Team Fitness testing – What you measure, you can improve.

Words – Gavin Chow

February 18th. Apparently the first day of spring, but Team GFNY-Racing chose to spend the day inside the Gavia Cycling Studio for the inaugural 2017 Team FTP test. Weather outside – a balmy 64 degrees. Inside started relatively cool, but by minute 10 the combined power had turned the room into a 90 degree sauna, with the temperature headed only one way.

The team was in good spirits during the 20 minute / 80-90RPM warm-up. Justin and Thomas battled it out early for the warm-up w/kg lead, with Peter and Mike sitting comfortably in the wheels. As legs and lungs opened up, we launched into 3x1min 150-180% intervals. At this point, Mike and Thomas showed their early season form and moved ahead, both pushing 340-350W. Peter stayed quiet, but I’m pretty sure I saw 320W from him.

After a short 5-minute easy spin, the team moved into phase 2: 5 minutes at 120-130%. Thirty seconds in and the only thing to be heard was the sound of whirring legs and pounding hearts. Sweat was beginning to hit the floor at an ever increasing rate, and the main event had yet to begin. At this point, Thomas showed the team what 300W looked like, as he took an unassailable lead in the W/kg race.

With the five minute appetizer disappearing in a whirlwind of early pain, it was time to move into a all-too-brief ten minute lull before the entree was served. Drinks and gels were consumed, lungs were re-filled with oxygen and legs and hearts allowed to recover. The team made a valiant push to reduce heart rates back into zone 2, but as the seconds ticked away you could feel the excitement building

And then… bang. 20 minutes. 20 minutes of all-out pain.

The first five minutes seemed to be excruciatingly slow. Heart rates climbed up to LTHR. The room fell silent as the team attempted to maintain a cadence of 95-105rpm (except Juan, whose preferred cadence seemed to be 120rpm minimum). Rich and Mike showed real grit early on, pushing 120-130%FTP in the early minutes. Jared kept his cadence above 100 until slope gremlins hit, and Ethan showed his form as he held 220-230W. Minute ten saw Peter stretch his climbing legs as he became the first to get out of the saddle, with many of the team following his example in a bid to recruit new muscle groups into the battle.

With five minutes to go, Vito signaled for more power. And the engine room responded, with Justin and Mike joining Thomas in the 300W zone. The only noise to be heard was the sound of 18 screaming legs. The minutes ticked by, with everyone attempting an extra 10W / minute. And then there was only one minute left.

One paltry minute. Sixty seconds of pain.

Cadences rose in the room, the big guns pushed towards 400W, hearts went deep into zone 5, then with 30 seconds remaining, into zone 6. Then… DONE. Twenty minutes of pain. Over. Done. Screaming lungs were allowed to re-fill with oxygen, Cadences dropped from 110 to 11. Grimaces were replaced with smiles. Test over. No more pain for the day…

…except for the minor matter of the silliest competition of the day: who can break 1000W. Ethan hit a 5-second peak of 580W, Justin bested him at 591W, and Gavin went all-out at 140rpm to take the win at 804W.

A big thankyou to Vito and Chris for letting us use the Gavia studio and for all of the encouragement. We needed it!

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