Today, we did a test on the bike to check my progress. When my coach Natasha announced that we would be testing, I got nervous, in part because I’ve been training sporadically this past week. Dave and I went to Roatan, Honduras, for four days, and I wasn’t able to do anything but run there. And before I left town, I had a couple of days of hectic work, which meant missed workouts. I could see that maybe I would be rested. I could also see that maybe I would be out of sorts physically because I’d lost my rhythm of training. Maybe I was a little bit of both, given the travel, but I’m encouraged that I tested 18 watts better than I did back on March 17. That was exciting!
We test through a 20-minute “best effort” test. When I tested back in March, I had no idea how I would do because I had never trained measuring power. Previously, my tests on the bike were on time. I’d ride the same 15-mile course to see whether I’d improved. But at Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy, we attach our bikes to trainers that measure power, so we now do 20-minute tests where we push all out. Today, I tried to start at averaging 145 watts, which is where I tested last month, and then I gradually increased, ending with an average of 163 watts. By the end, I was spent.
I’m encouraged by the progress. I know my numbers are low compared to the other people I train with. Today, there was a woman on the bike next to me who was also testing. She’s totally new to triathlon and tested at 170 watts. If I let myself play the comparison game, I’ll get discouraged. I’ve know that for years, as I’m often the back of the pack. So again today, I had to focus on the marked improvement in my own performance. My coach told me to have tunnel vision on my own numbers, and that’s what I intend to do.
I have nine weeks until I get on a plane to head to Coeur d’Alene. My goal is to improve another 20 watts before my race. If I can do that, I should be able to shave a significant amount of time off the bike. As Natasha likes to say, “Faster is funner.”