Ratcheting up the pain

So I got my hands on the newest Sufferfest video, Blender. I have to say, I think this is my favorite Sufferfest video yet. It is long (1:45) and combines endurance riding with some intervals for a good all-around workout. I’ll be doing an in-depth review in the coming days.

BlenderI tried the video for the first time last Thursday, using my FTP setting of 184 W. At the end I felt like I had gotten a really good workout, but I didn’t feel like it was really Sufferfest worthy. I mean, I didn’t even need my bucket! I figured this was a sign that I was getting stronger and it was time to raise my FTP.

I decided to go with a nice, round number of 200 W. I loaded up Blender again last night and rode it with this new setting. This was better – I struggled a bit at times, especially at the end of some of the long endurance parts (such as holding 95% FTP for 8 minutes). I was still able to keep the power up, but my cadence started dropping. By the end of the ride I was definitely spent – I could probably have completed the video at a slightly higher FTP, but I am going to stick to 200 W for a bit and see how it goes. I don’t want to raise the power too quickly and overtrain.

Still a pretty damn weak FTP, but an 8.7% increase in just a couple of weeks makes me pretty happy. Since I started from an untrained state, I’m hoping these big gains will keep coming for awhile.

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