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Old 06-08-07, 10:23 AM   #1
recursive
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Meaning of a flattened power curve?

Rather than try to explain what I'm talking about, I'll just attach an image. They're worth 1000 words you know. I really have to hand it to myself for my mspaint skills.

It's possible that what I think is normal really isn't, but I've seen that general shape on graphs in a few places.

So my question, is what does my graph indicate? My first guess is a lack of muscular strength. Do I need to hit some weights?
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Old 06-08-07, 10:26 AM   #2
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That's a good question. I'm not sure, but I'd like to know the answer since I see similar things in my data. You might try posting on the wattage forum. I've posted there before and got answers from Andy Coggan.
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Old 06-08-07, 10:40 AM   #3
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where is said wattage forum?
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Old 06-08-07, 10:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dmotoguy
where is said wattage forum?
I think it's this one: http://groups.google.com/group/wattage?hl=en
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Old 06-08-07, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive

that's the one. A lot of power guru's hang out there.
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Old 06-08-07, 10:52 AM   #6
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Not sure what the source of your "normal" graph is. I'm guessing this would be the graph of someone whose watts/kg were on the same rung/level across the board of Allen/Coggan's model (a solid all-around rider).

It's hard to say by looking at the the recursive curve (red line) what your strengths/weaknesses are wt. data points along the curve. What is your power at 5s and 1/5/20/60 min power and what is your weight?

What kind of racing suit your abilities? Are you a field sprinter? Climber? Someone who goes with the decisive attack on 3-5 minute hill and then drives the break? If you aren't doing crits and lots of field sprinting I'm not sure that working on the 5-30 seconds part of your curve will pay off in the end (if that is your weakness).

Last, for what it's worth the pundits on the power forum are convinced that the only way to get stronger in any cycling discipline is to focus on on-bike activities only. So if you are doing lots of crtis and RRs w field sprints and your 5 second power is the issue then you've got to incorporate more sprint work into your routine, rather than go to the gymn (in their opinion).

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Old 06-08-07, 11:07 AM   #7
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Here's a link to the Cycling Peaks page that discussses assessing what kind of rider you are and your strengths/weaknesses based on your power profile.

http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/...11/profile.asp

I know that I'm a classic /\ pattern. I can outsprint the average climber, and outclimb the average sprinter. My real strength is my AWC and 5 min power so I train my weaknesses and look for races or employ tactics that play to my strengths.

FWIW I spent a lot of this yr upping my FTP and its helped me arrive at decisive climbs in a fresher state, but in our area if your not pushing an FTP 4.3+ watts/kg your not a contender in hilly RRs, and that's in the Masters Cat 4 races!

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Old 06-08-07, 11:08 AM   #8
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Recursive,

Where did you get the "normal" curve from? I don't think one can normalize mean-max power curves, as every individual is different. Here's mine:



And here's my power profile:
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Old 06-08-07, 11:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung
Recursive,

Where did you get the "normal" curve from? I don't think one can normalize mean-max power curves, as every individual is different. Here's mine:



And here's my power profile:
Can I borrow some of that 5 second power?
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Old 06-08-07, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
It's possible that what I think is normal really isn't
Bingo.

Quote:
My first guess is a lack of muscular strength.
That's half of it. What keeps the curve from going up forever like your "normal" line is the limit on your neuromuscular power. To develop more peak power, you can either train your neural system to push faster or your muscles to push harder. So if you can raise your cadence 10% while pushing the same force, you'll raise your power 10%. Ditto same cadence at 10% more force. You can train the "faster" part by doing little-ring form sprints. Opinions are mixed as to whether on-bike low-cadence high-force work or off-bike weights are better for training the "harder" part ... or even whether it's worth training.
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Old 06-08-07, 12:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LT Intolerant
Not sure what the source of your "normal" graph is. I'm guessing this would be the graph of someone whose watts/kg were on the same rung/level across the board of Allen/Coggan's model (a solid all-around rider).

It's hard to say by looking at the the recursive curve (red line) what your strengths/weaknesses are wt. data points along the curve. What is your power at 5s and 1/5/20/60 min power and what is your weight?

What kind of racing suit your abilities? Are you a field sprinter? Climber? Someone who goes with the decisive attack on 3-5 minute hill and then drives the break? If you aren't doing crits and lots of field sprinting I'm not sure that working on the 5-30 seconds part of your curve will pay off in the end (if that is your weakness).

Last, for what it's worth the pundits on the power forum are convinced that the only way to get stronger in any cycling discipline is to focus on on-bike activities only. So if you are doing lots of crtis and RRs w field sprints and your 5 second power is the issue then you've got to incorporate more sprint work into your routine, rather than go to the gymn (in their opinion).

gene r
I don't have any numbers handy right now, but crits are actually usually my strong point. I can't TT, but I can sprint, and almost always take at least a few places before the line.

Perhaps I need to do some more formal measurements before really taking action. This was something that I just noticed looking at the profiles for my last few races. Actually, it looks not entirely unlike bdc's. Except lower on that left side. Maybe lower everywhere.
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Old 06-08-07, 02:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by recursive
I don't have any numbers handy right now, but crits are actually usually my strong point. I can't TT, but I can sprint, and almost always take at least a few places before the line.

Perhaps I need to do some more formal measurements before really taking action. This was something that I just noticed looking at the profiles for my last few races. Actually, it looks not entirely unlike bdc's. Except lower on that left side. Maybe lower everywhere.
If the extreme left side of your curve is flat in the 1-3 seconds range and you're getting good results in field sprints I wouldn't worry too much (about the flattening of the curve). If however your curve was flat for 20-30 seconds, I'd say add a sprint routine to your normal training week. Here's a workout one coach prescribed that will increase your attack speed and sprint...

Get in a good warm up first - then do (1) 5 minute blast at max HRů. Cruise for 10 minutes & then do (4) 1 minute efforts at the max you can do, recovering for 1minute between each. Make sure that each effort is a HARD,HARD JUMP from 24mph .Then 5minutes easy. Then do (5) 30 second efforts at max pace(sprint!) recovering for 1minute between each. Then do 10 minutes easy and then do (3) 2 minute efforts at max pace with 1minute recovery. Then cool-down.

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Old 06-08-07, 02:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LT Intolerant
If the extreme left side of your curve is flat in the 1-3 seconds range and you're getting good results in field sprints I wouldn't worry too much (about the flattening of the curve). If however your curve was flat for 20-30 seconds, I'd say add a sprint routine to your normal training week. Here's a workout one coach prescribed that will increase your attack speed and sprint...

Get in a good warm up first - then do (1) 5 minute blast at max HR…. Cruise for 10 minutes & then do (4) 1 minute efforts at the max you can do, recovering for 1minute between each. Make sure that each effort is a HARD,HARD JUMP from 24mph .Then 5minutes easy. Then do (5) 30 second efforts at max pace(sprint!) recovering for 1minute between each. Then do 10 minutes easy and then do (3) 2 minute efforts at max pace with 1minute recovery. Then cool-down.

gene r
Is that for real? A 5-minute interval at max-HR the entire time? Or hit max-HR by the end of it?
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Old 06-08-07, 02:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Is that for real? A 5-minute interval at max-HR the entire time? Or hit max-HR by the end of it?
I don't think "max HR" is used in its traditional training context. The interval described is supposed to be performed at the highest sustainable effort for five minutes.
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Old 06-08-07, 02:34 PM   #15
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Is that for real? A 5-minute interval at max-HR the entire time? Or hit max-HR by the end of it?
Not "max" HR. It's the hrate you can sustain for 5 mins. Think of it as a hard 5 min TT, as you would ride a prologue TT.

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Old 06-09-07, 11:33 AM   #16
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I think what it means in simple terms is that you are slow.
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Old 06-09-07, 08:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
So my question, is what does my graph indicate?

IMHO, all it indicates is that you have a lack of data points in the flat area of your graph. The trend indicates you have the potential to hold a tangent with the "normal" curve, except you haven't created any points there, yet.
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Old 06-10-07, 07:39 AM   #18
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IMHO, all it indicates is that you have a lack of data points in the flat area of your graph. The trend indicates you have the potential to hold a tangent with the "normal" curve, except you haven't created any points there, yet.
The "normal" curve really isn't normal.
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Old 06-10-07, 04:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung
The "normal" curve really isn't normal.
I believe his drawing to be conceptual, not accurate.

The following is what mine currently looks like:
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Old 06-10-07, 04:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by NoRacer
I believe his drawing to be conceptual, not accurate.

The following is what mine currently looks like:
And it looks pretty normal to me.
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