Desparity between FT and 5 minute power

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by swampy1970, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    My FT is around 300watts but my best 5 minute effort is only in the mid 320's. From what I can gather from a chart that I believe the good Dr Coggan put together that there should be approximately a 20% increase in power (ie around 360watts) for the 5 minute effort should all things be 'correct'.

    Given that I've pretty much done no interval work or really hard short efforts of any kind since I stopped racing in 96, is this result something that I should really expect?

    Just curious.
     
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  2. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Probably yes. In addition to your lack of targeted training, it would seem that you're a slow twitch guy with low anaerobic capacity. There's a considerable anaerobic component in maximal 5 min power. So you can help that with L6 training, e.g. 1 min isopower with limited recovery, not 1 min all-out type of intervals with plenty rest (anaerobic capacity vs anaerobic power training). I'm somewhat the opposite - I can see some small increases in my FTP, but my best 5 min power increases even more (267W FTP vs 345W for 5 min last year).
     
  3. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Agree. After a couple sessions of getting used to that exquisite level of pain again, your performance would probably increase fairly rapidly.

    120% of FTP is approximately pVO2max. A 5-min max effort from a rested state should be able to beat that level by a couple-few more points still (due to anaerobic capacity). :cool:
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I never really got the "hurt" - just the running out of steam... even when I raced.

    I'm completely anaerobically incapacitated :D I kinda figured as much but I thought I'd just throw it out there to see what the general consensus was. Now I just gotta stop coughing up chest cheese and lose the sore throat and slight fever. :mad:

    1 minute isopower. How does that differ from 1 minute best effort? Isopower - sounds like the 80's sports drink Isostar.
     
  5. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    There are those who believe that 1 min intervals should be done all out, e.g. start with a sprint and try to hold it as long as possible, puke, and repeat. What I meant is doing intervals at a predetermined EVEN power, let's say 400 W, so after doing 10 of them you can say that you spent 10 min at 400 W. IOW, training to ride longer anaerobically, rather than trying to increase your best 1 min power. Not that there isn't good time for the latter.
     
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I got ya. Thanks for the explination!

    So you do a predetermined set at a predetermined power... Hmmm.

    Instead of going as hard as you can for one minute for a given number of reps, is there a protocol for doing as many "1 minute isopower" intervals at a preset power until you fall over? Just wondered since it's like comparing the apples 'n oranges. I've had lots of apples in the past, just wondered if it's a good thing to pig out on the oranges. :D
     
  7. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    The file below is from last summer. It's probably the best set that I did up a little 10% hill - 1min on (~ 400W or 150% FTP), 3 min rests. The IF for the ride was .96 including warmup and cooldown. The NP for the highlighted interval section was equal to my indoor tested FTP at the time. I didn't feel like falling over right afterwards (probably adrenaline), but when I got home I had to sit down, didn't feel like eating, and got a headache. I was beat!
     
  8. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

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    Hi

    Hey! That means I'm about right and I thought my 5 minute power was somewhat lower than it "should" be! At my last FTP test my 20 minute power was 321W and therefore my FTP 305W, my 5 minute power, done prior to the 20 minute TT as per the protocol, was 355W. So, my 5 minute power was about 17% above my FTP.

    Hopefully as I start to do some L5 work in a few months there should be a bit of an improvement ready for the warm weather :)

    PBUK
     
  9. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Is that chart your 5-min max effort? I hate to say it, but that looks to me like there's quite a bit left to be pulled out of those legs. So, I'm in agreement that your 5-min power appears somewhat lower than it "should" be. ;) :)

    That chart looks like you knew exactly what power you were going to do, and did it for 5 minutes. There's no way I could draw such a straight-edged interval on a max effort. Also no way I would attempt a max effort 5-min and 20-min within at least an hour of each other.

    Edit: sorry, maybe I'm looking at the wrong interval on that chart. I can't read any of the numbers. Was the first one the 5-min, and the second one the 20-min?
     
  10. nmcgann

    nmcgann New Member

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    The big kick at the end of the 5 shouldn't have been possible. On a max effort it ends by holding on to the power by using every fraction of willpower and strength.

    I find these 5 min efforts extremely nasty, they are long enough to have both muscular and cardio systems pegged at the redline.

    Neil
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Looking at the trace for the 5 minute effort, I wouldn't be surprised if you could even the effort out and have a good shot at 365watts - which is right at where the FTP+20% point is. Maybe a good 20 minute warm up, a minute or two easy pedaling and lots of motivation.

    I have more than a sneaking suspision that you could pull it off.
     
  12. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

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    Hi

    The first one was the 5 min the 2nd the 20 min, I do them one after the other as that's how I started doing them as per the Allen and Coggan Bible. I understood that the 5min TT was a necessary part of the whole test to make sure that your legs weren't fresh before doing the 20 minute TT from which the FTP is calculated. Shame really, I'd do much better if I missed out the 5 minute TT bit!

    Sorry you can't read the numbers, they look Ok from here if I click the thumbnail and then click it again, does that help at all?

    I tend to start conservatively and then build as I go along but there was more in the tank for this test and I think I sould have started harder but I gave it all I had at the end.

    Cheers,

    PBUK
     
  13. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

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    Hi

    It would be fantastic if you were right, I may well find out on Tuesday as it's time for another FTP test :eek: I think it may have risen a touch, maybe 5W.

    Thanks for the faith and encouragement!

    PBUK
     
  14. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

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    Hi Swampy1970

    I am pleased to say that you were right! :)
     
  15. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Congrats on your improvement! :)

    FWIW, I've never had the best luck "emptying the tank" in the last 30-sec to 1-min, as your charts show with those large spikes at the ends of those intervals. I look at it this way: if time expires and I'm still producing ~15% higher power than I held for the entire duration, then what could my average be if I held on to that higher power for another 2, 5, 60 seconds after time expired? Unless I'm already gritting my teeth to the end, I typically start ramping it up at about 75% of the way through the interval, to ensure that I have time to truly empty the tank. If time expires and I'm still producing greater than my average power, then I keep going as long as I can and shave the low powers off the 'front' of the interval (in essence, keeping the *highest* 20 minutes) instead of quitting.

    Awesome job with your training, but I think there's still some more to give in your testing!
     
  16. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    excellent progress! :D
     
  17. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Told ya. ;)

    Good ride.

    What would be interesting is to see how you'd do on a few time trials. It's almost that time of year where there's a million and one 10's and 25's every weekend. I'd hazzard a guess that based on your power you could do a mid 22 minute to short 23 minute ride in a 10 on a standard roadbike without the aid of go faster goodies such as aero helmet, skinsuit, fancy wheels etc...
     
  18. J-V

    J-V New Member

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    I'm pretty sure that Coggan's test protocol derives the 95% estimate of FTP based upon the fact that the entire testing protocol had been followed (i.e. the 1-min and 5-min tests performed prior to the 20-min). Maybe Andrew will chime in here, but as I understand it, just doing a max 20-min effort while fresh would be sort of like 'cherry-picking' what is a relatively high value, thus the 95% estimate might be closer to 90% in that situation. Of course we all know that the 95% is an estimate based upon his original test population, and we all likely vary from that average value. I'm not sure if WKO+ has the option for using a value other than 95%...

    As you're learning, a lot of this testing performance stuff is learning to take the test in the most advantageous manner, as several pointed out above. I.e., your recent progress was likely related to testing, not necessarily to physiological advances in your 5-minute power.
     
  19. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    The testing protocol outlined in our book is the one that Hunter uses. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the approach, as:

    1) IMO, if you're going to the trouble of performing a formal test, why settle less-precise estimate based on an assumed correction factor, and

    2) it is hard to control the intensity of/account for the effects of the 5 min "blow out" effort. In particular, I don't think many people realize just how hard they can actually go for that duration (such that they may not really go all-out), and I don't think Hunter appreciates just how fatiguing such an all-out effort can truly be, at least for some people.

    To give an example of the latter: I've seen my wife have to be lifted off her bike and carried to a bench to recover after doing a 3 km (~4 min pursuit), as her legs were simply so locked-up that she couldn't get off without help, much less walk. I would imagine that if she had attempted to do a 20 min TT after such an effort that her power would have been way, way, WAY off of her functional threshold power.
     
  20. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

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    Did I see somewhere you folks have a 2nd edition underway or planned?
     
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