Bike Fitness Test

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Understanding Functional Threshold Power (FTP) in Cycling

You might have come across the term "Functional Threshold Power" or FTP. It sounds a bit technical, but don't worry, I'll break it down for you.

Why is Performance Measured with Power in Cycling?

First things first, why do we even bother measuring power in cycling? Well, think of it like this: when you're riding, power is the most direct measure of how hard you're working. Unlike speed, which can be influenced by wind, terrain, and other factors, power is a pure measure of your effort. Same for heart rate which is always lagging behind of the real effort. Now, power it’s like having a super accurate fitness tracker that tells you exactly how much oomph you're putting into those pedals.

What is Functional Threshold Power (FTP)?

Now, let's talk about FTP. FTP is basically the highest average power you can sustain for about an hour without feeling like you're about to collapse. It’s like finding the sweet spot where you’re pushing yourself, but not overdoing it. Think of it as the speed you can hold for a long time during a time trial or a very tough race segment. Knowing your FTP helps you train smarter because it sets a benchmark for your workouts and helps track your progress. Once we found your FTP, we will set training zones for each type of effort.

Before doing the FTP test

Preparation is key to getting an accurate FTP result. Here’s how to get ready:

  1. Hydration: Drink plenty of water the day before and the day of the test. Proper hydration helps your muscles perform better.
  2. Rest: Make sure you’re well-rested. Try to avoid heavy workouts the day before the test so your legs are fresh.
  3. Nutrition: Eat a good meal a couple of hours before the test. Aim for something balanced with carbs, protein, and a bit of fat.
  4. Mental Prep: Mentally prepare yourself to push hard. It’s only 20 minutes, but it’s going to feel tough. Be ready to give it your all.

What you need for the FTP Test

  1. Trainer: You want to use a trainer that has power if your bicycle does not have this capability. Here some examples. Triathlon is not cheap.
  2. Fan: Is most likely going to get hot, so you want a fan aiming at you.

Ready ? here is the workout to find out your FTP

We will do a popular method that is a 20-minute test. Here’s how it works:

  1. Warm-Up: Start with an easy spin for about 10-15 minutes to get your legs moving.
  2. Estimulate those fibers: Do 4 15 second sprint with a minute of rest between them.
  3. Go Hard for 20 Minutes: Once you’re warmed up, go as hard as you can sustain for 20 minutes. It’s tough, but remember, it’s only 20 minutes!
  4. Cool Down: After the 20 minutes, spin easily for another 10-15 minutes to cool down.

Done ? let's calculate the zones

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