The goal? To get better

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I have been training intensively on my bike since August 2022, first on my own and from November 2022 with JOIN. In short, 20 months, in my previous blogs I have already written about the progress I have made in FTP. I once started with 152 watts and recently hit 357 watts, but now that I’ve been busy for a while I’m starting to wonder whether my limit has already been reached.

Written by: Klaas Salverda

Started cycling in August 2020, at an age of 38. No professional sporting background, an amateur-cyclist trying to be become better every day. JOIN helps me with an adaptive schedule, so I can give other things priority when needed.

Year-Over-Year Effect

I have set the availability in JOIN to maximum and try to follow the training schedule as best as possible, but will you get better over time? Is there really a year-over-year effect?

The reason this question arises is because, for example, I pedaled my best ever minute value (603 watts) on April 23, 2023, and my best 2 minutes on July 10, 2023 485 watts.

That was quite a long time ago… While in the meantime I have cycled several Gran Fondos where I feel I have really gotten the most out of myself.

In addition, my FTP has also dropped over a period of three months in the past year. My goal is to see how good I can become, but haven’t I already reached my ceiling?

Let’s compare

To find out, I compared the activities of March 2023 with March 2024. Firstly, because the most recent one is a full month. Secondly, because I trained as best I could in March both years without other sports such as ice skating in between. In both cases I was ill at the end of February, so that makes March very comparable. In terms of weight, I am currently comparable to March 2023, namely 72 kilos.

I have omitted the rides without complete data (uncalculated heart rate or power data) to ensure a fair comparison. The data shows the following:

Average per ride 2023 2024 Difference
Distance (KM) 87,9 100,8 12,9 km longer
Speed (km/h) 29,9 31,9 2,1 km/u faster
Hearth rate (bpm) 142,4 138,9 3,5 beats lower
Normalized power (watt) 211 234 23 watt higher
Other data 31-3-2023 31-3-2024 Difference
Join score 38 44,5 6,5 levels higher
FTP 303 357 54 watt higher


There’s a difference!

Conclusion, quite interesting. In any case, my heart and lung function has really improved, because with 3.5 beats less I pedal 23 watts harder. As a result, the average per trip is also more than 2 kilometers per hour higher. I was of course already aware of the difference in FTP.

In short, there is a real difference year on year in March. Now I am very curious how this difference will work out in June 2024 compared to a year earlier. On May 19, 2023 I hit a new FTP of 340 watts, so a big step compared to March 2023. That was also the highest FTP of 2023. I’m going to do another FTP test at the end of May, so I am very curious whether I can still make a step from March to May 2024!

So far so good, thanks to JOIN! If you want to follow my progress, everything is available on Strava.

Klaas Salverda
Klaas Salverda
JOIN Ambassador
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