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Thread: Power testing

  1. #1
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    Power testing

    Do you guys power test indoors on a trainer or do you have sufficient roads to do this outdoors? I definitely see pros and cons doing it either way.

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    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Indoors. Though I would prefer to do it outdoors, city conditions generally aren't amenable to focused and sustained riding.

    I just make sure to stay hydrated and to have adequate ventilation. That, I think, lessons the negative effects of indoor testing. Plus, with a winter of indoor base under my belt, the psychological strain isn't too bad.

    Given better roads, or even a long outdoor climb, I bet I could put out better power numbers though. It is pretty difficult to do an indoor 1 hour TT, from experience. There is nothing to take your mind off the mental strain.

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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    well i wouldnt be doing a 1 hour TT. I would just do the threshold test from the allen & coggan book.

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    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Just make sure it's somewhere with a minimum of descending and you should be fine... Hains Point seems like a good option as long as you can get there at a low-traffic time.

    I do my testing outdoors on a course with no stops (there's one T-intersection but there's also a huge shoulder so I can make a right turn without stopping) out here in PG County. It works pretty well.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    I could do this on weekdays when there would be little traffic so hains point is a possibility. I did hrlt testing there last year I just hate dealing with all the wind.

    Im also thinking I could try using the capital crescent trail since its uphill. Im just not sure its long enough.

    Im debating calling out sick from work to test tomorrow.

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    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riskus
    Im also thinking I could try using the capital crescent trail since its uphill. Im just not sure its long enough.
    Start at the Georgetown end, then do your 5-minute effort. Turn around for your recovery, then shoot back up the trail for your 20-minute effort. If you make it to the stop signs in Bethesda in 20 minutes you will have been hauling some serious a$$.

    Personally I'd be afraid of pedestrians trying to do anything max-effort on the CCT, but if it's clear during the day it'd be a good choice. Keep your eyes peeled, though.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^
    thats EXACTLY what I was thinking

    ive done some hard riding on that trail plenty of times during mid morning on weekdays without too many peds on the trail.

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    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riskus
    Do you guys power test indoors on a trainer or do you have sufficient roads to do this outdoors? I definitely see pros and cons doing it either way.
    Outdoors, I don't make the same amount of power indoors nor can I get my HR as high indoors. FWIW it doesn't matter as long as you do the tests the same way every time so your parameters are repeatable.

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    Struggling at the Back Ghostman's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=DrPete]Start at the Georgetown end, then do your 5-minute effort. Turn around for your recovery, then shoot back up the trail for your 20-minute effort. If you make it to the stop signs in Bethesda in 20 minutes you will have been hauling some serious a$$.

    QUOTE]


    I tried this last year. You WILL hit the stop signs.....
    "Hot and overcast. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from the sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me."

    --Tim Krabbe, "The Rider"

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    Senior Member rule's Avatar
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    Agreed on testing outdoors.

    What's really fun is to set your power training targets via an outdoor test, then add a few indoor workouts trying to maintain them. Funny how when doing that I suddenly notice that I have a lot less trouble getting my indoor heart rates up.

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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostman

    I tried this last year. You WILL hit the stop signs.....
    really? 20 minutes from the start of the trail to the stop signs?

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    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Just something else that occurred to me. Whether you test indoors or outdoors isn't too consequential. You should, however, test wherever you do most of your riding. Since I still do most of my intervals indoors, it makes sense for me to test indoors. Once riding moves more consistently outdoors, testing will move outdoors as well.

    But for some people, indoor riding (especially intervals) continues throughout the season. For them, it makes sense to test indoors.

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    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riskus
    really? 20 minutes from the start of the trail to the stop signs?
    Thinking about it, I guess it is a good possibility. I think the stop signs are 6 miles from the G-Town end now that I think about it.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    hmmmmm so its either get lucky at hains point and have no wind or do it inside.

    Inside might not be such a bad idea since I will always have to ride inside on my work days anyway.

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    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Wind doesn't matter for power testing, though... Remember, you're a Power Weenie now. Your average speed for that effort will be lower, but if you do it right it'll still be a good FTP test.

    The upside of doing it indoors is that it's very easy to maintain a steady effort, but it's also harder to test peak power.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    good point but i am more concerned with the resulting tailwind on the otherside.

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    Struggling at the Back Ghostman's Avatar
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    Do it at Hains Point. Remember that the theory is that wattage factors out things like wind, gradient, etc.

    You will have to play with your gears to deal with the wind but your watts/effort should still be testable.

    Or do it indoors but that is much less fun.
    "Hot and overcast. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from the sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me."

    --Tim Krabbe, "The Rider"

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    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
    Outdoors, I don't make the same amount of power indoors nor can I get my HR as high indoors. FWIW it doesn't matter as long as you do the tests the same way every time so your parameters are repeatable.
    +1 I've noticed similar stuff. I always seem to get better numbers outdoors than I do on the trainer.

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    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
    +1 I've noticed similar stuff. I always seem to get better numbers outdoors than I do on the trainer.
    +1, and +1 to Hains Point. Just don't go today, the weather sucks.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    I definitely prefer outside for testing because assuming you can find suitable stretches of road without stoplights, it more closely mimics race (i.e. breakaway or time trial) conditions with turns, hills, bumps, etc. The key is to find the right gearing to allow you to continue to put power to the ground at all times.

    See my attached workout from today. Ignoring the raw numbers, notice that I'm trying to keep power steady despite obvious speed changes along the way. If you look closely, you'll see it's somewhat harder for me to keep the power up when speed is higher. On the last interval, I actually had to apply the brakes while descending a hill to be able to keep as much power to the pedals as possible.

    I admire those who can put down serious watts on the trainer. I've tried and just simply cannot do it. I'm sure being able to do so is a sign of psychological strength that would help during a particularly taxing breakaway, but I'm still working on that.

    --Steve
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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    they are forcasting 18mph winds again tomorrow. Can I get an accurate test with that kind of wind? I assume so I just have to shift when I get the tail wind.

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    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riskus
    they are forcasting 18mph winds again tomorrow. Can I get an accurate test with that kind of wind? I assume so I just have to shift when I get the tail wind.
    Today I had 15-18mph winds, the workout was 3 sprints at cp02 with 3 min recoveries then 5x3m at 348w with 3min recoveries then 3 sprints at cp002. On the 348w intervals I would do a one into the head wind then turn around and do the other with tail wind. I had to really spin a big gear to keep the wattage up. Watts are watts, into a head wind or with a tailwind. That's why using HR or perceived effort aren't as accurate. If had been using just HR I would have gone harder into the headwind and easier with the tailwind.

  23. #23
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    yeah i definitely have already experienced the advantage of training with power in that sense. On the last 4 miles of my ride yesterday i played around with keep watts in a certain area and wow is it much tougher then perceived effort!

    i cant believe im calling out of work tomorrow to do this.

  24. #24
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    I do MAP testing, so mine is indoor on a trainer and yields basically the same result FTP for me. Shorter test too. I don't test my CP values lower than that.
    Envision, Energize, Enable

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    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    You'll find it easier and easier to hold steady power based on RPE as you go. I rode a fast tempo on Tuesday and didn't look at the powermeter hardly at all. Every now and then glanced down, but that's about it.

    Envision, Energize, Enable

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