Thank you very much to all who replied! Like I said, I really do appreciate it.
Thanks for that suggestion bikepro. That is an incredible deal and I'll look into it. I might be too OCD to use that as a training wheel though haha.
I'm leaning toward the Stages because it can cost 1300-1400 with an Si Hollowgram. I'd have to buy the two separately, but I've been looking to upgrade my crankset anyways. Joe Friel just told me via twitter that there's no wrong going towards it so that helped a lot too!
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If anyone has some time, I would like input on my perceived exertion of different percentages of [estimated] FTP. I am doing a test this weekend, so I can update FTP at that point. All are for sustained efforts below FTP, as I haven’t started interval training.
I am also wondering what other people use for power zones, what each zone “feels like”, and how many zones you have (below and above ftp). Is a zone for you a target or a range (or a bit of both)?
90% - (Hard workout)
Very focused on effort. Good for 20 to 45 minutes for a first climb of a long ride and still feel good for later climbs.
80% - (Moderate workout)
Takes focus to hold on the flats. Can do a ton of climbing at this level and feel quite good still. Would not want to do it for a few hours, but could if I had to.
65% - (Easy workout)
No focus required for this effort except to keep an eye on the computer. Can keep it up for many hours. Legs may get sluggish, but no big deal.
50% - (Not a workout)
Just riding along, not trying to get anywhere. Recovery days. Better leave early; it’ll take time to get anywhere.
40% - (Am I moving?)
Feels like a college student chatting with friends while riding a beat up cruiser and swerving around from lack of experience riding a bike. Reserved for commute home late at night, muscles sore, and am really lazy.
I typically ride on the flats, and going out where we have a tailwind and I am just hammering at 26-28 mph I thought my RPE was 90%, but in fact it was around 150 watts (my ftp is 220ish). Going back into the headwinds which I slog more and though my effort felt lower it can be 50 watts higher.
About the percentages here is what I would translate them to; my light z2 days are 70%, 80% would be a hard effort I could hold for 2 hours, and 90% would be a 40k effort.
Question regarding a Garmin 705:
I rode tonight, and when I went to download the files (there were two, I started a fresh files in the middle of the ride) the second file only has ~2Kb of data with it, it's essentially a blank file. If I go the the history on the device though the data is there. Is there some way to get the info off the device so I can load it into Golden Cheetah?
There's no way to get the data back, my 705 did the same thing on an important race file, I tried everything, the data just isn't there. I dumped the 705 and my 800 been perfect.
It's pretty common around that if the Garmin (pretty much any edge's) starts acting funny to back up the data and clean it out. Not sure what's up with that, but I try to keep it less than 50% full and it's a lot more stable. Doesn't solve everything, but solves a lot!
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So Hunter Allen's 20min FTP test or Friel's 30min test? I don't plan of doing the 60min test. I am guessing the 20min will be better for me as a "first FTP test." Some locals have suggested going to a local coach and get it done indoors. I don't mind doing this but I see no reason not to do this on my own especially if I will be doing this every 4-6 weeks.
My planned FTP course is ~2 hrs with very minimal stops. I have a small hill around 1~hr(sneed) and the overall course is slightly downhill. For the locals it's basically Hillsboro rd from 31 in springhill to Charlotte downtown(at 4am with no lights or traffic!) So I could fit in either test protocol and avoid or include the hill in either.(I understand these tests aren't two hours so I will be zone 1 coughing up a lung for the remainder of my ride )
Since this is my commute in the I can repeat this anytime. That being said, how often are you guys doing FTP during base? My base is 12 weeks so I could do FTP between base 1,base2 and base 3 or I could just do FTP now and then after base in 12weeks? I'd rather do it more frequently as I expect quite a change. Then again, all of my base training is supposed to be below threshold so these FTP tests break the mold slightly.
I find the Golden Cheetah and Strava FTP estimates to be within 5 of my 20 minute tests.
How does Golden Cheetah estimate FTP? I'm just learning how to use that software. The file data I lost was an FTP test, so I'm still trying to figure out how to get that back. I can see the average watts for the interval, but that's it. I guess it will do, but I'd like to see more.
Honestly I don't see a lot of value in testing FTP frequently. Even the 20 minute test is, as they say, "destructive" in that it costs a lot of energy/recovery resources that you could otherwise be using to train.
If specific work that used to be hard seems easier, bump up the target power until it seems as hard as it used to be.
Shouldn't some training be hard though? I mean, if racing is training, what does that make training?
How often are you testing FTP? Come build season, I would want my zones to be pretty accurate.
Which leads me to this question, what ftp variance does a pro or cyclist who has reached their genetic potential have? I'm guessing the off season it is lower but by how much?
So any impact would be negligible since it's during a rest week.
I don't think doing a test every 4 weeks during the race season would make sense though.