2008 Ftp?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by rmur17, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    isn't this just as likely to be the result of just blindly taking FTP as THE test of racing fitness as well?

    a 1 hr test is just, far too long to provide a proper indication of anaerobic work capacity (an extremely important component in the repertoire of competitive cyclists).. mightn't someone foolishly think they are truly prepared as well as they could be for racing, but in fact have a gigantic hole in their fitness and as a result their potential by only looking at FTP..?

    you are right and this is the point of my post.. taking 1 power reading for duration x is not enough to know where you are at... that's goes for 20min and even for power at another duration, even if it has a fancy acronym like FTP... otherwise known as 1hr maximal power.. but if i was going to take 1 test it wouldn't be 1 hr power, it would be 20 min power for the reason i gave in the previous post... it's practical because i do the all the time and it probably more accurately predicts all round road racing fitness

    but notice i routinely take power readings at two durations 10min and 20min (2 data points).. and also less frequently at 5min and 1min.. 15sec is also another reading i take note of.. these are all done in the course of my regular training though... and then i use monod periodically to extrapolate to other duration not typically found in my training (like 1 hr TTs)... doing this, by FAR, has more utility than just looking at FTP as the gold standard for racing fitness. and yet there is this intense fascination, obsession actually, with knowing this number, and knowing it to accuracy x,y,z... what's even more crazy is most will take that 20 min number to estimate the 1 hr number... if you are going to do that, why not just forget about the 1hr number and use the 20 min number directly? but some will say... well you don't really know it because you haven't done a real 1hr test... it's crazy!! i'm sitting here in my chair having a good belly laugh... and why not just use what you can historically do for a duration to guide the intensity you train at those durations for instead of some rough estimates of what those values should likely be that you find in a table online? yeah, yeah, yeah.. good for the newbie starting out, but why are people who have been riding with power meters for years doing this?

    FTP... if you can estimate it to +/- 5-10W that's fine.. outside of that... who the hell cares? and what of 15sec and 1 min, 5min, 10min, 20min or 67.5min power?

    why am i suddenly reminded of the Fight Club movie when i hear people talking about the intricacies of FTP...?
     


  2. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

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    I found this post strangely relaxing, practical, and down to earth..... :)

    PB
     
  3. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    Lately as my FTP test I just turn off the music and do a 3x20 based on RPE this puts me at about 98% FTP so I ad 2% and I'm in the ballpark. Testing really is training or is it the other way around.

     
  4. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    .....
     
  5. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    You seem to be completely missing my point: my argument is that if you want to use power data as a surrogate for measurements of physiological attributes that influence racing success, you need to pick durations that give you as "clean" of result as possible. In terms of metabolic fitness, that means using a test that is sufficiently long (e.g., ~60 min) that the results are minimally impacted by changes in anaerobic capacity. Conversely, in terms of neuromuscular power that means using a test sufficiently short (e.g., 5 s) that the results are minimally impacted by changes in muscle fatigue resistance under such conditions (which can actually also be termed "anaerobic capacity"...but nevermind). Using durations that are either too short or too long can lead to problems, because you can't readily determine the mechanisms (and hence type of training) accounting for any improvement in power output.

    Anyway, given that 1) you use the Monod approach, and 2) I've stated from the outset that the ultimate reference is always to the athlete's own unique abilities, I don't think our perspectives are all that far apart...I was just explaining why I don't think a 20 min (or 30 min) test alone is a very good choice upon which to base any decisions, training levels, etc. Again, it seems that you agree w/ me, in that isn't what you do.
     
  6. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    i say that's just simple wrong... because you obviously can if you use a tool like monod.. then formal testing is just not necessary to ferret out each component of fitness, because you already know this just by feeding monod your data from regular training sessions... at least as accurately as is necessary to guide your training and honestly you don't even have to know absolute value, you just need to know up or down and maybe by how much. testing can then be used to see how those components are coming together and how they impact actual performance.. imo 20min is more indicative of the mix of the anCap and aerobic fitness necessary for all round racing fitness than is 1hr (for reasons i gave previously)... and it also gets fed back into monod as well... as some else said the training is the testing and the testing is the training.

    but yes, i think we are in agreement in terms of what info is needed to make informed decisions about our training.. but there is a little disagreement in terms of how best to gather that data and what data is necessary to gather..

    above is my point, below is just extra stuff..

    in the case of NMP, if i do a 15sec test, i go through 5 s on my way to completing 15 sec so... why bother with a 5 sec tests? by doing 15 sec i actually get more information than by stopping at 5 secs because i get an understanding of how NMP and AnCap are impacting sprinting performance over a duration more representative of the ability i'm training... 5 sec is too short to determine or train sprinting ability... i.e. i'm testing/training for sprinting ability... i'm not testing/training for NMP... but the good thing is that my NMP value is a byproduct of the testing/training for sprinting... just like AnCap and aerobic fitness levels are a by product of the rest of my training (when using Monod). if i test performance for a typical duration that i will ask my legs to perform at in a typical race (or an effort that has the approx. balance of AnCap to Aerobic fitness), on a representative course... again... i gain some insight into how those bits are coming together and impacting performance... real performance... like as when someone uses a race as a test.. so again, i don't need to test each discrete underlying metabolic fitness level specifically because i can reasonably predict them if i feed a tool like monod with data from my typical training regime.. which is really easy to do.

    add to this that, if you've been training for years, you pretty much know the mix of training necessary to get you where you want to be, what you are really looking for in testing, is an indication of where you are not how to get there.

    i don't need to test directly or even to know my FTP directly because i can use the tools at hand to get much, much more than FTP alone would ever tell me. i can look at multiple data points and i can predict the points between the known data point to a reasonable degree of accuracy, i can even look out farther out than 60min power and i can look at and relationships between data points... looking at a curve has much more utility than looking at a single point on that curve.
     
  7. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    As I mentioned in this thread long ago, racing performance (for racers anyway) is what really matters - not testing numbers, irrespective of the protocol.

    I'm very interested to see the time trial times of those high on the listing - I'm fully aware that a road race or crit is a more difficult barometer with which to compare lab testing and actual performance...Regardless, a cat 4/5 racer with 4w/kg should be able to score some wins in road races that involve some hills...

    I sincerely hope most will post their results - those that support their testing numbers, and (I realize this is asking alot) those that don't...
     
  8. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    :confused:

    I thought we were discussing using 20 (or 30) min power as an indicator of metabolic fitness?
     
  9. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    +1

    but in leu of racing... in the off season, during builds or before that big race it's kinda nice to know where you are in terms of your fitness... this impacts heavily on what tactics you will use and what goals you will set for yourself in a race... or even if you WILL race or keep your ass home an train instead... testing is useful as long as you don't let it get in the way of your training.. i do virtually no formal testing at all.. all my 'testing' numbers are gleaned from numbers from training/racing.
     
  10. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    why would i discuss how best to test directly for 1 hr power, when i think that making that measurement directly is a complete and utter waste of one's time?
     
  11. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    You're welcome to your opinion. However it appears that many people on here feel differently.

    In any case, this thread is about sharing FTP progress for 2008. Do you have anything to add in that respect? :(
     
  12. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    At the risk of repeating myself, I thought we were discussing how to best track metabolic fitness based on field tests of power. My position is that a single 20 (or 30) min test is sub-optimal in that regard, something that you seem to agree with in that you use the critical power approach (which requires measurement of power at more than one duration). Yet, you persist in advocating a single 20 min test, even though you seem to recognize that it doesn't entirely differentiate between metabolic fitness and other determinants of performance ability (e.g., anaerobic capacity). IOW, neither your statements nor your actual habits are logically consistent.

    As for the relevance of anaerobic capacity/20 min power vs. metabolic fitness to racing success, I disagree with you on that, and would offer my own performance as evidence. To wit: despite having a below-average anaerobic capacity (such that my 20 min power is only ~3% greater than my functional threshold power), I made it up to cat. 1 in the crit-centric midwest, and have won the majority of mass start races I've done since turning 40.
     
  13. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    Monod testing isn't formal?

    Using data from regular training sessions seems like a great way to get bad data. Do you really give all-out efforts at the appropriate durations routinely?
     
  14. strader

    strader New Member

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    Can we get back to bragging about how much power we make now?
     
  15. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    you act as though every year is the first time you ever rode a bike or strapped on a power meter... i have 3 years of data to inform me that if i'm on a training load of x my power has been historically y... i know others on this board have much more historical data

    but c'mon man, this is ridiculous.. really.. how acurately do you need to know those numbers...? knowing that number to the nth degree allows you do adjust your training how? please tell me how those decimal place will change.. anything when you get out there on the road? if you are riding a threshold interval and it seems too easy or you are not able to complete it because it was too difficult are you going to ride the next one at the same intensity just because your numbers say x,y or z... c'mon, who are you kidding.. this isn't brain surgery...

    after a taper or a few days off i might take some of my numbers from some effort that i did in the previous week and plug them into monod to see what it spits out... completely informal.

    formal testing and determining FTP to the nth degree seem like a great way to unnecessarily take time away from training i.e. a big waste of time.. taking your 20min power and using it to calculate 1hr power is just dumb... why... just use the 20min number
     
  16. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    exactly, at least your honest.. this is the best purpose for calculating FTP... it allows for a pissing contest.. mine's bigger than yours...
     
  17. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    I thought about adding something like "I've recently gone away from using Monod and other formal testing because it seems needlessley complicated and now I just use typical racing and training data." Apparently I should have.

    Anyway, I'm not advocating constantly pinning down ftp to the watt. I just believe that if you use monod testing to set training levels, you need to be moderately fresh and go all-out for the duration. I've gotten some pretty weird results from using bad data.

    Really, my preference is to use a glaring data point (power pb for 20+ minutes, usually) as a prompt to raise my ftp, then just make sure that number seems right during training.
     
  18. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    i don't use monod to set training levels.. i use what i can actually do in training to set training levels.. i periodically look at monod number so estimate numbers i don't normally do in training e.g. 1 hr power.
     
  19. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

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    i agree with you... i think i stated that 4-5 post ago. but i'm looking at this from practical point of view... when i get on the road and i'm going to do my interval, when i'm planning my training schedule, what concrete thing changes based on that 3-4W difference in that value? what does that precision get me? basically, nothing.. the utility gain from the precision from a practical point of view for these formal field tests is so low that they are waste of time... i can get close enough and in fact get even better other information by other means... not a good use of ones time, an just plain unnecessary... even using monod.. i only take a peak a few times a year and i'm not doing anything formal, i'm just taking some numbers and seeing what they spit out.. more for interest sake than anything else.

    know what's really funny... you are actually a prime candidate for using 20min power... the difference in your 20min and 1hr power is within the precision of most power meters... isn't that ironic :)

    anyone that's been riding for more than a minute knows that races can be won in many different ways... a rider will be successful if the maximize on their assets and limit their liabilities... and it also helps if you have tactically inept competition. People such as yourself should be the easiest to out maneuver tactically since you only have one weapon at your disposal. It should be really easy to counter.. basically sit on you or do considerably less work than you if in a break with you and then go around you at 100m to the line. the other side of the coin is that those with considerably less aerobic abilities than yourself can make up for it by exploiting their AnCap abilities and for shorter effort good AnCap can mask low FTP.

    it comes down to this.. the only situation that you won't have to worry about AnCap is if you finish solo... and how often does that happen? and even then, how did you attack in the first place? even from a small break you're going to need to sprint or attack in order to win etc... bottom line... maximizing you AnCap means maximizing your odds of success in racing... and that goes for anyone. but again if you're smart enough and/or you competition is foolish or ignorant enough it's possible to find a way to win... but most of the time i think you'll find yourself getting a lot of 5th-10th places.

    sorry strader... i'll stop now.. let the pissing resume...
     
  20. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    But I'm not talking about the precision of the estimate, I'm talking about the "external validity", i.e., how you interpret the data and hence decide to act upon it. I agree with you that there's no need/benefit in trying to pin down functional threshold power to w/in +/- 1 W...indeed, I don't see any point to thinking in less than 5 W increments.

    It would be ironic only if I'd settled upon "hour power" by chance, or based just on my own data. I didn't, however, which means that I'm really just the exception that proves the rule.

    None of the above really says anything about the relative importance of metabolic fitness versus anaerobic capacity in determining competitive success. Obviously, everyone has their strengths and everyone has their weaknesses, and the name of the game is playing your strengths off against your opponents' weaknesses so as to maximize the odds of crossing the finish line first. The question is, though, whether it is better to have metabolic fitness as your strength, or anaerobic capacity as your strength (assuming, that is, that you can't have your cake and eat it too...which is a false premise, but anyway...)? If you compare individuals of markedly different ability (as road racers), it is clear that it is metabolic fitness that sets the pros apart from the cat. 5 riders, not anaerobic capacity.
     
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