Well, not exactly 'butterflies' , but a very distinct nervous feeling upon waking this morning.
Today, Monday, is scheduled to be VO2 max intervals day #2 for the 2010 racing campaign... hence, the weight of the impending suffering sits atop my shoulders.
As I mentioned in my last post, I dedicated a very focused 12 week period to FTP development and am at the point where I am bumping up against genetic limits imposed by my VO2 max. As we age, past about 30 yrs., and I am a ways past this age, we lose a small amount in the O2 consumption department each year and if left unaddressed, our FTP gets closer and closer to this ceiling. In short, it's time to raise the roof.
Session #1 went well last Thursday, with the average of my 6 x 5' @ L5 coming in just a few watts below my previous high last season. My hope is that I can pick up ~20 watts before this 6 week period is complete... this is about a 6% increase for the set. Six week's is about the maximum time I've found practically that VO2 max can be lifted. After that, it's about staying fresh, sharpening and racing.
The truth is that I haven't done a really structured program of L5 stuff for many years.
The problem with it is that I find it very painful (in a 'this is really uncomfortable, how can five minutes take so long?' kinda way).
Clearly, anyone that has raced a bike knows, it isn't about the average power or the maximum 5 sec effort that hurts the most... it's a period of about 10 minutes when the 'shit goes down' and the race separates the break from the peloton.
The break is determined by who has the fatigue resistance (FTP), engine capacity (VO2 max), craftiness & tenacity to grovel in the gutter until the break is clear. As my old Cat 1 friend once said, "If you aren't very close to getting dropped for the first 10', then the group isn't going fast enough to stay away".
I will complete 12 total VO2 max workouts in a variety of forms, banging one out every 3-4 days. I haven't the luxury of a high enough VO2 max simply from riding my bike to neglect power at VO2 max, so it's time to 'publish post' and to head down to the pain cave. Later.