Finding your power niche - how long does it take?



frost

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Oct 25, 2007
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DancenMacabre said:
Are you sure about this whole pacing strategy for 1 minute rather than going all-out?

I have some doubts. Can most people actually sustain > 200% FTP? I know that I can't and have read that others seem to be similar. My 1-minute wattage number is over 250% of FTP. So by your suggestion, I'd have to be able to do a steady 250%+ FTP for 60 seconds? I cannot imagine it.

Have you done a one minute test lately? Which method do you use. I have a decent sprint (13+ w/kg) so for me I think my average is higher if I sprint very hard at the start. By the time I am finished I am about to fall off the bicycle :(

Dave Ryan has done 1 minute tests before and I think he uses the sprint all-out approach.

I should have expressed it a bit differently not to emphasize the pacing part. The points I wanted to make were:
- kilo pacing (or any distance what so ever) is not based on optimizing the average power but minimize the overall time. This approach may or may not result highest possible average power.
- to maximize the average power for a shortish duration like 1 min, you want to activate as much muscle mass as possible (say: stand as much as possible)

Activation of additional muscle when accelerating standing "all out" in the beginning of the effort (vs. seated paced effort) inflates the number so that it may lead to conclusion that all-out-die-at-the-end strategy results highest average power in all situations. (now it may be so or may not but I am not sure).

I haven't tested uphill 1 min max since last summer but I was clearly in worse shape than this summer and still it is ~100w more than standing start 1 MMP.

This is of course all very irrelevant but I'm having a flu and cannot ride the whole weekend so I discharge my frustration by writing very inessential and stupid posts. Please ignore :eek:

For testing it is better to select a procedure that has relevancy to the discipline in concern (1 min rarely is critical at all) and then standardize the test to have a point for comparision.
 

frenchyge

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Apr 3, 2005
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frost said:
Activation of additional muscle when accelerating standing "all out" in the beginning of the effort (vs. seated paced effort) inflates the number....

frost said:
For testing it is better to select a procedure that has relevancy to the discipline in concern (1 min rarely is critical at all) and then standardize the test to have a point for comparision.

I'm going to have to take exception here, as I have used my relatively good 1min ability to good effect winning races by initiating the sprint early and outlasting folks whom I probably couldn't have outsprinted. This is especially useful in uphill finishes where there is little benefit to others trying to sit on my wheel when I make the early jump, and they litterally fizzle out while I gap them to the finish. Then there are the others who don't follow my jump at all, thinking "he's gone too soon and will blow up" while I struggle on in agony to the line.

As such, doing 1min testing with a hard jump out of the saddle (to match the race scenario, most likely) doesn't "inflate" the number, is relevant to the discipline of concern, and is critical for race performance on a decent number of courses around here (ie, uphill sprint finishes).

And, I do all my 1min tests uphill.... :)

DancenMacabre said:
By end of the test, I was doing just 155% of FT.

That might have been a bit hot at the start, then. You could try starting just a touch under "all-out," as Dave was explaining, and you might gain a little more through pacing, but I don't think the difference will be big. You're right that FTP work would pay off more than squeezing the 1min results for a few extra watts.

DancenMacabre said:
I am no scientist but does it appear like there is some power level beyond which it is not sustainable (45+ seconds) in an isopower fashion?

I have a hard time believing my result would be as good in an isopower test, but since *that* would be of little relevance in *my* discipline (road racing vs. track events), I can't say I've really tried it. In practice, I want to get the other guys hurting early on so they tapout rather than dragging everyone to the line in isopower fashion and hoping no one has anything left to come around me.

For mostly aerobic efforts, roughly isopower is absolutely the way to go.
 

SolarEnergy

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Aug 15, 2005
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DancenMacabre said:
The group riding suggestion is one of those I hear pretty often. Truth is, I am more than a little intimidated of it. When I can get on the road on weekends, I see these super serious looking cyclists. They do not exactly seem like the type to suffer fools or newbies - (hopefully I am more newbie than fool but who knows...).
Then the fact they fly by me up the hills at speeds I can only reach on the flats is kind of demoralizing.
Think of a pack as a group of friendly birds. Your ability to join them and share a migration with them is crucial.

From the serious look on their face, you may be tented to think that they look (or are) mean. But the truth is that riding in a pack is indeed something serious that required great deal of focus. Security imposes this.

Very often, well organized and experienced groups know how to behave in presence of newbies that get dropped during climbs or sprints. Best riders of the group I ride with are much faster than me. We have 4 predefined sprints in a 125k path and the speed increases a lot when approaching these. However, after a sprint or after a tough climb, the lead pack always slows down considerably to make sure all the birds at the bottom of the pack can come back.

You should really try it. You'll probably come to realize that the experimented birds are serious, for sure (most have witnessed or participated in group crashes) but they are also very protective with the newbies.

Have fun and learn to fly with packs of birds. For me, it's racing 101.
 

DancenMacabre

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Jul 17, 2009
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SolarEnergy said:
Think of a pack as a group of friendly birds. Your ability to join them and share a migration with them is crucial.
...............

You should really try it. You'll probably come to realize that the experimented birds are serious, for sure (most have witnessed or participated in group crashes) but they are also very protective with the newbies.

Have fun and learn to fly with packs of birds. For me, it's racing 101.

That is one very amusing analogy and comparison. I must be the yellow bird that does not play well with others :D

I truly must ride with a group. The problem now is that the season for road is over here and not many organized rides are going on. I have tried to get onto a few but without success.

frenchyge said:
I'm going to have to take exception here, as I have used my relatively good 1min ability to good effect winning races by initiating the sprint early and outlasting folks whom I probably couldn't have outsprinted. This is especially useful in uphill finishes where there is little benefit to others trying to sit on my wheel when I make the early jump, and they litterally fizzle out while I gap them to the finish. Then there are the others who don't follow my jump at all, thinking "he's gone too soon and will blow up" while I struggle on in agony to the line.

As such, doing 1min testing with a hard jump out of the saddle (to match the race scenario, most likely) doesn't "inflate" the number, is relevant to the discipline of concern, and is critical for race performance on a decent number of courses around here (ie, uphill sprint finishes).

And, I do all my 1min tests uphill.... :)



That might have been a bit hot at the start, then. You could try starting just a touch under "all-out," as Dave was explaining, and you might gain a little more through pacing, but I don't think the difference will be big. You're right that FTP work would pay off more than squeezing the 1min results for a few extra watts.



I have a hard time believing my result would be as good in an isopower test, but since *that* would be of little relevance in *my* discipline (road racing vs. track events), I can't say I've really tried it. In practice, I want to get the other guys hurting early on so they tapout rather than dragging everyone to the line in isopower fashion and hoping no one has anything left to come around me.

For mostly aerobic efforts, roughly isopower is absolutely the way to go.

Winning races? Now I better listen up even more closely. The attentive student is here and would sure like to win races too :cool:

What you say about those uphill, 1-minute type intervals/tests makes much sense to me. Everything I read here from these forums, listening to racers like you, is that a one-minute effort like that is going to be 100% in a race because you will explode immediately thereafter. So it best be all or nothing, for the win or else. Not the kind of thing you would do, I am guessing here, with 15 miles to go or halfway through a race.

Lots of FTP work for me with some vo2max work also (thanks for the posts you linked to in the other thread). I am super, super motivated to get to 3.5w/kg but have a long, long way to go.