Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Training & Nutrition
Reload this Page >

Am I really spending this much time in z5 and z6? Or is my FTP way low?

Notices
Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

Am I really spending this much time in z5 and z6? Or is my FTP way low?

Old 11-05-13, 05:46 PM
  #1  
ethan.g75
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ethan.g75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 103

Bikes: Felt FC 7970, Trek5200 comuterized

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Am I really spending this much time in z5 and z6? Or is my FTP way low?

So I am a small rider, 5'4"; 108 pounds. I have been riding for a little while now, I train with a power meter and all that good stuff. I am curious if i have really established a true FTP, because when I ride, I am spending what i think is an immense amount of time in z6 and z5. here is one example; from today's ride:

thanks for your input
ethan.g75 is offline  
Old 11-05-13, 06:33 PM
  #2  
hamster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What does the critical power curve look like?

This looks implausible (unless you were doing intervals here) and more consistent with FTP in the high 200's. However, with your weight, FTP in the high 200's (5..6 W/kg) would put you in professional cyclist land and you'd be discussing this with your team trainer, not in an Internet forum.

I'm going to guess that you have a miscalibrated power meter.
hamster is offline  
Old 11-05-13, 07:15 PM
  #3  
ethan.g75
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ethan.g75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 103

Bikes: Felt FC 7970, Trek5200 comuterized

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
@hamster the miscalibrated power meter is not possible, as I had the same thought, so I rode for a week with two power meters (stages is mine, ptap is buddy's, he just bought it as a spare). Numbers were the same. Anyway, what do you want to see? my power curve? I hate to admit it, but I have for 3 months now avoided a real true power test on the trainer and stuff, for anything besides ftp. And even with the ftp tests; my heart isnt really in it. I have trouble motivating myself to cry for 20 solid minutes on the trainer, and dont have enough flat road space where I live. This is motivating me to go get power tested...

Last edited by ethan.g75; 11-05-13 at 07:18 PM.
ethan.g75 is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 01:08 AM
  #4  
hamster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
According to the power curve, FTP is roughly correct and you do spend a lot of time in z6/z7.

In this activity, you spent 7.5 minutes above 320 W (bottom boundary of z7). But the longest you managed to maintain an average of 320 W continuously was only about 45 seconds. So you keep going there and then falling off. If this is not intentional (intervals), your power output may simply be too irregular, with easy pedaling interspersed with short bursts in z6/z7.
hamster is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 08:31 AM
  #5  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 9,356

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '05 Novara Big Buzz, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1046 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 15 Posts
Man, that's a fighter's power spread! Do you ride like that usually?

I need to be able to suffer more like that...
chaadster is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 03:43 PM
  #6  
ethan.g75
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ethan.g75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 103

Bikes: Felt FC 7970, Trek5200 comuterized

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Man, that's a fighter's power spread! Do you ride like that usually?

I need to be able to suffer more like that...
heheheh, thanks. I do ride like that usually. Funny thing is that i never really noticed that i did, since i barely ever look at zone distribution, i never thought of myself as a real sufferer.
ethan.g75 is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 03:48 PM
  #7  
ethan.g75
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ethan.g75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 103

Bikes: Felt FC 7970, Trek5200 comuterized

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by hamster View Post
According to the power curve, FTP is roughly correct and you do spend a lot of time in z6/z7.

In this activity, you spent 7.5 minutes above 320 W (bottom boundary of z7). But the longest you managed to maintain an average of 320 W continuously was only about 45 seconds. So you keep going there and then falling off. If this is not intentional (intervals), your power output may simply be too irregular, with easy pedaling interspersed with short bursts in z6/z7.
was not doing intervals, but strange thing is, when i look at the ride in golden cheetah, and i highlight the areas in z1/z2, there are a few large stretches, one a long decent, and two where i was stuck in car traffic. I am going to try to do a real solid test very soon, see where things go.
ethan.g75 is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 03:55 PM
  #8  
Hermes
Version 3.0
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 12,123

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 294 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 831 Post(s)
Liked 612 Times in 413 Posts
Originally Posted by ethan.g75 View Post
heheheh, thanks. I do ride like that usually. Funny thing is that i never really noticed that i did, since i barely ever look at zone distribution, i never thought of myself as a real sufferer.
What is your breathing like during the z5 and z6 efforts? When I do 20 x 90 second z6 intervals, my breathing is very rapid and I am suffering a lot at z6 power. And I would not stack 5 minute z5 intervals on top of the z6. I would normally not self select repeated z6 intervals on a typical training ride. It is not practical or possible to do them day after day.
Hermes is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 04:22 PM
  #9  
ethan.g75
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ethan.g75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 103

Bikes: Felt FC 7970, Trek5200 comuterized

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
What is your breathing like during the z5 and z6 efforts?
Well, like i said, i dont look at zones normally. I know around what power I should/want to be putting out, and how many kj's each ride should be. I do however, never find myself really breathing hard unless i am nearing the top of either of the two longish climbs on my normal routes. I never find myself breathing super hard during the 220-300 watt efforts. In fact, along my normal routes, the last 6 miles or so is fairly flat/gradual inclines, at which point i just put my head down and suffer. For this section I am riding a lot around 245 watts, and during these 5 minute long periods (there are a few downhills where I cant put out the power due to my junior gear restrictions), I am not breathing hard at all.
ethan.g75 is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 04:32 PM
  #10  
hamster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You appear to have relatively high FTP and relatively low anaerobic capacity (compared to me, anyways) (I wonder if those are measured correctly - does this curve include any 1-5 minute sprints to exhaustion?) and you don't even exhaust that capacity at any point in this activity. Like I said, the longest you average 320 W (150% FTP, bottom end of Z7) here is 45 seconds. Personally, I can sustain 150% FTP for about 3.5 minutes and 120% FTP for 8 minutes. A 45 second sprint at 150% FTP would not feel particularly hard. Though like Hermes I would not normally self select doing that unintentionally.
hamster is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 04:37 PM
  #11  
Hermes
Version 3.0
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 12,123

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 294 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 831 Post(s)
Liked 612 Times in 413 Posts
I assumed you were a junior based upon your size and weight. The construct developed by Coggan and Allen is really for elite 1/2 roadies who are fully developed. I suspect that you have great top end but need development of your FTP. And it may take some time before that occurs.

I suggest a real 20 minute FTP test. Find some flat to rolling terrain or a hill climb where you can go hard for 20 minutes. Flat to rolling terrain is more difficult to maintain power but with practice totally doable. No matter what the outcome of the test, know going in that you are a rockstar right now. Those z5 and z6 power numbers are great. I suspect as you mature, they will go up as well as your FTP. Keep up the good work.
Hermes is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 04:45 PM
  #12  
ethan.g75
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ethan.g75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 103

Bikes: Felt FC 7970, Trek5200 comuterized

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by hamster View Post
You appear to have relatively high FTP and relatively low anaerobic capacity (compared to me, anyways) (I wonder if those are measured correctly - does this curve include any 1-5 minute sprints to exhaustion?) and you don't even exhaust that capacity at any point in this activity. Like I said, the longest you average 320 W (150% FTP, bottom end of Z7) here is 45 seconds. Personally, I can sustain 150% FTP for about 3.5 minutes and 120% FTP for 8 minutes. A 45 second sprint at 150% FTP would not feel particularly hard. Though like Hermes I would not normally self select doing that unintentionally.
you are right about my high ftp and low anaerobic, i can climb for days, but suck in short hard efforts. like i said, I am yet to have a good ftp test, as I find it very hard to motivate myself to work that hard on the trainer. do you still think that my ftp could be higher than the number i am currently using? current profile is: 5sec=16.1w/kg, 1min=8w/kg, 5min=5w/kg, ftp=4.35w/kg. again, none of these numbers are from tests. these are all feats i have achieved out on the road. Funny enough, in the past 3 weeks, i have raised my ftp 4 or 5 times. this is another reason i think that my ftp is higher than current simply because i am constantly raising it
ethan.g75 is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 04:47 PM
  #13  
ethan.g75
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ethan.g75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 103

Bikes: Felt FC 7970, Trek5200 comuterized

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I assumed you were a junior based upon your size and weight. The construct developed by Coggan and Allen is really for elite 1/2 roadies who are fully developed. I suspect that you have great top end but need development of your FTP. And it may take some time before that occurs.

I suggest a real 20 minute FTP test. Find some flat to rolling terrain or a hill climb where you can go hard for 20 minutes. Flat to rolling terrain is more difficult to maintain power but with practice totally doable. No matter what the outcome of the test, know going in that you are a rockstar right now. Those z5 and z6 power numbers are great. I suspect as you mature, they will go up as well as your FTP. Keep up the good work.
Thanks, the weird thing about it is that my power profile is sloping up, and climbing for long efforts is my game.
ethan.g75 is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 05:25 PM
  #14  
hamster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ethan.g75 View Post
you are right about my high ftp and low anaerobic, i can climb for days, but suck in short hard efforts. like i said, I am yet to have a good ftp test, as I find it very hard to motivate myself to work that hard on the trainer. do you still think that my ftp could be higher than the number i am currently using? current profile is: 5sec=16.1w/kg, 1min=8w/kg, 5min=5w/kg, ftp=4.35w/kg. again, none of these numbers are from tests. these are all feats i have achieved out on the road. Funny enough, in the past 3 weeks, i have raised my ftp 4 or 5 times. this is another reason i think that my ftp is higher than current simply because i am constantly raising it
If it's higher, it's not by much. There's a good agreement between the dashed CP curve and your actual efforts.
hamster is offline  
Old 11-06-13, 11:20 PM
  #15  
hamster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
BTW, in my opinion, the best you can do in the near future is intervals and weight training with focus on legs. (See thread "building strength but not mass?")

You have fairly high FTP for your height that is not likely to budge significantly without high intensity training. You're also extremely light (BMI 18.5?) and you have low anaerobic capacity, both of which indicate the same thing: borderline unhealthy lack of skeletal muscle. Even the most distinguished professional climbing specialists rarely have BMIs below 20. You could afford to have another 10 pounds if it meant at least doubling your anaerobic capacity.

Of course, you'd have to watch your weight and try to keep repetitions low in all exercises not involving legs, since the FTP of 4.35 w/kg is a good thing to have in itself, and it's best not to hurt this number unless necessary.

Compare:


I'm slightly higher than you are and I'm on the opposite side of the BMI equation (too many pizzas and days in a Herman Miller chair = at least 20 lbs of excess fat that I'd like to lose eventually).

And I'm pretty sure that I can get that AWC up past 30, since I just started doing lifting after a long break.

Last edited by hamster; 11-06-13 at 11:28 PM.
hamster is offline  
Old 11-07-13, 08:24 AM
  #16  
DataJunkie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14,277
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
We have the exact same CP and AWC but I weigh 50 lbs more. My power at various times is a bit different.
Man...depressing. Good job
My caveat is that I rarely use my powermeter during cross season as it is on my road bike. It was 230 a few months ago. *shrugs*
DataJunkie is offline  
Old 11-08-13, 03:03 PM
  #17  
ethan.g75
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ethan.g75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 103

Bikes: Felt FC 7970, Trek5200 comuterized

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by hamster View Post
You have fairly high FTP for your height that is not likely to budge significantly without high intensity training. You're also extremely light (BMI 18.5?) and you have low anaerobic capacity, both of which indicate the same thing: borderline unhealthy lack of skeletal muscle. Even the most distinguished professional climbing specialists rarely have BMIs below 20. You could afford to have another 10 pounds if it meant at least doubling your anaerobic capacity.
so are you suggesting i add on a little weight? I have been toying with gaining a little more weight lately; since i know i will most likely then be able to put out more power. i am just worried about losing my amazing climbing ability.
ethan.g75 is offline  
Old 11-08-13, 03:15 PM
  #18  
Hermes
Version 3.0
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 12,123

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 294 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 831 Post(s)
Liked 612 Times in 413 Posts
Since you are running junior gears, I assume that you are a junior and could be very young - not a bad thing...just young and developing both aerobically and physically. I train at Velo Sports Center track in Carson and occasionally train with younger juniors. They are crazy strong on the track and have great leg speed. However, they are going to grow and get even stronger with more lung capacity and aerobic throughput.

Gaining weight is not a bad thing but specialty climbers are smaller in stature and do not weigh much. I find it hard to believe that putting on a few pounds of mostly muscle will make a lot of difference climbing and in fact the added muscle may improve your FTP and climbing ability and will certainly improve your top end power.
Hermes is offline  
Old 11-08-13, 03:22 PM
  #19  
ethan.g75
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ethan.g75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 103

Bikes: Felt FC 7970, Trek5200 comuterized

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
we are talking about leg muscle correct? i dont really understand how to "build leg muscle" besides riding hard and doing intervals like i already do. Should I start off the bike exercises like squats etc.?
ethan.g75 is offline  
Old 11-08-13, 03:33 PM
  #20  
hamster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Since you are running junior gears, I assume that you are a junior and could be very young - not a bad thing...just young and developing both aerobically and physically. I train at Velo Sports Center track in Carson and occasionally train with younger juniors. They are crazy strong on the track and have great leg speed. However, they are going to grow and get even stronger with more lung capacity and aerobic throughput.

Gaining weight is not a bad thing but specialty climbers are smaller in stature and do not weigh much. I find it hard to believe that putting on a few pounds of mostly muscle will make a lot of difference climbing and in fact the added muscle may improve your FTP and climbing ability and will certainly improve your top end power.
I believe he said elsewhere that he's 15. @ethan.g75 Based on standard growth curves and current height/weight, if nothing unusual happens, you're going to max out somewhere around 5'7" and 135 lbs. Still well in climbing specialist territory. Charts say that BMI tends to go up somewhat for a few years, so 18.5 now could become 21 or so in five years. But that's probably based on assumption that most people gain some fat and some whole-body muscle in this age. If you watch your fat and make sure to limit muscle mass gain to the legs, you could stay lower than that.

Not sure what's going to happen with the aerobic power. It will definitely go up but I'm not sure how much.

Should I start off the bike exercises like squats etc.?
Yes, squats would be my suggestion. Winter is a good time to start, a few months of weight training + reduced intensity on the bike, and phase out weights closer to the next racing season.
hamster is offline  
Old 11-08-13, 07:30 PM
  #21  
sprince
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 888
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just an anecdotal observation... I was having trouble making any gains on the aerobic side, and my predisposition is to ride in and out of z6 and z7, most every day. Found that limiting the rides to less than z5 for 2 out of 3 rides dramatically increased my aerobic capacity (which for me is almost nothing to slightly more than nothing). An accidental discovery was that periods of z5 for consecutive days or on the 2 days following squats is particularly problematic for maintaining strength and for muscle recovery. But z1-2 does wonders for recovery the day after a leg day at the gym. If you're 15 you should require much less recovery time, but the timing and zone is still important.
sprince is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Redbullet
Road Cycling
39
03-24-16 08:47 PM
DaveLeeNC
Training & Nutrition
14
05-24-15 07:17 PM
Dudelsack
Training & Nutrition
3
12-27-13 03:31 PM
Barrettscv
Road Cycling
8
07-30-12 02:22 PM
billydonn
Training & Nutrition
6
02-05-12 05:12 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.