I’m dealing with some (hopefully) temporary loss of cycling power.
I knew this was coming, but now that it’s happening I’m not liking it one bit.
Eating under maintenance to lose fat is, by definition, depriving my body of fuel it needs to perform at its peak. This wasn’t much of an issue during last year’s cut, but this year it’s very noticeable. I touched on why the difference last week; if you missed it, here it is:
“Reflecting on last year’s cut (starting January 2014), my performance on the bike actually improved–especially early on. The reason for the difference between this year and last year is simple: December 2013 I barely rode my bike, I sat around eating junk food and and I was quite out of shape when I started my cut (my FTP was an abysmal 243). This past December (2014) I ate above maintenance, but I was training hard and remained in excellent condition (my current FTP is 305). So my performance on the bike is massively stronger now compared to what it was at the start of my 2014 cut. Maintaining my current level of performance is nigh impossible without plenty of fuel…”
I’ve done a few fairly hard sustained rides over the past couple weeks, and I’ve definitely felt less than 100%. I’ve also done some more moderate rides punctuated by short all-out intervals. Part of the purpose behind those brief, hard efforts was to check my power output against my peak performances. Here are a few of those efforts, running newest to oldest:
20 second power: 834 watts (January 14, 2015) vs 936 watts (personal record set July 5, 2014).
Power loss: -10.897%
45 second power: 650 watts (January 9, 2015) vs 686 watts (personal record set December 25, 2014).
Power loss: -5.248%
90 second power: 497 watts (January 8, 2015) vs 518 watts (personal record set October 18, 2014).
Power loss: -4.054%
2 minute power: 459 watts (January 8, 2015) vs 487 watts (personal record set October 18, 2014).
Power loss: -5.758%
When I did that 20 second effort yesterday I gave it everything I had. I was well-warmed up, and fresh. I’m not a sprinter (my phenotype is that of a time trialist, more slow twitch), but a nearly 11% reduction in explosive power is still a bitter pill to swallow.
Like I said in the opening sentence, I knew this was coming. I’m confident that this reduction in power is only temporary, and that once I complete my cut and resume giving my body the fuel it requires to perform at its peak, my power will return (or at least be a positive power-to-weight ratio gain).
Anyway, I’m sort of glad this is happening because it reaffirms the choice I made to stop this end of the year weight gain/beginning of the year cut nonsense (see “I love my devoted fans; New goal for 2015; Last cut?“).
I actually dictated the second half of this blog to my new helper, Sonny. Turns out he’s pretty good with computers: