The Gereral Phase - Raising FTP

 

In my previous post I talked about the type of training that I'm doing this time of year.  With the first race of 2011 four months away, this current period of training is what I refer to as the general phase.  This means that the training I'm doing is not specific to my Ironman races.  The specific training will come, but not until around 8-10 weeks prior to the race.    
So what am I doing on the bike?  Intervals.  Lots of work at and around my FTP, which I estimate to be around 265-270 watts.  I emphasise the word estimate, as it's difficult to know the exact figure without doing a 1 hour time trial.    
Power Distribution Last 28 Days 
(Click to enlarge)
You can see from the graph that there is a distinct 'U' shape, with the bulk of training being done at 100-150 watts and 250-300 watts.  There is literally no work in between, from 150-250 watts.  This is because all of my current biking is comprised of a warm-up, intervals of between 95-105% FTP, recovery intervals and a cool down.  For reference, in Hawaii my average power was 187 watts.  Hence why my current training is both general and non-specific to Ironman.  The intensities I'm riding at are either well below or above Ironman intensity.  Why?  The simple answer is to raise FTP.  To do this, I need to focus on repeated intervals at high intensity, followed by recovery periods.  Recovering at 150-250 watts would be counterproductive, as it would inhibit my ability to achieve a quality high intensity interval.