An Hour OF Power!

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Ade Merckx, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. root

    root New Member

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    Insipred by this post I decided to push my limits a bit last night and did 2x20 at 305Watts. :). I don't think I would be able to maintain that for an hour though, but it's amazing to see how much more reserve your muscles have once your brain decides to alow the torchure.

    I think I will ease off to 288 Watts for my regular training though.
     


  2. root

    root New Member

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    Don't be discouraged. I started cycling long distance in early nineties. I never trained or anything. A friend of mine and I decided it would be fun braking the monotony of student life (I studed pure math and he medicine) and it would be fun to go out and breath fresh air for a change. We did the first ride to a near by town 16 km away and back. Needless to say we were absolutely dead for the next 2-3 days. After that our second ride was to a near by town 65 km away :). We slept over and cycled back the next day. And from there on, we cycled pretty much every day. Longest rides were 280 km in a day. Most people thought we were insane.

    However neither of us ever trained or even had our bikes setup properly or even proper size for us. But we cycled every day religiously at least 100 km.

    Then I stopped cycling in 2002 when I got hit by a car. I just started cycling again in the spring this year. I picked up body building in the mean time and gained a lot of weight. I subsequently stopped body building too and gained even more weight :).

    After being diagnosed with diabetes in November 2006, I decided it's time to cut this crap and take control over my body again. So in May 2007 I picked up a mountain bike. I could barely cycle all the way home from the bike store :). I felt exhausted. I would say my FTP was less than 100 Watts, and I just could not believe how hard cycling felt. It used to be so effortless and easy, and that's how I remember it, just flying up the hills.

    So, I cycled on a mountain bike for a month and hated it. So, in June I got a new road bike. And I cycled pretty much all summer every day, until I could do 160 km rides without being completely wasted.

    In November I discovered this website and started structured cycling training for the first time in my life. I did my first 1hr FTP test at about 170 Watts.

    Since mid November last year until today, my FTP has gone up to 275 Watts, and today I did 2x20 at 305 Watts, and my power fluctuated between 298 to 325.

    I don't ever intend to race or anything. However, I am racing against diabetes, which is now under control and has been all summer. I can eat sweet stuff in huge quantities cycle 4 hrs and my blood sugar is down to 4.8 :).

    So, if I can do it, everyone can. Now, get on your bike and train :).
     
  3. Bill Black

    Bill Black New Member

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    You are right into it now! The physical side doesn't get any easier but the mental focus does. Do the HOP about once every 10 days and your race season will show the results -- at least as far as FTP goes. Here is a link to an article I wrote that concerns a disguised HOP http://www.usacycling.org/forms/newsletter/newsletter0413.pdf

    Keep it going and train hard and smart!
    Best,
    Bill Black
     
  4. Ade Merckx

    Ade Merckx New Member

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    Hey cheers Bill - good article. I'm not sure if I'll hit the HOP (Hour Of Power) every 10 days but I'll try to do it once or twice a month. How often do you do that workout you describe in your article?
     
  5. Bill Black

    Bill Black New Member

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    The workout described in the article is really the HOP although the article is more oriented to explaining the rationale behind the workout. The HOP is made difficult by the surging, which better simulates riding/racing outside, and then returning to the specified watt level without letting the watts dip below the 80% - 95% of FTP.

    I had long overdue peroneal tendon surgery in July, 2007 (had been told for 7 years that it was nerve impingement in my back) and I am back to doing the HOP about once every 10 days. At this time of year I look to raise my average wattage for it on a month-to-month basis leading into the race season.

    Best,
    Bill Black
     
  6. Ade Merckx

    Ade Merckx New Member

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    Cool, so are you dong some of the typical workouts described on this and the wattage forums 2/3 x 20's sweetspot, L5, etc?
     
  7. Bill Black

    Bill Black New Member

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    Since 2000 I had been pretty much limited to TTs due to the improperly diagnosed problem I was having with my lower right leg. Consequently, I was doing almost exclusively FTP building workouts.

    While FTP building still represents the bulk of my workouts, I will be varying things more now that surgery has corrected the torn tendons in my lower leg.

    However, I stress that folks should be able to race with the peloton at L3 and then have the "rope" to go into L4 and higher only to attack, respond to attacks and to finish. In order to do that one must spend the greatest percentage of one's training time building a solid and high FTP.

    It takes much longer, and for most folks it is more difficult, to build up FTP than it is to build VO2max (3 - 5min) power.

    Best,
    Bill Black
     
  8. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Bill I don't know any way to tag a post as being particularly insightful, but those are words to live by and a point a lot of riders don't get.

    High FTP is valuable as much as anything else so you can ride most of the race without approaching it. It leads to endurance, the ability to attack or respond repeatedly and the power margin you need to avoid racing at redline until the time comes to lay it all on the line. Nice post!

    -Dave
     
  9. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    The reason for the workout you described was also the rationale behind the Sweet Spot workouts I've been doing (shown here). Though recovering from 30 sec at 120% FTP may not be the same as recovering from 5 min at 100% FTP.

    I recently put on a HR strap to see how much of a HR drift I had during a Tempo (80% FTP) ride. I found NO DRIFT after 1hr 45 min and it may well be due to an increased ability to recover at that intensity.
     
  10. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Well done Ade! Fantastic effort. Of course I'm green with envy because in my first 300W test since last October next week, I don't expect to get anywhere near 1 hour. I shall be happy with 20 minutes, very happy with 25 minutes, over the moon with 30 minutes, and positively delirious with anything over 30 mins.

    I'm not officially a good cyclist yet as Bullgod says - need more work. Tyson;)
     
  11. Ade Merckx

    Ade Merckx New Member

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    Yeah thats another quote for me to get all fired up about:D :D Of course anyone who's been lurking on these forums for long enough knows this, but when its presented the way you've kicked it we all get a perfect picture of why FTP is so important...if I could just tease out a little more info before you start charging me ;) . How close to race time do you start the short hard stuff - vo2max and anaerobic intervals?
    Thank you Sir. To be fair the original inspiration came from you when you said you were going to test your FTP in January. I hope the test goes well, build up gradually initially and see where it takes you :)
     
  12. Bill Black

    Bill Black New Member

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    I don't mean to be evasive but... it all depends. What are the longer term goals for the season? By close to race time, do you mean the "A" event(s), or just the start of the race season?

    Assuming just the start of the race season (assume May 1), and starting from now (Jan. 23), the balance of January would be 9 - 10 hours per week on the indoor trainer with Monday being easy and the rest of the days being solid L3 into just a bit of L4 but also doing the HOP which is solid L4 with surges into low L5 and looking to get one longer ride outside per week if possible. February continues the same general pattern (HOP once every 10 days or so) but also including some patterned 2min L5 surges during L3 60min+ sessions (usually 3 or 4 such surges per 60min). March continues but I am usually getting outside a bit more and some group rides start -- I make a conscious effort on the group rides to drop off the back of the group and TT back on in order to make sure I get in 3 or 4 L5 intervals of 3 - 5min each and it is during March that I start in more on the L5 work (I use 6 zones with L6 being absolute sprinting full out and L5 being sustainable power for 5 - 6min). April I continue working the FTP and my outside hours are going up. If I am doing training races, it is not necessary to do organized L5 intervals but if no racing then I am doing once per week sessions of 6 to 8 of 5min intervals at L5. Assuming our May 1 start, I will take my organized L5 intervals through mid-April than back off on the intensity for a week, doing solid FTP work but making sure not to become too deeply fatigued with excessive hours and then the last week of April I will do a session of L5 intervals about 5 or 6 days before the race date, back things off again and then do some short harder opening work as my opener the day before the race date.

    Best,
    Bill Black
     
  13. ctgt

    ctgt New Member

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    You called this a disguised HOP. I've seen mention of your HOP before, but never knew what it was (I guess I just assumed it was an FTP test-which made me not want to do it :) ).

    So is this the actual HOP, or is it one of many variations?

    I think I'm going to do this workout next chance I get (that's how my training is organized-when the opportunity arises, I train for as long as I can, and I determine the workout by what I've done recently, and what I might be able to do soon).
     
  14. Bill Black

    Bill Black New Member

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    The Hour of Power (HOP) reference is something that I coined and then the Coggan/Allen book used some of my material and specifically deals with the HOP on pp. 85-86 (I think those are the pages). My reference to the "disguised" aspect of the workout described in the article link I cited/wrote is that the article deals with the underlying rationale for the HOP but it specifies a workout range for power percentages that allows for a somewhat easier session than the HOP set forth in the Coggan/Allen book.
    Best,
    Bill Black
     
  15. ctgt

    ctgt New Member

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    I should get that book I guess.
     
  16. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    A year or so ago I tried a few literal HOPs from Hunter and Coggan's book and just couldn't pull them off. When I thought about it, I wasn't surprised, if the rest power is up in L4 and the peaks are into L5 your NP (and possibly AP) are going to very near or above FTP. By definition it's pretty hard to finish a full hour above FTP, especially during normal training.

    Anyway I started doing an easier version I refer to as Tempo with a Twist, which is basically what you've described in the USAC article. I ride steady high Tempo or low SST in the 80-85% of FTP range and do a seated jump every two to three minutes. NP ends up squarely in L4 and it's tough but I can complete the workout.

    -Dave
     
  17. Ade Merckx

    Ade Merckx New Member

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    Thanks very much Bill. I'll post a few race reports when the season gets going:)
     
  18. Animator

    Animator New Member

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    Hi Bill, is there any reason not to do these more often than this? I just did my first (modified) HOP the other day and it felt great. I kept it at ~90% FTP and did 10 sec. jumps at ~140% every 2 min. I have a real problem completing steady state intervals of any intensity longer than 10 minutes, especially indoors. So being able to go a full hour was a huge breakthrough for me. I enjoyed it so much, I did 30 minutes of the same protocol the next day. I want to do all my indoor SST this way I think. Any reason not to?
     
  19. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Certainly there are many ways to help break up a steady-state effort. One that I use is to imagine I'm in a break with 4 other riders (or 3, whatever) with each rider doing one minute on the front of the paceline. So, it's 1 minute at about 110% FTP and then 4 min (or 3) at about 70-80% of that power to mimic the drafting effect. The average ends up in the 80-90% FTP range depending on the rest intervals and power selected, and it makes for a nice regular rhythm to the effort (ie, go hard everytime the minute strikes a multiple of 5, etc.).
     
  20. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Nice way to visualize the ups and downs of riding with others and making it work out to a solid SST effort.

    I use a similar method when training on gym ergs. They tend to have pretty big power jumps between their preset levels. The gym near work has ergs that jump from 240 watts to 290 watts between adjacent levels. So I'll do various mix and match workouts like you describe to get the average power where I want it and to break things up every minute or two. 1:4 ratios like you describe work great as do 2.5 minutes up, 2.5 minutes down and other variations on the theme.

    I'd never thought about it like riding a 4 up TTT, but that's a cool visualization for those up down efforts.

    -Dave
     
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