90 watts in 22 weeks

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Freddy Merxury, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

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    Nice work Freddy....

    keep us posted.

    Paul
     


  2. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I was going to give you Kudos on Strava, but I did not see this particular ride uploaded so I will give you Kudos here - KUDOS for progressing. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  3. Freddy Merxury

    Freddy Merxury New Member

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    I stopped posting on strava because it doesnt recognize trainer rides which is 95% of what I'm doing right now. I'll be sure and get all my outdoor rides on there in the future.

    I looked at my file and during the hour I averaged 21.4 mph, while not maintaining any kind of aero position.
     
  4. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    Strava does indoor rides if your Garmin has the GPS off or you just tick the box 'stationery trainer' when you upload the file. Well done on your progress so far.
     
  5. awilki01

    awilki01 New Member

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    Dave,
    Can you explain the 75% of the 5 minute power? And, if that is an issue, how can it be overcome? I've been training for about 2 years now. I'll be 40 next year. I don't directly test my 5 minute power, but looking back last year, I may have tested it once and it came in around 300 watts. My FTP is somewhere between 240-250 watts. Since I'm still new to the sport, wouldn't SST also pull up my 5 minute power as well? Or, does it look like I may at some limit right now?
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Sure, it breaks down like this:

    - 5 minute power is a convenient proxy for power at VO2 Max (p_VO2 Max) or the power that's generated aerobically at an athlete's current maximal O2 exchange rate (which is different than the range of power/durations that can elicit VO2 Max respiration but that's a different discussion). It's not a perfect proxy as 5 minute power contains a substantial contribution from anaerobic energy production but it's not bad as a rough estimate and it's fairly easy to track peak 5 minute power but a bit harder to actually track p_VO2 Max.

    - p_VO2 Max represents the maximal power an athlete can generate via purely aerobic processes. Riders can certainly generate additional power for short durations but any power above p_VO2 max comes from anaerobic energy production and is not sustainable for very long. Again it's tougher to track actual p_VO2 Max without either lab tests using gas exchange masks or by inferring it from things like a well paced 3km to 4km pursuit type effort where the start depletes most of the anaerobic contribution and the remainder is performed very near p_VO2 Max so we tend to substitute 5 minute power for convenience.

    - VO2 Max as a gas exchange rate in liters per minute (or more commonly weight scaled in ml/kg/min) sets the current upper bound for aerobic power generation and although it is trainable over time it tends not to move very much after the early stages of training.

    - FTP or power at LT as a fraction of p_VO2 Max is much more trainable though it takes a long time to train. This is our primary focus when we do SST/L4 training or even when a full time rider racks up lots of hours of LSD base training. We're working on improving our FTP as a percentage of p_VO2 Max. And yes, this stuff is not entirely discrete so when you do a lot of SST/L4 work your p_VO2 Max tends to increase as well.

    - FTP as a fraction of p_VO2 Max can span a wide range in different athletes depending on training history, state of current training, and genetics but it's generally in the range of approximately 70% to perhaps 90% or maybe a little more in some exceptionally well trained athletes. Based on the folks I've worked with 80-85% is pretty typical for FTP as a function of 5 minute power after a few seasons of consistent training but a large part of what we work on is trying to move that number upward with SST/L4 work.

    - If a rider trains their FTP up above 85-90% or more of their maximal 5 minute power (and that 5 minute power really is maximal in that they've really tried and not just cherry picked a 5 minute effort out of random riding) then it's possible that they're 'running out of aerobic headroom' or IOW, their FTP is such a high percentage of p_VO2 Max that further progress in terms of the FTP/p_VO2 Max percentage is becoming less likely. At that point we typically introduce additional focused VO2 Max work in hopes of raising the athlete's 'aerobic ceiling' to give them more room for further FTP development. This typically doesn't happen till an athlete has five or more years of steady high quality training under their belts and have ridden the FTP development train for several seasons. FWIW, be very careful here as many riders IMO jump to the conclusion that they're run out of aerobic headroom and scrap SST/L4 training in favor of VO2 Max training much too soon and end up slowing their long term progress or often burning out on high end work in hopes of speeding things up. There are a lot of good reasons to introduce VO2 Max work even if a rider has a lot more room to develop FTP, for instance pre season race prep for races that will demand a lot of VO2 Max style efforts but even then most folks should get back on a good FTP building program post season during their winter build. Just don't think VO2 Max work is magic in terms of FTP progress as for most folks, it's not.

    So when I see a rider who's recorded a 5 minute MMP at 403 watts and starting this thread reported an FTP of ~260 watts or FTP is only 65% of 5 minute power it seems likely that the athlete has a lot of room to grow and likely could do much better for a full hour just with some work on pacing, mental focus and fatigue resistance. Freddy's recent progress to actually ride an hour at 295 watts (awesome BTW!) puts him around 73% for FTP/5 minute which still implies a lot of room to grow. Sure a 'fast twitcher' who's 5 minute MMP reflects a lot of anaerobic contribution isn't likely to ever get their FTP/5 minute MMP up into the 90% range but 80% or more is pretty typical for well trained riders.

    Anyway, that's the back story on my comment above. Hard to say how far Freddy can take this, but if that 5 minute power number at over 400 watts is accurate and repeatable then I suspect his FTP will continue to climb for a while and that he's nowhere near his aerobic ceiling at this time.

    -Dave
     
    steve and awilki01 like this.
  7. awilki01

    awilki01 New Member

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    Dave, all I can say is WOW! Thanks so much!

    With all that said, I guess I should at least go out and do a 5 min all out effort to see where it is in relation to my FTP. Then, I'll have an idea at least of where I am. I can report back my findings.

    Should I do a 5 min max power test fresh?
     
  8. Freddy Merxury

    Freddy Merxury New Member

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    I do mine fresh, into a head wind and up hill if possible.
     
  9. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, what he said at least about the fresh (and I like uphills for 5 minute tests as well) part. The idea is to find your maximal 5 minute power so not your sorta fresh on a random day I went kinda hard power. So be fresh but not crazy over rested like after a week off the bike, warm up easy for a while and hit it hard. If your power fades badly or you blow up mid effort then it really doesn't count and you should try again on a better day with better pacing.

    -Dave
     
  10. tomw1974

    tomw1974 New Member

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    I have two different ~2%, 2.5-mile hills that I use for my five minute tests. They sure make me work!!
     
  11. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    You can also do a ride at a constant power to exhaustion. It's not truly exhaustion, but simply the point at which you can no longer maintain the target power. For a ~5min test, you might want to set a target power at 120%FTP. Choose a road segment where you can hold a constant power for at least 7 minutes. I also prefer a constant upgrade and steady headwind for such tests. Your max duration will not be precisely 5mins, but will give you a good data point on your MMP/duration curve nonetheless. Add a shorter one (e.g., 150%FTP) and a longer one (e.g., 105%FTP) and you will have three good data points for the Monod CP Model..
     
  12. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    That's good advice if the goal is to estimate FTP via a Monod test but if the goal is to use 5 minute MMP as a proxy for p_VO2 max as described above a test based on 120% of FTP to exhaustion would be a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy :)

    -Dave
     
  13. awilki01

    awilki01 New Member

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    When doing the 5 minute test, what's a good percentage of FTP to start at out? How do you personally do them from a pacing strategy? When I do VO2 intervals, I lock it in around 280 watts or so. But for a max test, I'm not sure how I should pace it.
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Tough call as the entire point is to test a new maximum not to do a set of five with high probability of finishing them all. That's why you might not hit your best effort the first time you try. If you're finishing five minute VO2 Max repeats at 280 watts then bump it up a bit and don't glue your eyes to the PM trying to regulate your efforts perhaps start around 300 watts, settle in for the first minute or two and then drive it for all you're worth for the final minutes. If you dramatically increase your power in the second half and don't completely blow up then try on another day starting a bit harder. If you blow up starting at 300 watts then try again on another day starting at perhaps 290 and trying to build from there. Give it time and figure out what you can do.

    Alternatively, consider taping over your PM power display on days like these and just keep tabs on interval time or pre-select a hill or other fixed distance and just ride hard to your destination. Review the data when you get home, if you rode steady or ramped a bit beginning to end and it was about as hard as you could go then great, if not try again on another day when you're fresh enough and work on pacing based on what you learned the first time. IOW, don't hold yourself back to pre-selected power targets as that easily leads to self fulfilling prophecies.

    -Dave
     
  15. awilki01

    awilki01 New Member

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    Thanks, Dave! I'll try and get 'er done!
     
  16. JibberJim

    JibberJim Member

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    I do my highest watts with an up a gradual hill very smooth road and tailwind. I know others have different situations most prefering much steeper hills than me so I think you should experiment to find what works best for you.
     
  17. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    This is the problem with doing a MMP test ride by choosing the duration and then guessing the target power. If we overestimate the target power and can't finish the test, we quit in frustration and discard the results. If we underestimate and reach the duration target, then what to do? Clearly, our max constant power for the target duration is at least the target power because by definition we completed the test. But, what is the actual max power for the duration? We are left to guess how many more watts we could have done.

    There is an alternative and it is my preferred methodology for all MMP tests of all durations. The alternative is to select a target power and then ride at that constant power to exhaustion. For such tests, exhaustion means simply that we can no longer maintain the target power. Our mind says, "Come on, just another minute." But our body says "No way, I'm done." Doing such a test could not be more simple. Choose your target power, choose a course with a relative constant resistance (grade/wind) where you can easily maintain your target power (my preference is a slight upgrade and a slight headwind). Then you just ride at the target power until you can't maintain it any longer. Whatever the actual duration, you then have a valid data point on the MMP/duration curve. And, with 2-3 such data points, you can estimate your MMP at other durations (e.g., 5mins). If I wanted a MMP at about 5mins, I would probably look up my best 5min AP in WKO+ in the last month and then add about 5%. If I had a recent and valid FTP, I would also look at about 120%FTP and compare it with my best 5min AP. That will put me in the ballpark, but the key point is that I don't need a data point at precisely 5mins. I get a valid data point with every test ride, no exceptions. BTW, this is essentially the way the Brits and Euros estimate their MAP and VO2MAX, with a ramp test to exhaustion.
     
  18. frost

    frost New Member

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    I also do good power at tailwind. I have always wondered if it relates to muscle fiber type ratios so that being a sprinter type I would gain from having high inertia in tailwind (big gear, high cadence). Something along the lines of muscle contraction being forceful but short. Anyway agree that if the environment permits it is a good idea to test different situations and then select one to "standardise" the testing.
     
  19. awilki01

    awilki01 New Member

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    Help me understand some training theory here.

    I'm thinking about this 5 min MMP test and the results I get from it. Would not SST training help bring up all the numbers e.g. FTP and VO2 max? Or, is there a point of diminishing returns whereby SST will not help? And, if one were to that point, is the only way to improve to perform direct VO2 stimulation?

    I was under the impression as long as the stimulus is there from SST everything will start shifting upwards. As Carmichael mentioned in a book: think of training as a string, if you pull up on one of the systems, the others will come up a little as well.
     
  20. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, a rising tide floats all ships so to speak. Training one predominantly aerobic level will have positive effects on other predominantly aerobic levels so training from L2 through L5 using Coggan's power levels will all have benefit to one another and even some bleed into L6 but not much pure L7 impact beyond repeatability.

    But choosing a target intensity helps focus where you'll get the most return for your training investment. If you focus on say L2 and do enough of it you'll still expect some positive progress with VO2 Max but not nearly as much as if you focus primarily on L5 work. Similarly if you focus entirely on L5 work it's likely you'll see improvement in VO2 Max and short duration (e.g 3 to 6 minute) power and yes you'll likely see some progress in FTP but not nearly as much as if you focus primarily on L4 work.

    There are also tradeoffs between workout focus and how much of that kind of workout you can actually do on a regular basis and how much recovery you need between those workouts. So if you do only L2 you can likely do a ton of it, day in and day out with not too many rest days if you have the time to do enough L2 work you can lay down a tremendous base as demonstrated by nearly all European pro riders but for many part time riders with a lot less available training time you may be leaving a lot on the table with this approach. If you do only L5 work you'll do a lot less of it, sustain much lower overall workload and need more recovery between workouts as they're very hard even though overall training stress measured in time, miles, TSS or kj of work performed is typically a lot less due to the intensity of this work.

    So yes, these training levels aren't totally discrete and training at one level has impact on the other nearby levels. But choosing a target level helps you focus your workouts to the systems that you most want to work on and also give you tools for managing overall workload and recovery within your training constraints.

    Take a look at Chart 2 on this page: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/cycling/power-training-levels,-by-andrew-coggan.aspx
    That gives a nice summary of how the different training levels focus on different systems but also how they impact one another.

    -Dave
     
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