Bike Block for Solid FTP Gains

As David Glugla was considering winter training plans that would prepare him for his 2021 Wisconsin IM race, he chose to focus on improving his bike power.  He also wanted to dial back his training hours to a more manageable 9 hours/week. With these parameters in mind, he decided to add an additional key bike workout per week while working to maintain his running.  Another consideration was the restrictions on swimming so he chose to focus on (swim) cord and strength training. 

Following those guidelines from September 2020 through March 2021 David increased his bike power from a FTP of 270 to 307 watts (13.7%) while maintaining his run pace.  These gains were measured with a 30 minute bike FTP test.  Additionally he didn’t retest until he could hold his current FTP for 3×20 minutes with only 1 minute rest (easy spin) in between sets.  This tough standard not only showed he could maintain his FTP gains over longer durations but also prepared him mentally for the next test.  

When breaking down his training a few key points are worth noting.  In the pie chart below it can be seen that he did ALL of his bike workouts while even adding in an additional 55 hours of biking.  A lot of these extra hours were added during the nice weather of the fall in Colorado when riding outside was an option. As a whole, he hit well above 90% of his planned workouts and if he was going to miss, he made sure he got his key workouts done.  

Another point to notice is that these gains came even though his “CTL”(fitness measure) in TrainingPeaks was going down (as seen in the fitness chart below.)  It is worth noting this point to remind athletes that CTL does not take FTP gains/adjustments into account.   As he begins his ramp for IM Wisconsin he now will begin with a much higher FTP. 

A final piece of the puzzle for David was tracking his sleep in Training Peaks.  Tracking sleep did two things for David.  Many times when he struggled with a hard workout we were able to go back and look at a series of “poor” sleep nights prior.  Second, since he had to enter it every day it worked as a reminder to prioritize sleep.  

By adding a dedicated bike block into his winter training, David is now ready for a much faster IM Wisconsin this coming September.  

David after his ride from Boulder, CO to Aspen, CO

Coach Bill Ledden knows that true success in the world of triathlon isn’t simply about crossing the finish line. It’s about the process of setting goals, being determined to reach them and most importantly, the learning that takes place along the way.

Bill is a both a USA Triathlon and USA Track and Field Certified Coach.

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