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Cyclist Average Speed Progression?

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Cyclist Average Speed Progression?

Old 12-06-19, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft
Even for estimated, that is impressive wattage down a 6% grade at that speed! Did you have that 70t chainring?
LOL. Who says 53x11 is dead???

In reality, I've got a heck of a good aero tuck. The est avg was bumped by ~10 miles of 50+ and the mile or so of 60+mph. I didn't have power for the ride (as you noted), so Strava had to consider that I was in a "normal" riding position, hence the added power filling in the speed gap between a normal position and the aero tuck.

Aero tucking at 60+ is a whole different kind of pucker. A crash in lycra at 65 mph is an extended stay in the hospital (or worse), and that crossed my mind a few times on that descent.
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Old 12-06-19, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep
It's very regional dependent also. A Cat # in one region might be a somebody or a nobody in another region.

Power doesn't necessarily mean squat, but, for your #'s unless you weigh 55 kg I'd seriously check my power meter. Again, maybe regional, but you could probably TT for a win in our local 4/5 road race.

I've heard of people being eye watering strong on the bike, but not winning, but your #'s seem really really off for a 4/5 not being consistently top 5 or on the podium.

I could see a 4/5 having an hour power of a 4.3 or so hour power not winning. But not 4.8. I'm 70kg so that'd nearly be 330 for an hour. You could TT our local RR with that and they'd let you go.

Local guy lives a few houses down from me when he isn't off at college, he was a 4/5 super briefly with similar figures to yours and would just TT the local crit for the win. I didn't believe it, but checked out the Strava and sure enough........there's the finisher pic of him hammering solo across the line. Pan flat too.

But, for the original poster..........just suffer the workouts, do the hammer group rides, and go race. The charts and stuff are pointless.
Yea, I've had to point this out before, I weigh 61kg so 4.8 is really only around 285 watts, 5 minute power being around 340s. My best 5 second power is a paltry 817 watts, I'm also pretty darn scared around corners, descending, and in fast groups. In a typical race I'll stay near the front looking for breaks if there's any type of an incline, but on the twisty roads and descents I'll end up in the back pretty easily, then having to work my way back up to the front on the hills (exact opposite of what you actually want to do to correctly conserve energy). SO, in order for me to win a race it'll need to be an uphill finish (the longer the better), without any breaks going before me (unless I'm in that break). That's really it, downhill or flat finishes I'll get outsprinted easily and I can't solo breakaway without my FTP being in at least the 300s regardless of weight (I've tried...).

However, I'm lovin Zwift races!
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Old 12-06-19, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by NicklesnDimes
I'd like to get an idea of how long it might take to get from say a Cat 5 to possibly a Cat 1.
Step 1: select your parents.
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Old 12-06-19, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
Step 1: select your parents.
Mine are dead, so you dodged that bullet.
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Old 12-06-19, 05:23 PM
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Average Speed is a fool’s metric.
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Old 12-06-19, 05:32 PM
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I've been getting into TT as of late... so even though I'm an experienced (cat 2) racer, my average speed is now increasing significantly .

For the record I generally agree with what has been posted in this thread - speed is secondary. So is fitness too - once you're fit enough to be a player, racing is more about how you apply yourself rather than the numbers you're hitting during training. To this end it can be hugely beneficial to be part of a concerted team with equally capable "players", but that doesn't really come into play until you cat up.
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Old 12-06-19, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TMonk
I've been getting into TT as of late... so even though I'm an experienced (cat 2) racer, my average speed is now increasing significantly .

For the record I generally agree with what has been posted in this thread - speed is secondary. So is fitness too - once you're fit enough to be a player, racing is more about how you apply yourself rather than the numbers you're hitting during training. To this end it can be hugely beneficial to be part of a concerted team with equally capable "players", but that doesn't really come into play until you cat up.
So the big boys and girls say and I’m sure it’s true, but as we say in yacht racing, boat speed can make anyone look like a tactical genius.
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Old 12-06-19, 06:04 PM
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Agree with quite a bit here, in the end it's how you take what you have & use it to race well.

If you want a simple number, for a long time riding a flat 40k under an hour was sort of a benchmark for entry level racers. That was back before all of the Aero stuff came along so was more of a 1:1 comparison over time. I think that's still reasonable and translates well to the age of power meters as it would put you a little north of 300W or 4 w/Kg for FTP. If you develop other skills that would be solid Cat 4 or 3.
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Old 12-06-19, 06:46 PM
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I read an article somewhere, once, that made the point that the main characteristic for success in an endurance sport is the capacity to recover. Once an athlete is fit enough to put in a significant effort it may be days before the body is recovered enough to repeat that effort. Consequently the capacity to recover governs the frequency of training efforts. Those who recover rapidly can then train harder and make greater advances in fitness.

I saw a video interview recently about a woman, Courtney Dauwalter, endurance racer who won the Moab 240 race. After running 240 hours or so, she beat the #2 finisher by 10 hours. This is enough time for a good meal and a good 8 hours of sleep. Running does not relate directly to cycling but training and recovery does. I'm too old to race but for you people who do, recovery is key. In the video I believe there is something to be learned. It is a long interview.
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Old 12-06-19, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Cypress
LOL. Who says 53x11 is dead???

In reality, I've got a heck of a good aero tuck. The est avg was bumped by ~10 miles of 50+ and the mile or so of 60+mph. I didn't have power for the ride (as you noted), so Strava had to consider that I was in a "normal" riding position, hence the added power filling in the speed gap between a normal position and the aero tuck.

Aero tucking at 60+ is a whole different kind of pucker. A crash in lycra at 65 mph is an extended stay in the hospital (or worse), and that crossed my mind a few times on that descent.


I got speed wobble going down Tioga pass at 45mph for a peak-pucker experience. Kinda makes my hands sweat thinking about 60+
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Old 12-06-19, 08:12 PM
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Yo word to all the replies. Very helpful information.
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Old 12-06-19, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by berner
I read an article somewhere, once, that made the point that the main characteristic for success in an endurance sport is the capacity to recover. Once an athlete is fit enough to put in a significant effort it may be days before the body is recovered enough to repeat that effort. Consequently the capacity to recover governs the frequency of training efforts. Those who recover rapidly can then train harder and make greater advances in fitness.

I saw a video interview recently about a woman, Courtney Dauwalter, endurance racer who won the Moab 240 race. After running 240 hours or so, she beat the #2 finisher by 10 hours. This is enough time for a good meal and a good 8 hours of sleep. Running does not relate directly to cycling but training and recovery does. I'm too old to race but for you people who do, recovery is key. In the video I believe there is something to be learned. It is a long interview. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8DfjXnIk6c


Her finishing time was 58 hours.


She said that the oldest finisher was 69, and the interviewer knows an 80 year old who recently did a 6 hour marathon.


Worth watching but editing out the parts about dogs eating chickens, etc. would have been OK.
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Old 12-06-19, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by berner
I read an article somewhere, once, that made the point that the main characteristic for success in an endurance sport is the capacity to recover.
And recover between hard efforts during the course of a ride/race. Cycling tips had an interesting article a month or so ago that argued that the best GT riders didnít necessarily improve their FTPs during the course of their careers, they improved how long they could hold FTP and how often and for how long they could surge over it.
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Old 12-07-19, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76
Agree with quite a bit here, in the end it's how you take what you have & use it to race well.

If you want a simple number, for a long time riding a flat 40k under an hour was sort of a benchmark for entry level racers. That was back before all of the Aero stuff came along so was more of a 1:1 comparison over time. I think that's still reasonable and translates well to the age of power meters as it would put you a little north of 300W or 4 w/Kg for FTP. If you develop other skills that would be solid Cat 4 or 3.
Not a racer here, but just curious--over what sort of terrain would that 40K be ridden on? Couldn't that have a significant impact on the rider's time?
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Old 12-07-19, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso
Exactly. And when you start doing some focused training you'll notice that some of your hardest workouts have the lowest average speeds.


13.1 mph avg. speed on a flat course with no wind. 111w avg. power.

And absolutely wrecked.
This is why speed guys at the velodrome donít really use power to train with. The data isnít that useful. The numbers really donít relate to the intensity of the workout.
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Old 12-07-19, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist
Not a racer here, but just curious--over what sort of terrain would that 40K be ridden on? Couldn't that have a significant impact on the rider's time?
...

Originally Posted by Voodoo76
If you want a simple number, for a long time riding a flat 40k under an hour was sort of a benchmark for entry level racers.
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Old 12-07-19, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by colnago62
This is why speed guys at the velodrome don’t really use power to train with. The data isn’t that useful. The numbers really don’t relate to the intensity of the workout.
What? Perhaps the average speed doesn't relate, but pretty much every other number in caloso's power file relates directly to the high intensity of the workout. Track has always been power based in a more controlled way than the road. Flat course, progression of fixed gear & cadence. Using power meter numbers for Anaerobic development isn't quite as far along as TSS, TSB, etc but there is a lot of interesting work going on. FRC measurement and sprint stress tracking being a couple of examples.

Last edited by Voodoo76; 12-07-19 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 12-07-19, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76
What? Pretty much every other number in caloso's power file relates directly to the high intensity of the workout. 1's can be a puke fest Would agree using power meter numbers for anaerobic development isn't quite as far along as TSS, TSB, etc but there is a lot of interesting work going on. FRC measurement and sprint stress tracking being a couple of examples.
Word

And I train with power at the track as well and many of my friends do as well but it is better for post ride analysis. I do not look at the head unit during a 500 meter time trial it is too technical to do anything other than look at the line of the track and it is a max effort for the entire race. Now, at the end, I want to know my time, my 1/2 lap time and full lap start time. If I am doing flying 100 meter sprints I want to know my time. And if I am doing motor work, I will ask the motor operator for the speed. In general, most trackies mount their head units under the saddle which is UCI compliant for UCI racing.

If I am doing a similar workout on the road or track as Caloso I will review the power profile post ride or look at the Garmin after an effort to see what the average power was for the effort and see if I can raise on the next effort.

The left side of my power curve is defined by results in 500 meter track races. I do not come close on the road. In reality, I should split my tracking power into road and track.

I developed a speed, power and time simulator in Excel and verified the model at Velo Sports Center. It predicts pursuit times based upon various variables including power so it has an aero formulation in it. It is very useful for training and predicting speeds and times for various velodromes at different elevations and testing equipment.

If one does not have power at the track then one needs another person who is good with a stopwatch for time checks.

I also have a couple of track friends who use a simple speedometer and note the finishing speed of an effort and write it down in a log after each effort. And that can be indicative of performance and over long periods of time quite accurate to determine progress. So speed matters.
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Old 12-07-19, 11:34 AM
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Exactly. On 1’ and shorter intervals I collect the data but I’m not looking at power, just the clock.
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Old 12-07-19, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes
Word

And I train with power at the track as well and many of my friends do as well but it is better for post ride analysis. I do not look at the head unit during a 500 meter time trial it is too technical to do anything other than look at the line of the track and it is a max effort for the entire race. Now, at the end, I want to know my time, my 1/2 lap time and full lap start time. If I am doing flying 100 meter sprints I want to know my time. And if I am doing motor work, I will ask the motor operator for the speed. In general, most trackies mount their head units under the saddle which is UCI compliant for UCI racing.

If I am doing a similar workout on the road or track as Caloso I will review the power profile post ride or look at the Garmin after an effort to see what the average power was for the effort and see if I can raise on the next effort.

The left side of my power curve is defined by results in 500 meter track races. I do not come close on the road. In reality, I should split my tracking power into road and track.

I developed a speed, power and time simulator in Excel and verified the model at Velo Sports Center. It predicts pursuit times based upon various variables including power so it has an aero formulation in it. It is very useful for training and predicting speeds and times for various velodromes at different elevations and testing equipment.

If one does not have power at the track then one needs another person who is good with a stopwatch for time checks.

I also have a couple of track friends who use a simple speedometer and note the finishing speed of an effort and write it down in a log after each effort. And that can be indicative of performance and over long periods of time quite accurate to determine progress. So speed matters.


Butt units?
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Old 12-07-19, 08:01 PM
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I'll be a dissenting voice and say that speed does matter. Even though I was already a cat 1 by that point, when I started focusing on speed, really focusing, it helped. I started podiuming way more. I got in more breaks, and I won from more breaks. And the name of the game when you're trying to win from breaks is to go as fast as possible with as little effort as possible.
A lot of that speed revolved around position, but tube/tire choice and aero clothing and equipment also played a part.

As far as going from a cat 5 to a cat 1, your ability to get to the pointy end, stay there, and sprint will determine that more than any other single variable. Some guys do it in two years, some in 6-7, the vast majority never do it. I reckon a category a year is pretty solid, but the proliferation of events in your area and how many you do will have a big impact on upgrade speed. The more you race, the better you get at racing. As a junior, that means as many junior races followed by categorized races as you can do. Get the upgrade to 4 as soon as possible and do jr 17/18, cat 4/5, and cat 3/4 races. Look for something to learn in every single race, and figure out how to put yourself into position to win at the end.
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Old 12-07-19, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
but as we say in yacht racing, boat speed can make anyone look like a tactical genius.
Ha. So much this.

Have a 420 watt FTP and you can write the book on tactics at nearly every race you go to.
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Old 12-07-19, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76
What? Perhaps the average speed doesn't relate, but pretty much every other number in caloso's power file relates directly to the high intensity of the workout. Track has always been power based in a more controlled way than the road. Flat course, progression of fixed gear & cadence. Using power meter numbers for Anaerobic development isn't quite as far along as TSS, TSB, etc but there is a lot of interesting work going on. FRC measurement and sprint stress tracking being a couple of examples.
There are several threads on the Track forum talking about power meters. The speed guys who are posting talk more about the importance of heart rate, cadence and lap time.There are some inherent problems with sprinting and most power meters in general because of the way they operate, which is why SRM power meters are the gold standard on the track because they use a magnet. Go to the track forum read what the track specialists have to say.

Last edited by colnago62; 12-07-19 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 12-07-19, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62
There are several threads on the Track forum talking about power meters. The speed guys who are posting talk more about the importance of heart rate, cadence and lap time.There are some inherent problems with sprinting and most power meters in general because of the way they operate, which is why SRM power meters are the gold standard on the track because they use a magnet. Go to the track forum read what the track specialists have to say.
Perhaps go back and read my comments in those threads. Getting a bit off topic here

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Old 12-08-19, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76
Perhaps go back and read my comments in those threads. Getting a bit off topic here
Read what Carleton has said about power. He seems to be one who is extremely knowledgeable about its use in that particular venue.
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