Miguel Indurain Efforts Post-Retirement

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by yeaux, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. yeaux

    yeaux New Member

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  2. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    He always had to--he's a big boy. Takes more energy to move more mass. I don't race, but I do ride tours with others of all shapes, sizes and ages. At 84 Kg/185 lbs, I'm no flyweight. On flat roads, I can keep up with most folks, but when there's even a slight incline, I'm slower than the folks smaller than me and quicker than the ones bigger than I am, with just a few exceptions (which are because of great disparities in conditioning).
     
  3. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    It takes more energy to move mass, but once it gets going it you have momentum on your side, so on flats you should be a diesel dragging the train, and pure hell going downhill.

    But uphill, gravity is clearly not your friend (or mine, for that matter).
     
  4. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    True, but with more mass also comes more frontal area, which means a higher C(d), so more energy required to move more mass the same speed as someone lighter and smaller.
     
  5. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    I'm not sure if that is counteracted by the inertia of that mass - once you GET it rolling, it takes more energy to slow it down, as well.
     
  6. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    I've recently lost about 60 pounds.... and from my perspective... I can't see any advantage to carrying additional weight. Quitting smoking, losing weight, and cycling almost everyday... has made for huge improvements in my fitness. Hills are much easier, I am faster where its flat, and downhills... are as fast as my nerve allows.

    Most importantly... when I've slowed in a turn or just starting out from a stop... I find it much easier to pop off the saddle and make a half dozen or so oval shaped fast strokes. So I return to my riding speed much quicker.
     
  7. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    There really isn't, for the most part. My "advantages of heavy weight" comments are more along the lines of "well, at least THIS is a little easier"....it IS fun to bomb past everybody on the group ride on a descent, without turning a pedal.
     
  8. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    Even with my newly found increased speed.... I am still slower than name brand Ketchup. But compared to my own times from last year... I am hot.

    I was a proud Clydesdale when I rode heavy. And I've met several Clyde's that are true athletes and very good cyclist to boot. For many... the few extra pounds seems to make little difference. I didn't carry my extra weight well.
     
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  9. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    The key is that the force of gravity is a linear function of mass but the force of air resistance is a quadratic function of velocity. Therefore while the heavier bigger rider does descend faster, they lose more energy to air resistance, and thus suffer a larger net loss of energy, i.e. they don't go fast enough on the descent to make up for the time lost on the climb. I'm pretty sure there is an article on the internets that explains this better than I have here, but I am too lazy to look for it.
     
  10. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    The key is that air resistance is proportional to the square of velocity while the force of gravity does not depend on velocity. While the heavier rider will gain more (potential) energy on the way up, they will lose more energy on the way down, thus they will have a larger net energy loss. In other words, any extra speed they have on the descent will not make up for the time lost on the climb. It's a matter of energy conservation.
     
  11. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    The key is that air resistance is a quadratic function of velocity. Since the speeds during the climb are much slower than the speeds during the descent, the heavier rider will have a larger net energy loss. In other words, the heavier rider does not make up as much time on the descent as they lost on the climb. Similar logic is used to determine optimal TT pacing on a hilly course.

    Edit:

    Actually, you can come to the same conclusion without considering air resistance. In a vacuum, objects fall at the same rate regardless of mass. So even without air resistance, the heavier rider looses. What's interesting is that air resistance actually helps the heavier rider. The terminal velocity of a falling object in air is

    v = (2 m g / p A Cd)^1/2

    m = mass
    g = acceleration of gravity
    p = density of air
    A = cross sectional area
    Cd = drag coefficient

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_velocity

    If we approximate the rider as a sphere then the volume and cross sectional area are given by these:

    V = 4/3 pi r^3
    A = pi r ^ 2

    After some algebra we can see that volume and cross-sectional area are related thusly:

    A = pi (3/4 V / pi)^2/3

    Let's get rid of the constants and simply observe that cross-sectional area is proportional to volume to the 2/3 power.

    A =~ V ^ 2/3

    Since mass is proportional to volume it follows that cross-sectional area is proportional to mass to the 2/3 power.

    A =~ m ^ 2/3

    Plugging this into the original equation and dropping the constants we arrive at this:

    v =~ m ^ 1/6

    I.e. the terminal velocity of a sphere in air is proportional to the mass to the 1/6 power.

    Conclusion: the heaver rider descends faster, but not by much.

    Disclaimer: Physics is not my profession. I make no claims that the above is correct. Use at your own risk.
     
  12. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Actually, no rider of any weight makes up in the descent what he/she loses in the ascent. The same holds for wind. You lose more time going upwind than you recover going downwind. So, when riders joke that a closed loop course is net uphill or net upwind they are correct in the sense that the uphill and upwind segments cost more than the downhill and downwind segments gain.
     
  13. frost

    frost New Member

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    Exactly. It is easy to illustrate this idea by thinking an extreme example of uphill so steep or headwind so strong that you actually stop moving. It doesn't matter how fast one could ride downhill/tailwind if doesn't get that far in the first place : ).
     
  14. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    Actually, wouldn't wind be different? I would think the effects of wind resistance are a function of the wind velocity relative to the rider and not the ground, therefore riding with a 5 mph wind would be the exact opposite of riding against a 5 mph wind. However, rolling resistance comes into play and is a function of velocity relative to the ground, so more energy is lost when riding with the wind than when riding against it.

    I've always found it invigorating to be riding with the wind such that it feels like there is no wind at all as if I was in a bubble.
     
  15. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Age-related fitness declines in athletes can be due to both aging and detraining. Very little is known about the physiological and performance decline of professional cyclists after retirement from competition.
    To gain some insight into the aging and detraining process of elite cyclists, 5-time Tour de France winner and Olympic Champion Miguel Indurain performed a progressive cycle ergometer test to exhaustion 14 years after retirement from professional cycling (age 46 yrs; body mass 92.2 kg). His maximal values were: oxygen uptake 5.29 l.min-1 (57.4 ml.kg-1.min-1), aerobic power output 450 W (4.88 W.kg-1), heart rate 191 bpm, blood lactate 11.2 mM.
    Values at the individual lactate threshold (ILT): 4.28 l.min-1 (46.4 ml.kg-1.min-1), 329 W (3.57 W.kg-1), 159 bpm, 2.4 mM.
    Values at the 4 mM onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA): 4.68 l.min-1 (50.8 ml.kg-1.min-1), 369 W (4.00 W.kg-1), 170 bpm.
    Average cycling gross efficiency between 100 and 350 W was 20.1%, with a peak value of 22.3% at 350 W. Delta efficiency was 27.04%.
    Absolute maximal oxygen uptake and aerobic power output declined by 12.4 and 15.2% per decade, whereas power output at ILT and OBLA declined by 19.8 and 19.2%.
    Larger declines in maximal and submaximal values relative to body mass (19.4-26.1%) indicate that body composition changed more than aerobic characteristics.
    Nevertheless, Indurain's absolute maximal and submaximal oxygen uptake and power output values still compare favorably with those exhibited by active professional cyclists.

    So Indurain is in excellent shape for a bloke aged 46 and could still race with active professional cyclists.
     
  16. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    Not when you're averaging speeds--because speeds don't average. If I ride 10 miles at 20 mph, then turn around and ride 10 miles at 10 mph, I didn't average 15 mph--I rode 20 miles in 90 minutes, which is 13 1/3 mph.
     
  17. frost

    frost New Member

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    Not really. He would have hard time to fit into top 10 in 40-50 age group where I live and the level of cycling here is reaaaally low.
     
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