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Old 06-09-20, 07:00 PM
  #26  
Barry2 
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FulGaz 12 Week FTP Program (Beginners)

6/9/2020
With my Strava estimated FTP being static for the last two months it is time to make a change.
I've decided that simply adding miles to my week might not be the most productive solution.
There must be a reason that structured workouts are available from multiple sources...... really!

My software of choice, FulGaz, has a 12 week FTP program for Beginners.
OK I'm in... I did the first day today. The Kinglake FTP Test.
This is to set a baseline for the rest of the program.
It is a warm up period, followed by a 20min go as hard as you can up a %5 average hill test.
I've never had to pace myself this way and found pacing kinda tough.
Pedaling was also tough. But that would be the point.
Spoiler
 






With practice in pacing, I could likely better that by a few watts. But it is pretty close to the number Strava estimated at 135W.

Now to see if I can stick to the Kickr and the FulGaz program for a whole 3 months.

All the best

Barry

I post the picture not because I'm proud of my 140W, but for future reference.
Note: Strava reports the measured climb as 137w and not the FulGaz reported 140W. Thanks Strava, and why do I pay you 8-)



Training (or not) Log
WEEK 1
(TLDR Version, Started out with 20min FTP test to set my level in the Software. Intervals appear to be achievable and yet still taxing.)
Spoiler
 


WEEK 2 (TLDR Version, Intervals have become extremely tough to complete. A Software bug forcing me to use ERG mode is making it worse. I got irked and frustrated. I'm worried I can't do this program.)
Spoiler
 


WEEK 3 (TLDR Version, Intervals getting easier, prior 168W was really tough on me. Found I like mornings better. I tested my new legs and hit a PB. I'm encouraged by the results.)
Spoiler
 



WEEK 4 (TLDR Worked hard, did what I was told and went from 140W to 144W in a month of intervals.... so why bother!)
Spoiler
 

Last edited by Barry2; 07-06-20 at 10:27 AM. Reason: Hid weekly details inside "spoilers"
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Old 06-30-20, 01:06 PM
  #27  
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Wahoo Kickr Headwind disconnects and drops

06/230/2020
Not sure if I mentioned it, but at the same time of acquiring the Kickr bike I purchased the Wahoo Kickr Headwind. That is the Wahoo fan solution.
The headwind runs in 3 modes.
1. Manual - you set the speed using the app or the manual buttons on the front of the fan.
2. Tied to a Wahoo Tickr heart rate monitor (HRM). The faster you beat, the harder the fan blows.
3.Tied to a Wahoo Kickr. The faster you virtually travel the faster the fan blows.

THE ISSUE
Since new I've been able to bind (connect) both the Tickr X or the Bike to the fan, but only at very close range.
After moving the fan to 3' in front of the bike, the connection drops.
The fan if on and in sleep mode, it should wake up if a bound Kickr or Tickr come online, this it has never done.

MY SOLUTION (not)
I've been waiting for a firmware update to fix this.... crickets.
Wahoo didn't indicate it was firmware, I just procrastinated and ran the fan in manual mode.

Wishlist
Now with all these Intervals, a dynamic fan tied to my HRM is really appealing.

THE SOLUTION ( I hope)
Opened a support ticket with Wahoo and did some research on my own.
Using the iPhone App LightBlue you can monitor Bluetooth (BT) devices that are close by.
Found that at 15 feet range, the Headwinds BT signal was significantly weaker (21dB) than that of the Kickr Bike.
Wahoo support was it's usual helpful and efficient self, and replacement is being shipped.
I could have chosen to return mine first, then they would ship replacement. Instead I guaranteed a cross-ship with a credit card.
Once the new one arrives I'll use their packaging materials to return mine.

I will keep you informed.

Barry

07/20/2020
Wahoo support is great.
The replacement Headwind arrived quickly will detect the HRM from 16' away and stays connected throughout the ride. Great.
Sorry for the delayed update.

Last edited by Barry2; 07-20-20 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 07-04-20, 03:16 PM
  #28  
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Month 2 (Beginner) - not going to happen!

07/04/2020
Summary of Month 1 of Beginner Program - That sucked!
Having found that two months (April, May) of riding miles didn't improve my Strava estimated FTP, I decided to try intervals. After all, intervals are the recognized method of increasing power in most all sports.
I have completed the first month (June) of the Beginner FTP Program with no measurable increase in FTP power. (140w to 144w)
To say it's disappointing is an understatement. I didn't even get my participation award 8-).

FulGaz offers two FTP improvement programs "Beginner" and "Keen". I see little point in continuing with the Beginner FTP program, I expected to see a jump in FTP for the first month, then diminishing gains for the last two. What I got was no better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

I have decided to re-start FTP interval training with the Keen program.

OK, Lets go!

Last edited by Barry2; 09-04-20 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 07-06-20, 10:13 AM
  #29  
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FulGaz FTP Program - Keen

07/06/2020
Here we go again...

FulGaz FTP Program - Keen
The sessions in the "Keen" program are ~40% longer and I suspect a bit more demanding.

Week1 Day1 - Recover from weekend. Do nothing, tomorrow lets FTP test (again)
Week1 Day2 - FTP Test.... FAILED! Had hoped to top Saturdays FTP of 144W, didn't happen. Not feeling it today and caved halfway up the hill. I'll use Saturdays result.
This undulating hill is bugging me. I'd rather fight a constant resistance on the FTP tests. This one keeps changing the slope. Realistic, yes, necessary, NO.
I'm going to override the FulGaz/Kickr varying slope with the Wahoo Bolt in Level mode. The Watts will still report accurately to the FulGaz FTP test, I just don't have to keep Fing with the gears while riding.

Week1 Summary - The Keen program has longer sessions and more intense. 60+mins and 172W peaks are the new norm. Some of the rest periods are not nearly "rest" enough and I'm coasting or not making the 100 cadence I'm being asked for. One week down, eleven more to go. I did manage an outdoor ~40miles (my longest) on Sunday. Felt good right up to where the 100F heat melted me. Nowhere to refill bottles is an issue.

Week2 Summary - These longer sessions are taxing. I've been taking the optional "Easy Outdoor ride" days off, to better recover the legs. Though I did manage my first 50 miler in ~40 years, on Sunday.
The FulGaz ERG mode bug persists, stopping me turning off ERG. This is still forcing me to take 30 second rest periods rather than just reducing my wattage to a manageable level.
COME ON FULGAZ FIX THIS SH STUFF!

Last edited by Barry2; 07-20-20 at 06:00 PM. Reason: The saga continues.
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Old 07-27-20, 01:53 PM
  #30  
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Wahoo Elemnt Bolt create custom workout plans, FTP Ramp Test

7/27/2020
This is what I did, not what you should do. Attempt at your own risk.


INTRO
This post assumes you have a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt (bike computer, a Kickr (trainer) capable of ERG mode, and an understanding of connecting/operating the two together. Think of it as crib notes and not a full "how to" video.
BTW ERG mode is where the bike Computer (or software) can control the resistance of the trainer to force a power level, "X" watts.
You pedal slow, the resistance is high to achieve "X" watts. You pedal fast, the resistance is low to achieve the same "X" watts.

THE PROBLEM
I've another 1 month FTP test coming this week.
If you've been reading this Blog you will know that my FulGaz FTP testing has been a frustrating issue.
I'm inexperienced at FTP testing, Pacing myself through the FulGaz 20min FTP test has proven impossible for me.
This is made worse by FulGaz attempting to "make me a better outside cyclist" by varying the resistance during the FTP test.
This is making me concentrate on pacing, power and gear changes all through the test.
If I get the pacing wrong and go too hard, I blowup and fail the test. No FTP number is achieved. FFrustrating, you bet!
OR
In an attempt to not blowup during the test, I arrive at the top with gas in the tank, resulting in a low FTP #.
Hey I got a number, but this low FTP number is then used to set how strenuous the next months training will be. See the problem.
My training level is hampered by my inability to pace.

THE WISHLIST
I'd rather be able to concentrate on just pedaling, Rather than power, pace, how the hill has changed and why am I in the wrong gear... again!
IMHO an FTP test is not the time to hone real world skills.

THE TESTS
8min FTP test - Requires you to produce two blocks of power and ideally keep them with 10% of each other. So we are pacing again.
20min FTP Test - Requires pacing for the entire 20min period.
FTP Ramp Test - Requires you to meet a slowly increasing ERG controlled power figure until you blowup in about 12mins.
You pedal... until you can't pedal. WOW... sounds like it fits within my skill set, especially the last part.

DIY FTP RAMP TEST
My Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is designed to download Workout Plans like the FTP Ramp Test from paid 3rd party providers.
My provider FulGaz does not have an FTP Ramp Test (as of 07/27/20) so how do I get me one of those? Ideally without throwing money at another subscription.

Wahoo Elemnt Bolt creating custom workout plans (FTP Ramp Test)
1. Go to zwofactory and build a .zwo file for the FTP Ramp Test. Be sure to click the cog and set the FTP to 100W, I'll explain why in a min.
Like all good cooking shows, HERE is one I placed in the oven earlier. <Yes the zwofactory website allows you to save your plan as a URL.
BF is known to munge complex URL's from time to time, hence the simple TinyURL link above.
Download the .zwo file you created.

2. Go to whatsonzwift and convert the .zwo file to a .erg file. Once again be sure to set the FTP to 100W (yes I know I still need to tell you why, give me a min.)
The ramp is displayed and to the right you can download the converted file in .erg format.

3. With the Bolt powered off, connect it to a PC with USB, then power on the Bolt.
It will appear like its a Thumb Drive. Open the "USB storage" folder ... open the "plans" folder.
Copy your .erg file to the plans folder.
Power off the Bolt and disconnect the USB cable. I pulled the cable with the Bolt ON and froze up the Bolt. I had to do a soft reset... (Hold pwr button for 10sec). Oooops

4. Turn on the now USB disconnected Bolt.
Go to the Menu and select "PLANNED WORKOUTS".
Scroll to the top of the workout list, then hit the "Sync" button at the bottom of the screen. This step will find your Ramp Test file and add it to the list of Workouts.
Your workout missing from the list? Yes, the bolt may claim to have Sync'ed 2 mins ago. Trust me on this one, do the manual Sync.

IMPORTANT - This Ramp Test workout will only work for an FTP of ~100W unless you follow the next steps. (why we set the FTP to 100W previously, here it comes)
Scroll down the workout list and when you get to your Ramp Test click the "Info" button.
Click the "100%" button and scale the workout to your estimated FTP#. This way you should still blowup at about 12mins (22min if you include the warm-up).
Example, if your FTP is 155W, scale to 155% and hit the "Back" button.
Now click "Select" and "enjoy" your FTP Ramp Test. Don't forget to Start/Pause/End the test on the Bolt.

Once you complete the test, go to the "History" function, Scroll down your result and the Bolt will tell you the best 1min power you achieved.
Take 75% of this number and that is your estimated FTP. Example, if 1min power = 200w then estimated FTP = 0.75 x 200W = 150w


If you decide to try this, please do let me know.
If you are able to improve on this process or post, please do let me know.
All I could find during my internet searches were dead ends, I was very surprised to find out this worked and wonder if others get the same favorable results.


Thanks

Barry

Last edited by Barry2; 07-27-20 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 07-31-20, 10:29 AM
  #31  
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You might want to look at Trainer Day as an alternative to zwofactory for designing interval patterns. Its a little more straightforward, and if you've got a repeating on/off pattern, much faster. Also, some devices or services can't correctly handle segments that have different starting & ending wattages, fwiw.
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Old 07-31-20, 10:40 AM
  #32  
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Thanks Adam for the heads-up.
FWIW the Kickr Bike / Bolt combo handles the Start Wattage / Stop Wattage segment just fine.
With ERG the wattage increase through the segment is soooper smoooth.

I've even considered doing away with the steps in the Ramp Test. The steps appear to be there for ease of calculation at the end of the test.
I could use a single sloping segment because the Bolt will automagically read out the best 1 Min output at the end.
Although, I do find the 1min countdowns encouraging to push for the next one!

Barry
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Old 08-01-20, 11:51 AM
  #33  
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FulGaz FTP Program - Keen - End month 1

08/01/2020

FulGaz FTP Program - Keen
These sessions have proven to be tougher, as expected and hoped for. I did make the mistake of turning them UP in the middle of the month, but returned to the lower setting once I determined I was unable to complete the session.
I've changed the FTP test I'm using. I just don't have the skills to pace for 20mins as required by FulGaz test and I hope that is giving me an artificially low FTP number.
This low number then sets the stress for the up coming month of training.
Using a Ranp test, there is NO pacing required. I've now done two of these, 1 week apart, and the two results are within 1% of each other.
So my new FTP
06/30/20 FTP = 144W
07/31/20 FTP = 155W
a 7.6% increase for the month...... (Although my testing method has changed so possibly inflated)
My end of August test will be performed using this same Ramp Test method and will give a better oranges/oranges comparison.

Unlike the BEGINNER program that I abandoned after 1 month, I will continue with the KEEN program into month two.

Barry
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Old 08-01-20, 10:47 PM
  #34  
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Keep it up and thanks!

I'm 5 days in with the Wahoo Kickr Bike and have been surprised at the lack of forums/content from other years/riders. I appreciated reading your experiences, both good and bad, as well as with the software options. Mine has a pronounced whistle every now and then that I'll probably contact support about, but otherwise it's amazing.

I'm giving Zwift a fair shake, but I have definitely experienced some strangeness with feedback from the software and bike. I best describe it as sluggish... And I did a training run tonight with ERG mode on which clearly showed serious irregularities with bike resistance. If you haven't given up on it completely, just doing free rides and routes is a lot of fun, and doesn't require you hitting a certain rpm or wattage. I had Fulgaz on my list to try and will move that up to top priority.

Keep up the great work and I appreciate the detailed reports. Even if you aren't seeing gains yet, they will come, and you're still getting good workouts in!

-W
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Old 08-02-20, 07:29 AM
  #35  
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Sluggish

Wlybrand,
welcome to BF and congrats on the bike. You are the first owner Ive found here.
Thanks for the nice feedback. This thread got moved from General Cycling and didnt know if anyone was reading it.

I recently had similar response issues.
The Wahoo App on my iPhone was set for Background App Refresh=Always, and not When in use.
I had the phone in the room and it was was fighting for Bluetooth attention and stopping my Apple TV (running FulGaz) from getting Bluetooth updates.
Even though the Wahoo App was not running on the phone, the Bluetooth setting showed it was paired.

Barry
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Old 08-10-20, 02:17 PM
  #36  
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FulGaz FTP Program - Keen - Month 2

08/10/2020

Weeks 1-4
with my FTP set at 144W, sessions were on reflection quite achievable
Then came my new FTP Ramp Test with a result of 155W. This 155W was then used to set the intensity of weeks 5-8.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Week 5 with my FTP set at 155W, sessions are proving to be extremely tough. To the point where I'm "cheating" a little.
The workouts are asking for 170W peaks with ~135W rest periods. I am finding myself unable to maintain the wattage during these rests.
Last Saturday the session crashed 2/3 of the way through, and I was HAPPY.
If I am still unable to complete the sessions this week I will change the Ramp Test calculation and only take 70% on the final result.
These 155W sessions have even stopped me performing the easy outdoor rides on the in-between days. Wheres the fun in that. Though I did get 40 outdoor miles on Sunday.
Week 6 ALL of this weeks sessions have periods of zero watts in between efforts because I needed the additional rest. I have been unable to complete a single session as per planned wattage in two weeks.
I have to assume the FTP Ramp Test result was too high. I see little point in progressing to week 7 and I'll complete Week 6 again in an attempt to get a better result.
Week 6a Prior to starting week 6 I swapped out the Arione saddle on the Wahoo to match the same Carbon saddle I happily use on my other bikes. Seemed like a sensible change. It would have been sensible had I got the saddle height correct. During week 6 I had suffered some knee discomfort, I assumed from all the hard work. But I checked the height. It was too high (~0.75") so I fixed it.
The 3 sessions in week 6a went well. No knee discomfort helps a lot. Tuesday S1=total completion, Thursday (always really tough) S2=Cheated. Saturday S3=Took 3x15sec additional rests, so mostly complete.
The Thursday sessions seem to be the hardest for me. Despite cheating again using additional breaks and a reduction in watts for the last 1/3 on the session, I did do better. This week I managed an 8% increase in average watts over the same session last week. I'm going to claim the win for week 6a and progress on to week 7 . . . . fingers crossed..
Week 7 The 3 sessions this week were again tough. 1&2 I managed total completion. Session 3, I took 2 x 15sec extra breaks in the 1 hour session. Both breaks were after long FTP+ efforts. I'm claiming the win for Wk 7.
I have come to the conclusion that a session you can't quite complete may be better than a session totally complete. I can say I didn't leave much oomph on the table after session 3, I can't claim that for 1&2.
Week 8 Session 1 was 6 laps around London. Six laps around anything is kinda boring. I completed the session, but almost fell off the bike, asleep. They play the same video over and over. I nearly hit the same guy on a bike 6 times.
Session 2 was and easy one, just high cadence prep for the upcoming FTP test. Again I'm going to skip using the 20min FulGaz test. I just don't have the skill to pace for 20mins. Getting a low or no result sucks, FTP Ramp Test to the rescue.
Session 3 The test is tomorrow
I got a disappointing got 159W - - - I know can do better with a good nights sleep.
I'm going to take a mulligan and try again.
Re-did FTP ramp and got 144W and even worse result.
Not sure what to do now.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last edited by Barry2; 09-07-20 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 09-07-20, 03:52 PM
  #37  
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FulGaz FTP Program - Keen - End Month 2 FTP Test

09/04/2020
I started Month 2 at 155W FTP.
I have now completed the end of month 2 test twice.
Friday A 159W result. Only a 2.8% FTP increase. Although I felt at the end of the test I could have done a little better.
Monday A 144W result. An obviously bad test result.
Is the third time charm, or do I go into month 3 at 159W ?
I've been unable to find another blog like this one. Obviously everyone is different, but is 2.8% a typical expected result?

Monday (again) Waited 6 hours and tried again for 146W
Oh well

Last edited by Barry2; 09-08-20 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 09-08-20, 01:11 PM
  #38  
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FulGaz FTP Program - Keen - Month 3

09/08/2020
Despite poor test results, I've decided to move on to Month 3 (Week 9-12).
These last 4 weeks up the game with an extra session each week (total 4 sessions)
I will attempt the 4 sessions this week @ a lofty (for me) FTP of 170W.
170W represents an increase of 10% over the previous month, even though I could not test at that level.
Lets see just how badly I fail at that level
I failed to even start !

I posted a thread on this forum regarding what to expect from a month of Intervals. LINK
I received feedback from multiple people, but essentially the general opinion was that FTP+3%/month is about right.
I really don't like this answer.
I haven't done another indoor Interval ride. +3% to give up all my outdoor riding as recovery days is not worth the price.
I've not got the hang of this training thing. It seems to be all or nothing.

09/27/2020
Went on a group ride. Having seen their previous Strava's, I knew I couldn't hang with these guys, but decided to try.
GREAT bunch of guys and I held out until the mid-point, where I bailed to go home.
Although it was a no-drop-ride and they were very encouraging, I didn't want to be the one holding them back.
Hey, I had a fun ride on a route I'd never seen before. It was a win for me.

09/28/2020
So, what to do. I really do wish to become quicker. And I can't take my electric car on a bike path !

I've hired a Cycling Coach. Had an intro interview today as a reality check and review of goals.
Part of the agreement with the Coaching outfit is not to disclose methods and plans.
I'll post generalizations regarding what's going on, but no actual details.
It's only fair, they are selling their expertise and like all IP it's not my place to be giving it away..

Finger Crossed.

Barry

Last edited by Barry2; 09-28-20 at 02:46 PM.
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