FTP and Perspective

I did my first ever FTP test a couple of days ago now, and I was less than enthused by my results. Maybe it’s the complete lack of training over the last month or so (thanks a lot, finals), maybe I’m just way weaker than I though, but here it is in all it’s lackluster glory: 151 Watts.

Wah-freakin-wah. Not exactly what I was hoping for. That means that I’m generating about 2.1 watts per kg of bodyweight (155 lbs = 70 kg). Ideally, I would have been much closer to 3 w/kg, but that’s what the off season is for, right?

Well, I was wallowing in my sorrow, and headed out for a run to see how much of that had left me since I’ve been so inactive. Not as much as I thought, but still not great: 8:15/mi average. Now, it was a fartlek workout, and there were some pretty icy patches that slowed me down, but still. In the winter months I’m more used to seeing sub-8 average times. Something about that cold air…

BUT, as I passed another person who was walking, they smiled and waved, and I could see that they were breathing heavy, sweat was collecting on their eyebrow, and their cheeks were rosy. Instinctively I waved and smiled back, and I was suddenly smacked with the reality of pace.

First, a brief aside. If you don’t return a smile and wave from another runner, cyclist, or walker, shame on you. In my head, every time someone doesn’t even acknowledge my existence after I’ve waved, I’m thinking (and sometimes saying it under my breath), “Well f*ck you too!” There’s no need to be a dick out there, just freakin’ wave back! You may be the nicest person in the world, but when you don’t wave back, that’s what I think. /rant.

The truth is, “fast” is relative. To those who are huffing and puffing to walk a 20-minute mile, a 15-minute mile is fast! To those running a 15-minute mile, a 12-minute mile is fast! So for me to be bummed because I’m not rocking my usual 7:30-mile training run pace, wishing I was running “fast,” seemed a little petty to say the least.

That said, I want to be faster. I don’t want to settle for my current pace, because I think I can be faster. Is it going to mean a lot of work? Yes. Is it going to mean suffering? Yes. Is it going to hurt? Yes. Is it going to be worth it? Hell yes.

If you’re reading this and thinking about quitting because you’re not “fast,” please, PLEASE do NOT give up! It’s not about reaching someone else’s pace. It’s not about getting to someone else’s definition of “fast.” It’s all about the journey. Embracing that and enjoying seeing the change as it occurs will hold much more value than simply getting to a number.

Later on…

The 2017 Post

I’ve been promising this post, and here it is!¬†Let’s get the big things out of the way first:

  1. I’m excited to be racing under Maverick Multisport this year on their Age Group team!
  2. My A races are Ironman Muncie 70.3, and USAT Nationals (dependent on qualifying)

There is a stretch race that I’ve got my sights set on, but there’s too much work to do to worry you all about that. I’ll address it if/when I get there.

I keep saying I’m excited to race under Maverick, but I really am PUMPED to be racing as a Maverick! I have known a few Mavericks over the years, and I have seen and heard nothing but great things! I’m really looking forward to the community the team has, and to supporting the accomplishments of even more people from all over the world!

I already race as a Renegade, and I won’t be leaving my Renegades behind, nor my OG PCS Multisport team! Just spreading the love between two world wide teams, and bringing it home to the locals.

I have a few things that I need to say about my goals this year. The A races are just the products of a few other goals that I want to see come to fruition, and where I get to go to show off my hard work.

In addition to the races, I have a subset of goals:

  1. Lose 20 lbs.
  2. Build power on the bike (through cross training and through specific bike work)
  3. Get and keep my diet in check – Going Keto!
  4. Do CrossFit to build power in my legs and mental toughness
  5. Run a sub-20 5k in a tri

The first four things are things that I think have been holding me back for the last couple of years. My diet has affected my weight, which in turn has affected my power to weight ratio, which in turn has affected my speed… So I’m going back to basics. Eat fat to burn fat, keep carbs low, plenty of protein for recovery. Operate at a caloric deficit, get lean to go fast. That’s my game this year: GO F’IN FAST.

CrossFit will be a new addition, and will likely not last beyond the spring, but it will depend on how it goes, how I progress, etc. I’ve got a connection to a great box through my wife, and I’m excited to get started with that in the new year.

In order to build more power, I’ll actually start training with power! Now, it’ll be simulated power at the beginning. I’ll be on Zwift training with simulated power, and hoping to make some equipment changes in the new year. We’ll see how that works out.

I’ve been chasing a sub-20 5k in a race for about a year and a half now, but this is the year. I have started to build some consistent speed in addition to adding endurance, and I have no doubt that that barrier will be broken this year. I will have to if I want to qualify for Nationals!

One more thing: This spring is going to be extremely busy. I’ve got a full class load, I’m participating on a national moot court team in Chicago in February, I’m hoping to be working a part time job, and managing¬†a full training schedule. It’s going to be a busy time, but the rewards that potential payoff will be huge!

I’m continuing to search for an internship in the legal field. Colorado, Indiana, California… if you know of an internship that could use a driven, qualified candidate, please let me know!

Look out for more updates as training ramps up, I’ll be doing some baseline workouts in the near future and will post my numbers and thoughts!

Later on!