So off to Njinga I was. My first training session And, surprise surprise (or perhaps not so much of a surprise, since you’re reading my Njinga success story), I loved it. The instructors were fantastic, the music was great, and the workout itself was broken down into intervals with breaks for recovery. By the end of the session, I was a sweaty mess and full of endorphins, the kind I’ve never experienced from weight training. I understood immediately how Njinga sessions can get you hooked.
THE DREADED FTP TEST
Something else that was immediately apparent to me was the importance of an FTP test to my training as all indoor Wattbike sessions are built around your individual training zones. And yes, FTP tests are hard (I hated my first one), but now I see them as a personal challenge. At the time of writing, I’ve done four tests within one year.
In my second test, I improved by 33 watts and got myself onto the All Time FTP Improver Board.
By my fourth, I was smashing my numbers and earning extra Njinga World Championship points (see next section). Overall, my FTP tests have allowed me to train smarter and manage my efforts better by staying in my set training zones throughout training session intervals. I also really enjoyed tracking my cycling fitness progress every month.
FROM FTP TO PERSONAL GOALS
Across an entire year, Njinga hosts a variety of competitions such as the Giro d’Njinga, Tour de Njinga and the Vuelta a Njinga which allow you to rack up points for their Njinga World Championship (it’s not as intimidating as it sounds, I promise).
My ever-improving FTP test results and the Njinga World Championship have driven me to push myself even further, increase my training attendance, diversify the types of training sessions I attend, and set a series of personal goals for myself.
My first personal goal was the Giro d’Njinga and, not only did I exceed my own expectations, but I won the sprinting competition – something I recognise now as a strength, having come top of the Sprint Finale Power Profile board.
My second personal goal was an unexpected one: a few weeks away from the end of 2018, I realised I was a contender for the Njinga World Championships: there were only five points between me and the leader.
So I doubled down on my efforts, did some double training sessions (aided by Sober October) and, though I realised I wasn’t going to close the gap and win, I won my age category by pushing to get my overall World Champ score as high as it could be.