At least that is what the American cycling legend Greg Lemond said. I have spent most of the Winter power training on a Wattbike at Velofix in Rozelle. It has been… systematic torture. But in 3 1/2 months, I have noticed a massive jump in strength and power. Funnily enough, I have not lost any weight. But I have shifted my body around a bit. My quads have bulked up, my waist is smaller, I don’t feel like I am carrying as much fat – but I haven’t lost weight.

But the test of your mettle is always the dreaded power test.

Dreaded, because the 3 minute aerobic power test is probably the worst 3 minutes that I have ever spent on a saddle turning over pedals. It is 3 minutes, flat out, holding on right until the end.

This morning was only the second time I had done it, and it was no better than the first time. To be honest, it sucked! My heart rate went through the roof, my legs were burning, my inner voice was saying “WTF – give up!”. To top all of that off, I had been pushing away a bug that my wife and two kids had as did four of my colleagues in the office – waking up every day this week so far has been draining. The power test sucked!

But you don’t get stronger or faster by watching reruns of Jens Voigt breaking the hour record in a velodrome (though that was what was on the TVs in the gym the morning after he did break the record, while we were crunching out our intervals). So with this morning’s effort, the desired result was achieved. My 100% power rating jumped 17W this morning, and since I started it has gone up 89W (or 32% – I will let you guys do the math to work out what I am pushing). This last weekend just gone, I rode 75 clicks on the road with my riding buddy, and fellow Wattbike torture victim, AC. We rode strong. The following day, I backed it up with a 45 click ride, and while I felt sore I rode strong.

Another riding buddy JB asked me a very valid question, “What are you working towards?” I had asked and answered that question to myself a couple of months ago. I am now in my fourth decade, and I want to see how hard I can go before the inevitable decline. When I am much older, I want to be able to say to myself and my kids, “I could push it like that, and this is what I have been able to achieve. No regrets.”

I think that there are a few more power tests to come, they will still suck.