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    Functional Threshold Power – What is it and How Does it Help Me?

Functional Threshold Power – What is it and How Does it Help Me?

Functional Threshold Power (FTP)- What a mouthful!  Well, at least it’s a pretty cool sounding mouthful.  You may hear cyclists speak about this often.  If you’ve training by using FTP, you’re a believer.  If not, you’re missing out on one of the most influential and unknown aspects of training and output for beginner triathletes.

FTP is the maximum power output you can hold for 1 hr of effort.  It is measured in watts.  If you want an example as demonstrated in a French commercial, enjoy:

Wattage is power.  Various devices measure power output for cyclists.  Power meters can be built into the hubs of bikes, integrated into the cycling trainer, or integrated into the crank of the bicycle.  The number represents the amount of effort you are generating as evidenced by the power output.  Most would ask why speed wouldn’t be enough.  Great question!

Speed would be sufficient for effort output if all other factors were equal.  If we always rode on straight and level roads, road the exact same bikes, and had no wind to contend with or cyclists to draft off.  You may accomplish this on an indoor trainer, but the variables when on the road are very different each ride.

Power numbers take everything into account as they measure your output of effort regardless of the environment.

When I ask my athletes what is the single most influential factor in them improving their speed in a triathlon, most would point to the power meter.  I’d like to think they’d point at me as their coach, but let’s not be delusional.

One of the first tests I perform on each of my athletes, other than the VO2 test, is an FTP test.  Once I [...]

Tough Mudder Anyone !?!

So… have you heard the hype about mud runs?  I have and have avoided them as long as possible.  However, my wife is an avid fan of the mud.  Or should I say, she seems to get it all over me whenever we’re close to it >.<

We completed the Tough Mudder in Dallas this last weekend. and we started off by seeing this sign:

Long story short.  It was muddy!  ANDFUN!!!   Running with mud caked in every possible crevice was a new one.  We even gained several pounds in mud weight.  But every obstacle was a unique challenge and it was a blast to pit throw the thriathlete body into the fray.

This link is pretty accurate:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjkiebus/31-reasons-tough-mudder-races-are-for-crazy-people

The electricity freaked my wife out, but she did it and was amazing throughout the race.  We had big white smiles at the end.  All the whiter because we had been in the mud for so long.

The reason I post this is because triathletes tend to spend so much time training, that they forget to slow down a bit and smell the roses.  We sometimes worry so much about injury that we forget to have fun with our fitness.  I remember spending hours climbing, crawling, jumping, and running when I was a kid.  Life was a joy and the worries of life were far off in the horizon.  At times I wonder where all the fun went?

Now that Kona 2013 has been tackled and the holiday season is approaching, we need to each look at our training and remember to add some fun into it.  The serious part of us will remind us to focus on one discipline and improve it for next year, and that’s fine.  But that leaves [...]