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Mere Mortals Power Inspiration

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Mere Mortals Power Inspiration

Old 12-13-18, 03:37 AM
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Quiglesnbits
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Mere Mortals Power Inspiration

It seems like the internet is full of people who jump on a trainer/bike with a power meter and have FTPs of greater than 250, W/kg of 3+, but not a ton of stories about the average person who started off pretty low. I am fairly new to the world of power, and am hoping to hear from people who have stories about starting with FTPs of 2.0-2.3 W/kg (or less!) and built their way up to the numbers I see people cranking out in Zwift events for 90 minutes.

I personally was estimated last winter by Trainer Road at around 160 FTP at 68 kg (1.70m/5'7", and after a pretty good fall on my flashy new smart trainer, a recent test pegs me at 186. I feel good about the increase, but am hoping for some additional motivation from people who might have been in a similar place as me in the past.
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Old 12-13-18, 10:08 AM
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I'm not sure I quite qualify as "mere mortal" but I'm certainly not elite. I way roughly 72 kg currently. I've been riding consistently for 4 years now, however this last year was the first year that I started any focused training on the bike. I'm not super serious, I'm certainly not a racer or anything, but cycling is now the primary (but not the only) thing I'm focusing on with respect to fitness. I've always been good (but not great) at endurance sports.
The first time I tested my FTP, which was in February, I got 201. In April, I got 216. My most recent FTP value was 224, although that was Zwift telling me that it was raising it after an interval session (1 minute fast/1 minute slow repeats). I suspect I would be about 10 higher with a dedicated test. I plan to do one on Dec 31. Sort of a "see where I'm at at the end of the year" kind of thing. I'm hoping to be 240 by the spring.
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Old 12-13-18, 03:58 PM
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Normal guy here

I just started cycling in Feb 18 at age 38. Never rode a bike except for fun as a kid and my starting FTP was about 2.3w/kg (about 200 watts, 188lbs). I did TR Sweet Spot Base 1 and 2, and Sustained Power Build, which brought me up to about 2.9 W/kg. I've been just riding the past couple months with no structure and sit around 3.0 W/kg. For 2019 I have 20 weeks of Trainerroad planned (SSB1, 2, and Sustained Power), then a month of easy riding, then starting the 20 week Computrainer PIG program to see where the year takes me. After about two years of cycling, I hope to have an FTP of around 3.5-3.8 W/kg. After 3 years, 3.8-4.1 W/kg and at some point find my limit, whether genetic or time-wise.
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Old 12-18-18, 04:55 AM
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I picked up a powertap wheel set about 6 months after I started riding a lot (in 2012) and didn't do any structured training - just rode a lot and put in lots of miles each year (about 8000). After a year I did my first FTP test and came up with 210watts. Another year of same type of riding and my FTP climbed by about 10 percent. I started riding with folks faster than me which made me push it much harder to keep from getting dropped, and my FTP got up to 240ish. With structured training, after 6 months with a coach I got to around 260 for FTP and flattened out. I weigh about 83Kg. The objective of my training plan (lots of Steady State intervals) with a coach was more focused on utltraendurance though no maximizing FTP but instead extending the time I can ride at a higher percentage of my FTP. Also, another caveat, I'm 60+ so I'm not going to respond / adapt to training as well as a younger guy.
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Old 12-18-18, 06:50 AM
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At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if your FTP is 150 or 350, to continually improve that number is going to take a lot of very hard efforts and pain (either through structured workouts and the like or unstructured through group rides/races/koms/etc.)
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Old 12-19-18, 05:26 AM
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Agree with Rubiksoval, and going from an FTP of 170 to 186 is a great increase. I'm not a racer but doing races and structured workouts on Zwift have been key to my personal increases in FTP, my rides outdoors tend to be long recreational rides that are good for health and base mileage, but don't have any sprints or real high intensity intervals like workouts or those races and group rides on Zwift.
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Old 12-19-18, 10:06 AM
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OBoile
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I'm not sure I quite qualify as "mere mortal" but I'm certainly not elite. I way roughly 72 kg currently. I've been riding consistently for 4 years now, however this last year was the first year that I started any focused training on the bike. I'm not super serious, I'm certainly not a racer or anything, but cycling is now the primary (but not the only) thing I'm focusing on with respect to fitness. I've always been good (but not great) at endurance sports.
The first time I tested my FTP, which was in February, I got 201. In April, I got 216. My most recent FTP value was 224, although that was Zwift telling me that it was raising it after an interval session (1 minute fast/1 minute slow repeats). I suspect I would be about 10 higher with a dedicated test. I plan to do one on Dec 31. Sort of a "see where I'm at at the end of the year" kind of thing. I'm hoping to be 240 by the spring.
Had a good day yesterday. Zwift decided my FTP should now be 235.
https://www.strava.com/activities/2023601832
I think it's going up pretty quickly because I spent the summer doing "base" type rides with my club. Now that I'm doing dedicated power workouts, I'm seeing the benefits of a good base. I plan to do an actual FTP test on the 31st or 1st. I may need to revise my goal of 240 for next year.
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Old 01-07-19, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Had a good day yesterday. Zwift decided my FTP should now be 235.
https://www.strava.com/activities/2023601832
I think it's going up pretty quickly because I spent the summer doing "base" type rides with my club. Now that I'm doing dedicated power workouts, I'm seeing the benefits of a good base. I plan to do an actual FTP test on the 31st or 1st. I may need to revise my goal of 240 for next year.
Can you talk about the "base" type rides? What sort of HR or zone constraints?
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Old 01-07-19, 10:25 AM
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OBoile
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Can you talk about the "base" type rides? What sort of HR or zone constraints?
Nothing quite as specific as that. For most of the year, I didn't have a PM except on my trainer, and I don't use an HR monitor.

What I meant was, in general, I was doing a lot of long but fairly easy riding plus commutes. So, I'd guess, it would have been a lot of tempo like intensity with relatively few challenging parts. Just based on work and (especially) family, I was doing the slower rides more often than the faster ones so I was rarely going into the "red".

Also, when I did do intervals or race, it was usually up a hill and I was out of the saddle, so slightly different than what I do on the trainer.

Now that it's winter, and I don't love riding indoors, I'm doing a lot of shorter, but intense rides which are almost entirely seated. Sort of a reverse pyramidization kind of thing, so I'm "peaking" now in a sense.

Semi-related, I did an FTP test on New Year's Eve. 243 is my current FTP. Some of that improvement is the change in PM. My old trainer based PM tracked significantly lower for the interval (but still much better than last spring). Oddly, they gave almost the same wattage for the ~20 minutes I did after the test was done.
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