What is a reasonable gain in power?



millzebub

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Jul 5, 2007
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I know this will vary by the individual, but what is a reasonable gain in sustainable power, over say, a six month training period? I guess I'm thinking 20-30 minute sustainable power. I am asking for the wattage. Is 20-30 watts a huge leap or a reasonable gain? I am a relative beginner so I don't know if that is a factor as well...Thanks for any help!
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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millzebub said:
I know this will vary by the individual, but what is a reasonable gain in sustainable power, over say, a six month training period? I guess I'm thinking 20-30 minute sustainable power. I am asking for the wattage. Is 20-30 watts a huge leap or a reasonable gain? I am a relative beginner so I don't know if that is a factor as well...Thanks for any help!
It really depends on where you're starting, how much time and effort you can put into training and to some extent your genetics.

For a relative healthy beginner who can get out and train 4 or 5 days a week you should easily be able to see 30 watts or more in 6 months of good training coupled with good rest and a healthy diet. I started training with a power meter last fall so I'm nearing the one year mark in terms of recorded data. My best 20 minute intervals last November were hovering around 220 watts and thats not counting my first few attempts with the PM which were lower yet since there's a bit of a learning curve in terms of best pacing for 20 minutes. I've managed a half dozen 20 minute efforts between 305 and 310 watts in the last month. These are part of my normal L4 training sessions so they're not full out 20 minute tests but my daily high points when I go out to do a 3x20 L4 session. That's roughly a 90 watt increase in 20 minute power in a bit less than a year.

About two thirds of that increase came over the winter from indoor trainer sessions as I was able to regularly hit 270-280 watts for my 20 minute efforts in April when racing started. And FWIW I'm no genetic superstar. I raced with very mediocre results through the '80s and 90s so I've spent an awful lot of hours training at various points in my life but never enjoyed the kind of fitness gains or race results that I'm seeing now.

The key is structured workouts targeting specific energy systems with focus on things like SST, L4 and L5 for a solid aerobic base. Yeah, there's a bit more to it than that, but that's the key difference between what I do now and what I did back in the day. I don't go out the door without a training focus(or I don't call that training) and I avoid junk miles or "diary miles". If I'm not working a specific aerobic or anaerobic system then I just go home. Yeah I still spin around and look at the countryside with my wife from time to time, but I don't call that training.

Anyway, if you're just getting started and have a power meter then it's totally reasonable to gain 30 or more watts in the next 6 months with a good steady training plan.

Good luck and let us know how it goes,
-Dave
 

millzebub

New Member
Jul 5, 2007
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Dave,
Thanks for your thoughtful response! Unfortunately I don't have a power meter. I guess I am using fuzzy math in my training calculations. I generally ride the same hill all the time and based on my speed and cadence and the average slope I input that info at analytic cycling for the watts. My speed has been improving and I have been losing weight. I have at least 25lbs. I can still lose, so I like to "theorize" how much power and speed I will gain with the weight loss. The unknown for me was the additional gain in power, which was the basis for my question. If I can gain 30 watts I will be very happy. 90 watts is awesome!! I will dream of that kind of improvement!
oh, and in case you are wondering. I do ride 4 to 5 times a week. When the time changes and I can't go after work in the evenings, I will switch to my indoor trainer. It is a kurt kinetic. I think I am going to buy their cyclocomputer which measures watts. Do you have any experience with those? Anyway, thanks again for your response and I will keep everyone posted on my progress.

daveryanwyoming said:
It really depends on where you're starting, how much time and effort you can put into training and to some extent your genetics.

For a relative healthy beginner who can get out and train 4 or 5 days a week you should easily be able to see 30 watts or more in 6 months of good training coupled with good rest and a healthy diet. I started training with a power meter last fall so I'm nearing the one year mark in terms of recorded data. My best 20 minute intervals last November were hovering around 220 watts and thats not counting my first few attempts with the PM which were lower yet since there's a bit of a learning curve in terms of best pacing for 20 minutes. I've managed a half dozen 20 minute efforts between 305 and 310 watts in the last month. These are part of my normal L4 training sessions so they're not full out 20 minute tests but my daily high points when I go out to do a 3x20 L4 session. That's roughly a 90 watt increase in 20 minute power in a bit less than a year.

About two thirds of that increase came over the winter from indoor trainer sessions as I was able to regularly hit 270-280 watts for my 20 minute efforts in April when racing started. And FWIW I'm no genetic superstar. I raced with very mediocre results through the '80s and 90s so I've spent an awful lot of hours training at various points in my life but never enjoyed the kind of fitness gains or race results that I'm seeing now.

The key is structured workouts targeting specific energy systems with focus on things like SST, L4 and L5 for a solid aerobic base. Yeah, there's a bit more to it than that, but that's the key difference between what I do now and what I did back in the day. I don't go out the door without a training focus(or I don't call that training) and I avoid junk miles or "diary miles". If I'm not working a specific aerobic or anaerobic system then I just go home. Yeah I still spin around and look at the countryside with my wife from time to time, but I don't call that training.

Anyway, if you're just getting started and have a power meter then it's totally reasonable to gain 30 or more watts in the next 6 months with a good steady training plan.

Good luck and let us know how it goes,
-Dave
 

NomadVW

New Member
Aug 12, 2005
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millzebub said:
I think I am going to buy their cyclocomputer which measures watts. Do you have any experience with those? Anyway, thanks again for your response and I will keep everyone posted on my progress.
Their computer doesn't actually "measure watts," but makes an estimate based on speed and known setup procedures - so as an absolute value, you may be off. However, if you set up the KK the same way each time, I've heard from folks that the KK is consistent in its measurements when comparing to previous rides, and at the end of the day that's probably the most important thing.

As another example, I started training seriously last November with power and was doing my 2x20's @ 300ish. In 2-3 months I was doing them @ 320. This month I'm doing them @ 350-360. So that's 10 months of training and 50+ watts of gain. Sometimes it was two to three months of zero, and then quick jumps, but it happens if you're persistent.

VW

edited to add: I lost about 7kg too, and in the two to three months where I lost the bulk of that weight, my power numbers pretty much plateaued, though watts/kg continued to rise. Since May/June when I've held my weight steady, the numbers power numbers started going up again.
 

millzebub

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Jul 5, 2007
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Wow! Maybe one day I will get a power meter. It seems like such a great tool.

I also read something about the KK having to be consistently set up for accurate readings. Is that to do with the resistance on the rear wheel? It does seem that it would be difficult to replicate that each time you put your bike on the trainer...
Well, I hope I will improve my power somewhere close to these examples.
thanks.
john

NomadVW said:
Their computer doesn't actually "measure watts," but makes an estimate based on speed and known setup procedures - so as an absolute value, you may be off. However, if you set up the KK the same way each time, I've heard from folks that the KK is consistent in its measurements when comparing to previous rides, and at the end of the day that's probably the most important thing.

As another example, I started training seriously last November with power and was doing my 2x20's @ 300ish. In 2-3 months I was doing them @ 320. This month I'm doing them @ 350-360. So that's 10 months of training and 50+ watts of gain. Sometimes it was two to three months of zero, and then quick jumps, but it happens if you're persistent.

VW

edited to add: I lost about 7kg too, and in the two to three months where I lost the bulk of that weight, my power numbers pretty much plateaued, though watts/kg continued to rise. Since May/June when I've held my weight steady, the numbers power numbers started going up again.
 

wiredued

New Member
Aug 17, 2004
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The KK Road Machine computer is a little on the cheap side and doesn't have cadence so it really wasn't worth having it on my handlebars. I use a 2006 Cateye Astrale 8 it's a wired rear wheel with cadence bike computer that doesn't take up much space. This chart works just as good.

17mph=183.33w
17.1mph=185.53w
17.2mph=187.74w
17.3mph=189.98w
17.4mph=192.23w
17.5mph=194.51w
17.6mph=196.80w
17.7mph=199.12w
17.8mph=201.46w
17.9mph=203.81w
18mph=206.19w
18.1mph=208.59w
18.2mph=211.01w
18.3mph=213.45w
18.4mph=215.91w
18.5mph=218.39w
18.6mph=220.89w
18.7mph=223.42w
18.8mph=225.96w
18.9mph=228.53w
19mph=231.12w
19.1mph=233.73w
19.2mph=236.36w
19.3mph=239.02w
19.4mph=241.70w
19.5mph=244.40w
19.6mph=247.12w
19.7mph=249.86w
19.8mph=252.63w
19.9mph=255.42w
20mph=258.24w
20.1mph=261.07w
20.2mph=263.93w
20.3mph=266.81w
20.4mph=269.72w
20.5mph=272.65w
20.6mph=275.60w
20.7mph=278.58w
20.8mph=281.58w
20.9mph=284.60w
21mph=287.65w
21.1mph=290.72w
21.2mph=293.82w
21.3mph=296.94w
21.4mph=300.09w
21.5mph=303.26w
21.6mph=306.45w
21.7mph=309.67w
21.8mph=312.92w
21.9mph=316.19w
22mph=319.48w
22.1mph=322.80w
22.2mph=326.15w
22.3mph=329.52w
22.4mph=332.92w
22.5mph=336.34w
22.6mph=339.79w
22.7mph=343.26w
22.8mph=346.76w
22.9mph=350.29w
23mph=353.84w
23.1mph=357.42w
23.2mph=361.03w
23.3mph=364.66w
23.4mph=368.32w
23.5mph=372.01w
23.6mph=375.72w
23.7mph=379.46w
23.8mph=383.23w
23.9mph=387.03w
24mph=390.85w
24.1mph=394.70w
24.2mph=398.58w
24.3mph=402.48w
24.4mph=406.42w
24.5mph=410.38w
24.6mph=414.37w
24.7mph=418.39w
24.8mph=422.44w
24.9mph=426.51w
25mph=430.62w
25.1mph=434.75w......Lance Armstrong FTP maybe
25.2mph=438.91w
25.3mph=443.10w
25.4mph=447.32w
25.5mph=451.57w
25.6mph=455.85w
25.7mph=460.16w
25.8mph=464.49w
25.9mph=468.86w
26mph=473.26w



millzebub said:
It is a kurt kinetic. I think I am going to buy their cyclocomputer which measures watts. Do you have any experience with those? Anyway, thanks again for your response and I will keep everyone posted on my progress.
 

millzebub

New Member
Jul 5, 2007
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Thanks for the chart! I also have an Astrale 8 so it looks like that is all I need for the trainer. I guess I'll save $50 too! Thanks again!

wiredued said:
The KK Road Machine computer is a little on the cheap side and doesn't have cadence so it really wasn't worth having it on my handlebars. I use a 2006 Cateye Astrale 8 it's a wired rear wheel with cadence bike computer that doesn't take up much space. This chart works just as good.

17mph=183.33w
17.1mph=185.53w
17.2mph=187.74w
17.3mph=189.98w
17.4mph=192.23w
17.5mph=194.51w
17.6mph=196.80w
17.7mph=199.12w
17.8mph=201.46w
17.9mph=203.81w
18mph=206.19w
18.1mph=208.59w
18.2mph=211.01w
18.3mph=213.45w
18.4mph=215.91w
18.5mph=218.39w
18.6mph=220.89w
18.7mph=223.42w
18.8mph=225.96w
18.9mph=228.53w
19mph=231.12w
19.1mph=233.73w
19.2mph=236.36w
19.3mph=239.02w
19.4mph=241.70w
19.5mph=244.40w
19.6mph=247.12w
19.7mph=249.86w
19.8mph=252.63w
19.9mph=255.42w
20mph=258.24w
20.1mph=261.07w
20.2mph=263.93w
20.3mph=266.81w
20.4mph=269.72w
20.5mph=272.65w
20.6mph=275.60w
20.7mph=278.58w
20.8mph=281.58w
20.9mph=284.60w
21mph=287.65w
21.1mph=290.72w
21.2mph=293.82w
21.3mph=296.94w
21.4mph=300.09w
21.5mph=303.26w
21.6mph=306.45w
21.7mph=309.67w
21.8mph=312.92w
21.9mph=316.19w
22mph=319.48w
22.1mph=322.80w
22.2mph=326.15w
22.3mph=329.52w
22.4mph=332.92w
22.5mph=336.34w
22.6mph=339.79w
22.7mph=343.26w
22.8mph=346.76w
22.9mph=350.29w
23mph=353.84w
23.1mph=357.42w
23.2mph=361.03w
23.3mph=364.66w
23.4mph=368.32w
23.5mph=372.01w
23.6mph=375.72w
23.7mph=379.46w
23.8mph=383.23w
23.9mph=387.03w
24mph=390.85w
24.1mph=394.70w
24.2mph=398.58w
24.3mph=402.48w
24.4mph=406.42w
24.5mph=410.38w
24.6mph=414.37w
24.7mph=418.39w
24.8mph=422.44w
24.9mph=426.51w
25mph=430.62w
25.1mph=434.75w......Lance Armstrong FTP maybe
25.2mph=438.91w
25.3mph=443.10w
25.4mph=447.32w
25.5mph=451.57w
25.6mph=455.85w
25.7mph=460.16w
25.8mph=464.49w
25.9mph=468.86w
26mph=473.26w
 

HammerHead

New Member
Jun 10, 2003
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For what it's worth, these #'s are really way off from what I generate. I'm 5'6" and 155lbs +/- 5lbs. And based on my PT SL (flat no wind etc), 200 watts is around 20mph, 250 watts is around 24mph, 300 watts is a maybe a little over 25 mph. I do one minute intervals at 410 watts, and that gets me up to around 28 or 29.


wiredued said:
17mph=183.33w
17.1mph=185.53w
17.2mph=187.74w
17.3mph=189.98w
17.4mph=192.23w
17.5mph=194.51w
17.6mph=196.80w
17.7mph=199.12w
17.8mph=201.46w
17.9mph=203.81w
18mph=206.19w
18.1mph=208.59w
18.2mph=211.01w
18.3mph=213.45w
18.4mph=215.91w
18.5mph=218.39w
18.6mph=220.89w
18.7mph=223.42w
18.8mph=225.96w
18.9mph=228.53w
19mph=231.12w
19.1mph=233.73w
19.2mph=236.36w
19.3mph=239.02w
19.4mph=241.70w
19.5mph=244.40w
19.6mph=247.12w
19.7mph=249.86w
19.8mph=252.63w
19.9mph=255.42w
20mph=258.24w
20.1mph=261.07w
20.2mph=263.93w
20.3mph=266.81w
20.4mph=269.72w
20.5mph=272.65w
20.6mph=275.60w
20.7mph=278.58w
20.8mph=281.58w
20.9mph=284.60w
21mph=287.65w
21.1mph=290.72w
21.2mph=293.82w
21.3mph=296.94w
21.4mph=300.09w
21.5mph=303.26w
21.6mph=306.45w
21.7mph=309.67w
21.8mph=312.92w
21.9mph=316.19w
22mph=319.48w
22.1mph=322.80w
22.2mph=326.15w
22.3mph=329.52w
22.4mph=332.92w
22.5mph=336.34w
22.6mph=339.79w
22.7mph=343.26w
22.8mph=346.76w
22.9mph=350.29w
23mph=353.84w
23.1mph=357.42w
23.2mph=361.03w
23.3mph=364.66w
23.4mph=368.32w
23.5mph=372.01w
23.6mph=375.72w
23.7mph=379.46w
23.8mph=383.23w
23.9mph=387.03w
24mph=390.85w
24.1mph=394.70w
24.2mph=398.58w
24.3mph=402.48w
24.4mph=406.42w
24.5mph=410.38w
24.6mph=414.37w
24.7mph=418.39w
24.8mph=422.44w
24.9mph=426.51w
25mph=430.62w
25.1mph=434.75w......Lance Armstrong FTP maybe
25.2mph=438.91w
25.3mph=443.10w
25.4mph=447.32w
25.5mph=451.57w
25.6mph=455.85w
25.7mph=460.16w
25.8mph=464.49w
25.9mph=468.86w
26mph=473.26w
 

millzebub

New Member
Jul 5, 2007
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These numbers are only for the indoor trainer. It sounds like you are referring to actual wattages on the road, right?

HammerHead said:
For what it's worth, these #'s are really way off from what I generate. I'm 5'6" and 155lbs +/- 5lbs. And based on my PT SL (flat no wind etc), 200 watts is around 20mph, 250 watts is around 24mph, 300 watts is a maybe a little over 25 mph. I do one minute intervals at 410 watts, and that gets me up to around 28 or 29.
 

millzebub

New Member
Jul 5, 2007
64
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no worries. that info is actually useful for riding on the road. I've often wondered what wattage I was putting out on the flats. thanks!
HammerHead said:
oh, yeah. my bad....
 

Roadie_scum

New Member
Nov 14, 2003
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NomadVW said:
edited to add: I lost about 7kg too, and in the two to three months where I lost the bulk of that weight, my power numbers pretty much plateaued, though watts/kg continued to rise. Since May/June when I've held my weight steady, the numbers power numbers started going up again.

I am going through a similar thing right now and would be interested on people's points of view. Having graduated school I have decided to make a concerted effort in my training again. I thought one sensible thing to do was get down to an appropriate race weight, which I probably haven't been close to for a couple of years. I have hovered between 77kg and 80kg, but I can reasonably target about 72kg-74kg, maybe less (I'm doing a very scientific 'pinch belly and back fat between the fingers test'). The thing is, I have been noticing that, despite doing a good amount of SST/L4 in addition to a bunch of L2, I haven't made the gains I made in FTP that I did when training at a constant weight. I thought this might largely be due to keeping myself in a large TSB hole so I can ramp volume quickly and to do extra L2 to burn calories. (I was only at about 30CTL after finishing my last bit of research for law school - eek!) Anyway, I was wondering whether it was a common experience that it is difficult to gain power when dropping weight? I was also wondering whether it is sensible to go right down to race weight and then train FTP up, or whether it is better to stay 1-2kg heavier so you have a bit of a buffer in case you get sick, etc, then drop the last bit just before you go into your serious climbing races?

Thoughts appreciated...
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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Roadie_scum said:
...Anyway, I was wondering whether it was a common experience that it is difficult to gain power when dropping weight?
Based on my own n=1 experiment last winter I raised my FTP quite a bit while dropping weight at the same time. But I also started a long way from race weight and relatively untrained after a very long layoff and just a few months of unstructured riding. Might be a lot tougher to keep the FTP climbing while losing weight if you're already race fit and within a few kilos of your best race weight.

...I was also wondering whether it is sensible to go right down to race weight and then train FTP up, or whether it is better to stay 1-2kg heavier so you have a bit of a buffer in case you get sick, etc, then drop the last bit just before you go into your serious climbing races?...
That's a very good question. I suspect it depends in part on how lean you are at your best race weight. Are you targeting really low body fat percentages like 7% or less or do you race at 10% or above? I've been racing right around 10% based on an impedance based body fat measurement device. I haven't done skin calipers or underwater weighing in years so I don't know how I'd measure with those devices. Anyway I've stayed healthy during my weight loss and since hitting race weight (early April) at that weight and that includes a lot of hard training and racing. I don't seem to have compromised my immune system at race weight, but you might be shooting for an even lower body fat percentage.

One question that comes to mind is if you feel it's tough to train hard and raise FTP while dropping weight, how will you feel about dropping those pounds just as your hard races approach? If you're not trying for an extremely low body fat it might make more sense to drop the weight slowly during winter training and not try to drop it just as you hope to be strongest.

I'd be curious to hear other folk's take on this as well, especially as winter approaches.

-Dave
 

NM87710

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May 11, 2006
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daveryanwyoming said:
I'd be curious to hear other folk's take on this as well, especially as winter approaches.
For me "Race Weight" is found when producing max w/kg at my best/strongest time interval(i.e. 1, 5 or 20/60min) while maintaining a healthy immune system(i.e. not getting sick). A delicate balancing act. It is very individual and usually found via experimentation and trial-n-error rather than as a certain body fat percentage. Once found keep close to the weight sweet-spot. Comfortably go up a few kgs in a recovery/winter program knowing what the target goal is and how to get there but be careful. Don't know the weight sweet-spot then keep taking it off(don't wait) at a slow/reasonable pace till you start to hone in on it.

FWIW I moved the 5min w/kg up 11% by dropping 6kg. I also maintained my immune system and luckily did not have any sick days all year(knocking on wood). FTP and CTL did not materially change year over year. I'll try pushing the envelope further next year taking off another 1-2kg(any more and I'll need velcro tires so keep 'em on the road) and see what that does w/kg and immune wise.

just my 2 pesos
 

Roadie_scum

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Nov 14, 2003
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daveryanwyoming said:
One question that comes to mind is if you feel it's tough to train hard and raise FTP while dropping weight, how will you feel about dropping those pounds just as your hard races approach? If you're not trying for an extremely low body fat it might make more sense to drop the weight slowly during winter training and not try to drop it just as you hope to be strongest.
-Dave

Thanks, whole response seems sensible and helpful, but I thought I'd address this - although I don't have power meter data, I have found in the past that my best performances have come after an FTP/CTL 'push', a lot of semi-structured L3/4 on fairly long rides. A little bit of other higher intensities in this period, before moving into a short period of more structured and higher intensity. This is generally 4-8 weeks before I begin to perform really well. Over this period, I normally get substantially fitter and drop 1-2kg. This has often happened when I was 3-5kg above what I think might be my optimal race weight, so the result may not have been as good as if I was slimmer to start (1-2kg off race weight), but then the immune stress probably isn't as great either when you start higher. I was thinking maybe this is the period where I should 'remove the buffer'.

More generally, how does this sound: focus on the weight a bit right now, but quit that a little before I start to look like a chicken carcass. This should push my CTL up to 90-100 I'm guessing, and raise my FTP a bit with some unstructured L3/4 - I never ride 'just in zone' and I always go looking for climbs I can tempo/TT on during longer rides. Then start in on more focused and specific L3/4 and a slower CTL build. When I'm a little ways off serious racing and starting to max out metabolic fitness (L2/3/4 benefits), do more focused L5 once a week, then twice a week - then do the 'CTL push' on the weekends as well as the L5 with a focused L3/4 climbing ride and an endurance ride to try to replicate what has worked in the past as far as building form. Then let the CTL drop a bit, TSB roll up and smash out L4/5/6 work for a short while before peaking.

I am planning to do short NMP/L7 work year round. (1 wk focused session, plus one endurance ride with some sprints, from now until forever).
 

Alex Simmons

Active Member
Mar 12, 2006
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Roadie_scum said:
I am going through a similar thing right now and would be interested on people's points of view. Having graduated school I have decided to make a concerted effort in my training again. I thought one sensible thing to do was get down to an appropriate race weight, which I probably haven't been close to for a couple of years. I have hovered between 77kg and 80kg, but I can reasonably target about 72kg-74kg, maybe less (I'm doing a very scientific 'pinch belly and back fat between the fingers test'). The thing is, I have been noticing that, despite doing a good amount of SST/L4 in addition to a bunch of L2, I haven't made the gains I made in FTP that I did when training at a constant weight. I thought this might largely be due to keeping myself in a large TSB hole so I can ramp volume quickly and to do extra L2 to burn calories. (I was only at about 30CTL after finishing my last bit of research for law school - eek!) Anyway, I was wondering whether it was a common experience that it is difficult to gain power when dropping weight? I was also wondering whether it is sensible to go right down to race weight and then train FTP up, or whether it is better to stay 1-2kg heavier so you have a bit of a buffer in case you get sick, etc, then drop the last bit just before you go into your serious climbing races?

Thoughts appreciated...
Hard to isolate this one factor I'd say, with the importance of sleep quality/volume and other life stresses playing their part too.

But on the topic, just a broad comment - I went better last season at 1-2kg heavier than season before. By better I mean both FTP and race results. I also didn't get sick last season like I did the season before (but then there was also CTL ramp rate to aid that).
 

NomadVW

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Aug 12, 2005
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Roadie_scum said:
I am going through a similar thing right now and would be interested on people's points of view. Having graduated school I have decided to make a concerted effort in my training again. I thought one sensible thing to do was get down to an appropriate race weight, which I probably haven't been close to for a couple of years. I have hovered between 77kg and 80kg, but I can reasonably target about 72kg-74kg, maybe less (I'm doing a very scientific 'pinch belly and back fat between the fingers test'). The thing is, I have been noticing that, despite doing a good amount of SST/L4 in addition to a bunch of L2, I haven't made the gains I made in FTP that I did when training at a constant weight. I thought this might largely be due to keeping myself in a large TSB hole so I can ramp volume quickly and to do extra L2 to burn calories. (I was only at about 30CTL after finishing my last bit of research for law school - eek!) Anyway, I was wondering whether it was a common experience that it is difficult to gain power when dropping weight? I was also wondering whether it is sensible to go right down to race weight and then train FTP up, or whether it is better to stay 1-2kg heavier so you have a bit of a buffer in case you get sick, etc, then drop the last bit just before you go into your serious climbing races?

Thoughts appreciated...
I know for me, I started the year with an FTP right around 345. I was at an "honest" weight of around 173-175. I trained, trained and trained some more - but also knew I had to drop some weight to get competitive in racing in Japan where everything goes up hill. I dropped down to a steady 165-167 by late spring. 165 is my personal "limit." My FTP changed little to none over the April-May months. Now that I've flattened my weight loss, I've started to get a steady PE indications that FTP is going up.

My 2x20's are 350ish, and much of that is spent 360ish (I run my 2x20's on a cornered course thanks to lack of uninterrupted roads). I've also been on a pretty heavy training load for a couple months so I don't expect that my 2x20's are 100% of a "tapered" +TSB ideal run.

I have no desire to "taper to test" since I have a 40km TT coming up next month anyway.

I wouldn't be surprised to see FTP hit 360 by the end of the November racing if I maintain weight (one can hope!). In fact, I'm maintaining weight quite intentionally now if for nothing else that to see numbers on the powertap go up instead of having to come home and check the w/kg charts. I might try to squeeze a pound or two off in the end of November for a particular hill climb event here but we'll see how I do through the fall racing first.

I would add that my absolute 5-10 minute power has increased and my power curve has flattened nicely outside the 1 hr range regardless of weight loss.

My CTL ramp rate was good, hitting upper 120's in the spring and I caliper'd 3 times through the spring at 6-7% body fat. Oddly, the first time I got really sick this year was actually coming off my transition in June but once I got back in the high TSS weeks I've been feeling great (cept for a REALLY sore butt from two days of long riding this weekend).
 

JoelH

New Member
Jan 27, 2004
13
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I am curious as to what indicates when you have hit your ceiling? This curiosity is driven from the fact that this is my first season training with power, previous couple of season where HR structured and saw steady improvements year to year. This year with power i am seeing what i think is quite staggering increases in FTP.

my stats are age 33, weight 84-83Kg depending on the season. and 6'3 tall

I started with a polar power meter in May after a 3-4 of weeks off late march after my last A race. and then took it very easy through april resulting in FTP 275 in mid May

May/June, Got back on the training horse with some endurance work and tempo. by early \mid june (FTP 300).

June. Introduced some Sweat spot work through june and july (FTP 315).

July, Got fed up with polar and switched to a powertap, retested end July (FTP 355)

August, Introduced threshold intervals, and kept Sweet Spot work, with an occasional hill session. just re-tested FTP @ 379

No serious V02max work yet, although my threshold intervals have started to increase in duration (ie 2x15min) and sweet spot has built to 60+min continous once a week.

I am stronger than i was at peak form last year (proven through blitzing some hill climbing PB's) and racing in top grades in early season racing

So question is, where will this go realisticly? my sights are on hitting 5watts\kg which means 420w @ 84kg.. is this realistic given i have not done significant V02max work yet other than a couple of hill repeats sessions?