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Training with Power The First Steps

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Training with Power The First Steps

Old 05-18-07, 02:14 PM
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Greg180
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Training with Power The First Steps

As a part of my purchase of the SRM through the local training facility they include a power test to calculate your training zones. The test begins with a fifteen minute warm up. After the warm up you begin at 100 watts and increase 25 watts every three minutes. I made it as far as 300 watts for one minute before Jay pulled the plug. The reason given was my legs were the weak link. I was only at 176 BPM heart rate but my cadence was slipping quickly from 105 to the low 90s. The approach that this organization, (and Jay), take to training with power is mind blowing. I am really looking at this cycling season with a whole new perspective.

Here are the results...Anyone want to give their interpretation? I know that my fitness level is mediocre but I now know HOW to improve that. I am very anxious for feedback.

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Old 05-18-07, 02:41 PM
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I just want to know how your cadence slipping to what is "normal" for just about all non-LA cyclists is indicative that you are at or above your limits/LT?
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Old 05-18-07, 02:46 PM
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3min is a long step length for an incremental exercise test; I would have used a more aggressive protocol.

You have to admit that MAP testing is certainly quicker than doing 2x20 or 1x60min TT type testing. It also can be done with a lot less mental toughness as it only hurts for a few minutes. I think it’s more fun too, if you can call any of those tests fun.

Want to compare yourself? NomadVW hits something like 425W.
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Old 05-18-07, 02:55 PM
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Assuming this is similar to a Conconi test, yes, that is a long time period for a 25w increase. The Conconi method has you doing it with a 1min interval, increasing 20w every time. I think you start at 100 or 150w for that one as well, if I remember correctly.

I personally prefer the Friel 5min blowout + 20min MAX interval to estimate LT. That method has me pegged at 322w/4.96w/kg for the 20min, ~305w for an hour. I realize that doing it on the road can lead to variations in the average power, so I may be robbing myself, but a TT or a race are not done indoors on a trainer either. So far the best crit average has been 299 for 50min, so it's pretty accurate.
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Old 05-18-07, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg180
Here are the results...Anyone want to give their interpretation? I know that my fitness level is mediocre but I now know HOW to improve that. I am very anxious for feedback.
Frankly, unless you feel that you are 15-20 pounds overweight right now, your VO2Max of 44 (assuming it was measured correctly) doesn't predict that you have a genetic proclivity toward an elite-level functional threshold power.

However (and this is a HUGE however), competitive cycling involves a whole lot more than threshold power, especially in crits and short road races. Not to discount the MAP test but it's really only a measure of your aerobic capability. You may find that that your anaerobic ability is extremely high, or you might find that you have a better-than-average ability to recover from hard efforts, or that your racing sense is really good such that you know how to put yourself in a position to win. All of those things are at least as important as VO2Max in the lower ranks of US competitive cycling.

I know of a guy on this forum who weighs about what you do who claims to only be able to hold 220 watts for 10 minutes and yet he has won Cat3 races because of his sprinting ability and his racing sense. To put this in perspective, I averaged 240 watts for 5 hours on a ride yesterday but unless I can drastically improve my sprinting ability, I'm probably going to be a Cat4 for a long, long time.

I would recommend buying a copy of the book "Training and Racing with a Power Meter" and also a copy of the CyclingPeaks software. They'll help you figure out your cycling profile and the areas where you most need to improve.

--Steve
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Old 05-18-07, 03:19 PM
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My MAP on the Stern protocol was 452. Hoping to be in the 470's next month in a retest. ( I died on the 470 watt increment last time, bleck ) Stern's protocol starts me at 175 and increases 25w per minute. Threshold then ends up being 77-78% of MAP.

Under the protocol they have you listed for threshold is determined higher than that which would make sense for the longer increment duration.

But I definitely like MAP testing best for zone calculations. What I like about the MAP is its easy replication and lack of required self-pacing, and it's quick and easy. 15 minutes max I'd bet. Every TT workout/event I've done I've always wondered if I "coulda done more" and I dislike the idea that my training zones could be based around an event where I doubt my pacing. Personal opinion, not that it doesn't work for thousands of cyclists on the Friel/Coggan/Allen methods of determining zones.

(Edited: first sentence, second paragraph for clarification)
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Old 05-18-07, 03:41 PM
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do you have a link to the MAP test process?
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Old 05-18-07, 03:44 PM
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http://www.cyclecoach.com/pageID-news-Test_yourself.htm
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Old 05-18-07, 03:47 PM
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looks fun!
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Old 05-18-07, 03:56 PM
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Looks like:

http://www.cycleiwakuni.com/blog/rid...d=1&ride_id=13

Includes warm up, cool down. MAP starts @ around 20 minute mark.
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Old 05-18-07, 04:00 PM
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It's demoralizing to read these numbers from the strong boys like Zimbo and Nomad. 240 watts for 5 hours is impressive.

And I can't wait for NomadVW NOT to move to the DC area and thrash us....

But finally, regardless of VO2 max, can't you improve your basic leg - muscle strength and efficiency and gain watts that way? One of the posts makes it seem like the OP's power will never change because of his VO2 max, and therefore he better learn to be a wheelsucker.

That seems too cut and dried. Also, OP, is your goal to become an "elite level cyclist" or to have fun and improve and be competitive?

The focus on genetic VO2 max seems to take the fun out of it...
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Old 05-18-07, 04:25 PM
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Reality is that threshold will only ever get to a certain percentage of VO2max (i've heard/read numbers around 90-94%). Vo2max is said to have a genetic cap.

Two things come into play:
A. Amateur level cyclists like most of us aren't near our genetic cap for VO2max and will see many years of marked improvements.

B. His threshold probably isn't near the "capped" percentage of the genetic VO2max cap, which means there is even MORE room for improvement.

Personally, I just keep training hard and assume the rest will come out in the wash.

Originally Posted by Ghostman
It's demoralizing to read these numbers from the strong boys like Zimbo and Nomad. 240 watts for 5 hours is impressive.
Most of us rarely toss our weight in the calculation which makes a huge difference. I'd feel a lot better about my MAP if I was 3-4 kg lighter. But @ 6'2" / 76-77 kg, I'll never get any lighter. It's just not happening. In fact, I'm debating taking it back up to 78kg because it's been horribly difficult to keep it at 76.
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Old 05-18-07, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by zimbo
your VO2Max of 44 (assuming it was measured correctly) doesn't predict that you have a genetic proclivity toward an elite-level functional threshold power.

I would recommend buying a copy of the book "Training and Racing with a Power Meter" and also a copy of the CyclingPeaks software. They'll help you figure out your cycling profile and the areas where you most need to improve.
I'm genetically inferior...Damn I should of done this test before I spent all that scratch.

I did however buy both the book and the software so I might just be able reach mediocrity.
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Old 05-18-07, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
I just want to know how your cadence slipping to what is "normal" for just about all non-LA cyclists is indicative that you are at or above your limits/LT?
When he pulled the plug he told me he could see that I was not going to reach the three minute mark. Actually, I think he did that becuase when I come back in ninty days and do the whole three minutes he can say..."See i told you you would improve".
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Old 05-18-07, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg180
I'm genetically inferior...Damn I should of done this test before I spent all that scratch.
Ok, ok. I was hoping that's not how you would take that. From what I understand, your VO2Max is still above normal. What I'm saying is that compared to someone who has a VO2Max of 70 (and there are apparently a number of those guys on this forum), you're going to have difficulty competing at the Cat1 level in a time trial, but who cares?

There's also a significant genetic component to sprinting ability. It's arguably less trainable than threshold power.

Regardless, my overriding point was to say that FTP is only one of MANY factors that determine racing competency.

--Steve
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Old 05-18-07, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NomadVW
Most of us rarely toss our weight in the calculation which makes a huge difference. I'd feel a lot better about my MAP if I was 3-4 kg lighter. But @ 6'2" / 76-77 kg, I'll never get any lighter. It's just not happening. In fact, I'm debating taking it back up to 78kg because it's been horribly difficult to keep it at 76.
Yeah, weight makes a huge difference. I believe I have the body composition at 6'0" to weigh 70kg without being too lean but the fact is that I don't have the dieting discipline to maintain a weight below about 73kg. I feel like an absolute porker right now at 76kg and most "normal" people think I'm crazy when I say I'd like to lose 12 pounds.

--Steve
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Old 05-18-07, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by zimbo
Ok, ok. I was hoping that's not how you would take that. --Steve
No worries Jimbo...I had a good laugh at it Jimbo. I'm enjoying my new toy and lifestyle too much to be worried about any genetic deficiencies. Plus I know I'm not at the bottom of the gene pool. I've seen that evidence at the local mall.

Thanks for the info though. I am learning with every post.
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Old 05-18-07, 06:52 PM
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to me, there is only one obvious question; what the heck do you do for a living! new bikes, new power meters, new software, new books....ect!

later.
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Old 05-18-07, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg180
No worries Jimbo...I had a good laugh at it Jimbo.
I'm glad to hear that, Jreg.

--Steve
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Old 05-18-07, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by aham23
to me, there is only one obvious question; what the heck do you do for a living! new bikes, new power meters, new software, new books....ect!

later.
Train and develop people to effective manage complex logistical operations...or something like that.
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Old 05-18-07, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg180
I'm genetically inferior...Damn I should of done this test before I spent all that scratch.

I did however buy both the book and the software so I might just be able reach mediocrity.

The Ins and Outs of VO2Max:

http://www.velonews.com/train/articles/8167.0.html

But, many of us fit here:

http://home.hia.no/~stephens/vo2max.htm

Genetics play a big role

I grew up being told that I could do anything and be anything I set my mind to. I think that was nice of my mother to encourage me that way. However, the biological reality is that there is a significant genetic component to most of the underlying physical qualities that limit just how “Citius, altius, fortius” we can be with training. VO2 max is no exception. The reality is that if an adult male with a natural, untrained VO2 max of 45 ml/min/kg trains optimally for 5 years, they might see their VO2 max climb to around 60-65 ml/min/kg. This is a huge improvement. Yet, the best runners have a VO2 max of 75 to 85 ml/kg so our hard training normal guy is still going to come up way short against the likes of these guys. If they were to stop training for a year, their VO2 max might fall to about where the average guy’s topped out after years of optimal training. The bottom line is that Olympic champions are born with unique genetic potential that is transformed into performance capacity with years of hard training. Recent studies focusing on the genetics of exercise adaptation have also demonstrated that not only is our starting point genetically determined, but our adaptability to training (how much we improve) is also quite variable and genetically influenced. While the typical person will show a substantial increasing in VO2 max with 6 months of exercise, carefully controlled research studies have shown that a small percentage of people will hardly show an increase in VO2 max at all.

One more thing. Just to put things in perspective, the VO2 of a typical thoroughbred horse is about 600 liters/min or 150 ml/min/kg! So compared to a horse, even an Olympic endurance champion human comes out looking like a couch potato.

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Old 05-19-07, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by NomadVW
Looks like:

http://www.cycleiwakuni.com/blog/rid...d=1&ride_id=13

Includes warm up, cool down. MAP starts @ around 20 minute mark.
thanks for providing the graph. It makes me understand the test much better. I love this stuff.
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Old 05-19-07, 04:40 AM
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Man im 80kg down from 93kg and would love to be 73kg. now i feel even weaker!
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