During training camp we did a couple mountain passes. The one I want to discuss was a fairly consistent 6-8% with some 10+% sections thrown in. This climb came early in the ride and I wanted to pace myself and not blow all my energy before the final climb of the day. I taped over the power display on my Ergomo, and went on PE alone.
Climbing, I maintained a pace that felt labored but not extreme. My breathing was controlled, I probably could have talked (a few words at a time) to a teammate had one been with me. I spent some time climbing out of the saddle, but most of the climb was done seated. When I downloaded the data, I noticed the entire climb was done at threshold. Ok, cool, now I know what FTP feels like.
Here's my question: If I wanted to climb above FTP, it would have taken significant concentration. Climbing at FTP was basically a "turn-my-brain-off-and-pedal" kind of deal. Have others noticed the same? That it takes a lot of concentration to maintain power above threshold for a time?