Question - Self testing for performance values (LTHR, max power, critical power, etc)

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by sparknote_s, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. sparknote_s

    sparknote_s New Member

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    I am currently reading the Cyclist's Training Bible from Joe Friel and have a question. In the self assessment sections there are four tests:

    Max Sprint Power
    Graded Exercise Test
    Lactate Threshold Road Test
    Critical Power Test

    The max sprint test is easy to understand, it's you max power and is easy to test.

    The graded exercise test...you start at a certain power level and increment 20w or so each minute. If I understand this correctly, you graph it and find when the slope of the line deflects, or decreases. Is this where you find your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate, and Lactate Threshold Power?

    Lactate threshold road test is a 30min time trial. Average HR on last 20 minutes is another way to find LTHR, if I understand. LT power would be avg. power over those last 20 min, correct?

    Critical power is a series of time trials in diff. lengths taking the avg. power. This is what Joe friel uses for power zones.

    Ric stern, does this all sound correct? Do you use the critical power to find power zones as well?
     
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  2. Woofer

    Woofer New Member

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    I'll butt in for a second. I've tried using LTHR and LTP and found them to be useless for me. The difference in heart rates for me was so small as to be almost useless. Now that you have a power meter, there is almost *no* point to use heart rate for gauging effort.



    Ric uses MAP, this is thoroughly explained on cyclingnews.com.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=powerstern
     
  3. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    As Woofer points out, i use MAP testing to primarily define training zones. Other testing that i use (depending on the athlete and goals) is a 16-km TT field test and a 5-sec peak power test. I never use critical power testing, and would certainly not use it the way JF does.

    Lactate threshold is not the final 20-mins of a 30-min TT. Either the power or certainly not HR. LT is well defined as either the work rate that elicits a 1mmol/L increase over exercise baseline levels (this would give a lactate of 2.XX mmol/L, or the work rate that elicits a fixed lactate of 2.5 mmol/L (i favour the former - as simply, that is how i have previously collected these data, while Andy Coggan favours the latter).

    The power that elicits a lactate of ~ 2.5 mmol/L would be about 10 - 15% below the power you can maintain in a ~1-hr TT. Whereas a 30min TT power would be higher still.

    The graded exercise test you describe where you *look for a deflection point* (Conconi test) is best described, scientifically speaking, as "trash".

    Ric
     
  4. sparknote_s

    sparknote_s New Member

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    In friels book, establishing power zones is like I said using a critical power test. It takes your avg. power over the durations:

    12 sec
    1 min
    6 min
    12 min
    30 min

    And then it establishes zones based on your average power for those distance time trials. You then use these points (graphed) to approximate your 60, 90, and 180 min critical power.

    Ric, could you explain how your zones would differ from friels zones? Not in the way you calculate them (I read about the MAP), but in their application and why one method should be used over the other.

    EDIT: What might be useful is to take a person who has completed the MAP test as well as the critical power tests, and see exactly how the zones differ. Do you know where any such information might be accessed?

    Thanks.
     
  5. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    In somewhat of a rush, and maybe better to wait after the big race finishes (i just had a spare few minutes this morning for the previous reply).

    I would use whichever the training zones of whichever person you want coaching advice from as one set of zones are likely not interchangeable with another set of zones (although for the vast majority, mine and andy coggans zones are very similar).

    if you're going to use the training prescription of coach X, then you'd be best off using coach X's training zones.

    As i haven't checked for a long time on how JF constructs his zones *exactly* i'm not sure how they'd compare with mine or anyone else's. If you want to see how they compare it maybe worth doing them all. all good training, but may take some time!

    ric
     
  6. sparknote_s

    sparknote_s New Member

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    Ok thanks ric, but one more question.

    I think I want to try all of the tests including both your test and friels. With the interval test where you ramp up power every minute, Friel suggests having an assistant record heart rate, power, and percieved exertion every minute. Well I don't have an assistant so...

    Will I be able to, for example, go back view my instantaneous heart rate and power at the end of each one minute interval? And if so, how small of an interval does powertap record to? Will I be able to go second by second and view instantaneous heart rate and power? Can it graph all of this as well?
     
  7. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    i'm not sure what power meter you have, but the proper ones allow you to review you data. power tap goes down to 1.26 secs
     
  8. sparknote_s

    sparknote_s New Member

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  9. Woofer

    Woofer New Member

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    Yes.

    If you are coaching yourself and have no assistant, don't even bother with a test that you cannot reproduce easily. That would just be one more reason for you not to test yourself.

    Download every ride so that you can review your progress and track your training. If in the future you do get a coach or better software comes around, you can feed them your history of data.
     
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