I think that’s what FTP stands for isn’t it?  Well that was my mantra at least during my final 10 minutes on the CompuTrainer.

For the duration of last season I used my CycleOps Turbo Trainer.  This proved invaluable during the winter months where my Coach drilled it in to me the importance of staying safe fit and healthy.  His advice was simply, avoid the dark where possible and if at all icy, stay in.  Ultimately this led to my mid week, late evening and early morning sessions being completed in the safety of my garage, or kitchen… the latter was not so safe as my wife is not the biggest fan of sweating in a kitchen where we prepare food and of course…

“…that’s what the garage is for!”

My longer rides on a Sunday were spent during daylight hours and when temperatures would dare to rise above 5C.

The sessions Simon set me were great; they varied in content, pace and duration which is great when you’re sat on a stationary bike; I suppose it’s similar to just getting in a pool and swimming with the black line rather than following a set or attending a Masters session.

For all my Turbo sessions I was training with HR and within certain zones based on my % HR. This in itself sounds great, but for the life of me I would struggle to raise my HR while on the bike to the required level, if I did, it was almost impossible for me to sustain it.  I’m very competitive, even with myself so I found it very frustrating, yet the gains from pushing on the Turbo were evident in my final event of the season.

Roll on into 2016 and it’s another story.  I’ve had the off season to reflect and I know what I want to achieve and I’ve shared this with my coach.  Anything’s possible right?  And living in West Yorkshire I am in an incredibly fortunate position that I get to train with and speak with some other truly inspirational athletes.  One of which has recently qualified for Kona.  A hard working family man, similar to myself, a normal guy…. so why can’t I?  I can.  I will.  Writing things down, putting it out there, shout it from the roofs tops!!  I will qualify for Kona, however, simply writing it down won’t help me achieve my goals.  I need a great coach, inspirational peers, consistency, dedication and motivation.  I’ve got all of that… now to max out on my training.

I’ve unashamedly talked about the CompuTrainer in my previous blogs and with good reason.  Last Sunday I was out with some friends on a 40 mile ride and my legs felt strong.  This is definitely the effect of having been training on the CompuTrainer since the end of the season!  Now let’s really step it up and monitor the improvement.

I’ve now found by working with power my HR looks after itself.  I can now achieve the required HR levels and HR zones without monitoring them…  Now it’s Spin Scan, Power and Cadence!

So fast forward to Tuesday night and it was time for my 1st Functional Threshold Pace Test.  Shortly after a 25 mins warm up I started.  As it was my 1st test I really didn’t have a benchmark mark but I’ve been working to 240W for the past few months so I thought I’d set my sights a little higher… 260W.  After 10 min I regretted that, however I held on to record a result of about 258 Watts.  The after effects were far from pretty and I won’t explain any further.  But what a session!  Never before have I embraced a 20min cool down with such a smile and enthusiasm. It was needed.

The idea is to now do the same test every 4 weeks at the same time each day, following. A similar diet.  I’ll be looking to improve by 5% each month!  Only time will tell, but with the sets I’ve been completing I’ve no doubt at all.

I’ve got so much to talk about and love monitoring my progress!  I’m just looking forward to sharing it!

The swimming is coming on well since the workshop and the running is getting faster…. But having weighed today… I am carrying an additional 6kgs!  With clean eating and all the training that will come off in no time!

So far my 1st event scheduled for this year is The Brutal Duathlon in March so I think I’ll find a cheeky 10k to throw in before hand…. We’ll see!

Thanks for reading!!!

Dan