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Power results and failures

Old 07-27-07, 01:09 PM
  #1  
runtimmyc
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Power results and failures

I have had a powertap for a few weeks now and had the chance to record about 15 rides. Today I tried to do a 20min test to get my FTP. There are no flat places to do this, so I figure I will do it up a hill so I can get the most even power data I can. It's a 7mile climb with about a 8%-ish grade. I go to hard and after 5 minutes I decide that I can't keep this up for another 15 minutes, it's going to rain, I'm still hurting from a bad crash last week, etc. See image below.



How hard should I go out next time I try to do the 20min test? A little bit above/below what the PowerAgent software calculates? And just an fyi, I am 68kg.

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Old 07-27-07, 01:28 PM
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I would try 280 or so.
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Old 07-27-07, 02:31 PM
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First, the Carmichael methodology is just dumb. It won't tell you your true LT wattage. It will tell you how sh*tty of a time trialer you are though. I just cannot push myself to go ride, balls out, alone for 30 minutes! You can figure out your LT on a long climb (10-15 minutes).

My LT is around 320-340, depending on the day. I felt good last night and clicked off a 10 minute climb @ well over 400 watts. I was suffering, but I wasn't about to blow. I was also in a group of about 10. You can always go harder with a group than by yourself. That being said, some numbers will get skewed b/c you are in the draft, but if you have to close a gap at 35+, you find out what you can stand. A lot of times, being able to generate and hold big watts is what's needed. In a crit or RR, holding 500+ for 30 seconds will determine if you are dropped or not...

To find you true numbers, either go race or go out with a few strong friends and do a bunch of work on the ride. Your numbers will start to line up.

I'd say, for your size, your LT is about 280, give or take 10 watts.

Last edited by damocles1; 07-27-07 at 02:34 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 07-27-07, 02:37 PM
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asgelle
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Originally Posted by damocles1 View Post
You can figure out your LT on a long climb (10-15 minutes).
That's too short for a direct measurement of funtional threshold (we all know by now that LT can only be determined by blood draw and analysis) so how do account for the anaerobic contribution to the 10-15 min. effort, and wouldn't it be easier and more accurate to just measure FTP directly with a longer test?
http://lists.topica.com/lists/wattag...?mid=910289158
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Old 07-27-07, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
That's too short for a direct measurement of funtional threshold (we all know by now that LT can only be determined by blood draw and analysis) so how do account for the anaerobic contribution to the 10-15 min. effort, and wouldn't it be easier and more accurate to just measure FTP directly with a longer test?
http://lists.topica.com/lists/wattag...?mid=910289158
BS! I've been riding long enough to know when I'm at LT and what my LT HR truly is...no blood test needed. I've done the blood screen and it came out to 172-175 range for LT.

You don't have to go anaerobic. You do the test in the middle part of a ride, when you are properly warmed up. I know at 175 bpm and 330ish watts, I'm at LT. My legs tell me so. If you go harder and and can't complete the climb, you start to blow and the wattage goes down to recover.

The 30 minute test (per Carmichael and Wu) has too many variables.

ANd like I said before, the solo test isn't a true showing of watts you can push for an extended period.
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Old 07-27-07, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by damocles1 View Post
You do the test in the middle part of a ride, when you are properly warmed up. I know at 175 bpm and 330ish watts, I'm at LT. My legs tell me so. If you go harder and and can't complete the climb, you start to blow and the wattage goes down to recover.
In other words ride at what you believe to be your FTP (again you have no way of knowing LT) and the result will show you're riding at your FTP. If you're blowing up after 15 minutes you're way above FTP (since by definition it can be maintained for an hour, LT even longer) and have also exhausted all you anaerobic capacity as well.
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Old 07-27-07, 04:36 PM
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The best way to determine your FTP is to do it on a trainer. Yes, it is boring , but you can put out a steady effort for the time required. I've had my Powertap for two months and have tested my FTP using the 20 minute method as outlined in "Training and Racing with Power" by Hunter/Coggen. If you don't have this book, get it. It has a lot of good information. Also, I'd suggest investing in Cyclingpeaks software. It is much better than Poweragent.

Last Saturday, in a fit of temporary insanity, I actually did a full 1 hour FTP test on my trainer and got a number within 8 watts of my 20 minute *95% number. I feel pretty good that I have an accurate test result now and I can really begin to dial in my training.
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Old 07-27-07, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
In other words ride at what you believe to be your FTP (again you have no way of knowing LT) and the result will show you're riding at your FTP. If you're blowing up after 15 minutes you're way above FTP (since by definition it can be maintained for an hour, LT even longer) and have also exhausted all you anaerobic capacity as well.
No, I've raced at 175bpm and 300+ watts several times (Masters 35+). It's what it was, a test. I could have easily gone over my 330 FTP during the climb and brought the effort right back to 330. There's no need though, considering it was a 15 minute test.

Believe me when I tell you that 330 isn't really an issue, merely a number to sit on when making a long effort. There's more in the tank for short bursts, if needed. If you can pull back a 200 meter gap, leading to a sprint, while maintaining 500+ for 2 minutes, climbing at 330 is pretty easy. No bragging by any stretch, just pointing out a fact...
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Old 07-27-07, 10:15 PM
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to the OP, you should download the free copy of cyclingpeaks and compare it's usefulness to the cycleops software.
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Old 07-28-07, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by brianappleby View Post
to the OP, you should download the free copy of cyclingpeaks and compare it's usefulness to the cycleops software.
+100

The cycleops software sucks. Cyclingpeaks is great. Lots of awesome tools for making the data easier to analyze.

On a related note, I like the Allen/Coggin method of doing tests for 5", 1', 5' and 20' for setting up a power profile. Their method for turning 20' power into FTP is something I think makes a lot of sense. When you add in what it takes to find a good road (no stop signs, low traffic, relatively flat), it's much easier to do a good quality 20' test than a 60' (or even 30' one). I know that i'd have to work pretty hard to find a road to do a 1 hour TT on where I wouldn't have to slow down or stop at some point to deal with cars

someone mentioned doing these on a trainer, but for myself I always find I get better numbers on the road. I can't stand the trainer.
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Old 07-28-07, 08:34 AM
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runtimmyc
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Originally Posted by brianappleby View Post
to the OP, you should download the free copy of cyclingpeaks and compare it's usefulness to the cycleops software.
Is the cyclingpeaks software that much better? To the tune of $100? How about the free version that has some features disabled, is that better than the cycleops software?
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Old 07-28-07, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
+100

The cycleops software sucks. Cyclingpeaks is great. Lots of awesome tools for making the data easier to analyze.

On a related note, I like the Allen/Coggin method of doing tests for 5", 1', 5' and 20' for setting up a power profile. Their method for turning 20' power into FTP is something I think makes a lot of sense. When you add in what it takes to find a good road (no stop signs, low traffic, relatively flat), it's much easier to do a good quality 20' test than a 60' (or even 30' one). I know that i'd have to work pretty hard to find a road to do a 1 hour TT on where I wouldn't have to slow down or stop at some point to deal with cars

someone mentioned doing these on a trainer, but for myself I always find I get better numbers on the road. I can't stand the trainer.
Cyclingpeaks is well worth the money if you are serious about getting the most from the power meter. It puts your daily training in the proper perspective and helps you identify trends in your fitness.

As for the trainer, yes it is very boring to use but I've found that using a power meter helps keep your concentration while working. In my area I couldn't find any stretch of road suitable for testing anywhere near my house so the trainer is a necessary evil. The way I figure it, if I can do a good effort on the trainer it will make me that much stronger on the road.
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