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How Much Can I Increase My W/kg in 3 Months?

I have recently really fallen back in love with cycling. And I have had this type of motivation before, several times, I get excited, ride a ton aimlessly for a couple of months and then some sort of travel, sickness, or season throws me off and all of a sudden my normal is not riding. I think one of the reasons for this was just a lack of clearly defined goals. In the past, the experience one gets riding a bike was enough for me. Due to a plethora of things that have gone on in my own personal and professional life, I can tell things are different. This time, I genuinely want to increase my performance and potentially race.

Before I fully commit to riding a ton and potentially spending all this money on equipment and races I would like to run an experiment, and see if I can get fit enough to feel comfortable with the idea of potentially racing again. Not to mention this experiment is just good for my overall health, and I love data analysis.

This begs the question of how do you define “fit enough”? Watts per kilogram is arguably the most important metric one can focus on to improve cycling performance. It is a metric I have often avoided as a bigger rider. See this article for a more in-depth look at the topic. I am going to see how much I can increase my W/kg in 3 months. On 9/24/2019 I weighed 200 pounds and completed an FTP test averaging 218 watts for 20 minutes. This gives me an FTP of 207 and a weight in kilograms of 90.72, with a W/kg of 2.28.

I figure if I worked hard, for a year, I could increase my FTP by 20% and lose 16 pounds of weight. Given I don’t want this experiment to last 12 months, divide those numbers by 4 and you have my goals.

Goals for 12/24/2019:

2.41 W/kg also just so happens to be the entrance point for Cat 5 racing, the group I would potentially race in.

The plan is to stagger the amount of training I do to remain engaged in the experiment as well as ensuring enough time for recovery. Three weeks on, followed by a week of recovery, three times to equal the 12 weeks.

Come back on 12/24/2019 for the results…