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Old 08-29-07, 07:37 PM   #1
GuitarWizard
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Sprint speed, wattage, and all kinds of fun stuff

Well...today was the first group ride with the 'ol PowerTap....

My wattage numbers still kinda suck, but I think I finally got at or below 140 pounds (I think I'm around 139 pounds now). I contested a Cat 3/Masters 45+ guy for one of the town line sprints....we started out pretty far, probably 400 yards or so (felt like an eternity to me), and I came around him within 5-6 seconds of the jump, so we were both in the wind pretty much the whole time. I blew up around 100 feet or so from the sign, and backed off....hit 1080 watts, and 36 mph (flat road with no wind) and over 140 rpms. I guess that's pretty good for not being a sprinter, and never training for it. I was within a 1/2 wheel right up alongside until I backed off and sat up, so I was pretty happy with that, given that he has a pretty strong sprint. I need to do some sprint workouts...maybe next year.

For the numbers junkies:

Average power: 152 watts (yeah, lots of coasting)
Normalized power: 221 watts
Max power: 1080 watts
Distance: 28.6 miles
Time: 1:30:14
Vertical gain: 1244 feet
Average gradient: 5%
Max gradient: 9%
Average speed: 19 mph
Max speed: 43 mph
Average cadence: 91 rpms
Max cadence: 166 rpms

Peak 5 second power: 1035 watts
Peak 10 second power: 1000 watts
Peak 1 minute power: 451 watts
Peak 5 minute power: 269 watts (279 normalized)
Peak 20 minute power: 192 watts (245 normalized)

Now....if I could only hit like 1300-1400 watts in a sprint...I'd be good to go.

I'm definitely glad I bought a powermeter though....on the rare times I actually looked at it (when I was in front driving the pace), it helped me a bit to pace myself, knowing how I would feel in certain power ranges.

I shall start reading the "good book" this weekend, and do some tests shortly to get everything figured out.

BTW, during the sprints, it feels like I'm going to rip my back wheel apart.
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Old 08-29-07, 08:08 PM   #2
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These are good numbers considering your weight [and I'm sure you've still got a fair amount of headroom, even].

-bullseye
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Old 08-29-07, 09:54 PM   #3
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i recently got a PT and Cycling Peaks. I don't race but want to start. but would like to build my power the proper way rather than just exploding to try and win the weekend club ride climb. etc.. my questions is. What the hell am I looking at? Also how did you get the Grade from your PT? here are my numbers from yesterday morning. BTW no sprinting and lots of down hill coasting because ..well.. lots of climbing.. but basically a really chill ride just to learn the PT and play with some of the features. Im 6'1 " 173 lbs right now but when I get in shape I am 165 or so. I am just starting to train again and hope to do my first race this year. I assume these numbers are not good but then again it was more of a chill ride.

Average power: 118 watts
Normalized power: 191 watts
Max power: 549 watts
Distance: 19.5 miles
Time: 1:20:22
Vertical gain: ????

Average speed: 14.6 mph
Max speed: 30.9mph
Average cadence: 69 rpms (usually this is between 90 and 105)
Max cadence: 103 rpms

Peak 5 second power: 499 watts
Peak 10 second power: 471 watts
Peak 1 minute power: 364 watts
Peak 5 minute power: 232 watts
Peak 20 minute power: 198 watts
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Old 08-29-07, 10:12 PM   #4
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would like to build my power the proper way rather than just exploding to try and win the weekend club ride climb.
Exploding to try and win the weekend club ride is the proper way for a beginner to build power.
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Old 08-29-07, 10:24 PM   #5
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I contested a Cat 3/Masters 45+ guy for one of the town line sprints....[snip] I was within a 1/2 wheel right up alongside
So you were even with a cat 3 guy and you are <scrambles for calculator, grabs TARWAPM off shelf> exactly in the middle of Coggan's cat 3 zone for sprint power, at 16.38 w/kg 5 second power.

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Now....if I could only hit like 1300-1400 watts in a sprint...I'd be Australian.
Fixed.
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Old 08-29-07, 10:26 PM   #6
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the "good book"
The "good book" would suggest the training bible, not training and racing with a power meter.
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Old 08-29-07, 10:30 PM   #7
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Exploding to try and win the weekend club ride is the proper way for a beginner to build power.
I've been doing that since I started riding , till I recently got the PT. now I am looking to learn about power. I figure there is too much energy being wasted. and when I do some of my longer training rides I think it would help for me to understand power better.
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Old 08-29-07, 11:29 PM   #8
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I'm going to make this point, as I feel it needs to be made.

Powermeters are nice. They really are. I have one, and I've only been riding for 2 years. BUT, and this is a big BUT, I don't let it dominate my training plan or my improvement.

I believe, first and foremost, that racer development, from GROUP rides, is being thrown out the window too fast, too soon by too many people. I'm not suggesting that you do nothing but group rides, either. I only make it out to one group ride a week myself. But, there is no way that you can simulate race effort solo, and while a group ride doesn't replicate it 100%, it's far closer than a solo ride.

How often do youpanic when your current wattage drops by 5w at the end of a 20min interval? Not often. Ever dig deeper than you knew you could trying to latch onto the local Pro or Cat1's wheel after taking a mean dig at the front? Often.

So, while I use a powermeter to measure my progress (usually with a 5s, 1min, and 20min test) I am by no means constrained by the numbers that I see on the computer, or my PC when I download the data. A brutal group ride will teach you how to ride in a pack, push yourself to make that wheel, and help you in other ways that a solo ride just can't match.

Ever wonder why us Americans, LA aside, are great time trialists, but never really seem to win anything? Notice that those pesky Belgians aren't always the best TT guys, but they seem to be in it at the finish in every classic of the year? There's a reason for this, and it's rider development, both physical and mental, and it starts with group rides.
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Old 08-29-07, 11:59 PM   #9
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its interesting that your 1sec and 5sec numbers are so close, not sure what it means, but mine are always couple hundred off of each other it seems.

on those charts, do you guys think that 1sec power and 5sec power should be just actual watts instead of w/kg, most sprints are pretty flat?
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Old 08-30-07, 12:10 AM   #10
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I'm going to make this point, as I feel it needs to be made.

Powermeters are nice. They really are. I have one, and I've only been riding for 2 years. BUT, and this is a big BUT, I don't let it dominate my training plan or my improvement.

I believe, first and foremost, that racer development, from GROUP rides, is being thrown out the window too fast, too soon by too many people. I'm not suggesting that you do nothing but group rides, either. I only make it out to one group ride a week myself. But, there is no way that you can simulate race effort solo, and while a group ride doesn't replicate it 100%, it's far closer than a solo ride.

How often do youpanic when your current wattage drops by 5w at the end of a 20min interval? Not often. Ever dig deeper than you knew you could trying to latch onto the local Pro or Cat1's wheel after taking a mean dig at the front? Often.

So, while I use a powermeter to measure my progress (usually with a 5s, 1min, and 20min test) I am by no means constrained by the numbers that I see on the computer, or my PC when I download the data. A brutal group ride will teach you how to ride in a pack, push yourself to make that wheel, and help you in other ways that a solo ride just can't match.

Ever wonder why us Americans, LA aside, are great time trialists, but never really seem to win anything? Notice that those pesky Belgians aren't always the best TT guys, but they seem to be in it at the finish in every classic of the year? There's a reason for this, and it's rider development, both physical and mental, and it starts with group rides.
i thought this thread was about powermeters? no? i ride 5 days a week. I don't know a group ride that does that. When a group ride presents itself I try to attend. I travel alot and bring my bike with me often not falling into group rides schedule. That being said (your comment seemed to point in my direction) perhaps I would rather be able to split the group on the flats than say " battle it out on the climbs". or perhaps I would rather know I can climb for XXXX miles and hold my own on " other" group rides im not familar with. It's easy to do the same group every weekend, same route, same challenges but taking that to another city can be totally diffrent and present different challenges. I didn't know there was something wrong with it. I stand by it as well. I think group rides are the best. alot of fun and present situations that no powermeter can provide. However training with a purpose helps. and I think if you want to step your game up, training with purpose is needed. I've been in sports most of my life and have always felt that there comes a point that you have to do the work others are not doing,to move ahead. some guys get trapped in this weekend warrior/ group ride stuff. and thats fine. but I think if you want to compete and be at a level that can be taken to any " group ride" or event, then you have to take all of it serious.

BTW : I ordered Andrew Coggans book. Hopefully i cna get a better understanding.

Last edited by vic32amg; 08-30-07 at 12:14 AM. Reason: add: grammer sucks
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Old 08-30-07, 01:14 AM   #11
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Me, I group ride 1-2 times per month. They're called races.
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Old 08-30-07, 06:28 AM   #12
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So you were even with a cat 3 guy and you are <scrambles for calculator, grabs TARWAPM off shelf> exactly in the middle of Coggan's cat 3 zone for sprint power, at 16.38 w/kg 5 second power.
Was I? Cool. I guess I will start adding in sprint workouts next season and see if I can get better at sprinting. I think that was maybe the 4th sprint I've done this year.

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Fixed.
Should I change my name to Robbie at that point then?
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Old 08-30-07, 06:28 AM   #13
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on those charts, do you guys think that 1sec power and 5sec power should be just actual watts instead of w/kg, most sprints are pretty flat?
abso-freakin-lutely...most sprints come down to total wattage, unless it's a crazy uphill finish.
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Old 08-30-07, 06:31 AM   #14
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I'm going to make this point, as I feel it needs to be made.

Powermeters are nice. They really are. I have one, and I've only been riding for 2 years. BUT, and this is a big BUT, I don't let it dominate my training plan or my improvement.

I believe, first and foremost, that racer development, from GROUP rides, is being thrown out the window too fast, too soon by too many people. I'm not suggesting that you do nothing but group rides, either. I only make it out to one group ride a week myself. But, there is no way that you can simulate race effort solo, and while a group ride doesn't replicate it 100%, it's far closer than a solo ride.

How often do youpanic when your current wattage drops by 5w at the end of a 20min interval? Not often. Ever dig deeper than you knew you could trying to latch onto the local Pro or Cat1's wheel after taking a mean dig at the front? Often.

So, while I use a powermeter to measure my progress (usually with a 5s, 1min, and 20min test) I am by no means constrained by the numbers that I see on the computer, or my PC when I download the data. A brutal group ride will teach you how to ride in a pack, push yourself to make that wheel, and help you in other ways that a solo ride just can't match.

Ever wonder why us Americans, LA aside, are great time trialists, but never really seem to win anything? Notice that those pesky Belgians aren't always the best TT guys, but they seem to be in it at the finish in every classic of the year? There's a reason for this, and it's rider development, both physical and mental, and it starts with group rides.

A very, very enthusiastic + 1.

The vast majority of my structured training (Weekday M - F training) is done solo or with 1 or 2 other team mates who work with the same coach I do. However, if I'm not racing I always do a big competitive "racer" group ride 1x/week, minimum. Nothing like pulling together all structured training with having pace dictated to you by the 3 time 30+ Masters National Time Trial champion and his team of pain inflicting gregarios, who are battling the other local elite teams for group ride superiority on a weekly basis. Also helps you learn to recover in a group while still going fast, a hugely valuable skill especially if you're a rider like me (punchy with good pop but NOT alot of sustainable power), which is something you'll never learn riding solo.
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Old 08-30-07, 06:37 AM   #15
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Max seen thus far on the PT:

1 sec: 1450w (42 mph sprint at end of 55 minute crit)
5 sec: 1305w
10 sec: 1205w
30 sec: 880w (these numbers were all chasing a break during the same crit)

...and as much as I'm loathe to say this, I'm not fit AT ALL right now...
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Old 08-30-07, 07:22 AM   #16
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You also weigh 40 pounds more than me
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Old 08-30-07, 07:24 AM   #17
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Yeah, but you gotta get to the end to use the 1500watts...
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Old 08-30-07, 07:27 AM   #18
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So, while I use a powermeter to measure my progress (usually with a 5s, 1min, and 20min test) I am by no means constrained by the numbers that I see on the computer, or my PC when I download the data. A brutal group ride will teach you how to ride in a pack, push yourself to make that wheel, and help you in other ways that a solo ride just can't match.
Um, that's why I do group rides....
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Old 08-30-07, 07:31 AM   #19
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Yeah, but you gotta get to the end to use the 1500watts...
Or in my case....1080

I don't care....races are like big group rides to me. Maybe next year I'll finish with the peloton, barring back issues and injuries. Oh yeah....and building up more race-pace endurance. This was my first real year of any kind of "structured" training and such, and second year back on the bike....so I'm hoping next year is better. Plus, I also lost 25 pounds between last fall and this summer, so I'm sure I lost some power there too .

Ah well....hopefully things level off next year.
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Old 08-30-07, 07:41 AM   #20
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on those charts, do you guys think that 1sec power and 5sec power should be just actual watts instead of w/kg, most sprints are pretty flat?
That's always bothered me probably cause I carry about an extra 15-20lbs of fat.

The fact is that coming around someone at 38-40 there is a some energy that goes into jumping but really most of it's just pushing against the wind.

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Yeah, but you gotta get to the end to use the 1500watts..
hooray for the track.
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Old 08-30-07, 07:51 AM   #21
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The fact is that coming around someone at 38-40 there is a some energy that goes into jumping but really most of it's just pushing against the wind.
The added weight adds to the aerodynamic drag too, especially fat, since it's not as dense as muscle. The drag doesn't go up linearly, but it is a consideration with weight.
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Old 08-30-07, 08:09 AM   #22
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Or in my case....1080

I don't care....races are like big group rides to me. Maybe next year I'll finish with the peloton, barring back issues and injuries. Oh yeah....and building up more race-pace endurance. This was my first real year of any kind of "structured" training and such, and second year back on the bike....so I'm hoping next year is better. Plus, I also lost 25 pounds between last fall and this summer, so I'm sure I lost some power there too .

Ah well....hopefully things level off next year.
That's why you do the practice races, if your town has one and the fast group rides.

Our Tuesday night crit is somewhere between 55-60 minutes on a 2k course with a nice uphill front stretch and a little kicker hill right after turn one. The backstretch is downhill, but headwind, so there's really no recovery. It's about equivalent to a Masters 35+ race and a bit faster than a Cat3 race.
Thursday, we do a group ride that's rolling and the same guys show up. It's a no-wait, attacking, bring your 'A' game ride. There are 4 sprint points along the 45 mile ride.

I just can't go as hard or achieve the same level of fitness riding by myself. I ride the PT most nights. Sometimes the numbers are good and sometimes they aren't even worth downloading.
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Old 08-30-07, 08:28 AM   #23
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My group rides are races, but I race as often as I can so they are pretty frequent the rest of the week is reserved for recovery rides or specific intervals. One thing about doing intervals instead of going to the group ride and hammering yourself or others into submission is that with intervals you can target something (think weakness) and really focus on it. Group rides are pretty much tempo and then anaerobic capacity and sprinting. Good stuff but you don't get a ton of work right at threshold typically. Also anything above threshold is harder to recover from so doing tons of group rides can put in a hole pretty quickly.

Since this is a e bragging thread and since it's fun to see where everyone is heres my sprint #'s.
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Old 08-30-07, 08:39 AM   #24
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While ya'll are sprinting for 3rd, I'll be up the road with my threshold power chasing DWJ!

(Semper Slow Twitch)
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Old 08-30-07, 08:44 AM   #25
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While ya'll are sprinting for 3rd, I'll be up the road with my threshold power chasing DWJ!

(Semper Slow Twitch)
Ha!

The real reason I don't do group rides is because my weakness as a sprinter is threshold and so I've done more 20 minute intervals this season than I ever thought possible. It's paid off and I've rocked the 3's, only problem is that the P-1-2 races are at an entirely different level. I've definitely got my work cut out for me this off season.
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