Saturday, February 7, 2015

Day 2.38 Pride and Joy

I am standing in front of an athlete who is less than five minutes away from the finish. It has been a heroic effort. He is gassed, sweating buckets, sucking all reaming air from the room.

The effort is in response to our infamous FTP test. Functional Threshold Power - with protocols fairly simple to understand - and borderline impossible to perfect.

The easy part is the format. Warm up, calibrate, then create, generate as much all-out average power as you are able for twenty minutes. Pretty simple.


It just might be the single most demanding twenty minutes in all of indoor cycle training.

Because of what it asks of you.

Those who possess and demonstrate the courage to undertake this daunting task know that the hard part, the REAL hard part is in keeping your focus on the task. It hurts. Making matters worse we humans are hard wired to avoid suffering at any cost. We have built-in fuses that trip as soon as the slightest degree of discomfort has been obtained. This makes it very hard to stay present in the moment of maximum exertion.

You want to quit. You want to stop. If this was CIA torture, you would sing like a canary.

Yet we endure. We give our best. We get the job done. No matter what. No matter the pain, and no matter the time remaining.

I stand in front of a man who is within two minutes of completing this ridiculous test. He will not reach his average power goal, falling some twenty watts below that delta. Yet it was his effort that counts. He gave it his all. And that is all we ask.

I stand elated, proud and joyous.

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