FTP Hour Trainer Test Done, Post-Ride Pacing Questions



Rider123

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Jul 18, 2012
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Originally Posted by RapDaddyo .

Yes, if your training goal is to increase your aerobic power (i.e., FTP). But, for racing you will want to eventually also put some quality time into L5s and L6s because you will be forced to go with the surges when they happen. The anaerobic repeats will gradually deplete the smaller of your two anaerobic "tanks" and eventually you get dropped unless you have a large enough anaerobic capacity. Think of racing as being somewhat like an Indy-type car race. You need a large enough gas tank to get to the finish line, but you also need enough turbo boost pushes to handle the accelerations.
Is it true that our L5 and L6 wattage is genetically pre-determined and one we can't really increase?
I've heard people recommend others to do VO2Max Intervals (L5 ones) 5-6 weeks leading from an 'A' race because our VO2Max peaks really quicky and because it has short-term positive effects.

RapDaddyo, do you think there is any point in me structuring L5, L6 intervals into my trainer sessions at the moment?
Or, is it more something to do when I approach my racing session?
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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Originally Posted by Rider123 .


Is it true that our L5 and L6 wattage is genetically pre-determined and one we can't really increase?
I've heard people recommend others to do VO2Max Intervals (L5 ones) 5-6 weeks leading from an 'A' race because our VO2Max peaks really quicky and because it has short-term positive effects.

RapDaddyo, do you think there is any point in me structuring L5, L6 intervals into my trainer sessions at the moment?
Or, is it more something to do when I approach my racing session?
Your maximum attainable power may be genetically pre-determined, but you can increase your power across the entire power/duration spectrum and by a lot! As a rule of thumb, I would say one should target about 1.5-2x his or her untrained power at every duration. So, if one's untrained FTP is 150W, target 225-300. But, some adaptations happen more quickly than others. In general, I start earliest on aerobic power (e.g., FTP) and latest on neuromuscular power prior to a target event. In fact, if the target event doesn't require NM power, I never focus on it even though I typically throw in 2-3 5sec full power efforts at the end of most rides (just for the heck of it because I know I'll be in the shower in a few minutes).
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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Originally Posted by Rider123 .


Is it true that our L5 and L6 wattage is genetically pre-determined and one we can't really increase?
I've heard people recommend others to do VO2Max Intervals (L5 ones) 5-6 weeks leading from an 'A' race because our VO2Max peaks really quicky and because it has short-term positive effects.

RapDaddyo, do you think there is any point in me structuring L5, L6 intervals into my trainer sessions at the moment?
Or, is it more something to do when I approach my racing session?
If you have a nice base of L3 and L4 work then you can get a fairly big gain in L5 and L6 power. For me at least, the larger the base of threshold work, the longer the top end gains lasted and the more they'd increase. I'd give it at least 10 weeks for L5 and L6 to get really good gains and at least 4 weeks to start seeing some good gains. I've seen evidence that gains keep increasing upto 12 weeks but nothing to say that those gains stop after the 3 month mark - only because I haven't seen a study that went to 4 months.

IMHO, if you're looking for this season I'd incorporate some efforts into the training rather than targeting specific training sessions for such efforts.
 

Rider123

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Originally Posted by swampy1970 .


If you have a nice base of L3 and L4 work then you can get a fairly big gain in L5 and L6 power. For me at least, the larger the base of threshold work, the longer the top end gains lasted and the more they'd increase. I'd give it at least 10 weeks for L5 and L6 to get really good gains and at least 4 weeks to start seeing some good gains. I've seen evidence that gains keep increasing upto 12 weeks but nothing to say that those gains stop after the 3 month mark - only because I haven't seen a study that went to 4 months.

IMHO, if you're looking for this season I'd incorporate some efforts into the training rather than targeting specific training sessions for such efforts.
Yeh, I think I'll focus on a nice base of L3 and L4 first. I'll treat L5 and L6 as the icing on the cake.

After analysing my group ride, I found only 2 segments where I was in my FTP range for over 8 minutes. 18mins @ 100% FTP and a 11min @ 95%. There were a lot of shorter segments (3-6 mins) where I was in my L4 range.
Now, I know that it takes at least 8 mins in the FTP range, for adaptations to occur.
Thus, would I have been better off spending the shorter segments @ L5, where anything over 2 minutes is considered VO2MAX training?
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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Originally Posted by Rider123 .

Thus, would I have been better off spending the shorter segments @ L5, where anything over 2 minutes is considered VO2MAX training?
Yes, or another way of thinking about is that you take advantage of the opportunities the ride presents. If there's a long climb, ride it at L4. If you are limited to <5min pulls on front, ride them at L5/L6. Also, recognize that there is a ripple effect, especially from left to right on the power/duration curve. IOW, an L5 targets VO2MAX, but benefits aerobic power as well. Some have likened this effect to throwing a rock in a glassy calm body of water. The ripple is highest at the entry point, but radiates out with decreasing height.
 

Rider123

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Jul 18, 2012
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Been using the Quarq for about 1 month now.
Ive found it really is a great pacing tool especially on club rides up long hills. It's also a great training tool, keeps me focused on my long trainer rides.

I've got a couple of questions after reviewing my rides:

Firstly, my 'best' 20 min power ave. was 270W (Up a 4.5% gradient hill) and my FTP is set at 240 W (1 hr test on the bike trainer). I've heard that your 20 min power should be roughly be about 105% of your FTP. Now my 20 min power is over 110% of FTP.

Also, on my 4 hr group ride yesterday, my IF was 0.943. My best NP for one hour from 2:30 - 3:30 in was 257 W (IF of 1.065)
Does it sound as if my FTP has improved a bit and do i need to adjust it? I am planning to do another 1 hr FTP test on the trainer next month.

Cheers.
 

RapDaddyo

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Yes, it does sound as though your FTP has increased, to something in the 250-260 range. As to the 20min/60min max power relationship, that's a function of the rider's specific power-duration curve. At 20mins and less, there is an increasing influence of one's anaerobic work capacity (AWC). But, 110% sounds a bit high. For example, I have a relatively high AWC and my 20min MP is about 105%FTP. Your power-duration curve may be different from mine and the ratio of your 20min MP to your 60min MP may be different. But, I think the 110% ratio would be unusually high.
 

Rider123

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Thanks RapDaddyo,

The only reason why I am unsure whether my FTP has truly increased is because I can't seem to hit those numbers of my bike trainer, only about 230-240W for 2 x 20 mins intervals.
I normally ride in the backyard (outdoors), with a fan going so I doubt heat would be too much of a factor. Also, I've been riding the trainer for 2 years now (nothing really structured though), so I believe I have gotten used to my pedalling style.

Just wondering if it's because I am feeling fatigued from the long ride the day before. How much does a longish ride 24-32hrs before another FTP session take out of you?

Also, when you do your FTP interval sessions, should it be your lungs (ie. breathing) that's holding you back or is it your legs (tired/sore muscles)?
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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Originally Posted by Rider123 .

Thanks RapDaddyo,

The only reason why I am unsure whether my FTP has truly increased is because I can't seem to hit those numbers of my bike trainer, only about 230-240W for 2 x 20 mins intervals.
I normally ride in the backyard (outdoors), with a fan going so I doubt heat would be too much of a factor. Also, I've been riding the trainer for 2 years now (nothing really structured though), so I believe I have gotten used to my pedalling style.

Just wondering if it's because I am feeling fatigued from the long ride the day before. How much does a longish ride 24-32hrs before another FTP session take out of you?

Also, when you do your FTP interval sessions, should it be your lungs (ie. breathing) that's holding you back or is it your legs (tired/sore muscles)?
Great questions. Some people do find it difficult to replicate their outdoor efforts on a trainer. Personally, I think it is more psychological than physiological, assuming that you have a good fan and don't overheat. And some people find it more difficult to produce the same wattage in a constant power ride than a variable power ride (e.g., group ride), especially if you are having to push yourself to stay with your group. As to FTP, I prefer to set mine with a 60min constant power trainer ride. Then I know it is rock solid because I know from experience that I can absolutely produce my trainer power on the road. But, for interim estimates it doesn't matter much because it is self-correcting. If you are estimating your FTP too high, your intervals will be too hard to complete (e.g., 2x20s). Likewise, if you are under-estimating your FTP, your training efforts will be too easy.

Fatigue from the prior day's ride will definitely affect your FTP test or any MP test. If possible, you want to do any MP test after either a day off the bike or an easy, short ride the day before. I try to do MP tests after a max of about 100 TSS points the prior day.

Your last question is actually the best question. Pay no attention to your lungs or your heart rate. Pay attention only to how your legs feel. When I have been off my bike for a few days, my lungs always burn like hell, but I am able to do my standard efforts because my legs are fine.
 

Rider123

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Originally Posted by RapDaddyo .

Your last question is actually the best question. Pay no attention to your lungs or your heart rate. Pay attention only to how your legs feel. When I have been off my bike for a few days, my lungs always burn like hell, but I am able to do my standard efforts because my legs are fine.
Yesterday, during my 2x20min intervals, my legs felt really tired after only about 15 minutes and yet my lungs and breathing was fine.
Normally during my FTP intervals, I was completing them @ 95%, when I take a drink, it really disrupts my breathing and takes me a while to get back into rhythm.


My plan is to stick with the 2 FTP intervals and 2 longer road rides during the week for another month and then to do another FTP hour test on the trainer.
Another observation, I have found that since riding with a PM and keeping it at around threshold for as long as possible on long group rides is that afterwards, my breathing feels fine but it is my legs that really feel it. They seem to twitch an awful lot after my long rides. Is that due to my muscles getting stronger or something else?
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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Originally Posted by Rider123 .

Yesterday, during my 2x20min intervals, my legs felt really tired after only about 15 minutes and yet my lungs and breathing was fine.
Normally during my FTP intervals, I was completing them @ 95%, when I take a drink, it really disrupts my breathing and takes me a while to get back into rhythm.


My plan is to stick with the 2 FTP intervals and 2 longer road rides during the week for another month and then to do another FTP hour test on the trainer.
Another observation, I have found that since riding with a PM and keeping it at around threshold for as long as possible on long group rides is that afterwards, my breathing feels fine but it is my legs that really feel it. They seem to twitch an awful lot after my long rides. Is that due to my muscles getting stronger or something else?
The leg fatigue is exactly what you want to be sensitive to. It is likely that the leg fatigue you feel is due to cumulative training fatigue. When I am training intensively, I have a good deal of cumulative fatigue on virtually every ride. In fact, it feels strange when my legs feel fresh. The fatigue and twitching you feel after a long group ride is simply training fatigue. It's normal and is the essence of training and adaptation. You might want to try some electrolyte tablets. I take two Hammer Endurolytes tablets before each ride and a couple per hour on hot days. Stress plus recovery equals adaptation equals increased power.
 

Rider123

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Jul 18, 2012
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Quick update with a few more questions.

Last week, during my long ride I felt my chain start slipping when climbing and this prompted me to take my bike in to a bike shop. Not surprisingly, the mechanic measured the length between the rivets of my chain and told me that I needed new chainrings.
A few days later, I picked up my bike with the new chains and told him about getting saddle sores on the outer right side of my perineum, where my right leg joins to the base of the scrotum.

After a quick discussion, I decided to lower the seat height by a little bit. Anyway, today during my long ride, my power meter was giving me higher readings. It's hard to quntify but going up the same hill, I would be looking at 270W as opposed to 250W and yet my perceived output would be similar. Obviously, it's impossible for me to know whether or not I was just feeling better and thus putting out more power.

I took a look at the Quarq FAQ site and it says that if replacing a worn chain with another chain of the same model, then there is no need to re-calibrate it.
In your experience, do you see any calibration difference when you replace your chain?
Is that maybe why my readings were higher than usual?

Or is it the result of dropping my saddle height? Incidentally, my saddle sores are definitely not as bad as before.
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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Originally Posted by Rider123 .

Last week, during my long ride I felt my chain start slipping when climbing and this prompted me to take my bike in to a bike shop. Not surprisingly, the mechanic measured the length between the rivets of my chain and told me that I needed new chainrings.
Going forward, you might want to consider replacing your chain more frequently. I hear riders talking all the time about checking their chain by measuring the gap between links. The problem with that approach is that by the time you can measure a stretch in the gap it's too late and you're already damaged your chainrings and/or sprockets. Those can be expensive parts. The alternative is to replace your chain on a mileage schedule. I replace my chain every 2500 miles regardless of whether I can measure any stretch. I go through a few chains a year but chains are cheaper than chainrings and sprockets.
 

Rider123

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Jul 18, 2012
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Just wondering what people do with regards to stopping/starting the timer during long group rides.

My group rides are usually 4 hours in duration with about 3.5 hours moving time (30~40 mins stopping at regroup points and having something to eat).
I've turned off the auto-pause function on my Garmin
But, should I stop the timer when we stop for a break (ie. >10 mins)?

I'm confused because if I stop it, then would my IF be too high for that ride and if i don't, then my TSS for the ride will be higher than it should be.
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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I will be interested in any replies from the gurus on this topic as well.

I generally let my Garmin continue to run during a stop and then when at home decide to "cut" it within WKO+ at that point. If it is approaching 10 minutes I will cut the span of time. If it is more like 5 minutes I keep it in. The only reason I am doing this is because of an answer I saw from a pretty reputable guy in knowledge of training with power meters answered the same question. I did not see anyone else chime in on that answer and would also like to know if it makes a difference or not.

However, I will say that is one reason (among a few others) that I have just about stopped doing group rides because I thought it was ridiculous to stop for 10+ minutes at a store. The last big group ride when they stopped at the store I stopped only long enough to fill a bottle and went ahead without them. The bigger the group the longer it takes for everyone to get their chance at the bathroom and then usually one or two taking their sweet time to ready to roll out. Unfortunately my bladder seems to be my worst culprit for roadside stops and those will add up to be a few minutes over the span of 5 hours. We will typically "soft pedal" for anyone needing a roadside nature break.

When I have cut the data for like a 10 minute stop it did not seem to make a huge difference and the results of the ride on physical adaptations are the same regardless of the difference in data. Although I know us numbers guys like to be as accurate as possible.
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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Rider, I tried searching for the forum discussion that I had seen previously that fits more specific to what you asked and could not find it.

I did find this one, but the discussion doesn't quite get there: https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?26064-Autopaues-AND-powertap-issues

I would leave the CPU running and then you have the option of cutting the data at home if you are using WKO+ and I think Golden Cheetah also will edit segments. If you stop the cpu then you have no choice later.
 

Rider123

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Jul 18, 2012
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Originally Posted by Felt_Rider .

Rider, I tried searching for the forum discussion that I had seen previously that fits more specific to what you asked and could not find it.

I did find this one, but the discussion doesn't quite get there: https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?26064-Autopaues-AND-powertap-issues

I would leave the CPU running and then you have the option of cutting the data at home if you are using WKO+ and I think Golden Cheetah also will edit segments. If you stop the cpu then you have no choice later.
Cheers for that.
So do you personally cut out stops over 10 mins?
I assume your using WKO+ as well, do you know how to bring up the Fatigue Profiling graph that is discussed in the 'Training and Racing with a Power Meter Book'.
Also, do you know how to work the fast find function? I thought it would be simple enough but obviously not.
 

RapDaddyo

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I also cut out stops of more than about 5 minutes in WKO+. It's easy to spot them because the watts graph goes to zero and then flatlines. I just identify them by observation and then cut out the whole segment. Lots of things can account for stops, such as waiting for a ride to start, rest stops during the ride, coffee stop after a ride, flat tires, etc. I cut them all out when I upload my ride file. It takes about 15 seconds.
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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Here is a recent 82 mile group ride with almost 30 minutes of stopped time. Two big stops were at the crest of a climb chatting and not long after that a store stop. I leave the clock running for short bio breaks, intersection stops and so on. Over 10 minutes and it gets cut. Mainly it just makes looking at the graph in WKO easier - IMO.

Here is a comparison with Garmin Connect and no data cuts because you cannot and WKO+ with the stops cut out (as RDO mentioned - easy to spot the flat lines over 5 minutes) and the impact to TSS and IF

Garmin Connect TSS 308 / IF 0.76 ( http://connect.garmin.com/activity/212037402 )
WKO+ TSS 305 / IF 0.76 (WKO data listed at the bottom ( http://thecyclingaddiction.blogspot.com/2012/08/brewery-horn-mt-expectations.html ))

Pretty much the two summed up the same with or without the stops included. Next day I was whooped regardless of data. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
 

Rider123

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Jul 18, 2012
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FTP Trainer Test Update:

Bit of background information, I have been riding about 8-12 hours/week with about 3 hours of SST/L4 during each week since getting my power meter 2 months ago. I could feel my FTP slowly raising. The biggest difference I felt during the 2 months was how much easier short efforts (2-4 mins) at 300+W felt.
Anyway, I knew my FTP had improved but I didn't know how much so I started my test at 255W (My previous ftp was 239W) as that was kind of my 'aim' (Sorry RapDaddyo, I know I shouldn't set targets)

Instead of boring everyone, here are the results:

Wed 18/07/12
FTP TEST (60 mins 239W Ave.)
Duration: 1:00:40
Work: 869 kJ
TSS: 101.3 (intensity factor 1.001)
Norm Power: 240
VI: 1.01
Pw:HR: n/a
Pa:HR: n/a
Distance: 38.359 km
Elevation Gain: 6 m
Elevation Loss: 0 m
Grade: 0.0 % (6 m)


Monday 10/09/12 (TODAY)
FTP Trainer Test - (60 mins 271W Ave. )
Duration: 1:00:11
Work: 979 kJ
TSS: 128.3 (intensity factor 1.131)
Norm Power: 271
VI: 1
Pw:HR: n/a
Pa:HR: n/a
Distance: 40.39 km
Elevation Gain: 0 m
Elevation Loss: 18 m

In summary, I managed to increase my FTP from 239W to 271W in a little under 2 months. I've also managed to keep my weight steady at 60kg so my FTP Watt/kg has now improved from 4.0 watt/kg to 4.5watt/kg.
I have to thank all those that contributed to 'It's killing me' and the 'Are we there yet?' threads because I learnt a lot from them.
To say I am happy right know would be an understatement! Makes all the suffering worthwhile!