FTP jump after a few L5(or L6) sessions?



jstock

New Member
Apr 24, 2006
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Hi all,
It seems to me that my FTP has jumped quite a bit lately, maybe someone can help me understanding why?

I basically started riding just for fun last year. This year I've been doing quite many 2x20 sesssions. FTP has slowly been creeping up from something like 250 this spring to maybe around 290 lately (I'm really not much for formal testing). Last 2x20 I did with a power meter was 2 weeks ago. AP/NP/Avergage heartrate was 292/294/172 and 293/298/171.

Now for the last three weeks I've done 6x3min intervalls with 3 minutes of rest in between once a week. This is the first time I've done sessions targeted above L4. Before this I've struggled once power was over 300 watts. I thought I was going to try to hold 330 watts for the 3 minutes. It turned out to be slighty higher. This week I averaged between 390 and 360 watts for the intervals.

This week I'm trying to take it a bit easy to be able to be fast on Sunday. Today I went for a shorter ride. I decided to do something like low L4 for 30 minutes. I constantly found myself looking down at my power meter to see something like 350 watts, and backed off. For the 30 minutes I had 295 NP, 277 AP and an average heartrate of 155. Now of course I don't now if I could have gone much harder but it definitely felt like that. 155 HR is something I usally average for my 2+ hour rides.

Basically I've felt much stronger on all my rides after my first intervall sesssion (most done without a power meter though so I don't have much data yet to back it up). Is it possible for these few sessions to acomplish this? If so, is it just mental? Have I moved my pain barrier? Of course it could just be my Polar that is acting up
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. However although not the best measure, my speed today was also the highest ever on that road stretch (no wind).

Speaking of Polars acting up I might as well go offtopic, sorry. This spring I noticed that I struggled more and more to keep the power up on my 2x20's, but my speed increased. When I switched chain my power jumped
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. Start to struggle again. Switch the chain again, to the now cleaned , original chain, power jumps again. I don't have any hard data to support this, it could all be a coincidence but whenever my FTP starts to fall I switch chain and everything is nice again. Maybe I should point out that I'm due to switch again today so my last power jump is not due to the chain. To be clear: I switch between 2 chains, not a new one every time. Rumor has it that Polar's new power meter will not be measuring chain tension.

Any clues? And sorry if the above does not make any sense. I'm just a noob.
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Thanks,
J ( for the curious I weigh in at 68 kgs)