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Low FTP but OK w/kg

Old 03-03-07, 01:19 PM
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snhrider
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Low FTP but OK w/kg

From reading some of the posts, I came to a conclusion that I have a relatively low FTP of 220w. At 130 lbs, my w/kg is about 3.72 which I think is quite reasonable. As far as fitness, I could hang in fast group rides and crits w/o getting dropped. This year will be my second year of racing.

Personally, I think I am already at a disadvantage in criterium races because of the high power outputs required in the finish. Road races may be little better especially the ones with hills because of the power to weight ratio. But then what goes up, must also come down and in the end, it may still all be about power in a road race.

I'd like to hear other peoples thoughts, their experiences and how they compensated for their relatively low FTP.
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Old 03-03-07, 01:38 PM
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I weigh in at around 146#, and have an FTP of 225w. That's low. I get the results from my team's Time Trial session today, so I'll see where that puts me, but here's what I've figured out:

- On flats, it's all about raw power. Going fast means putting a big number in front of the W.
- On climbs, it's all about power/weight ratio. A 300w FTP isn't gonna help you if you weigh 100kg.
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Old 03-03-07, 01:38 PM
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It's not particularly about FTP, it's about w/kg. A 180lb rider would have a FTP of 304 to be right in line with you. What you probably lack is neuromuscular power, which is your 5s, 10s, 30s power in a sprint, so you need to work on that.
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Old 03-03-07, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cslone
It's not particularly about FTP, it's about w/kg. A 180lb rider would have a FTP of 304 to be right in line with you. What you probably lack is neuromuscular power, which is your 5s, 10s, 30s power in a sprint, so you need to work on that.
It really depends on the situation. If you start two guys who are each at 4w/kg next to each other, say one at 60kg and the other at 75kg, on a flat, and then have them race (side by side, no drafting) on the flat for 20k, to a climb 20k long, and then up it, the bigger guy will win every time. 300w on the flat vs 240w is a hell of a difference. And then, because even if his w/kg were to somehow drop on the climb, he's still far enough ahead that it shouldn't matter.

Basically, w/kg is only really applicable for climbs. Raw wattage is a good deal of the game. You have to get there with the main group to have a decent chance of beating them up the climb.
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Old 03-03-07, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cslone
It's not particularly about FTP, it's about w/kg. A 180lb rider would have a FTP of 304 to be right in line with you. What you probably lack is neuromuscular power, which is your 5s, 10s, 30s power in a sprint, so you need to work on that.
On the flats, wouldn't the 180lb rider putting out 304w vs me with 220w be going faster ? Also, as far as neuromuscular power for the sprints, isn't it still all about raw power generated at 5s, 10s, 30s that would make the difference rather than w/kg ?
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Old 03-03-07, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by snhrider
On the flats, wouldn't the 180lb rider putting out 304w vs me with 220w be going faster ? Also, as far as neuromuscular power for the sprints, isn't it still all about raw power generated at 5s, 10s, 30s that would make the difference rather than w/kg ?
yes.
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Old 03-03-07, 02:44 PM
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I'd work on your sprinting power.

As long as you can race smart, and sit on the wheels of big guys when the going gets painful you can be in a good position for the sprint. Unless there is a huge climb, you're not going to solo away from the pack, or light up a sprint from 400m out. Just like someone of my build isn't going to get away from the pack on a steep climb.

What you may be able to do is wait until 50 to 100 meters out from the line, and spin up your legs. I know lots of little guys who I'd decimate in a 400-500m drag race, but can beat me in a short, explosive sprint.
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Old 03-03-07, 04:18 PM
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Climbs most important figure is w/kg.

Flats most important figure is w/ surface area presented to the wind.

At 130lbs, your natural advantage is climbing. I'd try to maximize that. USe your climbing advantage to get away on climbs.

Train your weakness ( which relatively speaking is going to be srpinting and short efforts on the flats) to minmize those, and race your strength (attacking on hills).

I'm the exact opposite, pretty good raw power, but too many kg to haul around with it.
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Old 03-03-07, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
I'm the exact opposite, pretty good raw power, but too many kg to haul around with it.
+1. If I could just figure out how to deliver power through my Michelins AND my spare tire I'd be set.

To the OP: If your locale is anything like the DC area, the vast majority of races will be crits. It's become very obvious that, all strategy aside, what separates me from the winners and the pack fodder is the 1-2 minute effort, and the explosive 5-10 second burst. If you can hang or gain ground during the leadout and have a decent sprint, you'll be in the thick of it.

Of course, that does ignore strategy, etc., which are equally important, maybe even more so if you're a smaller rider and not a great sprinter. You have a small book of matches, so you have to make sure you're burning them at the exact right time and place in the race.
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Old 03-03-07, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by snhrider
On the flats, wouldn't the 180lb rider putting out 304w vs me with 220w be going faster ? Also, as far as neuromuscular power for the sprints, isn't it still all about raw power generated at 5s, 10s, 30s that would make the difference rather than w/kg ?
Yeah, I didn't quite say that right. He will be going faster, but what I mean is that you cant quite compare apples to oranges like that. It really wouldn't be that much faster given you guys are positioned the same. At 130 lbs an FTP of 3.72 would put you in the "good" range. Even though it is 100 watts lower than mine, we have right at the same w/kg. So, even though 220 is relatively low, it's not that bad since you are only 130 lbs. Unless you're a Cat 1 or2 that is.
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Old 03-03-07, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by snhrider
From reading some of the posts, I came to a conclusion that I have a relatively low FTP of 220w. At 130 lbs, my w/kg is about 3.72 which I think is quite reasonable. As far as fitness, I could hang in fast group rides and crits w/o getting dropped. This year will be my second year of racing.

Personally, I think I am already at a disadvantage in criterium races because of the high power outputs required in the finish. Road races may be little better especially the ones with hills because of the power to weight ratio. But then what goes up, must also come down and in the end, it may still all be about power in a road race.

I'd like to hear other peoples thoughts, their experiences and how they compensated for their relatively low FTP.
130 pounds?
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Old 03-03-07, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Yep
130 pounds?
yup.
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