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Old 03-24-08, 11:42 AM   #1
celticfrost
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-14lbs & 20% power increase possible? How much pain, time, etc.?

OK, so there's a local climb that currently takes me about 32 mins for me to complete.

In the absence of a powermeter, I go to http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm , and plug in the numbers (weight, grade, etc). Knowing how much time it takes currently vs. my time based goal, kreuzotter is estimating that my power would need to increase by 22%, I would have to lose 14lbs and I'd need a bike that's 5lbs lighter. Yeah, that's right, I said my power would need to increase by 22% AND I would have to lose 14lbs.To me that just sounds pretty ridiculous. I'd be giving myself the entire riding season (about 6 more months) for this improvement.

The easy part is losing 5lbs of bike, I can do that w/ my other frame and leaving tools, H2O, etc. at the bottom of the climb. Losing 14lbs is pretty doable (in about 3-4 months). I don't want to lose more than 14lbs. So, the hardest part is the whopping 22% power gain.

The facts (aka, the ugly truth)
  • I'm 38.5 years old
  • I currently weigh 184lbs
  • In '05 I got back into cycling (after a 13yr hiatus), '07 was a bad year for me, so I'm some ways I'm starting from scratch in '08
  • "Base" miles for '08 so far ~600
  • Compared to much of the US, I'm in good health/shape. But that's still a ways off from a being in good "racing" shape/health

How doable is this? I know it's a "stretch goal" to have for a single season, but I'm just wondering if I should temper my zeal w/ a dose of reality from this subforum. But that's not to say that I'm discouraging anyone from sharing success stories, pointers, advice, etc. either.

Give up and just enjoy bon-bons, pork rinds and whiskey?
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Old 03-24-08, 11:56 AM   #2
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I would think with only 600 miles in this year you would have a lot of room for improvement. Possible? Sure, just depends on your level of commitment.
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Old 03-24-08, 11:59 AM   #3
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OK, so there's a local climb that currently takes me about 32 mins for me to complete.

In the absence of a powermeter, I go to http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm , and plug in the numbers (weight, grade, etc). Knowing how much time it takes currently takes me vs. my time based goal, kreuzotter is estimating that my power would need to increase by 22%, I would have to lose 14lbs and I'd need a bike that's 5lbs lighter. Yeah, that's right, I said my power would need to increase by 22% AND I would have to lose 14lbs.To me that just sounds pretty ridiculous. I'd be giving myself the entire riding season (about 6 more months) for this improvement.

The easy part is losing 5lbs of bike, I can do that w/ my other frame and leaving tools, H2O, etc. at the bottom of the climb. Losing 14lbs is pretty doable (in about 3-4 months). I don't want to lose more than 14lbs. So, the hardest part is the whopping 22% power gain.

The facts (aka, the ugly truth)
  • I'm 38.5 years old
  • I currently weigh 184lbs
  • In '05 I got back into cycling (after a 13yr hiatus), '07 was a bad year for me, so I'm some ways I'm starting from scratch in '08
  • "Base" miles for '08 so far ~600
  • Compared to much of the US, I'm in good health/shape. But that's still a ways off from a being in good "racing" shape/health

How doable is this? I know it's a "stretch goal" to have for a single season, but I'm just wondering if I should temper my zeal w/ a dose of reality from this subforum. But that's not to say that I'm discouraging anyone from sharing success stories, pointers, advice, etc. either.

Give up and just enjoy bon-bons, pork rinds and whiskey?
Give up the first two, partake in the third when necessary.

That said, your fitness will definitely be lacking if you've only done 600mi in the new year. You could very easily gain a good amount of power AND lose that weight simply by riding more, and harder.

300+ miles a week with two days of intervals will get you there.
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Old 03-24-08, 12:02 PM   #4
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It depends. What is your base power now? For example: if you are at 200 watts and "only" need to get to 240, that is not too bad. But if you are at 400 and need to get to 500, well....., Good Luck Since the actual is probably in between, how bad do you want it?
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Old 03-24-08, 12:12 PM   #5
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Join a race team. It's done wonders for my fitness. And don't use age as an excuse. Our best Cat 5 guy (now up in the 4's) is in his early 40's and placed 2nd and 3rd in races where the other big team in these races were college kids in their teens and early 20's. I'm the second to youngest person on our team at 28 years old.

If you've only done 600 miles of base, then yea, there is huge room for improvement.
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Old 03-24-08, 12:14 PM   #6
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Forget about base miles.... How many hours a week do you train?
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Old 03-24-08, 12:19 PM   #7
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Forget about base miles.... How many hours a week do you train?
+1
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Old 03-24-08, 12:24 PM   #8
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+1
And then take the number you give us, multiply it by 7 or 8, and you'll get there.

Because 600mi/30hr is a good 10 day stretch for me in high summer, and I'm not going to claim to do huge hours on the bike.
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Old 03-24-08, 12:49 PM   #9
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Yeah, I don't know if I'm quite a subscriber to the "base" miles theory, hence the quotes. But for now I have kind of put the past month or so of riding into the "beginning to get my legs and lungs back" category. And with a mere 600 miles there should be plenty o'room for improvement.

The good news is that for the the 1st time in 2 years I won't be traveling/ jet lagging due to work. Also, the gf pretty much gives me plenty of room for riding time (w/ the exception of most Sundays). I've also started bike commuting about 3 days a week and have met up w/ a team that should start doing hard intervals on Wednesdays. I'm planning on Wednesdays and Saturdays as being my high intensity days. And as my fitness picks up, throwing an odd Tuesday or Thursday nighter into the mix. There's TONS of weekly rides of varying levels starting in April and a couple of friendly, macho-man street duels on the bike commute home have already brewed-up as well.


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It depends. What is your base power now? For example: if you are at 200 watts and "only" need to get to 240, that is not too bad. But if you are at 400 and need to get to 500, well....., Good Luck Since the actual is probably in between, how bad do you want it?
Yep, no worries ^there^. But the "how bad do you want it" pretty much sums it up.

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Join a race team. ...
In progress, or at least attending various training rides for different clubs/ teams.

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Forget about base miles.... How many hours a week do you train?
About 8 or 9 now, with a guesstimated 25% of that time at high intensity.

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And then take the number you give us, multiply it by 7 or 8, and you'll get there.

Because 600mi/30hr is a good 10 day stretch for me in high summer, and I'm not going to claim to do huge hours on the bike.
Damn taskmaster! 600 miles a week would probably put me at about 40 hrs p/wk given the terrain out here! But, I hear yah -- I plan on being up to 12-15 hrs p/wk by late April and going from there. Thanks for letting me keep (some of) the booze though.
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Old 03-24-08, 12:50 PM   #10
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Ride A LOT more.

I don't ride all that much compared to my competitors, had knee surgery, and am at 2000 miles for the year...for weight loss, it all depends on your body fat. If you're already lean, don't worry about giving up power. If you have 'bonus' fat, then losing some weight will be a big help.
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Old 03-24-08, 12:51 PM   #11
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For a 20 minute blow-up I don't see why 22% seems so daunting. Hours should be somewhere over 10/wk if you want to see meaningful improvement, and that's not including any lollygagging around or ice cream rides, either.
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Old 03-24-08, 01:02 PM   #12
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Damn taskmaster! 600 miles a week would probably put me at about 40 hrs p/wk given the terrain out here! But, I hear yah -- I plan on being up to 12-15 hrs p/wk by late April and going from there. Thanks for letting me keep (some of) the booze though.
I do 20+hrs a week when I have the time. Keep in mind I'm a single, post collegiate male who works a paltry 40 and then rides...gasp...for fun, 2-3hrs every weekday, and about that or more on the weekends. It's better than watching TV.

During the winter I'm at ~14hr a week, and as soon as it gets up to 60F on a regular basis, I'll be racing every weekend, and riding myself into the ground. And, a Beam/Jack and Coke or three with friends once in a while keeps it light.
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Old 03-24-08, 01:09 PM   #13
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Last year, after two months of training (in May), I was ~175 lbs and 250 FTP.

In October I was ~155 and 300 FTP.

Yup, it's possible.
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Old 03-24-08, 01:23 PM   #14
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Ride A LOT more.

I don't ride all that much compared to my competitors, had knee surgery, and am at 2000 miles for the year...for weight loss, it all depends on your body fat. If you're already lean, don't worry about giving up power. If you have 'bonus' fat, then losing some weight will be a big help.
Ah, 2000 miles by mid March -- add that as another nice thing that I've heard about NC. But it probably hasn't been that much colder in Denver for me to only be at 600.

The only excuse I could ever have for not getting more miles in is work chaining me to my cube for 60+ hours a week, but even then I could probably manage.

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For a 20 minute blow-up I don't see why 22% seems so daunting. Hours should be somewhere over 10/wk if you want to see meaningful improvement, and that's not including any lollygagging around or ice cream rides, either.
Perceived effort (on a scale of 1-10) during my last timed climb was ~8, so yeah without lollygagging over the next few months or so and putting in a perceived effort of ~9.5 hopefully will get me there and not put me in the ER.


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I do 20+hrs a week when I have the time. Keep in mind I'm a single, post collegiate male who works a paltry 40 and then rides...gasp...for fun, 2-3hrs every weekday, and about that or more on the weekends. It's better than watching TV.

During the winter I'm at ~14hr a week, and as soon as it gets up to 60F on a regular basis, I'll be racing every weekend, and riding myself into the ground. And, a Beam/Jack and Coke or three with friends once in a while keeps it light.
See, now that's just crazy -- I recommend you upgrade to Jack and GINGER(ale).




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Last year, after two months of training (in May), I was ~175 lbs and 250 FTP.

In October I was ~155 and 300 FTP.

Yup, it's possible.
-20lbs & 20% power increase ≥ -14lbs & 22% power increase.

Nice job, now it's my turn.
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Old 03-24-08, 01:26 PM   #15
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I'm sitting on about 11% FTP gain in four months. Weight has been flat. I'm approaching a plateau though. I was coming off the best form of my life four months ago, so I think you've got room for 22% in 6 months. Losing the weight will be tough when you're riding as much as required.
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Old 03-24-08, 01:36 PM   #16
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I'm sitting on about 11% FTP gain in four months. Weight has been flat. I'm approaching a plateau though. I was coming off the best form of my life four months ago, so I think you've got room for 22% in 6 months. Losing the weight will be tough when you're riding as much as required.
Big plus one. Gaining power and losing weight at the same time can be extraordinarily difficult, if not downright impossible for an already fit cyclist.
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Old 03-24-08, 01:41 PM   #17
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I'm sitting on about 11% FTP gain in four months. Weight has been flat. I'm approaching a plateau though. I was coming off the best form of my life four months ago, so I think you've got room for 22% in 6 months. Losing the weight will be tough when you're riding as much as required.
Yeah, as I most likely won't be collecting points, wins, and kisses from the podium girls one of my greatest rewards will being able to eat like a horse in a few months. I plan on trying to be at about a 350 average calorie deficit p/ day until ~12-14lbs come off. Then hoping that my appetite and riding kind of balance each other out for the rest of the season.

And can you guess what 4.5 mile climb I'm using as a baseline?
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Old 03-24-08, 02:09 PM   #18
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Yeah, as I most likely won't be collecting points, wins, and kisses from the podium girls one of my greatest rewards will being able to eat like a horse in a few months. I plan on trying to be at about a 350 average calorie deficit p/ day until ~12-14lbs come off. Then hoping that my appetite and riding kind of balance each other out for the rest of the season.

And can you guess what 4.5 mile climb I'm using as a baseline?
Hmmm. Maybe a deer-populated hill overlooking the Coors brewery, with multiple parking locations that have played host to hundreds of unplanned teen pregnancies?
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Old 03-24-08, 02:19 PM   #19
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Hmmm. Maybe a deer-populated hill overlooking the Coors brewery, with multiple parking locations that have played host to hundreds of unplanned teen pregnancies?


Hah! I can't believe that I've never thought of Lookout Mtn. as an "Inspiration Point" type of place. I'm getting freakin' old. But at least it's high above the Coors brewery. The only thing w/ a more fetid stench than a can of Coors is the Coors brewery.

But even sadder than that is that MY lofty goal of climbing it in 25mins would STILL be a full 6mins off the top Cat4 and in the BOTTOM 20-25% of the Cat4's and Cat4's 35+:
http://www.americancycling.org/resul...okout-mtn.html

These guys are fast out here.
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Old 03-24-08, 02:24 PM   #20
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I'm a bit older and perhaps a bit fatter. Using a guided training program last year (only 7-9 hrs/wk; I have a time demanding job and 2 kids I actually like spending time with). I gained about 10-12% watts and only dropped a few lbs.

Gaining twice that and droping a **** load of weight seems like a two year goal to me unless you can really bump up the training time.
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Old 03-24-08, 02:36 PM   #21
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I've done it in 21:00, and I'm a sprinter. You'll get under 25:00 for sure. That's just fit cyclist territory, not some goal made of unobtanium.

Another concern is that it's not a steep climb, so you can work on form and maybe gain some aero benefits from lowering your shoulders.

If you see my virginity out there, don't pick it up. It's old
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Old 03-24-08, 02:43 PM   #22
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I've done it in 21:00, and I'm a sprinter. You'll get under 25:00 for sure. That's just fit cyclist territory, not some goal made of unobtanium.

Another concern is that it's not a steep climb, so you can work on form and maybe gain some aero benefits from lowering your shoulders.

If you see my virginity out there, don't pick it up. It's old

Stop bragging. I was alot quicker than that when I was a virgin.

But seriously, tell me that you did it in 21:00 after a few years of riding AND you were in your 20's??

Yep, kreuzotter says that in the drops will save me some time as well --- that'll come w/ more flexibility and less guttage.
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Old 03-24-08, 02:47 PM   #23
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I'm a bit older and perhaps a bit fatter. Using a guided training program last year (only 7-9 hrs/wk; I have a time demanding job and 2 kids I actually like spending time with). I gained about 10-12% watts and only dropped a few lbs.

Gaining twice that and droping a **** load of weight seems like a two year goal to me unless you can really bump up the training time.
Your results are a bit more in line w/ my current expectations -- but who knows.

And a "**** load" of weight!!??
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Old 03-24-08, 02:52 PM   #24
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Stop bragging. I was alot quicker than that when I was a virgin.

But seriously, I'm guessing that you did it in 21:00 after a few years of riding AND you were in your 20's??

Yep, kreuzotter says that in the drops will save me some time as well --- that'll come w/ more flexibility and less guttage.
Climbing in the drops doesn't always mean faster. More upright often means better breathing. Although, if you're going for that whole Pantani thing, some coke might help
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Old 03-24-08, 03:08 PM   #25
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Yeah, I was 21 years old. I'm much stronger now, but 13 lbs heavier. That was my 2nd year riding, when I went from Cat 5 to Cat 3 in six weeks (sprinting, not climbing).

There are certainly parts of that climb where the bar tops are appropriate (the switchback sections 1/4 up and 3/4 up). That long section in the middle, with the paragliders on your left, is where you can probably get into the hoods, bend the elbows a bit, and duck the headwinds.

Attack the steep parts and recover a bit on the shallows.
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