“If you can’t measure it, it’s just an emotion”

The quote in the title is from Marcus Storck – he of the very nice German bikes.  And it’s spot on as far as I’m concerned.  The trouble is, though, whilst power is power, the amount of power you can generate varies between riding on a turbo and “proper” riding on a bike.  For a few people they can generate more power.  Most generate less on the turbo, with riders reporting as much as 15-20% less.  This is can be due to a number of factors – cooling, inertia, the slight movements you don’t get on a turbo and, of course, motivation.  Whilst I did a sports science test (Wattbike) prior to my training starting, I didn’t test on my turbo.  All my training has been based on power zones set from that first test.  And it has felt really hard.  The giveaway word in that sentence is “felt”.  I have a stack of data to prove that it has been hard but what if it hasn’t been as hard as it should have been?  I should have done an FTP test on my turbo before I started perhaps?

Ade's Road Cycling Blog

Anyway, I didn’t.  But I’ve done one now.  It was horrible.  On the plus side, my 20 minute average power was the highest I’ve ever recorded.  Which means my FTP has gone up.  If I’m being hard on myself (and I usually am) it’s not where I thought it would be.  If I am one of those people who generate less power on the turbo than the bike I’m in a really good place!  If not, more work to do!  Only time, and more like-for-like measurements, will tell.  As it is, compared with my training for the 2014 season at this point I’ve done 3 times as much turbo work and only slightly less mileage, so I’m hopeful I’m going to get a nice surprise on the road! (note the word “hopeful” – not yet certain!)

So my turbo power-to-weight ratio is now 4.67 W/Kg for 20 minutes or approximately 4.44 W/Kg at FTP.  I want to be going into my first race approaching 5W/Kg at FTP and I have 2 months to achieve that.  Onwards and upwards!

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