Polar power - Hills and flat

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by sheep, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. sheep

    sheep New Member

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    Can anyone help to answer my query,

    I'm new to training with power and am trying to get to grips with all the new data.

    One thing that I have noticed is that my ave power on the flat is a lot lower than when on a hill.

    Over say a 4 minute effort, I put out around 80watts less on the flat.

    RPE and heart rate are roughly the same.

    Could this be a problem with the power sensor or is it easier to put out more watts on inclines.
     
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  2. Smartt/RST

    Smartt/RST New Member

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    You will always find that you can put out more power while climbing than on the flats due to the greater mechanical leverage of sitting upright and the decreased economy of being bent over in an aerodynamic position (so the latter of your question was right). However, 80W is a lot. I would speculate that such a discrepancy has to do with your position (eg: too aero on the flats, not enough leverage) or you have always had a tendancy to work harder on the hills and not the flats (ie: you have trained harder/more as a climber and are subsequently better at it).
     
  3. mark young

    mark young New Member

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    Hi Sheep(Derek?),
    Only thing with power is not getting too carried away with it. For the majority of your winter training dont use it as a prescriptive tool, hr and RPE are better, rather keep an eye out for changes in your data ie more watts less effort etc.
    One thing you will do is become fascinated at how you can make yourself smoother with your pedalling/energy. Great tools :D

    Mark Young
     
  4. Weisse Luft

    Weisse Luft New Member

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    If you look at the graphs, you will notice your power isn't very consistent on the flats, especially if you are running in a paceline. On hills, you are always putting out power, making the average more realistic.

    Try riding alone in time trial fashion, keeping your power constant per monitor at a level near your current average. I would recommend to also keep the PI on the upper display because maximizing the PI keeps the power average.
     
  5. sheep

    sheep New Member

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    The efforts were both done on the same bike without Tri bars so I think your second theory is more likely to be correct.
    My Time trialing has always been pretty poor and I think the Power data has just confirmed this. I just didn't think the wattage would be that low for TT efforts (compared with climbing).

    Thanks for the feedback.
     
  6. sheep

    sheep New Member

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    Hi Mark,

    I've only had the thing for a week, but it's given the training a whole new perspective.
    The national Hill Climb is just over 2 weeks away, so I'm still doing some hard efforts for this. Normally this time of year I'm easing off and thinking about starting winter training, but I'm going to persevere with the hard efforts, just to get a bench mark for next year.

    Cheers

    Derek
     
  7. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Derek,

    Related to the hills issue, if you're in Scotland (or have hilly terrain like i do in sunny Wales) then you may find that you have to put out significantly higher power uphill simply to ride at a moderate velocity - because the hills are steep (i'm assuming they're steep where you are).

    Ric
     
  8. Glasgow United

    Glasgow United New Member

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    Next year sheepo this is the man that'll win the hill climb chapms. me or jason mcintyre. probably me though
     
  9. sheep

    sheep New Member

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    Keep up the good work.
    Are you riding it this year?
     
  10. Glasgow United

    Glasgow United New Member

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    Alright sheep hows it going?

    Couldn't ride the h/c this year also never realised that alex coutts would be riding he's some boy doing us proud abroad. Anyway, how did u get on, use the power cranks?

    Cheerio
     
  11. mark young

    mark young New Member

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    Hi Glasgow United and Sheep,
    As Mike Zagorski indicated on the Braveheart Forum, do you guys have any data from the National Hill climb you wish to share??

    You can email me offline if you like!

    Mark Young
     
  12. sheep

    sheep New Member

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    Mark,

    I'll have a look at my race file tonight and post tomorrow.
     
  13. sheep

    sheep New Member

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    Distance = 2.1ml
    Power Ave = 312
    Max Power = 552
    HR Ave = 185
    HR max = 193
    Time = 16.35
    Elevation = 1085 ft
    Felt = Like shit

    Overall I had improved my ave power for similar efforts in the weeks prior to the HC, but it's still miles behind the quick guys:eek:
     
  14. Glasgow United

    Glasgow United New Member

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    yeah still a long way to go to beat teh top guys but we're not talking a mega ig difference. Do you reckon you could add on a nother 80 watts to your performance for next year
    ?
     
  15. gavinb

    gavinb New Member

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    I have the opposite problem; I can TT for 30 min at 350, and over 400W for 10 minutes. I also climb with the best of my peers, but I struggle to sustain 350W when climbing.
    Have there been any studies on the Polar on differing gradients vs a PowerTap or SRM??
     
  16. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    The Polar system is notorious for giving different power readings in different gears/with different chainlines. This effect is evident even in the data of those who are meticulous about how they set things up, and who believe that they've got the problem licked.

    IOW, I wouldn't leap to any conclusions about differences on the flats vs. on a hill until you've been able to demonstrate this difference when pedaling in precisely the same chainring/cog combination.
     
  17. jaydogster

    jaydogster New Member

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    this is an old thread -but a good subject.

    Today for instance, while climbing, 400w was difficult, it was an LT effort (at 7000'). I've consistently noticed that to push that wattage, I end up with a 85 cadence on this hill, and its tough. On the mesa on top though (now higher than the climb) the same wattage is 5-10 beats easier, with a lower perceived effort, but cadence is now 100. Climbing at 100 rpm and 400w sends my HR through the roof, yets is comfortable on the flats. Is this a case of nurture vs nature?
     
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