Leveling Up

Achilles insertion point injury is almost healed and I’m back to doing some running. Never thought I’d say I was happy to be running… but I can say that now.

Last post here I mentioned we’re swimming again. In fact, earlier this week I swam at my gym for the first time since March (and the water was warmer than normal – bonus!). I have really enjoyed getting swimming back into the mix.

So let’s talk about biking a little. Tri training is (for me at least) a big numbers game. And the most interesting number (to me at least) is FTP, which is Functional Threshold Power. This is the power, in watts, the rider can produce for an hour.

Now every rider is different and the numbers mean different things to different people so my numbers aren’t all that useful to anyone else. And, of course, my weight is a big factor there too. Watts/kg is something to definitely keep an eye on — the less you weigh, the more bang for the wattage buck, so to say.

When I started the training program last November I was coming in pretty rusty and my FTP had dropped from the previous year so we started me at a 210. I’m a big guy (OK, we prefer the term “husky”) so I was a little embarrassed by that number.

With the race schedule all being pushed out to Fall and next year, coach has decided to get us working on hills. My first big race is in Idaho and the course isn’t exactly flat…. so we’ve done lots of hill training and, these past few weeks, some really nice big hill climbing rides outdoors.

I’m happy to say that my FTP was raised last weekend (turns out the climb up into Colorado Monument National Park is a good test) and I’m now at 275. 65 points in the 6 months or so. Still far from pro levels, but I’m pleased. And I’m not done yet. Pretty sure I will be able to raise that again pretty soon.

Two weeks ago we did a local climb up Deer Creek – High Grade. Last weekend we did a group mini-camp and ride on the Tour of the Moon Course out of Fruita. Those links are to Strava with ride details and pictures. Fun climbs!

All the hill climbing is not only fun — I love to climb — but also paying off. Results are fun. Big number movements are fun too.

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