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Old 08-20-09, 12:40 PM   #1
sammy5001
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What's a typical power-to-weight ratio progression?

What's a typical power-to-weight ratio progression?

Two weeks ago I climbed 3 hills 5.5mi@6.89%, 0.77mi@6.03%, and .66mi@8.06% and my power output was 142W with a power-to-weight ratio of 1.87W/kg.

Last weekend (4 days ago) I climbed the same hills using the same effort (maintaining 165bpm) and my power output was 157W with a power-to-weight ratio of 2.09W/kg.

Then this morning I climbed a more challenging hill 3.25mi@7.58% (again, maintaining 165bpm) and finished in 31:17, averaging 6.23mph, with a power output of 172W, power-to-weight ratio of 2.37W/kg.

How is this progression looking? Too slow, too fast, or just about right?
It seems I'm increasing my power output by 10% a week. How long will this last until it plateaus?
And how do I predict my maximum power output?

Also, which is better: (1) climb the hill 2 consecutive times in one day, once a week, or (2) climb the hill on 2 different days of the week?
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Old 08-21-09, 06:13 AM   #2
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10% per week?
I'm happy if I get 5% per year, but then again, I'm averaging about 240W on longer climbs.

How long have you been riding? How are you measuring your wattage? As for the consecutive days question, what's your goal?
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Old 08-21-09, 07:57 AM   #3
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Sammy if you are really into power do yourself a favor and get a Powertap. I like your idea of heartrate, but you will get a bunch more info. I started riding again this year. My first one hour test was 152 watts, second was 167 watts, and yesterday was 195 watts. Early gains come fast then they taper. I am hoping for another 10% this year, and 15 to 20 next.

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Originally Posted by sammy5001 View Post
What's a typical power-to-weight ratio progression?

Two weeks ago I climbed 3 hills 5.5mi@6.89%, 0.77mi@6.03%, and .66mi@8.06% and my power output was 142W with a power-to-weight ratio of 1.87W/kg.

Last weekend (4 days ago) I climbed the same hills using the same effort (maintaining 165bpm) and my power output was 157W with a power-to-weight ratio of 2.09W/kg.

Then this morning I climbed a more challenging hill 3.25mi@7.58% (again, maintaining 165bpm) and finished in 31:17, averaging 6.23mph, with a power output of 172W, power-to-weight ratio of 2.37W/kg.

How is this progression looking? Too slow, too fast, or just about right?
It seems I'm increasing my power output by 10% a week. How long will this last until it plateaus?
And how do I predict my maximum power output?

Also, which is better: (1) climb the hill 2 consecutive times in one day, once a week, or (2) climb the hill on 2 different days of the week?
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Old 08-21-09, 08:35 AM   #4
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how are you measuring power?

10% a week is A LOT.

Are you also going down in weight?
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Old 08-21-09, 08:43 AM   #5
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And how do I predict my maximum power output?
Your current maximum, or the maximum you will ever obtain?

You find your current maximum by using a power meter to measure the power that you produce for varying lengths of time. See Monod method. Get a copy of Allen and Coggan's "Training and racing with a Power Meter", and the WKO+ (or open source GoldenCheetah) software.

You will never know what your lifetime maximum is going to be. No matter how much power you are making, there will always be the question of being able to make more if you just train more or train better (or rest more or eat better or have a hotter girlfriend or...).

Limiting your HR makes for a rather meaningless power/weight number. Power/weight is normally expressed for a period of time. For example this year I can do 4 watts/kg for an hour, 5.2 watts/kg for 5 minutes, and 6.8 for 1 minute (I am a poor sprinter). Those values are all for all-out efforts for the time period. Usually when figures are given for watts/kg it's at functional threshold, which is an hour.

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Also, which is better: (1) climb the hill 2 consecutive times in one day, once a week, or (2) climb the hill on 2 different days of the week?
It depends on your goals and how much time you have. Are you training for doing an event with a lot of climbing? Then you should get used to doing a lot of climbing in a single ride, so that means more than one climb. If you are training for races with multiple short climbs, then you'd be best served by doing short hill repeats. If you are training for the Everest Challenge, you should be doing multiple long climbs on consecutive days.
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