FTP and intensity beyond L4

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Speedskater, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. Speedskater

    Speedskater New Member

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    In "The Book" and WKO+ all training levels are based upon FTP, even those way beyond FTP, mainly speaking of L5 and L6. I wonder if it wasn´t better to calcuate L5 and L6 from the CP curve, especially if one has a large discrepancy between the FTP and VO2max power. Let´s say that if you have a FTP of 320 W and a 5 min PB of 425 W, does it make sense to train L5 for 5 min at 360 W (320 * 1,13) or would it be more rational to take a look at the CP curve and take some percent off from the PB value and stick to this?

    My second question is regarding the AWC. How can I incorporate this value into my L6 interval design? Is this possible or is it just a indcator of a ability without direct practical use out of itself?
     
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  2. sugaken

    sugaken New Member

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    Ideally, IMO, training levels/zones based upon both FTP and MAP (maximal aerobic power *) would be much more precise, but it would be much more inconvinient to assess one's training levels/zones on ragular basis (you have to do two tests instead of just one).

    *: See Ric Stern's article on cyclingnews.com at:
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=powerstern

    Besides, it's said that by training you can raise your FTP to close the gap between FTP and MAP, so it'll become less of an issue as your training progresses, I suppose.

    I, too, am one of those with large gaps between FTP and MAP (MAP > 140%FTP), but I see it as a sign of myself not trained nearly enough, so I've been focusing almost solely on just raising FTP for a while now.

    Ken
     
  3. rr9876

    rr9876 New Member

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    My approach to workouts above FTP is to forget about levels more or less and try to do the workout at the highest *repeatable* power I can manage. I think some of the coaches/training systems out there (Freil??) use a similar method, except that they formally define a CP5 number based off a 5 min test and then have you do intervals at x percentage of that number. I don't bother with the formal test, I just go out and try to figure out what is repeatable for me during the workout.

    FWIW, last spring I was doing 6x5min intervals at a power that was listed as being L6. It's very likely that my FTP was underestimated at that time and I was actually in L5, but that's kind of my point: if I had been doing the intervals based strictly off FTP the workouts would have been too easy.
     
  4. cclarke

    cclarke New Member

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    I think you should ride as hard as you can for the interval set. As Andy has said repeatedly, the levels are descriptive and not prescriptive.
     
  5. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Right. By definition, the most you can get out of yourself for 5 minutes is...your maximal. :) It also happens to be a proxy for VO2Max power. If you tried to continue to hold that power beyond 5 minutes for 8 or 10 minutes, your body will force you to slow down the effort or to stop; it's beyond your capabilities. If you rode at the 5-minute power for only 3 minutes, then it would be a submaximal effort for that duration, by definition, as well.

    So just ride as hard as possible for the duration and forget about the percentages.
     
  6. Speedskater

    Speedskater New Member

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    If I rode every interval as hard as possible, there would be a substantial drop in the power. According to "The Book" one should stop intervals when a huge drop compared to the second interval occurs. I guess this would be quite soon an I would not spend much time in my target zone. Therefor I don´t think this is a very reasonable approach. Following this logic, every L4 interval for 20 min would be a strive for a 20 min PB although recommended target intensities are somewhat lower.
     
  7. rr9876

    rr9876 New Member

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    I realize that you didn't respond to my post, but what I said was to ride your 5 min intervals at the highest *repeatable* power possible, meaning the highest power that you can still manage throughout all the intervals in the workout. I think that Steve meant something similar when he said go for the maximum possible.
     
  8. Speedskater

    Speedskater New Member

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    OK, that woud make sense and comes close to my idea to take some percent off the coresponding value of the CP curve. After the first sessin I should have a first idea of what is manageable and what is not. I just want to plan things in advance.
     
  9. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    FWIW, I have been riding my high-intensity efforts using this approach for a long time. Basically, I ride everything but L7s at ~90% of my max power at that duration as computed from the CP curve. It also happens that this approach puts me within Andy Coggan's training schema at all levels.

    Some argue that for maximum AWC benefit that one should exhaust his AWC through some combination of high-intensity efforts. I think the hard part about planning an L6 set is to factor in the non-recoverable part of AWC. It's actually not non-recoverable, but the recovery duration is so long that for all practical purposes it's non-recoverable on the same ride. There has been very little research on this topic so there aren't any models to go by. We also don't know how much variability there is from athlete to athlete. I plan to do some testing in this area because I am developing an algorithm to deal with this phenomenon. My starting point is going to be to understand my own AWC recovery algorithm and the consistency of this algorithm from week to week.
     
  10. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Yes, that is what I meant and I should have written that a different way. :eek::) I meant "a maximal effort that you can sustain over several efforts, not seeking a PB on the first effort."

    If you have some history, you can use the mean-maximal curve as a guide, just back off a bit to obtain a target. How much is "a bit"? You'll have to determine that one for yourself.

    However don't dwell too much on getting the precise power down to single Watts. If you're a little "hot" or a little "cold" the first interval or two, your body will have a way of evening this out over the the entire block of intervals for the day. I find that by the fourth or fifth interval, I am usually going as hard as I possibly can (e.g., it feels like I'm trying for a PB but I'm really not even close to that power) and that seems to be about the right pacing for me for the latter intervals. That is what I meant by "going hard as you can".
     
  11. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    "...as with all systems, exercise prescriptions should be individualized, in this case taking into account the power the athlete has generated in previous similar or identical workouts...the primary reference, therefore, is not to the system itself, but to the athlete's own unique (and current) ability. In this regard, the classification scheme described above should be viewed primarily as an overall framework..."

    A. Coggan, 2001
     
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