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Old 07-13-07, 11:53 AM   #1
ratebeer
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Allen, Coggan's power chart vs Cat make sense?

In Coggan & Allen's Training and Racing With A Power Meter, a book well known and respected here, a table is provided that allows a rider to view his or her relative strengths, weaknesses in the form of how one's power at various durations fits into the displayed ranges.

(Shown only in brief here... numbers are in WKG)


Does the chart make sense of your personal strengths and weaknesses and in about the right categories?

I got a big inverted V of course. No surprise there. Time to work on the LT!
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Old 07-13-07, 12:16 PM   #2
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My power profile explains why I suck at crits and do well in TT's.

I think it is good for getting a general sense of individual strengths and weaknesses. However, I don't think it's entirely accurate in all cases. I have a friend who is a CAT1 and does well in big NRC races and according to this chart he'd be a CAT3. I also know some guys who have CAT1/2 numbers for FTP, but are having trouble getting out of the CAT4. Some of that may be strategy/tactics. However in one case, I know the guy has such a weak sprint which can be problematic in the lower categories where things tend to end in a bunch sprint...


I also wonder about the numbers themselves. I've seen several variations on this chart all with slightly different numbers. When I talked to Hunter Allen last fall, he was saying something about some power testing he was doing on some BMX riders. Guys that were able to generate huge wattages for peak and 5" power. It was enough that he said he may revise his charts again...
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Old 07-13-07, 12:19 PM   #3
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There are already several threads about this, one of which was up on the front page about a week ago.

But, to humor you: sure. These seem to be very rough guidelines of what some people in each category are capable.

However, there will be many exceptions to the rule, with some guys being off the chart in one area and pretty poor in another area. It kind of irritates me when people say "Well, I put out Cat 1 wattage in such-and-such area". So why aren't they a Cat Whatever then? While wattage is the maker or breaker going up a hill, for the majority of us, the combination of race smarts and intelligently applied intensity are going to help us just as much as having a lot of power in the bank during that next neighborhood crit.
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Old 07-13-07, 12:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
There are already several threads about this, one of which was up on the front page about a week ago.

But, to humor you: sure. These seem to be very rough guidelines of what some people in each category are capable.

However, there will be many exceptions to the rule, with some guys being off the chart in one area and pretty poor in another area. It kind of irritates me when people say "Well, I put out Cat 1 wattage in such-and-such area". So why aren't they a Cat Whatever then? While wattage is the maker or breaker going up a hill, for the majority of us, the combination of race smarts and intelligently applied intensity are going to help us just as much as having a lot of power in the bank during that next neighborhood crit.
Sorry if this is a direct repost.

I'm just beginning to see how far reaching strategy is (even outside of crits and road races). Economy is a huge part of the game, even outside of drafting and as you mentioned "intelligently applied intensity" is something some few people seem to have a godlike mastery of.

WKG would seem to make less sense than just W outside of acceleration and hills. I wonder if this would explain some of these cases>?
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Old 07-13-07, 01:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ratebeer
Sorry if this is a direct repost.

I'm just beginning to see how far reaching strategy is (even outside of crits and road races). Economy is a huge part of the game, even outside of drafting and as you mentioned "intelligently applied intensity" is something some few people seem to have a godlike mastery of.

WKG would seem to make less sense than just W outside of acceleration and hills. I wonder if this would explain some of these cases>?
Exactly. And for this reason, you literally don't see a person like Robbie McEwen until the last 200m of every flat stage. He has what some would call a pretty low (for a pro) FTP but uses his unique skill set to take advantage of the work of others. I.e. the Milram and QuickStep leadout trains.
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Old 07-13-07, 01:07 PM   #6
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If power numbers were all it took to be a certain cat I'd have been a winning cat three a year ago. Bike racing is not just about power, LT, and Vo2max, it's about being smart and race craft.
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Old 07-13-07, 01:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
Exactly. And for this reason, you literally don't see a person like Robbie McEwen until the last 200m of every flat stage. He has what some would call a pretty low (for a pro) FTP but uses his unique skill set to take advantage of the work of others. I.e. the Milram and QuickStep leadout trains.
What is McEwen's FTP?
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Old 07-13-07, 01:43 PM   #8
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What is McEwen's FTP?
I'm curious about this as well - what the typical FTP is for some of the sprinters.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
If power numbers were all it took to be a certain cat I'd have been a winning cat three a year ago. Bike racing is not just about power, LT, and Vo2max, it's about being smart and race craft.
That would be news to many on this Forum.
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Old 07-13-07, 04:53 PM   #10
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From what I've experienced so far(and that's not much), in the lower cats you can have a pretty suck FTP and even 5 min power, but if you've got a gonzo sprint you can pretty much be in the mix to win any race, provided it's not all climbing.
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Old 07-13-07, 07:05 PM   #11
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From what I've experienced so far(and that's not much), in the lower cats you can have a pretty suck FTP and even 5 min power, but if you've got a gonzo sprint you can pretty much be in the mix to win any race, provided it's not all climbing.

true. ive found that by using the chart as a general guideline, it really helps in pinpointing weaknesses for racing. as an example, my 1min power is terrible compared to my 20 and 5 minute power according to the power chart. as such i find it difficult to make it with the leaders in the last 500m despite feeling well rested the whole race. i now focus mainly on breakaways which are yeilding results. problem is that there are only crits where i live, so breaks are relatively difficult to pull off. it's fine tho, i figure when i do cat up ill still be relatively strong since my 1min power should hopefully get higher by then.
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Old 07-13-07, 07:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stea1thviper
true. ive found that by using the chart as a general guideline, it really helps in pinpointing weaknesses for racing. as an example, my 1min power is terrible compared to my 20 and 5 minute power according to the power chart. as such i find it difficult to make it with the leaders in the last 500m despite feeling well rested the whole race. i now focus mainly on breakaways which are yeilding results. problem is that there are only crits where i live, so breaks are relatively difficult to pull off. it's fine tho, i figure when i do cat up ill still be relatively strong since my 1min power should hopefully get higher by then.
At the risk of being Mr. Obvious, work on your 1 min power?
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Old 07-13-07, 07:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76
At the risk of being Mr. Obvious, work on your 1 min power?
yup i do. just so happens my 20 and 5 power increase faster still despite the emphasis ive been putting on 1min. for some reason my 5s power is also pretty good, but useless without the 1min to back it up. only good use ive found so far for my 5s is it's pretty easy making a gap for a break when i want to. on a sidenote this is my first year of any sort of cycling, and ive heard that with time things tend to balance out. because it does seem weird my 5s is good but 1min sucks. i also didn't start training 1min power at all until about 3 months ago.
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Old 07-13-07, 07:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by stea1thviper
yup i do. just so happens my 20 and 5 power increase faster still despite the emphasis ive been putting on 1min. for some reason my 5s power is also pretty good, but useless without the 1min to back it up. only good use ive found so far for my 5s is it's pretty easy making a gap for a break when i want to. on a sidenote this is my first year of any sort of cycling, and ive heard that with time things tend to balance out. because it does seem weird my 5s is good but 1min sucks. i also didn't start training 1min power at all until about 3 months ago.
Wasn't trying to be smart, people tend to work on thier stenghts. 1 min can be tough for some to develop, what workouts are you using?
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Old 07-13-07, 07:57 PM   #15
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to increase 1min power, ive been doing 5x1min all out intervals twice a week. i feel like any more than that and ill be sacrificing too much time away from other workouts. gotta love the burn.
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Old 07-13-07, 08:00 PM   #16
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Unless your TT'ing, 1 minute power is probably the most important power point (in the midwest).

And guess what ElJamoquio is worst at...
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Old 07-13-07, 08:02 PM   #17
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to increase 1min power, ive been doing 5x1min all out intervals twice a week. i feel like any more than that and ill be sacrificing too much time away from other workouts. gotta love the burn.
What else are you doing on those days?, rest between? One key to this kind of power work is to be fairly rested before you start, and between efforts. Give yourself a chance to really max out the efforts, you arn't trying to train recovery. If you get a chance motorpacing can improve your speed as a change of pace.
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Old 07-13-07, 08:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ElJamoquio
Unless your TT'ing, 1 minute power is probably the most important power point (in the midwest).

And guess what ElJamoquio is worst at...
im in socal for the summer, and so far as ive seen, it's a ton important here too =)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo76
What else are you doing on those days?, rest between? One key to this kind of power work is to be fairly rested before you start, and between efforts. Give yourself a chance to really max out the efforts, you arn't trying to train recovery. If you get a chance motorpacing can improve your speed as a change of pace.
tues = 5x1min intervals
wed = rest
thurs = 2 hour tempo
friday = 5x1min intervals
saturday = 1 hour of spinning
sunday = race (crits only since there is nothing else)

once every 3 weeks or so ill swap 5-6 10-15 second sprints on tuesdays instead of 1min intervals. and every couple weeks or so, ill swap 5min intervals on thursdays instead of 2 hour tempo rides. 2 hours of actual tempo (powermeter is great for this) is pretty tough but really helps my 20 min power.

i know this workout isnt as detailed or intense as some people's here, but i find that my workouts arent really effective the day after 1min intervals. my legs need the rest day. motorpacing sounds interesting, but would be hard to do around here.
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Old 07-13-07, 08:17 PM   #19
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You know I'm going to come in here and start talking about 1-minute stuff
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Old 07-13-07, 09:46 PM   #20
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On the 1 minute power on the chart...I've been told it includes trackies as well as roadies, so most of us road racers have weak, weak 1 minute power on the chart, as it's built up with power numbers from Kilo riders and the like.

I don't think my 1 minute power is much better or worse than the average 3, but the power chart says it's nowhere near that
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Old 07-14-07, 03:37 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
I'm curious about this as well - what the typical FTP is for some of the sprinters.
The only one I have heard of was boonen's last year. 420 watts. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-14-07, 03:39 AM   #22
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Old 07-14-07, 03:47 AM   #23
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