Would like to get some expert opinions

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by LowCel, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. LowCel

    LowCel New Member

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    Well I tried my powertap out again today. This was my second real ride with it. I had to do 50 minutes on a flat course between 3x and 4x my body weight in wattage. I was in zone three the majority of the time. Other than that 50 minutes I was supposed to just take it easy and put some time in on the bike staying primarily in zone 1.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how I can do in my first road race (cat 5) next month. So far all I have done is mountain bike races, which is what I am training for. I'm hoping for some top three finishes in sport class this year and move up to expert in 2007.

    Anyway, here is my workout from today. I currently weigh about 171 pounds (75.5 kilos). Oh, and I'm still in base 3. It's not too terrible is it? Are my numbers respectable enough to try out a cat 5 road race without getting too embarrassed? Before anyone jumps on me I am aware that skill has as much or more to do with it as power. I'm just concerned about the power aspect of it right now.

    Click here to see the graph.
     
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  2. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    Looks like the 50 minute effort was 225 watts, and you were in z3 heart rate? Well first of all, I would ignore heart rate and figure out power training zones. Second of all, that's a pretty respectable wattage number if you were really only riding "tempo." You should do fine in cat 5 races based on power output. BTW, why in the world would you spend any time riding in zone 1?
     
  3. LowCel

    LowCel New Member

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    For the wattage I was supposed to stay within 3x and 4x my body weight during the tempo workout. That was the priority, however before I had the powertap I was setup to do zone 3 tempo work today, 40 - 60 minutes.

    Actually 225 is my average for the three hour ride. For the full 52 minutes I rode tempo my average was 289 watts.

    I did the rest of the ride in zone 1 because that's what my coach told me to do. Tomorrow I'm spending three hours in zones 1 and 2. I'm still in base 3.

    Here is a picture of the 52 minute graph.
     
  4. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Your peak 60min power is 277w, but it's not clear if that is AP or NP. For a variable power ride, NP is the best number to use for an estimate of your FT. So, if the 277w is AP, your NP will be somewhat higher depending on how variable power was in the ride. At your weight, you won't be embarrassed in a Cat5 race. You might want to consider just trying to stay near the front but don't go with any breakaway attempts since you won't know who can sustain a break and who is just wasting their energy. The first goal in learning to race is to avoid crashing. The second goal is learning to stay with the lead group. The third goal is learning to sprint at the finish. And, the pentultimate goal is to dictate race pace because you have more power than the field.
     
  5. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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  6. LowCel

    LowCel New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it. I'm wanting to try a couple of road races this year just to see what it is like. I have 10 mountain bike races scheduled so far and will probably add a couple more to that. Time is a factor so I will be lucky if I can get in a total of 15 or 16 races this year.

    RapDaddyO - Keep in mind on my 60 minute average 8 minutes of that was just easy spinning.

    whoawhao - Thanks for the chart, I appreciate it.
     
  7. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    It doesn't really matter as to the question you posed. Same answer -- you won't be embarrassed. It's not exactly comparable to Cat5, but I did a crit today (55+) and my NP was 324w (30 min crit). I weigh a bit more than you at the moment, so your w/kg isn't so different. I wasn't embarrassed.
     
  8. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    Lap the field?
     
  9. LowCel

    LowCel New Member

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    Thank you. Could you answer one more stupid question? What is ap and np? I'm guessing ap is analytical (sp?) power but I'm not sure what np is. I am clueless as far as power training goes. I just upload the information from my rides to training peaks for my coach each day and do what I am told. I need to start learning more on my own though.
     
  10. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    AP=Average Power. NP=normalized power, an algorithm that can be applied to power data to find the physiological "cost" of a variable-paced ride in terms of what the power would have been for the same effort at a steady power output. Check out the power 411 at cyclingpeaks.com for a ton more information.

    BTW, I already mentioned this, but you should set your training zones by power ASAP. The power 411 includes a section on this, but ask your coach as he may want you to use a different system.
     
  11. LowCel

    LowCel New Member

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    WOW, I was way off. :) Thanks.

    He is slowly taking me over to doing all of my training with watts. I'm just not used to it.

    Here is my workout for tomorrow.
    Ride in 1-2 zone, mostly 1 zone. Flat course. Low effort--light on pedals. Comfortably high rpm. Ride at less than 225 watts. shoot for 1500 KJ ( that is the E on the bottom screen where the cadence is) and this can be up to 3 hours.

    Here is one I have later next week.
    BT: Warm-up well. Then ride 30 to 40 minutes non-stop at 3-4 watts per KG on a mostly flat course. Slightly bigger gear than usual. 80-90 rpm. Smooth pedaling. Aero position.

    Then here is one of my workouts for next weekend.
    Ride on rolling course. Big chain ring. Most of ride time in heart rate zone2-3. Seated on most hills. Ride at 180-300 watts. stay seated on climbs and keep under 300 watts if possible.
     
  12. palewin

    palewin New Member

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    Just a few thoughts to add on. First, as a number of people have commented, you'll be fine for your cat5 race. But the caveat is that racing (excluding TTs) is not really about steady-state power, its about peak power for short periods. (Max sustainable power is probably the key determinant of racing success, but within a race, the results are typically dictated by the surges.) I'm sure that as we move towards the main racing season your coach will have you doing short-interval high-power (VO2) intervals. What does strike me (at least in comparison to the workouts I get from my CTS coach) is that your power range for a workout (3x to 4x your weight in kg) is a very broad range; you might ask your coach his thoughts on narrowing it down somewhat. Lastly, if you were riding Tempo on a flat course at fairly constant power, your NP will not be all that different from your AP. Where you get the big differences is on courses with climbs (or criteriums with a lot of accelerations) where you get periodic power outputs much higher than the average; under these circumstances NP will be significantly higher than AP. What the NP number gives you is the "power you would be at to do an equivalent ride at constant power" as opposed to the variable power you were really riding at, taking into account the physiology of stress and recovery.
     
  13. Thorman

    Thorman New Member

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    3 hours in zone 1? The only thing that will get you is tired! Not to thrash your coach, but I'd be questioning this workout.
     
  14. LowCel

    LowCel New Member

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    I have already seen plenty of improvement since I started with him. I have also seen how the people that have worked with him have improved over the years. I trust him.

    Long slow rides are a big part of base aren't they?
     
  15. LowCel

    LowCel New Member

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    Palewin thank you for the reply. That was very helpful.
     
  16. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    We really need to know how you define z1, as a % of 1-hr max power, if you can. Or just heart rate ranges. I think of zone 1 (using the zones developed by Dr. Coggan, again on the cp power 411 page) as pure recovery-no physiological effect. Even the effects of level 2-which may be closer to what you are calling level 1-are limited unless you have gobs of time to ride.
     
  17. LowCel

    LowCel New Member

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    zone 1: < 136
    zone 2: 136 - 149
    zone 3: 150 - 155
    zone 4: 156 - 166
    zone 5a: 167 - 170
    zone 5b: 171 - 176
    zone 5c: 177+
     
  18. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    Those look like Friel/Ultrafit Zones to me.
     
  19. LowCel

    LowCel New Member

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    whoawhoa - Looking at your past posts it doesn't look like you agree with much of anything in the way of how I have been training. Just a quick glance and it looks like you don't agree with base miles or gym time for training. Is this correct? If so then I guess it is safe to say that you don't agree with Friel's methods either which is what my training is based on. The past few months I have spent about three days a week at the gym. The past couple of weeks we have started phasing the gym time out. I have also recently started plyometrics. Now that is a workout!

    I have been with my coach since September and it is amazing how much I have improved in this amount of time. There is no one method that is going to work for everyone. However his method's (and friel's) do seem to work for me.

    I'm definately looking forward to the middle of April, the start of my season.
     
  20. wattsup?

    wattsup? New Member

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    Paul:

    How did you do in the crit? I'm also curious as to what your NP for the TT yesterday? BTW, my teammate won the 4/5 TT! Good luck in the CR tomorrow.

    Cheers,

    Ethan
     
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