It’s not looking good.
I’ve been riding my trainer and zwift alot lately which provides a virtual power number. I think this number is accurate because it’s pretty close to the virtual power that Strava calculates on real rides. According to Zwift my ftp is 272 and at my current weight of 235 my watts per KG is 2.55 w/KG
If you have no idea what I’m talking about I’ll try to over simplify it a bit. FTP stands for functional threshold power which is the average power I can put out in an hour of riding. Putting out power is great but you’ve got to carry your weight especially when the road goes up, so FTP is divided by your weight in Kilograms to come up with a ratio that represents how fast a cyclist you are.
There is a handy chart on the internet that compares the w/KG of cyclists so you can see where you fit in. World class riders have a power to weight ratio around 6, a domestic pro will be in the mid 5s. My 2.55 puts me right at the bottom of the CAT 5 area or top of the non-racing cyclist area. So just playing around and crunching some numbers I came up with this.
3.42 w/KG at 200 pounds
I believe that is my realistic maximum. That number represents a 10% increase in FTP and a 15% loss of body weight. I think those are both doable over the winter and spring. 3.44 would put me right in the middle of the CAT 4 area meaning I could sign up for beginner events and do well, #sandbagger
In an effort to begin the journey that would lead me to that magical sandbaggers 3.44 I rode a metric century on the trainer this morning. 3 hours and ten minutes on Zwift for a 19.7 average. Could I really ride 62 miles in 3 hours, at first I thought this was a big overestimate, but alot of it was drafting other riders and some of it was in a fast group, considering there is no traffic, stop signs, or wind in zwift I think it’s probably pretty close. Oh it doesn’t hurt that I was on a simulated aero bike with simulated Zipp 808s. I’ve never ridden past 2 hours on a trainer and that was only once. The last 30 minutes I was feeling pretty weak, but I wasn’t in nearly as rough shape if it’d been a real ride.
There were 1100 riders on Zwift today around noon, a huge number of UK and European riders. I knew that if they built software that worked people would flock to it. Mark my words, virtual riding is a thing, and it’s going to be a big thing soon.