuit #Soundtrackoflife

“Anywhere But Here”
Safetysuit

Is this the end of the moment or just a beautiful unfolding
Of a love that will never be or maybe be
Everything that I never thought could happen or ever come to pass and I wonder
If maybe, maybe I could be all you ever dreamed, cause you areBeautiful inside, so lovely and I can’t see why I’d do anything without you, you are
And when I’m not with you, I know that it’s true
That I’d rather be anywhere but here without you

Is this a natural feeling or is it just me bleeding
All my thoughts and dreams in hope that you will be with me or
Is this a moment to remember or just a cold day in December, I wonder
If maybe, maybe I could be all you ever dreamed cause you are

Beautiful inside, so lovely and I can’t see why I’d do anything without you, you are
And when I’m not with you, I know that it’s true
That I’d rather be anywhere but here without you

Is this the end of the moment or just a beautiful unfolding of a love that will never be for you and me
Cause you are

You’re beautiful inside, you’re so lovely and I can’t see why I’d do anything without you, you are
And when I’m not with you, I know that it’s true
That I’d rather be anywhere but here without you

@OneRepublic ‘All We Are’

“All We Are”
One Republic

I tried to paint you a picture, the colors were all wrong
Black and white didn’t fit you and all along,
You were shaded with patience, your strokes of everything
That I need just to make it, but I can see that…Lord knows I failed you time and again,
But you and me are alright

We won’t say our goodbyes
You know it’s better that way
We won’t break, we won’t die
It’s just a moment of change

All we are, all we are is everything that’s right
All we need, all we need, a lover’s alibi, yeah.

I walked a minute in your shoes –
They never would’ve fit
I figured there’s nothing to lose.
I need to get
Some perspective on these words before I write them down
You’re an island and my ship has run aground.

Lord knows I’ll fail you time and again,
But you and me are alright, yeah.

We won’t say our goodbyes
You know it’s better that way
We won’t break, we won’t die
It’s just a moment of change

All we are, all we are is everything that’s right
All we need all we need, a lover’s alibi

Every single day that I can breathe,
You change my philosophy
I’m never gonna let you pass me by

So don’t say your goodbyes
You know it’s better that way
We won’t break, we won’t die
It’s just a moment of change.

So don’t say your goodbyes
You know it’s better that way
We won’t break, we won’t die
It’s just a moment of change.

All we are, all we are is everything that’s right
All we need, all we need, a lover’s alibi.

So don’t say our goodbyes
You know it’s better…
We won’t break, we won’t die

 

#Music Makes Me Move – Getting your #ClimbingLegs

I’ve been writing posts for the Indoor Cycling Association since last fall and I’ve had a great time doing it. Most have been for their ‘Friday Favorites,’ which is music suggestions for your workouts.

Artist: Russian Circles  (for info on the Chicago, IL based band)
Song: Station
Album: Station
Time: 8:43
Genre: alternative
BPM: variable
Category: climb
Available on: iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, Spotify

I tend to use music with a hard-driving beat and big, dramatic sound for my workouts. Unlike most instructors, I do not use bpm/rpm to gauge whether a song is good for climbing or flats. I go by how it feels. Is it angry and dark, edgy or do I feel like my legs are already pumping?  My tastes in music also run along the obscure and it is rare that you hear me use a Top 40 or popular song in my class, that is unless I’m forced. 

This Russian Circles track delivers on all counts. ‘Station’ is chock-full of fierce guitar riffs and rocking drums. What I especially love is that there are several changes in tempo throughout this song to challenge you. Tempo changes like this are rare (which is why Russian Circles is so great!). Every time you ride to this track you might do it a different way. 

Because of the tempo changes, you can include big-gear surging flats, a tough climb as the bpm slows down, attacks, respites, and a big standing effort at the end (with just enough left over at the finish to recover a bit before moving on).

How I’ve used it:

Climb at tempo at the beginning until 2:50 when the energy eases up. Then at 4:00 the aggressive guitars pick back up—bringing you back to a hard climb. At 5:20 the ambiance changes completely. It’s not as aggressive, but the tempo picks up, so you can surge harder here against the same gear, or maintain the intensity and reduce the gear at the higher cadence as if the road levels off a bit. This continues for 2 minutes, until just after 8:00 when the beat fades away—perfect for rolling over the top of this varied climb out of the saddle.

For another example, see my ride profile called The Grimpeur, a stage race simulation that follows American Mara Abbott up the famed #Mortirolo in stage 5 of the 2016 #GiroRosa, available here

 

 

Oceans, Coldplay

 

Wait for your call, love
The call never came
Ready to fall up
Ready to claim
I’m ready for it all, love
Ready for the pain
Meet under sun and
Meet me again
In the rain
In the rain

Behind the walls, love
I’m trying to change
And I’m ready for it all, love
I’m ready for the change
Meet me in blue sky
Meet me again
In the rain
In the rain
In the rain

You’ve got to find yourself alone in this world
You’ve got to find yourself alone

Be There, Seafret #songsofmylife

 

As an aside, 99.99% of the song lyrics I’ve shared with you recently have something to do with what I’m currently writing.

“Be There”
You’ve got me surrounded,
It feels like I’m drowning and I don’t want to come up for air.
I lost everything, I threw myself in and you took me when no one was there.
Well you can take what you need, take the air that I breathe and I’ll give away all that I own.
Whatever I lose, is put back by you in a way that you’ll never know.

‘Cause I can’t be without you

I’ll be there when you need me most
I’ll be there if you’re ever alone
Together, we can grow old.
I can’t leave you
I can’t leave you,
No.

There’s no air around me, when we get this close but there’s no where I want to go.
You keep it a secret if you feel the same and leave me dying to know.

‘Cause I can’t be without you

I’ll be there when you need me most
I’ll be there if you’re ever alone
Together, we can grow old.
I can’t leave you
I can’t leave you

You’re my way out
You’re my way through
And I can’t, I can’t
Be without you
You’re my way out
You’re my way through
And I can’t
Be without you

So be there when I need you most
Be there, whenever I’m alone
Together, will we grow old? I can’t leave you
I can’t leave you

I’ll be there when you need me most
I’ll be there if you’re ever alone
Together, we can grow old.
I can’t leave you
I can’t leave you,
No.