it's a question of power...

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by roadster99, May 21, 2007.

  1. roadster99

    roadster99 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    had a question about power. strength to be more specific. i recently participated in a race: 4.5mi TT, 8% avg grade uphill. placed 26 out of 77. ran a 23min34sec. it was my very first "race" and i've been riding for only about a year (1st place-19.00min flat). kinda mixed feelings about my result due to this one fact: i lack ALOT of strength. i was hoping for some information on intervals that specifically build strength/power that work.

    {some info on me: 26yrs old, 120lbs soaking wet (if i'm lucky), 5'7"; ride 25 mi to & from work every day (i don't have a car). if i'm lucky, some cts videos twice a week on my cycleops indoor trainer. 50-60 mile ride on the weekend. sunday off. i don't have enough money for a power tap to track my wattage. i do have a hrm. my avg hr on my rides would be 155-165 depending on where i am riding (stoplights, etc). yes i am very green. yes i do not know anything about cycling besides that i ride a white specialized. no i am not an avid racer. i enjoy riding, but hate being left in the dust by passing cyclists. and yes i am new to the forums...}
     
    Tags:


  2. bikeguy

    bikeguy New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi,

    welcome to the forums!

    I think your time and place is very good considering the difficulty of the race,
    5.12 m/s avg up a 8% gradient for 23 minutes is already very good power. I figure your W/kg @ 4.8 w/kg is right where my power is at. 19 minutes would put the lead cyclist in at 5.9 w/kg avg which is what professional cyclists can do.

    Intervals of 3-6 minutes at near max power (you should feel fatigued after each interval) will help you in time trials, and in particular for a uphill TT should be done going up a hill. Also do 2x20 min intervals and maybe 3x20 if you aren't tired after 2. Do these 2x per week.
    Come on now, I don't think you're really being left in the dust by passing
    cyclists? The only place I'm passed now is in races, otherwise I pass 100's of cyclists during my normal commute, and I'm not racing. :rolleyes:

    -bikeguy
     
  3. roadster99

    roadster99 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    the 2x20's/3x20's: what type of efforts are they done at? my take on them would be max effort for the duration of the 20 min interval w/out declining or spiking power; steady state power through the whole interval. which would mean to me, not necessarily the absolute maximum effort you can do, but a max effort at which you can sustain for 20 minutes at a time. am i correct? btw, thanks for the help/advise. i really appreciate it!
     
  4. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    Welcome to my world (I'm 5' 6.5", 119 lbs) :). Actually, you're not lacking strength unless you think you lost 4.5 min because of a weak sprint ;). You lost 4.5 min because your sustained power to weight ratio (and perhaps mental focus) is lesser than that of the winner. It will take time and smart training to improve and it has nothing to do with "strength". Appropriate training will increase your heart's stroke volume and mitochondrial density. It will also improve your VO2max and sustained power (Functional Threshold Power - FTP). Search this forum for SST (Sweet Spot Training) or L4 or any of the previously mentioned terms and you'll be on your way.

    edit: This fellow compiled some nice links: http://www.geocities.com/gimpy_calfee/classic_blue.html
     
  5. bikeguy

    bikeguy New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    1
    The efforts should be enough that they make you suffer, but not max efforts. Max efforts should only be reserved for occasional tests or for races. You should be breathing hard and experiencing mild/moderate pain at the end of the intervals. If you have a PM then this would be 85-95% of your max power for the period depending on your fitness level.

    For optimal race training, you should do 3-6/20 minute intervals with 30-60 second periods of riding very hard finishing with a sprint, particularly finishing with a burst to simulate a final attack nearing the finish line. This will be higher intensity than just regular intervals and will make you more tired, so do sparingly.

    -bikeguy
     
  6. geoffsu

    geoffsu New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    How often should you ride a 2-3 x 20min? I call this workout my tempo which is twice a week. I ride 6 times per week, 2 x tempo (290-300w), 2 x interval (300-350w) 2 x long easy (200-220w). My CP30 is 326w.
    Am I doing this correct?:confused:

    Thanks,
    Geoff
     
  7. bikeguy

    bikeguy New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    1
    As often as you can without getting unduly stressed. 2x a week sounds good to
    me, I'm not even going to be doing that this week. If you're racing, then 1x per week is fine.

    -bikeguy
     
  8. roadster99

    roadster99 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    just a side note question...i have noticed throughout the forums that keeping track of your power/wattage seems to be very important due to the fact that interval training seems dependent on training at certain percentages of your maximum power output. am i correct on this? and if so, does anyone have any input as to where i can buy an affordable power meter? $1100.00 on a powertap is way out of my price range. i would rather spend $1100.00 on a new bike, lol. but seriously, can interval training be done accurately with just a hrm? i have heard/read that hr training is inconsistent & not a very good guage as to how you should train. thoughts? thanx
     
  9. zaskar

    zaskar New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    869
    Likes Received:
    0

    The strongest guys I have raced and trained with use nothing, no hrt rate, or cycle computer. The weakest riders I know "have" a power meter. Ride like hell, go hard, hammer. So hell yea, you can get fit as hell with out a PM or hrt monitor.
     
  10. geoffsu

    geoffsu New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info, this is a great site, so much information.

    Thank again,

    Geoff
     
  11. roadster99

    roadster99 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    so i've been skimming over some of the pages of "it's killing me but..." and i noticed that a lot of emphasis is put on L4 (or about like 90% of ft?). due to me NOT having a power meter & only a HRM, i was planning on doing some interval work on a hill (some 2X20 or 3X20 depending on how tired i get :rolleyes: ). i was under the impression that if i'm consistently trianing at a higher HR, the result will be my fitness level increasing as well as my power increasing. i will be honest, the climb usually warrants my HR to fluctuate between 180 & 220. whether that's me being out of shape or just plain weak, i don't know. anyways, according to RapDaddyO, HR is too inconsistent due to too many variables; cadence, gearing, etc. therefore monitoring power would be more accurate. my question would be this: will this not help give me the benefits that i am looking for? or should i just do some of these 2x20's on my trainer? all this HR vs POWER to monitor your training is kinda confusing.
     
  12. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    4
    1st problem is that your HR doesn't start to settle down for ~3min... this is really a big problem with using HR... so how hard to you ride for that 1st 3mins? with an HRM you have no idea... some days you blow up some days you're ok.... the second problem... if you do an interval at contant power, your HR will drift upwards as the interval goes on... so if you do an interval at constant HR you power decreases as the interval goes on... but the addaptation is related to power and not HR you are doing yourself a disservice by using HR, usually you start out too hard and die at the end so your ave power for the duration is low... with a power meter you know that you can do power x for 20min and you just do it... doesn't matter if you are inside, outside, uphill, downhill, headwind, tailwind... doesn't matter... it just make training so much simpler... and more efficient.

    [edit]... i'll also add that with power you stop pedalling and you see power go to zero... with HR you stop pedalling and you HR goes down slowly and remains elevated for a long time... and climbs quicker after doing an effor... when you go to do your second interval you HR at power x will likely start higher and climb quicker than the 1st interval so what HR do you ride at for the 2nd interval? HR is pretty much useless for interval training... i may ook at HR when doing an active recovery ride or endurance type ride when looking at power might not be that useful since it's so variable [edit]

    it's true that you can get a great amount of fitness by just riding around with no power meter and no HRM but if you want to improve as quickly as possible and you have limited time to train a power meter is just an amazing tool.. power meter allows you to train smart rather than just hammering away... power lets you know how hard to train and instantly lets you know if you are slacking off... i didn't realize how much time i was wasting 'til i got a power meter

    there are always the posers who buy every peice of kit for the look of it but i have the exact opposite experience as zaskar... almost everyone i know who has bought a power meter within a year has made huge and obvious gains in their performance...usually after about a year after purchasing it...

    you just don't waste time when you have a power meter... and the strongest guys i can think of are pros and these days the vast majority train with a PM and becasue of the UCI weight limit on bicycles a large portion are racing with them as well.

    i would probably advise people to forget about the better bike and just get the power meter if you reall care about results and performance... your going to get a lot more performance per dollar from using the power meter than from the better bike.
     
  13. roadster99

    roadster99 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    great answer spoc. exactly what kind of answer i was looking for. thanks for the information!:cool:
     
  14. roadster99

    roadster99 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    i apologize if i'm beating a dead horse, but please tell me if this makes some sense to you. let's say you're climbing a hill. you're using a 39x25 gear ratio. your pedal cadence is say 90rpms. no matter how many times you climb the same hill, if you're using the same gearing & same pedal cadence each time you climb, shouldn't power output stay constant also? if power output stays constant, couldn't you use this as an extremely generic way to monitor power output to make your intervals some what consistent? just wondering....
     
  15. Jono L

    Jono L Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Messages:
    4,428
    Likes Received:
    58
    Will be pretty close, but wind, tyre pressure, road surface all effect power output. I'm in your boat, trying to do steady intervals without a PM. In my training diary I note what gears I used and what cadence and try to do the same next time round.
     
  16. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    4
    uphill, on the same hill you can likely get close but as Jono L said "wind, tyre pressure, road surface" all affect power... as well, you're position (affects drag) and the temperature which affects the density of the air and as a result your drag.. so on hot days you'll be faster... on a hill speed is low so it's not as bad as on the flat but it will vary. on different hills forget it because of the different grades... i guess after a while you could get a feel for it but still you need to wait for the completion of the climb to be sure you are doing the right power.. guess you could set up interim time checks... power meter allows you to go to any hill any conditions and do your workout.

    also cadence isn't something that you need to keep constant for constant power... what you need to keep constant is your speed or really if you're going to do the same climb, your overall time since your speed might vary at different points on the climb. power is torque x angular velocity... so if you doubled your cadence and dropped torque (how much force you are putting to the pedals) in half you'd be doing the same power, or vise a versa

    inside on a trainer you can get pretty close too by just keeping constant tire pressure and ensuring the same amount of pressure used for roller to tire knob (mark the point on the knob) but most trainers heat up as you use them, so the power at a certain speed will vary.. this is even a problem for people with power meters since as the interval goes on you need to change your cadence to keep the same power... usually changing gears is too much of a change... some trainers are worse than others... kurt kinetic seems to be the one with the lowest power variance over time
     
  17. roadster99

    roadster99 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    just wondering...my riding schedule is this: mon-fri ride to & from work. total of appx 24 miles a day. tues & thurs do a cts video. saturday do a 30 mi ride (or more depending on how i feel) w/some 2x20's on a hill w/an 8% average grade & many many switchbacks. i just started this schedule (i've been riding to work for about a year. the intervals & 2x20's are what i just started). my problem (well not really a problem) is that i have a newborn son (3 mo old). i've been forced into sleeping "intervals" (those of you who have or have had kids know what i'm talking about). my recovery sucks. not enough sleep; or at least total REM sleep. i feel mentally & physically burnt out...like totally. for those of you who have been through this, how have you handled it? sometimes i feel like not even riding. i'll catch the bus to work just because i feel so unmotivated & tired. then i'll get on my case for not riding, regretting i caught the bus & feeling guilty for not jumping on the bike & riding to work. i'm getting caught in a mental dilemma more than anything. then i find myself skipping out on my cts training (i have to do the vids due to the fact that as soon as i get home, my wife goes to work...we do the 'trade-off' thing since we can't afford proper & reliable child care). how can i motivate myself? or at least keep on my schedule? i'm not looking to be a pro. i just want to keep growing in terms of fitness & strength so i can at least feel somewhat confident to participate in the local events; you know, keep progressing & not getting stagnant. and right now, i'm pretty stagnant...:(
     
Loading...

Share This Page

Loading...