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  1. #1
    Formerly edwardmatt83
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    What are my weak areas?

    I'm starting to plan for the 5 months I get to spend on the trainer starting in November. I don't have a power meter - but I do use trainerroad. Here are my power numbers from the end of my trainer days in April. I was in pretty good shape when the season started and I rode about 150-200 miles per week during the season. I am 5'10" and 165 lbs. Do you see any glaring weaknesses? I am still a Cat 5 - I don't do many races, but would like to perform well in the ones I do race. My target race next year is the Crusher in the Tushar in July - 70 miles with 10,000 ft climbing. I completed it this year in just over 6 hours and would like to cut my time by 45 minutes or so to have a shot at winning my category.

    Personal Records
    Peak Watts Date
    5 Second 706 2/21/2013
    10 Second 679 3/28/2013
    20 Second 587 3/28/2013
    30 Second 501 10/20/2012
    1 Minute 413 2/18/2013
    2 Minute 381 12/5/2012
    5 Minute 320 2/23/2013
    10 Minute 296 4/19/2013
    15 Minute 287 4/19/2013
    20 Minute 281 4/19/2013
    30 Minute 266 4/19/2013
    60 Minute 238 2/16/2013
    90 Minute 215 4/8/2013
    2 Hours 170 11/9/2012

  2. #2
    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    75kg. And how many years riding?

    Where are the numbers coming from if not a power meter, I can't comment without knowing the veracity of the numbers.

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  3. #3
    avatar by Sean Powers mike868y's Avatar
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    your biggest weakness is understanding the difference between training with power and training by power.



    in other words, if you're a 5, there are probably areas that need far more work than your power curve.

    [insert far more informative and far less snarky cdr post]
    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    it depends

  4. #4
    Formerly edwardmatt83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    75kg. And how many years riding?

    Where are the numbers coming from if not a power meter, I can't comment without knowing the veracity of the numbers.
    The numbers are coming from my Kurt Kinetic Rock 'n Roll and TrainerRoad.com. Been riding for 5 years - about 7,000 miles per year.

  5. #5
    avatar by Sean Powers mike868y's Avatar
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    ignore the numbers. where do you think your weaknesses are? where are you getting dropped in races? what have you done to excel in races? honestly as a cat 5 just ride a lot.

    also, not doing a lot of races and wanting to do good in the races you do do are at odds with each other. a lot of guys on this board race 2-3 times a week all summer long.
    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    it depends

  6. #6
    Senior Member globecanvas's Avatar
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    I think you are looking for the e-wang chart:




    Note, this chart has zero relevance to the question "how should I train to get better racing results."
    Ninny

  7. #7
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    Note, this chart has zero relevance to the question "how should I train to get better racing results."
    Except for the part where I used my plots on that chart to start winning races and upgrade to Cat 2.

  8. #8
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
    ignore the numbers. where do you think your weaknesses are? where are you getting dropped in races? what have you done to excel in races? honestly as a cat 5 just ride a lot.

    also, not doing a lot of races and wanting to do good in the races you do do are at odds with each other. a lot of guys on this board race 2-3 times a week all summer long.
    That's a pretty good post young fella...

    To the op as I have said many times, you want to race faster? Race more...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  9. #9
    Formerly edwardmatt83
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
    ignore the numbers. where do you think your weaknesses are? where are you getting dropped in races? what have you done to excel in races? honestly as a cat 5 just ride a lot.

    also, not doing a lot of races and wanting to do good in the races you do do are at odds with each other. a lot of guys on this board race 2-3 times a week all summer long.
    Isn't it possible to get faster without doing a lot of racing? Best case scenario is that I can do a crit every other week over the summer - but is that really going to prepare me for a 5-hour long race? The "local" crit is about an hour from my house - it's a pain to drive an hour to do a 30-minute crit and drive an hour home. I'd rather ride for 2 and 1/2 hours instead.

  10. #10
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    do a lot of five hour RRs as a Cat 5, do you?

  11. #11
    avatar by Sean Powers mike868y's Avatar
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    one of the biggest mistake new racers make is associating strength with ability to race. you can do 2.5 hour rides for years but you'll probably still get dropped in the crit because you don't understand the dynamics of racing. another mistake is assuming that crits are "simple" or "basic" and that only road races are "real" races. if you'd rather just ride, then do that, but it's not going to make you better at bike racing​.
    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    it depends

  12. #12
    Formerly edwardmatt83
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    do a lot of five hour RRs as a Cat 5, do you?
    This year I did the Crusher in the Tushar - 6 hours and I did the Tour of Park City - 163 miles in 9 hours.

  13. #13
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PharmD View Post
    Isn't it possible to get faster without doing a lot of racing? Best case scenario is that I can do a crit every other week over the summer - but is that really going to prepare me for a 5-hour long race? The "local" crit is about an hour from my house - it's a pain to drive an hour to do a 30-minute crit and drive an hour home. I'd rather ride for 2 and 1/2 hours instead.
    and if you're really worried about training for five hour races you should ride to the 30 minute race, race, and then ride home. Bonus points for soloing it for the win.

  14. #14
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PharmD View Post
    This year I did the Crusher in the Tushar - 6 hours and I did the Tour of Park City - 163 miles in 9 hours.
    same planet different worlds.
    Last edited by gsteinb; 09-25-13 at 12:16 PM.

  15. #15
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PharmD View Post
    Isn't it possible to get faster without doing a lot of racing?
    yes. possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by PharmD View Post
    it's a pain to drive an hour to do a 30-minute crit and drive an hour home. I'd rather ride for 2 and 1/2 hours instead.
    Ok is this another one of those threads where somebody asks for advice from experienced and successful racers, then proceeds to explain why the advice is bad?
    "have fun and be kind"
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  16. #16
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Your weaknesses show up in the race, not in the numbers, unless you're riding timed events.

  17. #17
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    and if you're really worried about training for five hour races you should ride to the 30 minute race, race, and then ride home. Bonus points for soloing it for the win.
    this.

    or, bring your trainer and do "the rest of your workout" before you drive home.
    "have fun and be kind"
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  18. #18
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Your weaknesses show up in the race, not in the numbers, unless you're riding timed events.
    Correct.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  19. #19
    illusoryly superior Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PharmD View Post
    Isn't it possible to get faster without doing a lot of racing? Best case scenario is that I can do a crit every other week over the summer - but is that really going to prepare me for a 5-hour long race? The "local" crit is about an hour from my house - it's a pain to drive an hour to do a 30-minute crit and drive an hour home. I'd rather ride for 2 and 1/2 hours instead.
    If you want to target a long climbing race I'd suggest working on your threshold. Lots of above-threshold 10 and 20-minute efforts. Very hard to do on a trainer, though. At least in my experience.

    Because your power numbers are coming from a trainer, I expect the shorter stuff is under represented. I'd expect that your weaknesses would be the 1-minute to 3-minute surges that show up in road races, but the only way to know for sure is empirically getting data racing. Once you're in the fire, so to speak, you'll find out where you start slipping backwards.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    do a lot of five hour RRs as a Cat 5, do you?
    He said his goal race was 70mi and 10k. Which could be 5 hours.

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  20. #20
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Honestly, assuming those numbers are real (easy to mess that up when getting them from a trainer curve, frankly), I don't see any strengths. Work on the 1hr to 5min part of the curve for a start if your intent is on road races. Sets of 2x20min with 5 minutes in between is a good place to start. You aren't going to win a climbing race, even in the 5s, with an FTP of 3.1W/kg. Get the book "racing and training with a powermeter". Even if you don't have a powermeter, just using the concepts illustrated in the book and power estimates from trainer curves or hill intervals makes it useful.

    The only thing wrong with the ewang chart is people taking the "cat5, 4, 3, ..." labels too seriously. It's a generally helpful chart otherwise, especially for finding your relative strengths and weaknesses.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  21. #21
    You blink and it's gone. rbart4506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    and if you're really worried about training for five hour races you should ride to the 30 minute race, race, and then ride home. Bonus points for soloing it for the win.
    Ryan Roth did just that, well half of it. He rode from home to the Provincial RR, about 100km I believe (he said he had a tailwind the whole way). He then went onto win the Provincial title by 26 seconds...

    He didn't ride home though, slacker
    "On the other hand riding down a hill at 55 MPH wearing (essentially) women's underwear and a Styrofoam cup on your head is the epitome of rational life-extending decisions." - RacerEx

  22. #22
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    To the OP, just ride and develop that way.
    It's like a Cat 5/4 saying they are break-away artists, or tt specialists, or ...
    You're just getting started, ride lots, have fun and learn along the way...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  23. #23
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    If you want to target a long climbing race I'd suggest working on your threshold. Lots of above-threshold 10 and 20-minute efforts. Very hard to do on a trainer, though. At least in my experience.

    Because your power numbers are coming from a trainer, I expect the shorter stuff is under represented. I'd expect that your weaknesses would be the 1-minute to 3-minute surges that show up in road races, but the only way to know for sure is empirically getting data racing. Once you're in the fire, so to speak, you'll find out where you start slipping backwards.



    He said his goal race was 70mi and 10k. Which could be 5 hours.
    I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. This is the road racing forum, and that's not really a RR so the 30 minute crits have a bit more relevance here.

  24. #24
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    I agree with fudgy on the short stuff. A trainer isn't good for peak numbers, and those peak numbers aren't that high. I'd expect your 5 second to be a bit higher, at least in the 800-900w range. Your peak peak will realistically be 1000w or higher. With 700w for 5s that isn't very likely.

    The steady stuff is probably accurate, like your minute on up. 413w/min, 320w/5min, and 238w/60m, those are solid numbers. I can go higher for a minute but my peaks are accurately represented. My 5 min is lower, my 60 min is much lower.

    I'm guessing that either the short/peak numbers are higher or you're getting gapped if someone goes super hard.

    It's possible to become faster just by training but there's nothing like a sustained, narrow-band workout, like sitting on the back of a P123 race (for me). Racing allows you to stay at very high levels without much variance. In solo riding this isn't possible because as soon as you ease up even a little the resistance goes down a lot. Races let you really balance on the edge of the razor - that's why motorpacing is/was a favorite for maximizing training. Same benefits as racing but in an even more controlled environment.

    As a new(er) rider you'll still be adapting to a low/aero/powerful position. I'd take a good look at your position and see what changes you might be able to make. For example on the trainer you can put objects next to your bars so you can pretend your bars are further out, lower, etc. In my case I stacked plastic totes next to the bike, then added or subtracted books and such to fine tune height. The totes allowed about +/- 40 cm, so plenty of room for me to play with "what if the bars were 2 cm further out". In my case I ended up putting the bars about 5-6 cm further forward. You can also play with height, like lining things up so there's a surface 2 cm below the bars. Place your hands there and see what that feels like.

    The winter is for experimenting.

    I saw this rider in the P123 race Sunday. I figured he was a 3 just playing around but it ends up he's a good rider. Not just a good rider, he made the second group (a chase), then he was THE ONLY one to bridge from the second group to the break (which had, at that point, lapped the field). I don't know his power numbers but he's obviously thought about his position, figured out how to make his ideas work, and he's executed on them.



    He has that Adam Hansen type position - 38cm bars, ultra low front end, high/forward saddle. He started the race with two super tall wheels but had to change the rear at some point. In the picture above he's bridging to the break, so it's deep into the race.

    I guess all that stuff above is saying "peak power is probably inaccurate, work on that, work on optimizing your position so you use your power as efficiently as possible."

  25. #25
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    I agree with fudgy on the short stuff. A trainer isn't good for peak numbers, and those peak numbers aren't that high. I'd expect your 5 second to be a bit higher, at least in the 800-900w range. Your peak peak will realistically be 1000w or higher. With 700w for 5s that isn't very likely.

    The steady stuff is probably accurate, like your minute on up. 413w/min, 320w/5min, and 238w/60m, those are solid numbers. I can go higher for a minute but my peaks are accurately represented. My 5 min is lower, my 60 min is much lower.
    One note: A 1' test should be executed such that it might contain your best 5" number at the start. Any condition preventing a proper 5" test also prevents a proper 1' test.

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