# V Shaped Power Profile

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Russ968, Jun 22, 2006.

1. ### Russ968 Banned

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I've been riding for 12 months starting from somewhere below an untrained state (read fat guy on the couch) and training more seriously for the past 3 months. I had a local coach test my FTP in March with a 200watt result. None of my power numbers are anything to write home about and I felt that my FTP was a real weakness. Since that test interval days have 2x10, 3x10, 4x10 or 2x20 with 10 minute intervals at 105% FTP being the norm. Since getting a PT, gathering some data and performing some tests I get the following power profile.

5-sec 1225w = 15.71w/kg
1-min 490w = 6.28w/kg
5-min 267w = 3.42w/kg
FTP 235w = 2.95w/kg

I weigh 78kg down from 93kg with 74kg being the near term goal.

3 Questions:
1. Am I interpreting the Power Profile correctly?

2. Hunter/Coggan suggest this V shape is "
an unlikely combination...Should such a pattern be observed, care should be taken to assure that the values being used are truly representative of the athlete's abilities, and to be sure that the pattern isn't simply being misinterpreted ." Given this is an actual PP what might one conclude about weaknesses it represents other than all the numbers need improvement particularly 1 min power. Poor or still insufficiently trained VO2max or ATP Systems? Other?

3. Would an adjusted/augmented interval training plan focused on 1 to 5 minute intervals improve the weakness suggested above.

Russ

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2. ### peterpen New Member

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Have you ever done a flat-out 1 minute effort or are you just pulling that figure from various workouts? The slope/ shape of your power profile line will be significanly influenced by that.

From a completely rested state, go out, warm up, and then hammer for one minute - you should either vomit or pass out at the end of the minute. Then look at your numbers again.

But first, check with your doctor.

3. ### Russ968 Banned

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I have a test spot for 1 minute and have hammered it on several occasions...though I haven't tested the puke or pass out effort level. I suspect I could raise it some but not enough to fully remove the V shape from the current PP.

4. ### Spunout New Member

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After one year, you would still be considered 'untrained' although you have super neuromuscular power. So it is understandable that your FTP will be low. But do not despair, as this is most trainable also.

Depending on your goals, these should improve. If you do start doing long road races with some climbs, you'll improve these. Plan long term, I think it really takes 3 years to make a cyclist from an untrained state.

5. ### frenchyge New Member

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Agree that you're still to be considered 'untrained' at this point. Additionally, your interval training appears to be targetting FTP with little, if any, work towards improving shorter duration power. A bit of work in that area would likely improve the middle of your profile, but that's not particularly important for a beginning cyclist looking to lose weight and gain basic fitness. Congrats on your improvements.

6. ### Russ968 Banned

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Thanks for the encouragement guys. Untrained...still, yeah, you're correct. I guess I thought I'd progress a bit faster after 6200 miles in 12 months, 3800 since January, workouts like 9000 feet vertical/120 miles 2 weekends ago. Point well taken though that this will take some time.

Frenchyge, your observation is right as I've directed most of my intensity at improving FTP and I've seen a 17% move in 90 days, 200 to 235. Since I don't have much more weight to loose and have some basic fitness, is it your view I continue working on FTP or start 5 minute intervals at say 120% FTP -- RDOs suggested protocol? Or other short duration interval sessions?

Thanks.

7. ### frenchyge New Member

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Wow, you certainly have jumped in with both feet, haven't you?
I'm glad to see you didn't take the untrained comment negatively. Certainly you're training hard, but the body will continue to adjust to that training for quite some time (See: http://home.hia.no/~stephens/timecors.htm ). Another way to look at it is that while while you've been doing general training for a while now, you haven't really been training *all* aspects of your fitness and so your higher-end energy systems are still relatively untrained.

That's really a coaching question, and would depend on your goals and the purpose of your training. If it's mostly weight loss that you're seeking then there's probably no need to worry about 5min power at all. The power profiling is more of a tool for aspiring racers, IMO. I did MS150 and club rides for years without ever doing a 5min interval. As far as workout structure, I tend to use Andy Coggan's sample workouts from his power paper (http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/PowerTrainingChapter.pdf), which is where RDO draws from as well, and there are also several more examples in 'the Book' (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1931382794/qid=1151071321/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-6198162-7894440?s=books&v=glance&n=283155 ).

8. ### Spunout New Member

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Good points.

I would say that in the first year(s) of endurance training it is all about FTP. Bring it up, the rest will follow due to your natural abilities. At that point (if your goals are racing) you may focus on limiters.

So many races are won by the athlete with the highest FTP. There are chances for late breakaways opportunists, sprinters, etc. But when you're on a long climb or lined out in the gutter for 30 minutes at 45km/h...FTP trumps all.

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There's a slight misunderstanding about FT and VO2MAX intervals. The FTP intervals typically refer to LT intervals of 10+ minutes duration at ~91-105%FT. I think this is what you mean when you say you've been working on FTP. But, the VO2MAX intervals (I use 120%FT, the upper end of Andy's L5) actually target FTP as well. FTP is a function of VO2MAX (which defines the upper limit of your aerobic performance) and aerobic efficiency. So, when you are doing LT intervals (L4s) you are targeting your aerobic efficiency. The main reason that I and others advocate starting with LT intervals (L4s) is because this is slow to respond and continues to respond for years. VO2MAX intervals have a more immediate effect and most of the benefit you are going to realize are realized in a matter of weeks. Likewise, anaerobic work capacity (AWC) intervals (L6s) produce results quickly. The other side of the coin is that VO2MAX and AWC detrain quickly as well, so while I include L5 and L6 intervals in my weekly rides, I increase the volume of these high-intensity efforts beginning about 4-6 weeks prior to important rides. You can probably benefit from some training time in L5, but I would maintain an emphasis on L4 time (e.g., >50% of total training time).

10. ### Russ968 Banned

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Well, I was able to correct the V shape in my Power Profile today as well as my untrained classification. In part due to the comments here and my wife – (she’s the racer in the house but more on that in a minute). The suggestion was simple, take a few days and taper for the test. Insightful advice since I’ve just been a bit blindly focused on my training thinking my informal tests on the road were sufficient with no real consideration for my training/recovery/etc. So, I took Friday completely off and Saturday I just did a short spin as I don’t find my first day back after a day off to be my best but typically I perform better the second day forward. The plan was to do a 1 minute test and try PeterPen’s suggestion to “go for” a puke or pass out response and then a 20 minute TT test after a little more warm-up. I was able to hold 555 watts for 1 minute and 255 for 20. I actually felt like I had something left after the 20 minute effort.

5-sec 1225w = 15.71w/kg
1-min 555w = 7.12w/kg
5-min 267w = 3.42w/kg
FTP 242w = 3.10w/kg

I’m pleased with the results for the first time since I’ve been training with the PT.

You’re right Greg. I have 2 objectives, the first is to enter my first road race or crit this year and finish the race with the main group. That said I have a fair amount of respect and admiration for the amateur/pro cyclists here in northern California (my only frame of reference) and think I’ll need considerably more power to reach this goal.

My second goal is to be able to keep up with my wife:

Why? Well, you can only imagine the rush I felt yesterday seeing her solo the finishing climb, Haskins grade, a minute+ in front of the 40 women in her category and passing many of the men the category ahead of her at Pescadero (local RR hosted by Alta Velo/Webcor who did an admirable job, BTW) to finish second behind another really talented girl. So, she’s blown through her category in her first 7 road races and will elect to move up shortly or likely be forced to in another few races. So, I'd like to be able to train with her and that too is going to take a better fitness level, particularly FT.

One last point, for those of you that race and have significant others, kids, parents or anyone else close to you that come to watch you race I can tell you there is no more gratifying moment than to see you do well.

Thanks again,
Russ

11. ### Woofer New Member

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Depending upon the course for the crit or road race, that is either a really lofty goal you may never reach or a goal you could reach right now, easily. I have finished flat and slightly rolling road races and crits with the group with a much lower FTP in northern California. You have to go out and try it as the numbers only reflect your physical fitness and not other aspects of the sport that may or may not be a problem.

12. ### netscriber New Member

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So a simple rule i always follow in my mind(and correct me if I'm wrong RD) is...
The higher you go....(L4 to L5 or L5 to L6...) the quickly you train/de-train.

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That's an interesting question, NS. I'm not sure what the answer is, in terms of which detrains most quickly, neuromuscular, AWC or VO2MAX (although they all detrain quickly). Interestingly, most studies focus on protocols to increase power rather than decrease power. I'd be very interested in seeing a few studies on detraining if anybody has any to suggest. I'm building up a cycling physiology library by topic and the "detraining" topic is virtually empty. Calling all physiology gurus -- any articles or studies on rates of detraining?

14. ### gvanwagner New Member

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When writing up my training plan I always used the thought the higher levels take the least time to see significant results and stay acceptable far longer then the low levels. I know personally my AWC( Monod method at least) has remained at a similar level as in April even though I have only been doing 4x20s and long rides in the last 8 weeks. I probably stressed the system slightly just by doing L5 and Microintervals once a week at best- almost no races.

This seems to back up that higher levels detrain less- http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1046/j.1365-201X.1997.00244.x/abs/

Also, their was a point in April that my FTP had dropped by almost 30 watts but my PVo2max was not affected as much. Also my LT has taken a long time to rebuild. (long time= forever)

Going further down I know that on a route I take often of about 3.5hr that my Pnorm usually does a good job of reflecting my low end aerobic fitness and how I feel that day. It took 3months to raise 20 watts and less then 1 month of L5+6 training to drop 20 watts. I also "ran out of gas" more often after about 2.5 hr. Now whether this is just the result of the similar drop in FTP that happened at the same time or not is up for debate but my EF rides have only recovered half of the watts regained on my FTP.

So IMO it goes like this
L7- very fast response and very stabile
L6- fast response and can stay stabile for relatively long periods of time even with bear minumum stimulus
L5- somewhere between L5 and L6
L4- most quickly detrained- takes a lot of time to regain
L3/L2- Personally I find this takes a long time to gain and you can loss it very quickly.

If you think about it, how long did it take you from being able ride hard in the 3rd hour to being able to ride hard in the 5th- a career. Also the rate of detraining might be why sprinters seem to be about to jump into an easy crit with little training under them and do well in the finale but if a climber tried to jump into a long hard RR on little training they'd be done for.

YMMV,
Greg