Last week, I was riding on Zwift with a rather tame Pace Partner. The pace should’ve been easy; the watts I was putting out should’ve been moderate, and my heart rate well within a comfortable range.
Instead, I was on my knees. My HR was through the roof, sweat was pouring out of me like a keg at a frat. Mind you, all of this was happening just over a week before the biggest race I have on my calendar all year, Iceman. Suffice it to say, I was panicking. The cause for this embarrassing display of fitness?
How I Overtrained
A quick glance at my Strava will show you no signs of overtraining. In fact, my bike time over the last two months are down significantly from summer. Due to the lack of training volume, I’ve been compensating by increasing intensity; by that, I mean I ride like a flogged dog every time I get on the bike.
The result? Massive overtraining. Compounded by a hectic work schedule (fall is my busiest time of the year at Norte) and a sudden inability to fall asleep at night, I’ve been pushing my body well beyond its limits. Last week, my body cried foul and gave up. My HRV plummeted, and my resting heart rate shot up.
I. Was. Cooked.
How I Recovered
Thankfully, I have a lot of friends who are much, much smarter than I am. Powering through my training was my first reaction, as it usually is, but I had so many people reach out to say “chill.” Josh Concannon, kolo tc rider, male model, and certified fitness guru, told me that rest was going to be key, and even gave me a template for tapering before Iceman and some nutrition advice.
After two days of recovery, plenty of rest, and good food, I did an out and back on Sunday. I felt incredible, keeping up with John O’Hearn and Jeb Stone, two insanely fast dudes.
The FTP Test
When it came time for my FTP test on Tuesday, the week of Iceman, I was admittedly not terribly confident that I’d improve my FTP. However, I could tell just a few minutes into the test that it wasn’t going to be the disaster I had imagined. In fact, things were going quite well. With 5 minutes to go into the test, I was fading, but still hovering around 325w. Not terrible at all.
The Final Results
Did I hit my goal of 175lbs and 4 w/kg? No. Did I get close? I’d say so. Honestly, life was pretty darn stressful over the last few months, so hitting 308w for my FTP feels like a win. Will it be enough to win my age group at Iceman? Probably not. I feel pretty confident that I’d need to be at 4.w/kg or higher to have a fitness level representative of an age group winner.
But if it was all about winning at Iceman, there wouldn’t be over 5,500 people registered for Saturday. We’re amateurs. For us, it’s all about seeing how far we can push ourselves and enjoying an autumnal bike ride before slamming a few brews and getting home so we can rest up and go to work on Monday.
To accomplish all of that, your FTP doesn’t mean a damn thing. See you all in the woods at Iceman!
- Weight: 182
- FTP: 294
- FTP equivalent in w/kg: 3.54
- FTP 300w
- 3.71 w/kg
- 178 lbs.
- FTP 308w
- 3.81 w/kg