NP Decline over three hour race

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by James SA, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. James SA

    James SA New Member

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    Hi All,

    I am new to cycling and this forum and hope I can find some help. Firstly, I have been cycling (mtb and road) for about 12 months and training in a structured way for about 6 months. My current program is Tues, Wed, Thurs of 60min L3/L4 sessions and 2 longer rides on weekends (2 - 4 hours) at L2/L3. I just completed a 100km race and when I compare my NP from the first hour to the second hour it dropped by 10% and then again by 11% in the third hour (it took me roughly 3 hours to complete).

    Is this a sign of poor aerobic fitness? if so can I improve this with my current program or do I need to change something?
     
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  2. gudujarlson

    gudujarlson New Member

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    It's hard to conclude much from the details given. Most people's power will decline over the course of 3 hours if they go all-out the entire time. If the race was like a time trial then you might consider some different pacing strategies, e.g. start out slower so that you can finish stronger. Your training program sounds reasonable for a 3 hour time trial event.
     
  3. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    Yeah mine drops quite significantly, as it should. A hard race I am typically at around 100-105% FTP for 1 hour. Since one of the ways to determine FTP is your hour NP of a hard race you could not expect to continue at that pace. I think the last time I looked, my 3hr NP (note not the 3rd hour, but 3 hour), was slightly more than 90% of my NP and that was all I had for 3 hours. A lot has to do with the dynamics of the race, but as a generalization all races will likely see a decline as everyone is getting tired. I would judge your ability and weaknesses by if you are still there at the end.
     
  4. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    If you are not there at the end you have to ask yourself if it is from one hard moment or long term fatigue. You then need to determine if you have poor race strategy and are working harder than everyone else or if you lack the fitness of everyone else. This is kinda easy, if you are aggressive and are at the front a lot, but don't get the results maybe look at your race strategy, if you are just hanging on the whole time until you get poped, then maybe you lack fitness. For me most road races come down to the ability to ride at that 90% NP and still have the ability to make one or two big efforts at key moments. I end up in a position where my legs cramp from muscle fatigue and I lose that ability to make a really big effort, the thing is most others are typically in the same boat. The guy/guys that are not are stronger and will likely win. So for road races I say the best strategy is to develop a plan to utilize your strength be it a breakaway, a 1k flyer, or a sprint. Make your strength stronger and then develop the ability to get to that point in the race with enough left to make that big move, which would include lots of long rides at that 90% range.
     
  5. James SA

    James SA New Member

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    Thank you for the info. My NP over the entire period was 89% of FTP. Although the race was not a TT it might as well have been for me. I got a poor seeding/start time so spent most of the time (not all) without the benefit of a group. I understand that in a "race" situation you race according to a strategy but I need to get some good race times logged to benefit from a faster group. Interesting what Gudujarlson said about my trainign program for a +-3hr race. I also will be participating in a mtb stage race in May and will include some L2/L3 "block training" as the race gets closer. Thanks again for the feedback :)
     
  6. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    You are not talking about Iceman are you?
     
  7. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    Ok, I see you said 100km, I was confused by the talk of seeding. So it was not really a Cat 1,2,3 ect road race then
     
  8. James SA

    James SA New Member

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    Momentum 94.7 in South Africa. 26000 riders. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
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