A few posts ago I mentioned needing an FTP test on my bike. Well, turns out I need one in all three sports, really. Having not done one in each of the three sports since October 2016, they’re badly needed.
But I’m pretty sure I know how they’re going to go. Bike will go up, slightly. No more than a few watts. Run will go down, a lot. Injuries tend to do that. And swim will stay roughly the same, maybe a very slight improvement.
But they’re just so exhausting to do. And the fitness benefit of the test itself is not great. Obviously the argument can be made that accurate FTP = better training post-test. That’s true. I will never dispute this. But I’m pretty sure I can get to that point without testing again.
Yesterday I bumped my cycling FTP up by three watts and then did the same 90 min workout on the turbo that I did on Sunday (TrainerRoad’s Phoenix). My 60 and 90 min watts were not as high yesterday as on Sunday, but I held on for the whole time without much additional difficulty. I should note also that I squatted so many times on Monday that my butt still hurts today, Wednesday. Which is to say that I think I’d have cycled stronger Tuesday than Sunday if not for Monday squatday.
I’ve tried this in the past with success. Just bumping the FTP up a few watts at a time and give it 4-5 workouts to settle through the body. Each time I’ve done this I’ve never had to turn it down. Is it as accurate as a full on FTP test? Obviously no. But it is a lot more efficient in my mind.
But this is harder to do in the pool and while running, I find. Unless I’m in a steady-state environment where I know with 100% certainty the effort I put in is exactly relative to a certain point (which is the entire point of a cycling power meter), a full test is more or less essential. Swimming has too many variables to control. Running has slightly fewer variables, I’d argue, but my fitness is so out of whack on the run right now due to the off season that I don’t really have much choice but to test.
I just don’t want to.
…Maybe this weekend.