Following 4 days of recovery, today it was time to head out and test on the bike and see what, if any gains I have made. The protocol that I have used for a while is a 35-45min wu followed by 5min at my estimated threshold(FTP). Then ride 10min easy, followed by the test. A 20min best effort TT. 95% of that number is pretty close to your threshold/LT/FTP watts.
The highest number I saw last year was 341 watts and back in November (my last test) I saw 337 watts. Over the past few weeks I have felt that my threshold had improved and today those feelings were validated.
I averaged 353 watts for test, with an average HR of 184 bpm. A 16w improvement over November and a 12w improvement over anything I had seen in the past.
This test estimates my LT at 335 watts, which is VERY motivating to me. Especially since I am back down under 160 lbs.
To ride 4:40-4:45 on most ironman courses and be able to run well, it is thought that a 155lb - 165lb athlete needs a threshold of 350 watts and an average race power of about 270 watts.
I only need 15 more watts and now those numbers don't seem all that far off.
Relating to the above test and improvement, most people assume that I must have trained and trained and trained to see those improvements. While I HAVE trained hard, I have also recovered hard. My coach, Kurt Perham, has done an excellent job in getting me to absorb my training thusfar.
So remember, while it is important to work hard, it is also important to recover hard. Training is what breaks us down and recovery is what builds us up...stronger.