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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a 49 year-old who started racing this year after 10 years of recreational riding. I have attached my power profile from WKO+. I think I'm where I want to be for my next race (this Sunday) which is a hilly 70 mi road race. However, I would like to improve my 1-minute power for a 20 mi circuit race in a month's time.

I am a fairly typical ectomorph, weighing 152 lbs at 5'10". Since I have large quads, and squat 245lbsx12 reps in the winter, my theory is that my weakness is neuromuscular rather than simply muscular. But after years of cycling at an endurance pace, I can't get my legs to do a 1 minute effort at much more than 450W. The few times I've had to respond to clydesdales pushing me on flats and/or rollers I've popped like a balloon.

Ideally, I'd like to be closer to 600W. Is it feasible to get this sort of improvement? Does it just take lots and lots on painful intervals?

(I just realized the histogram bars are not labeled. Left to right is 5s, 1min, 5min and ftp based on 20min effort.)
 

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Have you tried to do hard 1 minute efforts - really, really hard 1 minute efforts?

That power profile looks like someone's who hasn't gone out and done any 1 minute max efforts.

Have you built your fatigue profiles?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Sumguy1 said:
Have you tried to do hard 1 minute efforts - really, really hard 1 minute efforts?
That power profile looks like someone's who hasn't gone out and done any 1 minute max efforts.
Have you built your fatigue profiles?
I have gone out and tried, and the data shows my efforts. But as I said I have not been focusing on these efforts, since my immediate priority is a road race with a mountain-top finish.

Regarding fatigue profile, I can't see an easy way to do it in WKO+. What I did was use the applet at
http://www.peakscoachinggroup.com/ASPX/FP/FP.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
and supplied the data from my athlete summary and the additional data from the peaks in appropriate mean maximal power power curves. I have appended the result, but it looks a bit confusing, since it says my neuromuscular power is above average while my LT is below average. Have I done this analysis incorrectly? Note that I have also not done any testing for 60min and 90min efforts. These data come from regular training rides, and I have only had the PM for a couple of months. I have also not done the specific fatigue profile tests outlined on page 61-forward of the book.
 

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You're misunderstanding fatigue profile. For each level, the ratings don't say how good your power is, they say how much (or little) your power fades from the short to the long end of the range.

Those results (mine are similar) don't say that your NM power is good, it says that your NM fatigue resistance is good. In my case that's because my 5sec power is low, not because my 10sec power is high. Not having done many 60 min or any 90 min all out efforts, but a lot of 20 min ones, my LT results are also suspect.

1 min tests are hard to do and not much fun. BTW, 1 min is out of the neuromuscular range and well into anaerobic. That's pretty trainable if you're willing to take the pain.
 

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1 min max efforts... very very unpleasant, prepare to be re-acquainted with your lunch

a genuine 100% max effort is very difficult to do alone but you will know all about it if you did it properly
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, ericm979. That's very helpful and it makes sense that one's fatigue resistance will be anti-correlated with power.

Now I know what I've got to do....
 

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the_gormandizer said:
Thanks, ericm979. That's very helpful and it makes sense that one's fatigue resistance will be anti-correlated with power.

Now I know what I've got to do....
Over a 1000 watts, however, isn't too shabby. Basically, your profile looks like a guy who's done a lot of recreational cycling (ie...long rides at lower intensities) over the years. You've been doing 10 years of base work.

As been mentioned, one area of weakness with you is your anaerobic capacity - that area between minute 1 and minute 5, and also making power in bigger gears on the flats to keep up with the clydes.

Anaerobic work is really effective, but all these energy systems operate on a continuum. Focusing on shorter efforts initially - 15 second over-geared microbursts, 30 second leadout intervals - will develop the strength reserve to start extending out the duration from a higher baseline.

Other effective workouts for your particular case is doing something that's going to approximate what motorpacing does. I take it you don't have a personal coach with a scooter to ride behind, but doing some flat-land efforts in a bigger gear and lower cadence would develop strength endurance. Also finding a slight downhill section and doing hard efforts in your big gear.

Incorporate work into your normal rides. After stop lights, power up to speed in a big gear with a big effort.

Even having better anaerobic capacity will help a little on that drop from 20 min to 60 min power, but you also need to be doing some longer rides and riding at subthreshold intensities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
patchito, thanks for your excellent advice. You have hit the nail on the head. I am indeed a recreational rider trying to race. My "training" focus in the past was epic rides in the mountains. I will try not to get too discouraged not being able to hold my power for longer times, and will work on shorter efforts. I think (hope?) my 60 minute power drop is due to a lack of good data.

Up here in NH, we have two training series: one in Claremont on a 1/4 mile circuit, and one at Loudon Speedway, which extends the NASCAR oval into the backfield. The Claremont "A" race often averages over 26mph, which is a bit like motorpacing, even if I can't manage to contest the sprints. I think I need to do these races as much as I can.
 

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the_gormandizer said:
patchito, thanks for your excellent advice. You have hit the nail on the head. I am indeed a recreational rider trying to race. My "training" focus in the past was epic rides in the mountains. I will try not to get too discouraged not being able to hold my power for longer times, and will work on shorter efforts. I think (hope?) my 60 minute power drop is due to a lack of good data.

Up here in NH, we have two training series: one in Claremont on a 1/4 mile circuit, and one at Loudon Speedway, which extends the NASCAR oval into the backfield. The Claremont "A" race often averages over 26mph, which is a bit like motorpacing, even if I can't manage to contest the sprints. I think I need to do these races as much as I can.
Nothing to get discouraged about. Your 20 minute power/weight is actually pretty good. Like I said, you have 10 years of base training.

I actually started my cycling life as a recreational mountain biker. As a result, I got pretty good at the cycling I did consistently.....ie, climbing. When I started road riding with the local groups, it was a rude awakening. I was with the lead pack up the first big climb, but once over the top and the speed picked up, I was off the back. Now, if anything, my flat power might be a little better than my climbing....I just haven't been doing as much climbing in the last year or so.

300 watts really is different in the small ring/big cog than the big ring/small cog. If feels different.

Baby steps. In your regular road rides, you could incorporate some of the things I suggested like big gear surges, 30 second leadouts in the saddle, power starts after waiting for a stop light, or longer big ring intervals on the flats.

you'll get there
 

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fwiw, the 1min power on the MMP chart you posted was extrapolated from one of the best track sprinters in the world. Don't get caught up that it's a weak point relative to your other intensities. My 1min power almost reaches "good," and my FTP is only in the cat3 range, but I can keep up well in crits with professionals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I need to HTFU...

O.K. I said it in the subject line before someone else does.

I've been going to the track and doing intervals to try to improve. My best 1 minute power is now up to 490W. Today, I did a drill suggested in Friel's book. Riding with a partner, we drafted each other with the leader randomly surging to try drop the other guy. Fine, until my buddy attacked from behind just after I had attacked and I was not recovered. I could barely respond.

My max HR is approx 190 (actually observed) and my AT is approx 167-170. But seems that once my HR reaches a certain level, say 180, I turn into a little girl until I can recover back to about my AT. I have observed this when I am at the track. If I go out for a prime, I can't sprint for the next points lap unless I am recovered. I think this is why my 1 minute power is not good --- my power drops off significantly when I hit an anaerobic state.

I believe the ability to surge when in this anaerobic state is critical for launching or responding to attacks. I know I need more intervals and I need to HTFU. Any other suggestions?
 
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