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02-28-12, 08:14 AM
New to cycling here. I was an athlete in college, fell out of shape and I'm looking to get it back (or as least as close to back as possible). I've done a few 20 minute watt tests at a very well run cycling training program. My current best for the test is 350 watts for the 20 minutes. What's a good goal watt-wise for the season? I've been biking for 4 months now and just kind of hop on and do my thing. If it helps, I'm 6'4'' 220 (looking to get down to 210). Thanks!
If the training program is really well-run, ask the person who runs it. The local indoor program I've been using is run by an experienced coach and she has given me a great deal of excellent advice and encouragement to improve my cycling. I'd look where you're riding now as a start.
What are your cycling goals for the season? From those, you may work your way to "I need to increase my FTP by X%" to get there. You've already suggested a good goal - if you drop your weight from 220# (~100kg) to 210# (~95 kg) without losing fitness, you've improved your W/kg by 5% (a pretty good improvement) without changing anything else. Me - I look at events I want to ride (charity events, Grand Fondos, century rides, doesn't have to be a bike race or duathlon or tri), personal bests I want to beat (time to climb THAT hill, ride a particular loop, total time on my favorite century) and friendly competitions (move up from hanging on for dear life on the local group ride) and work towards those. The power will follow.