How good can I get?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by wikek, May 20, 2012.

  1. wikek

    wikek New Member

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    Hello! I've been training with a serious plan for about 8 months now and I'm closing in on my first race ever. Today I tested my 20 minute power on a wattbike in my local gym. My aim was 380 watt but it felt really good so I ended up with 400 watt average power. Now from what I understand that is pretty good and my question is simply how far do you think I will be able to get if I keep training correctly? 8 months may not sound much but I've pretty much have had as much time as I want to for cycling since I'm a student and don't spend alot of time studying. And I've used that time well, I doubt I could have improved much more with another training plan. Here's some facts about me:

    Age: 21
    Previous training experiance before I got into cycling last summer: Not much, some long distance running.
    Weight: 72 kg

    I understand this is very individual but I haven't got any clue whatsoever of how much one can expect to improve in one year if training correctly.
     
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  2. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    Ugh, I hate to be the first to respond. I am not calling bs, but 400 watts @ 72kg is a pro #. So either the watt bike is way off or you should just ride off of the front of your first race and never look back until you slip on the yellow jersey at the 2015 TDF.
     
  3. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    400 watts for 20 minutes...

    Suck wheels for the first half of the race and then unleash the 400 watts. If you can really put out 400 watts you'll win the race with no trouble at all. Think up a neat victory salute...

    Back on planet earth, go out and ride with other guys and get some idea of how you're going. A local midweek club ride should have a good mix of folk to test you near ProTour power output against. Do a local 10 mile TT on your road bike win no aero goodies and you should still pop off a 21 minute ride or faster.
     
  4. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Expectations lead to directly to disappointments. Forget expectations (aka what you "should" be able to do): set goals.

    Go do your first race, assess your performance, then set goals.
     
  5. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I can average around 240-245 over an hour on a good day , over 20 minute I can maybe hold 280. 400 watts is outta my range. Maybe my power meter is just too tight.
     
  6. LT Intolerant

    LT Intolerant New Member

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    Here are the power numbers for United Healthcare's Phil Deignan from the ATOC stage to Mt Baldy.


    Body Weight: 65 kg
    Elevation Gain: 3190 m
    Peak Power Values
    Average Watts: 256 W
    Max Watts: 890 W
    Normalized Power: 297
    Peak 1-minute: 446 W
    Peak 6-minutes: 374 W
    Peak 20-minutes: 349 W
    Peak 180-minutes: 260 W
    If the watt bike in your gym is calibrated correctly you've got some serious talent. Go give you parents a hug, and get a coach.
     
  7. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    400w for one day is ok. Do 400w everyday. Then you can think about being a pro.

    ---

    If you have any skill as a student, you should be able to earn more than most pro bicyclists.
     
  8. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

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    So yeah the watt bike is almost surely off, but the answer to your question would be the same either way: the only way to tell how good you can get is to try. Go out and train at least 10hrs/wk and ride some races and see what happens. If you're going to be good you'll know soon enough. There's a fairly big genetic component to cycling.
     
  9. wikek

    wikek New Member

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    The wattbike might be badly calibrated, I thought the numbers were a little to good to be true. I have scheduled a vo2max/OBLA test on thursday which will probably answer if the watts were true. I'll post the result here.
     
  10. wikek

    wikek New Member

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    Did the vo2max test today and I got 5,87 l/min. With my 72 kg that is 81,6 ml/kg/min. I could hold 400 watt for 3 minutes during the test. I asked why I couldn't hold 400 watt for more than 3 mins and the lab guy told me it's because the bikes uses different methods of calculating the power. So the value I posted earlier would have been 360-380 on a monark testbike which I did the test on.
     
  11. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    As the others have said, test yourself out on the road with other cyclists.
     
  12. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    The test basically confirmed what you already knew: from an aerobic endurance perspective, you are talented. I'm sure your previous long distance running gave you some indication. You'll have a significant advantage over the newbie cycle racers you encounter, and you'll probably advance up the category ladder pretty quickly. Cat 1/2 in a couple years (or less), should you choose your race courses correctly.
     
  13. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    A watt is a watt. The method of measuring/calculating power shouldnt make any difference.

    Wattbike calibrate their ergometers at the factory and claim that they never need re-calibration. At 200-500 watts they claim 1.5% accuracy.

    With your power and weight you'll do best to enter hilly road races. Tactics will be less of an issue when you get to the hills - you either have it or you don't.
     
  14. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    or you had it or you didn't. Just a consideration for us aging members I am still in better shape than most men twice my age.
     
  15. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    If you could not hold 400 for 3 min it is real doubtful that you could hold 360 for 20. For perspective my 5min is 417 and my 20 is 355. Not sure what I could do for 3min, but I do 3x3 intervals at 400 watts. As others have said a watt is a watt, my guess is the watt bike is way off. That said 400 watts for 3 min is a decent # for someone with your experience and size
     
  16. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    BG - OP did the 3min step during his lab test. Totally different than holding a single, isopower effort.
    That he got through the 400w stage (basically the end of the test that goes up in stages of 220, 250, 280, 310, 340, 370, and 400w at 3mins intervals) suggests to me that his FTP is in the 340-350w range.
    When I did my last test several years ago, I completed "only" 1.5mins of the 400w stage. According to the blood work, my Lactate Threshold was 340w.
     
  17. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    Ok, makes more sense. Still not the 400 the watt bike would suggest, but for his size that is pretty impressive
     
  18. giannip

    giannip New Member

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    400 w peak 1min power at the end of the test maybe ?
     
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