Training w/o Power Meter

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by tezi, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. tezi

    tezi New Member

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    Hello!
    First of all, this is my first post here (altough I have been lurking for a while) and now I would like to ask some help from you guys. You really seem to know a thing or two about cycling!

    I have been racing for 2 years with road bikes so I'm quite new for the sport. I'm still getting hang of it but I have a strong background where I'm coming so its quite easy for me. I did train biathlon for over a decade and my max VO2 was at 80 for quite some time while I was hitting 80+kg on the scales. I did quit competing in biathlon since I got badly injured and healing took almost 2 years (cracked my hand in various places). Since then I have been keen into cycling.

    I have now seen that cycling is way different from skiing and I really don't know how I'm supposed to train. I have been doing the usual stuff 2-3x20min lactate threshold and skiing for base. Some strength training in the gym and with body weight as well. Now im sitting around 350-360 W for my lactate threshold (I cant train with power meter) so I'm pretty solid.

    It seems I have been sitting in the same place for few months now. I can get decent workouts done but it seems nothing is happening (1-2x LT per week, total of 10-20h per week).
    I'm completely lost what I should do next, increase weekly hours or do something quite different.. I would be very glad for your help, I'm really motivated to get some good results!
     
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  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    My suggestion would be to get a copy of Andy Coggan's and Hunter Allen's book, Training and Racing with Power. In spite of the title, the book provides training intensity guidelines for heart rate and perceived effort as well. When you reference your power and training intensity at lactate threshold, I'm not sure what you mean. Lactate threshold is not a threshold at all and is in fact well below one's sustainable power for, say, an hour. Lactate threshold is simply the point of inflexion when blood lactate begins to ramp up at an exponential rate. A better reference number is your maximum constant sustainable power for an hour (aka functional threshold power). At this point in the year, a good training model is sets of 20-30 mins at about 90% of your maximum power for that duration.
     
  3. tezi

    tezi New Member

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    Thanks. I did order the suggested book and Joel Friel's book as well. I should propably dig deep and get a power meter for my road bike. My student budget does not agree with me though. I would love to test the functional threshold power with power meter. I did today one hour sustained effort with trainer in my real lactate threshold. That's quite easy to maintain for an hour and I really don't have to suffer at all. I have access to lactate meter and various other stuff. Benefits of medical school but they do not have power cranks for me ;)

    I should propably get someone local coach for myself but they are so rare where I live. I don't want to pay my money to some half-decent-dude who can't help me that much.

    Thanks again for your help, it's well needed here :)
     
  4. Gav888

    Gav888 New Member

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    In addition to Rapd I would also recommend Friel's Cyclist Training Bible, I have a copy and it is a good read, but I dont have the hours to put to make his training methods work for me but for the hours your putting in it would fit in nicely.
     
  5. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    i was going to suggest racing but you already have them in your plan, so. If your performance seems to be stagnated you need to make some important decisions, like pulling out from the races and build yourself a better aerobic base, longer distances at endurance and tempo level that will also do your mind good by relieving a bit the stress of under-performances and failed races. IMO, for cyclists, lactate threshold and FTP (functional threshold power) is really the same thing because a cyclist from previous generations understood that you could do a 1 hour climb, or 1 hour TT, etc at lactacte threshold, and then you blow up. Powermeters have made possible to put a number of watts on every training zone, among other things and other advantages, and some people have written these findings in the new generation of training literature.
     
  6. tezi

    tezi New Member

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    Aha, my previous post seems to have lost in space.. I did order the book (training with power meter) and the friel book as well. I know a thing or two from endurance training but still the cycling world seems very different. I'm used to race for 25-40 mins with skiis and be completely blown after that.

    I did 1 hour effort in 90-95% of my threshold 3 days ago and it went really well. I didn't have to dig too deep from that so I did 2x20 mins today (slightly harder, 95-100%).

    Problem seems to be that I dont have good feeling about demanding the efforts are. If it still feels good tomorrow, I'll propably do another one hour effort. It used to be easier...

    And thanks for the replies, I appreciate it!
     
  7. tezi

    tezi New Member

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    I'm going to race in 3 months so I still have some time to train! That's a MTB endurance race so its going to be a bit different. I don't have any plans to get into podium but to see how I compare with the podium-guys.

    I didn't do too bad on last years road competitions and was once in podium (100km race with lots of pulling and a solo-breakaway which didnt last).
     
  8. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    How are you determining power if you don't train with power?
     
  9. tezi

    tezi New Member

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    They are called tests. I can do them regulary but I cant do every training session with power meter.
     
  10. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    No need to get excited, it was just a legitimate question since you said you can't train with power.
     
  11. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Lol! I was gonna ask the same thing.
     
  12. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    RD, I used to prescribe to the op's notion as well. I always thought the key was to keep TT pace right around this point, but obviously am able to sustain just a little bit more for a short while. Is the length of time, and the incremental intensity one is able to maintain over inflection point determined by ones curent level of fitness?
    (Edit: I do know that the inflection point itself shifts with my general state of conditioning, it's the "over" part I am querying about)

    Like the OP I am without a PM, so aside from a ballpark HR intensity am really just basing this on RPE. The downside I gather is that without hard PM numbers could be shortchanging my effort by a few precious watts - but the only thing worse than knowing you coulda gone just a wee bit harder is blowing up and not getting even a decent result.
     
  13. maxroadrash

    maxroadrash New Member

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    RDO am I understanding this correctly? Are You saying 90% of max power at that duration as opposed to 90% of FTP?
     
  14. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Yes, I am saying 90% of one's max power for any duration is a good training intensity target for that duration. If you are regularly doing 20min efforts, it's a lot easier to test your max power for 20mins than to do a 1hr max power test (FTP). And, the formula works across all durations as a way to define a good training intensity for a given duration.
     
  15. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    mix in different interval lengths in your planning during the year, leaving the shorter ones for the main part of your season,
     
  16. maxroadrash

    maxroadrash New Member

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    OK, just so I'm sure I understand you correctly...
    Let's say I did a 20 max test at 200w. 90%= 180w. So for a 1X20 I'd do 180w. Does it change for a 2X20 or 1X40?
    Thanks for your patience.
     
  17. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Yes, you understand the approach correctly. Note that 90%MMP (90% of one's max sustainable power for a given duration) also falls within the L4 bracket (91%-105%FTP) for all durations except those near 60mins (and then it's within 1% of the bottom of the bracket). The main benefit of the approach is that each effort is a constant percentage of one's max sustainable power for the given duration. There is a lot of difference between 10min at 91%FTP and 60min at 91%FTP. But, the main benefit is that if you are regularly riding 20min efforts you are more likely to have a recent, valid max 20min effort than you are to have a recent, valid 60min effort. And, no, it doesn't change for a 2x20. It does change for a 1x40 in that your 40MMP is going to be significantly less than your 20MMP.
     
  18. maxroadrash

    maxroadrash New Member

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    Thanks for clearing that up. Not a huge difference from what I was doing (90% of FTP across the board) but I
    can see it making a difference over time.
     
  19. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    As pointed out above there really isn't much difference but the beauty of using a 90% of recent best MMP for the duration is that it works for just about any training duration. IOW, if and when you decide to introduce L5 work say as 3 or 5 minute intervals you can use the same rule of thumb and key your target interval power to 90% of your best recent MMP for the same duration so take 90% of your best all out 3 minute effort as a target for 3 minute VO2 Max efforts and so on for other durations.

    The only real exception IMO is for pure L7 sprint work. Don't train yourself to sprint at 90% of your best possible effort. For that kind of muscle coordination and neuomuscular fitness work hit it maximally for each effort and don't train to be a mediocre sprinter. But for anything from around a minute or even less to multiple hours the 90% of your best recent all out effort is a pretty good rule of thumb.

    -Dave
     
  20. renderman5000

    renderman5000 New Member

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    So just to be clear, you are recording your 350w efforts with a real power meter on a bike? Powertap, Quarq, etc? That number would put you into CAT 2/3 for racing if I had to guess.

    Chuck
     
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