I've been training with power for a coupe of months now, and have seen some improvements. My current tested 20 minute power is 270 watts (average power), so I've estimated my FTP at 251 watts. I'm 148 lbs, if that's germane for this discussion.

I did a particularly hard crit on Saturday. It was the second crit of the day, and was a P/1/2/3 race (I'm a Cat 3, and had done the 3 race a couple of hours earlier), so I was somewhat pre-fatigued.

I popped off the back of the front group after 6-7 laps, and continued solo, catching other dropped racers and moving up gradually, finishing 24th. For me, it was great, as it was a super-tough course and I REALLY wanted to stop halfway through.

The course was 0.6 miles per lap. 100 feet of climbing per lap, and it was steep for a bit of it. This is relevant as it meant I spent a big chunk of time in anaerobic-land each lap. It also means that, like everyone else, I was recovering on the backside of the course, occasionally even coasting when tucked in behind someone.

Here's the interesting thing. My average power for 57:30 of race time was 236 watts. But NP was 313 (!), a VI of around 1.4.

So, here's my question: as a decent MTB racer (Cat 1, won 2 races this year, always a podium threat) with a well-developed anaerobic engine, does this NP just represent a nasty effort of suffer-recover-repeat that doesn't reflect any increase in FTP?

I wouldn't even ask, but I did just spend 6 weeks just training tempo and threshold (no racing due to recovering from shoulder injury in a MTB race). Maybe the training has really helped...

Thanks for any input, I'm new here