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  1. #1
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    How fast can I likely increase my power to weight ratio?

    I've done a lot of 11 mile bike rides and 3 mile runs. Right now I want to increase my 60 second power to weight ratio. I'm 5'7", 147 pounds, and can output 350 watts for 60 seconds. I can output 500W for 20 seconds. I can output 200 or so for at least 30 minutes.

    My goal is to lose at least 10 pounds (yes, I'll be gaunt, but for a good reason) and increase my 60 second power output to 500 watts in the next 4 months. Is that a lofty goal?

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    ask the trainer at the gym, its a body thing not a bike parts issue.

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I'm moving this to Training and Nutrition (from General Cycling). Carry on...

    --Juha, a Forum Mod
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  4. #4
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I dunno - I don't ride with power. But you sure as heck can improve rapidly with that history. You need to ride a lot more. Distance = strength. Once you've been doing 150 or so miles/week you can think about intervals if you still think you need them. And ride hills. If you see a hill, ride up it. No hill is too steep.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronTX View Post
    I've done a lot of 11 mile bike rides and 3 mile runs. Right now I want to increase my 60 second power to weight ratio. I'm 5'7", 147 pounds, and can output 350 watts for 60 seconds. I can output 500W for 20 seconds. I can output 200 or so for at least 30 minutes.

    My goal is to lose at least 10 pounds (yes, I'll be gaunt, but for a good reason) and increase my 60 second power output to 500 watts in the next 4 months. Is that a lofty goal?
    Yes, I think it is. Others on the forum know much more about training for power than I do, but to both lose significant weight (you aren't exactly overweight as it is) AND increase your power output for a minute from 350 watts to 500 watts in a relatively short time sounds pretty ambitious. It takes a long time to build power and you aren't going to do it with 11 mile rides, so you would do better, imo, in focussing on the maximum wattage you can maintain for an hour - your functional threshold power - rather than on these shorter periods of time. Improve your FTP and the rest will look after itself.

    Your current weight is about 67 kilos. If you could maintain 200 watts for an hour (at the moment you're at 30 minutes, so that will be a challenge) that would be about about 3watts per kilo. That would make you competitive at the bottom end of cycle racing. Really good amateurs can do between four and five watts per kilo and top pros might exceed six.

    But as I say, there are others here who've gone into this in much greater depth than I. umd comes to mind. If he drops by this forum he'll put me right, I'm sure.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  6. #6
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    But as I say, there are others here who've gone into this in much greater depth than I. umd comes to mind. If he drops by this forum he'll put me right, I'm sure.

    My ears must have been burning. Or since it's written, my eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Your current weight is about 67 kilos. If you could maintain 200 watts for an hour (at the moment you're at 30 minutes, so that will be a challenge) that would be about about 3watts per kilo. That would make you competitive at the bottom end of cycle racing. Really good amateurs can do between four and five watts per kilo and top pros might exceed six.
    There have been many debates as to what kind of power you need to be competitive at different levels in the racing forum. Many people have had a wide variety of results with completley different amounts of power. There is no single you need x to be competitive. That said, if there are climbs, you need at least enough to be able to hang on the climbs. For flats, sprints, etc., smarts, positioning, and agressiveness tend to go pretty far and can make up for large defecits of power.

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronTX View Post
    I've done a lot of 11 mile bike rides and 3 mile runs. Right now I want to increase my 60 second power to weight ratio. I'm 5'7", 147 pounds, and can output 350 watts for 60 seconds. I can output 500W for 20 seconds. I can output 200 or so for at least 30 minutes.

    My goal is to lose at least 10 pounds (yes, I'll be gaunt, but for a good reason) and increase my 60 second power output to 500 watts in the next 4 months. Is that a lofty goal?
    Depending on what kind of training you have been doing already, that may be a bit of a reach. Especially to improve anaerobic power so substantially while losing weight. My own personal experience has been that I can keep threshold and endurance power while losing a modest amount of weight but my short term power really suffers. You are talking about an almost 80% improvement in anaerobic power/weight (4.5 W/kg to 8.0 W/kg), which is not very realistic in 4 months unless you are completely untrained (and maybe even then).

    My recommendation would be to either a) focus on anaerobic intervals and not worry about losing the weight right now, or b) focus on threshold and endurance and see how much your anaerobic strength comes up naturally with that.

    Although, I should ask, before recommending any kind of intervals, how long you have been riding? It's a good idea to get some kind of an aerobic endurance "base" before piling on intervals or it is a recipe for injury and burnout.

    Edit: and yeah, only 11 miles at a time isn't helping you much...

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Why 60-seconds???

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    umd
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    Probably because it's one of the intervals on the power profiling chart....

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    How much can you squat? If it's less than 225, you need to start hitting the gym

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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I can output 500W for 20 seconds. I can output 200 or so for at least 30 minutes.

    My goal is to lose at least 10 pounds (yes, I'll be gaunt, but for a good reason) and increase my 60 second power output to 500 watts in the next 4 months.
    Unless you are starting scratch, this type of improvement in unlikely -and may be impossible if you are already somewhat fit.

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    It has to be 60 because I'm training to fly a human powered helicopter for 60 seconds. I need 60 seconds and some other stuff to get the prize. I'm well aware I need to increase my VO2 max.

    I did 11 miles on a mountain bike, with a slight incline almost flat, and regular street clothes, in about 50 minutes. I was riding to work, and giving it everything I had with cars passing me. I had to stop for red lights sometimes, but I'd use those for rest. That was 6 years ago, so I'm probably in less good shape now. I rode to work like this 4 days a week. The return trip I did much slower and easier since it was partially down hill.

    Since then ankle injuries kept me from running, and I no longer worked at that job.

    My resting heart rate back then was 50 bpm. Now it is probably 68. My blood pressure back then was 100/60. Now it is probably 115/80. I've been driving a car the last two years, getting my exercise from power walking and occational pushups. I keep most of my strength pretty well when I don't work out.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    You need to look into training as a sprinter or kilo racer. It is very specialized training with components that seem at odds with regular road-racing.

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    Yes, but since he's entirely detrained he'll need a base too. So start riding. 11 miles is probably not enough but it's better than zero.

    How are you measuring the wattage? Lifecycles at the gym are notoriously inaccurate.

  14. #14
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Must be some sort of college competition. There's one around here involving submarines. That's more interesting because of the form factor.

    The OP might look at The Time Crunched Cyclist:
    http://www.amazon.com/Time-Crunched-.../dp/1934030473
    Lots of ideas there.

    Agreeing with umd - IME one can increase power to weight ratio a lot quicker by adding power than by dropping weight. In 4 months, I'd advise not trying to drop any weight - just try not to gain. If he loses weight, good, but don't cut good nutrition to do it. Definitely add weight training, especially explosive movements (if his bod can take it), and 5g creatine after every workout. He can do the wrestler/jockey thing to make weight before the competition.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    If 60-second power is what you're after, you want legs like these:



    Chris Hoy puts out over 2300w max and his 60-sec. power is slightly over 1000w. Plug that into your simulations and see if that output will work for you.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 10-13-10 at 07:50 PM.

  16. #16
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronTX View Post
    It has to be 60 because I'm training to fly a human powered helicopter for 60 seconds. I need 60 seconds and some other stuff to get the prize. I'm well aware I need to increase my VO2 max.

    I did 11 miles on a mountain bike, with a slight incline almost flat, and regular street clothes, in about 50 minutes. I was riding to work, and giving it everything I had with cars passing me. I had to stop for red lights sometimes, but I'd use those for rest. That was 6 years ago, so I'm probably in less good shape now. I rode to work like this 4 days a week. The return trip I did much slower and easier since it was partially down hill.

    Since then ankle injuries kept me from running, and I no longer worked at that job.

    My resting heart rate back then was 50 bpm. Now it is probably 68. My blood pressure back then was 100/60. Now it is probably 115/80. I've been driving a car the last two years, getting my exercise from power walking and occational pushups. I keep most of my strength pretty well when I don't work out.
    I forgot to mention that you don't need to increase your VO2max. Up to about 7 minutes can be all anaerobic. It just hurts worse the longer it goes on. So keep that in mind while looking at training methods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronTX View Post
    My goal is to lose at least 10 pounds (yes, I'll be gaunt, but for a good reason) and increase my 60 second power output to 500 watts in the next 4 months. Is that a lofty goal?
    Are you sure about those numbers? A 200w threshold at 147lbs is roughly 3w/kg which is the bottom of the cat4 range for men. Seems like a high categorization for someone doing 11 mile rides.

    The general rule of thumb is a 7% decrease in power allows you to go twice as far. 60 seconds *2^
    % is roughly equal to 30 minutes. For me at lease, this rule holds true for the last couple years of power data. So, a 500w 60 second effort would imply a 347 watt 30 minute power output. That's a leap most people couldn't make in a year naturally.


    That being said, it seems possible if you really specialize in 60 second efforts. A couple rounds of 10x30 seconds on x 30 seconds rest twice a week for a couple months should get you close.

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