Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Further and Faster => Topic started by: quixoticgeek on July 13, 2018, 05:54:15 pm

Title: Realistic power goals?
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 13, 2018, 05:54:15 pm

I've been thinking about my riding plans for next year (I have to start booking leave soon), and while I am enjoying cycling the flat lands, at my current power level, and weight (95kg), the moment the road tilts up, I'm slowing to a crawl, and in many cases walking. My low power (ftp not measured, but I'd be surprised if it's over 150W). To get up a 10% incline of any length at anything approaching respectable (say 10kph), is going to take a good 300+W. Obviously as my weight goes down (9kg gone since March!), the amount of power needed to lug my carcass up a hill goes down, but even at 70kg, it's >250W for said 10% incline.

I'm going to get myself a power meter and start training properly to increase my power, but I like to set myself targets. I'm wondering therefore what is a realistic achievable FTP for an amateur training on her own without the guidance of a personal trainer. Is a 300w FTP a target that might be achievable?

J

PS I appreciate every person is different, so this is very much speaking in generalisations, but I would be curious to know others thoughts on this.

J
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: cygnet on July 13, 2018, 06:02:44 pm
Power people will be along, I'm sure, but if you're going to train with power, measure your ftp first and set targets from that rather than reaching for an arbitrary decimal number.

Buried somewhere around here is talk of fast audaxers having an FTP of 3 to 3.5W/kg
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: mattc on July 13, 2018, 07:57:04 pm
Predicting how much power you (or other rider-on-the-internet) could gain from a perfect training plan is like guessing how tall you are:
we will be right ON AVERAGE, but individuals will vary hugely.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: DuncanM on July 13, 2018, 08:12:31 pm
Even if we knew how old you are, how much training history you have in cycling and/or other endurance sports, how mcuh time you have to train/recover and a whole bunch of other stuff, we'd still be taking an absolute random guess! :)
If you want to work with power, get a power meter, test your current FTP and work from there. I suspect it would take several seasons to take an untrained cyclist to their peak FTP. Mine's gone from 171 to 261 in 9 months of solid Trainer Road, and though the rate of improvement is going to slow to a crawl at some point, I've no idea how much further I can push it. :) The absolute numbers don't really matter though, what matters is fast and how long you can go, and there's more to that than how many Watts you have.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 13, 2018, 08:16:17 pm

Thanks for the answers. I suppose what I was trying to see is if the response was "are you nuts? that's Van de Breggen or Vos territory!" vs  "sure, if you work at it..."

J

Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: DuncanM on July 13, 2018, 08:43:50 pm
Check out Strava and you can see what the professionals do. Some of them have power and some don't - this is Gracie Elvin's page for Wednesdays Giro Rosa stage (and there are >30 other riders connected to that ride):
https://www.strava.com/activities/1695467134

This is a good primer in terms of W/kg for men and women:
https://cyclingtips.com/2017/06/just-good-female-pro-road-cyclists/
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: chrisbainbridge on July 14, 2018, 08:18:16 am
If you have never trained before then you will almost certainly see a large jump in FTP quite quickly.  You also need to define what you mean by training and how much you want to invest (time and money).

Whilst you can train outside and get faster there seems to be general agreement that in a time strapped society indoor turbo training is the best return on time invested.

Personally I would recommend a direct drive turbo with an erg mode but they are heinously expensive.  Also if you have a power meter you can get away with a really cheap turbo as your accurate power will come from your meter.  The Erg mode on a direct drive does make intervals crisper in my limited experience.

I prefer Trainerroad to Sufferfest as I can watch netflix whilst doing my session.  Another that i like is BigringVR which has the best Real Life Videos with incline so that you can go up a real mountain and almost breathe the fresh air.  There is also Zwift but I ride for myself and do not particularly like the large volume of people.

The trainerroad baseline plan will start you off and then something like the sustained power or century build would set you up for touring next year.  Any of the sweet spot based training plans will do however.  They also have good practise built in about cycling technique to become more fluid and efficient.

More experienced people will be along soon but I hope this helps.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Thing2 on July 14, 2018, 10:49:18 am
When training for our team Raam I got a power meter and started training using it. There was definitely an element of training yourself for the training to start with in that it took a while to get the hang of actually doing an FTP test to get an accurate number. Some people I know get their best numbers out on the road, but I've always got better numbers on the turbo trainer. I found Watts/kg a better overall measure when losing weight too - adding power while losing weight was hard! I have a copy of 'training and racing with a power meter' by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan which, whilst being complete overkill for what I actually wanted, has a useful table of reference numbers for Watts/kg for everyone from an untrained non racer to international pro. For reference, the table starts at 1.5 W/kg for an untrained woman non racer. I went from 2.36 W/kg on my 1st FTP (female fair eg Cat V racer) to 3.53 W/kg (boundary of good/very good eg Cat III/Cat II) in just over a year.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Giropaul on July 14, 2018, 10:52:08 am
I attend ( and sometimes help out at) a Wattbike studio. I’m a Wattbike trained and accredited instructor. I see real world accurate figures from a range of riders, racing cyclists, triathletes and and sportive type riders.

A true ftp for an fit rider who has trained for a couple of years will typically be around the 180 - 250 Watts. Their Strava ( calculated on speed etc) may show more, but it’s only a properly tested, calibrated test that is really real. There are some gifted individuals that can put out a lot of power with little racing of course, but they are rare in my experience.

As noted above, training for power is much better done on a Wattbike or calibrated trainer. A very well known rider ( big time trial winner) near here reckons on 80% Wattbike, 20% road in winter, and at least 50% Wattbike in summer. It’s difficult to ride to a programme ( and you need a programme) on an open road unless you live in the uninhabited part of the Fens.

I know a few very successful PBP and other long event riders. None of those do much other than just get in miles, and miles, and miles. If I can persuade one into the studio I’ll do an ftp test, but I’m confident that it won’t be very high as they are adapted to long rides not a 1 hour ( definition of ftp) effort. Personally, for what I understand you are aiming to do, I’d be doing long rides, and getting a core fitness programme in a good local gym. Backs and arms often give out before legs!
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: toontra on July 14, 2018, 12:16:09 pm
I'd agree with the above. My FTP (around 240) becomes virtually meaningless on the 3rd day of a 1000k ride!  It's miles in the legs that count more for long distance stuff. Also agree about core strength training being important.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 14, 2018, 03:29:30 pm
As noted above, training for power is much better done on a Wattbike or calibrated trainer. A very well known rider ( big time trial winner) near here reckons on 80% Wattbike, 20% road in winter, and at least 50% Wattbike in summer. It’s difficult to ride to a programme ( and you need a programme) on an open road unless you live in the uninhabited part of the Fens.

I'll reply to all the other points and other posts in due course, but on the above point (my bold). I'm not in the fens, I'm the only place flatter. Noord Holland! one of my regular routes not far from here has a 5km length of road with no junctions, no lights, and next to no traffic. Depending on the wind, it's a great place to get down on the aero bars and just do an all out for about 12 mins. (Am trying to get it as a segment under 11 mins...) This is just one example, but there are plenty of other roads of similar quality, and if I'm willing to go a little further afield, I can get to a 12km straight, junction free road.

The only thing I don't have for training locally, is hills...

J
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: zakalwe on July 14, 2018, 08:32:49 pm
I'd agree with the above. My FTP (around 240) becomes virtually meaningless on the 3rd day of a 1000k ride!  It's miles in the legs that count more for long distance stuff. Also agree about core strength training being important.

It might feel meaningless, but all other things being equal a higher FTP means you'll do 1000 km more quickly (or at the same speed more easily).  If you look the winners of races like the TCR, their routines involve as much high-intensity training as endurance training.

You can look at it another way: it's probably possible to maintain an average power of, say, 180 W for 1000 km with an FTP of 350 W (if you're sufficiently adapted to endurance), but no way is that possible with an FTP of 250 W!
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: zakalwe on July 14, 2018, 08:36:56 pm
As noted above, training for power is much better done on a Wattbike or calibrated trainer. A very well known rider ( big time trial winner) near here reckons on 80% Wattbike, 20% road in winter, and at least 50% Wattbike in summer. It’s difficult to ride to a programme ( and you need a programme) on an open road unless you live in the uninhabited part of the Fens.

I'll reply to all the other points and other posts in due course, but on the above point (my bold). I'm not in the fens, I'm the only place flatter. Noord Holland! one of my regular routes not far from here has a 5km length of road with no junctions, no lights, and next to no traffic. Depending on the wind, it's a great place to get down on the aero bars and just do an all out for about 12 mins. (Am trying to get it as a segment under 11 mins...) This is just one example, but there are plenty of other roads of similar quality, and if I'm willing to go a little further afield, I can get to a 12km straight, junction free road.

The only thing I don't have for training locally, is hills...

J

If you're training for power, being in the aero position probably isn't helping.  You can get a longer workout by sitting upright (you'll be going more slowly), and you'll produce more power in that position as well :)
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: DuncanM on July 14, 2018, 08:43:25 pm
If you're training for power, being in the aero position probably isn't helping.  You can get a longer workout by sitting upright (you'll be going more slowly), and you'll produce more power in that position as well :)

Definitely.  Once you've built the power then you can become more specific and learn to apply it when aero. The only blocks where I've not gained power in the last year have been when I've been doing them aero.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Bobby on July 14, 2018, 09:53:58 pm
Don’t know about the power, but we’ll done on the weight loss!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Samuel D on July 14, 2018, 11:01:10 pm
A 300 W FTP is probably not a realistic goal. Most female professional racers don’t have that much power. A lot of male racers don’t have that much power, although I guess most pros do.

The internet can be dispiriting when power figures are bandied about. The biggest boasters are naturally the ones with most to boast about. Many of them will be large people who neglect to mention their size. And since it’s the internet, many claims are exaggerated.

On the more uplifting side, power does not equal speed. Tight-fitting clothes, an efficient bicycle (not necessarily expensive or fashionable), an aerodynamic riding position, and optimum drafting in groups go a long way toward speed. A lot of long-distance cyclists do not see these low-hanging fruit, so those who do have their performance flattered.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 14, 2018, 11:47:20 pm
On the more uplifting side, power does not equal speed. Tight-fitting clothes, an efficient bicycle (not necessarily expensive or fashionable), an aerodynamic riding position, and optimum drafting in groups go a long way toward speed. A lot of long-distance cyclists do not see these low-hanging fruit, so those who do have their performance flattered.

But power does equal speed when the road tilts up. Even with the lowest possible gear I have (28/34), and a cadence of 60, I'm doing 6.3kph. To do that up a 10% incline is ~208w, at my current weight. If I can get down to a target weight of 80kg, that's ~179w. If I want to maintain a 15kph for a whole audax, and have a chance to have breaks, I'd need to go a lot faster than the 6.3kph. If I wanted to do an SR permanent where I have to average 10kph, then doing 10kph up a 10% for an 80kg rider is ~288w.

I've used 10% here, as a bit of a magic number and I appreciate that while a hill may have bits that at >=10%, they typically don't average it for the whole length (with a few notable exceptions[1]). But even if we picked 7.5%, 10kph/80kg rider == ~221w. For a 95kg rider it would be ~255w.

In the context of a solo ultra endurance rider, in anything but the flat with a tailwind, Power is everything.

Please prove me wrong.

J

[1] Topical notable exception: the Zoncolan. It's an average of 13% for 7.8km. with peaks of almost 30%. Run the numbers tho for 13%, based on a minimum cadence of 60, on the 28/34 above, a 80kg rider doing the 6.3kph would need to pump out ~230w. But that assumes a constant 13%, on the bits that hit 20% we're at 350w. Obviously the 350w would only need to be for shorter efforts, so not done at threshold, the rest of the climb would be. And that is assuming the slowest speed the bike can reasonably be pedalled at. Please prove me wrong.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Samuel D on July 15, 2018, 09:54:26 am
But power does equal speed when the road tilts up.

Sure. But climbing is only a portion of most rides and often a small portion.

I haven’t checked your calculations but they seem to be based on a minimum cadence of 60 RPM in a certain gear ratio. If the choice is between sustaining impossible power and pedalling at an unauthorised cadence, your body will make the same choice every time. So the concept of a minimum cadence is artificial. This is especially true if you practice climbing out of the saddle (some cyclists find this hard for reasons that aren’t clear to me) so that you can climb efficiently and not strain your knees at very low cadences if needed, far below 60 RPM.

In the context of a solo ultra endurance rider, in anything but the flat with a tailwind, Power is everything.

Power is obviously very important, but the other factors I mentioned play a role too, particularly when you have significant airspeed. And they’re typically much easier to improve than power.

And as was said above, power over an hour (FTP) does not accurately predict power over two days (although there’s some correlation). Training your body not to need a constant drip of sugar would be a good start. Then solving the problems of discomfort and injury on long rides.

Focusing on power seems a bit misguided to me because all of my long-distance (not very) rides have been limited by things other than power.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: DuncanM on July 15, 2018, 10:02:12 am
Maybe you need a smaller gear?
300W is a lot, but it's not necessarily unachievable.  If you were to weigh 75kg (for the sake of simple numbers), 300W would mean 4W/kg, putting you at the top end of the Women Cat 2 racer category according to the chart I posted earlier. Clearly that is achievable for some people, whether that's achievable for you only you can tell.
It also depends on what sort of events you want to do. While you're right that for climbing hills power/weight is most important, on the flat, power/aero is the key.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 15, 2018, 12:21:49 pm
Maybe you need a smaller gear?

Smaller than a 28 front with a 34 back? I've already mixed MTB and Road kit to get this low. While I could maybe goto a 26, I'd then reach the max limit of the front mech. In theory I can put a 36 on the back. But now we're into the territory of a slowing to the point of being unsteady.

Quote
300W is a lot, but it's not necessarily unachievable.  If you were to weigh 75kg (for the sake of simple numbers), 300W would mean 4W/kg, putting you at the top end of the Women Cat 2 racer category according to the chart I posted earlier. Clearly that is achievable for some people, whether that's achievable for you only you can tell.
It also depends on what sort of events you want to do. While you're right that for climbing hills power/weight is most important, on the flat, power/aero is the key.

I just want to go up hills at more than 6kph, and ideally without having to get off and push. Not too fussed about my speed on the flat. What I have now is plenty fast for my needs, and if I can improve my performance going up, then my flat performance will improve as a natural side effect.

J
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: chrisbainbridge on July 15, 2018, 02:52:40 pm
disclaimer:  I failed to complete LEL due to heart problem but I did pay for training for 12 months and learnt a lot.

Sweetspot training improves the ability to work at just below FTP for hours on end.  Adrian Timmis (google him) suggested doing two 20 minute intervals at 80% of FTP with 5-1-minute recovery and up the power by a couple of per cent every ride.  Brings a steady increase in power and endurance which is great.

My eureka moment was discerning a difference between hills and flat.  on the flat I work at a power which keeps me in zone 2 HR so whatever the situation, in terms of wind, rain or peloton I do not let my HR go above 132-134.

When it comes to hills anything in the UK I can go up at 180W knowing that, whilst my HR will after 20 minutes start to climb, I can manage it for pretty much forever.   Certainly my cadence will drop and I will be doing ~60rpm but it is trained to be at that power for over an hour at least.

Hills are about practise as far as I am concerned now.  I spent a year going up every incline at 180W then powering to 400 for the last 50 yards.  Best training I ever did.  In Holland I would adopt the least aerodynamic position, straight into the headwind in a high gear and churn out your equivalent of 180W at 50-60rpm for 20minutes.

If you have access to a direct drive turbo or a watt bike do a climbing session the same.

Also have a look at the fat versus carbs pages in health.  whichever  you prefer train fasted before breakfast.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: phantasmagoriana on July 15, 2018, 03:21:07 pm
Check out Strava and you can see what the professionals do. Some of them have power and some don't - this is Gracie Elvin's page for Wednesdays Giro Rosa stage (and there are >30 other riders connected to that ride):
https://www.strava.com/activities/1695467134


That can't be right, surely: 108W average over the ride? ???
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: zakalwe on July 15, 2018, 03:55:11 pm
A 300 W FTP is probably not a realistic goal. Most female professional racers don’t have that much power. A lot of male racers don’t have that much power, although I guess most pros do.

Assuming a body mass of 60 kg, that's 5 W/kg, which most female pros should be quite capable of.

But yes, 5 W/kg for a normal (female) person is a very lofty goal, and not realistic without some really serious dedication.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: zakalwe on July 15, 2018, 04:02:49 pm
300W is a lot, but it's not necessarily unachievable.  If you were to weigh 75kg (for the sake of simple numbers), 300W would mean 4W/kg, putting you at the top end of the Women Cat 2 racer category according to the chart I posted earlier. Clearly that is achievable for some people, whether that's achievable for you only you can tell.

Bear in mind that most female cat 2 racers probably weigh more like 60 kg than 75 kg, which means an FTP of 240 W.  The power-to-weight numbers in that chart assume *lean* bodyweight.

The corollary of this is that the best way to increase your power-to-weight is simply to lose weight – assuming you have some to lose.  Fortunately that's quite compatible with increasing your power output anyway – training will will do both of these things  :)

Check out Strava and you can see what the professionals do. Some of them have power and some don't - this is Gracie Elvin's page for Wednesdays Giro Rosa stage (and there are >30 other riders connected to that ride):
https://www.strava.com/activities/1695467134


That can't be right, surely: 108W average over the ride? ???

Looks like her power meter died at 90 km, so the final 25 km are apparently 0 W, including the big climb!
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: grams on July 15, 2018, 04:29:27 pm
I've used 10% here, as a bit of a magic number and I appreciate that while a hill may have bits that at >=10%, they typically don't average it for the whole length (with a few notable exceptions[1]). But even if we picked 7.5%, 10kph/80kg rider == ~221w. For a 95kg rider it would be ~255w.

Unless your hills take an hour to ride up (i.e. 1000m in one go), you don't need an *FTP* of those numbers (which is usually defined as what you can sustain for a full hour), you need a peak output of those numbers, which is a very different and much more achievable goal.

(in fact you can probably do it already in short bursts, so what you're looking to do is increase how long you can sustain it for)
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Phil W on July 15, 2018, 04:32:58 pm
I did structured training for the first time this past winter.  I saw significant gains but did not have power goals.  I just followed a structured programme with retests of my power over different intervals (FTP being just one). After each retest the workout intensities are adjusted based on the new figures.  Not sure having a particular power goal is helpful for the first time.  It may limit you or dispirit you.  If you have done structured training before then you will have some knowledge of how you respond to the training, both mentally as well as physically., as well as the power levels you managed to hit.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Samuel D on July 15, 2018, 05:03:41 pm
Assuming a body mass of 60 kg, that's 5 W/kg, which most female pros should be quite capable of.

Well, I found this (https://www.cyclinganalytics.com/blog/2016/10/comparative-statistics-for-females) when looking for data. It’s still based on self-reported stats so probably exaggerated (the text mentions this), but it’s likely closer than optimistic guesswork by people without power meters (who always think they have more power than they do in my experience).
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Greenbank on July 15, 2018, 11:19:13 pm
I've used 10% here, as a bit of a magic number and I appreciate that while a hill may have bits that at >=10%, they typically don't average it for the whole length (with a few notable exceptions[1]). But even if we picked 7.5%, 10kph/80kg rider == ~221w. For a 95kg rider it would be ~255w.

Unless your hills take an hour to ride up (i.e. 1000m in one go), you don't need an *FTP* of those numbers (which is usually defined as what you can sustain for a full hour), you need a peak output of those numbers, which is a very different and much more achievable goal.

(in fact you can probably do it already in short bursts, so what you're looking to do is increase how long you can sustain it for)

Short bursts yes, but surprising just how short those bursts will be.

My best FTP was probably about 230W maybe a little more. I've never done a proper FTP test but I've got ride data from lots of rides. I can see that I did one ride that was about 85 minutes long where my one hour power (not NP or xPower, those give inflated figures) was 214W average.

Using Golden Cheetah to look at all of my other rides I see that my record for sustaining an average of 300W or more is just 3m11s. Maybe I didn't find quite the right hill in terms of length or steepness but over many rides my critical power graph looks the expected shape so I doubt it is too far off.

It's surprising just how quickly the numbers tapered off (well, definitely for a relatively untrained cyclist like me), less than a 50% increase from my FTP and I can only maintain it for about 1/20th of an hour.

What I found is that when I was too heavy, not quite fit enough, and I hit something steep (i.e. Ditchling Beacon) I'd end up stopping multiple times on the way up. No great problem. If I had needed to sustain 300W to ride up it non-stop at 6kph then doing it in chunks with rests means I just took longer and average 4kph. It's no big deal. Ride as long as you can in your lowest gear, stop and rest, repeat.

I need to lose 25kg to get back to a more sensible weight. Given I'm this much overweight I'm not worried about training for power right now (I'd probably do more if I could have a turbo but I live in a converted house [thin floors and ceilings] and have upstairs and downstairs neighbours, no garage and so nowhere to put a turbo - even if it was a quiet one). My main focus is on losing weight. Doesn't mean I couldn't do both, but adding 10% to the numerator part of W/kg is going to have a much smaller effect than reducing the denominator by 25%. Adding 10% to the numerator part once I've lost the weight will also have a bigger psychological effect too; I want to have some good performance gains once I've got rid of the weight, not have all of the easy early performance gains mixed up with the gains from losing weight (if you see what I mean).
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Samuel D on July 15, 2018, 11:54:12 pm
Is losing weight not easier than adding power?

I’m skinny by nature, but now that I’m in my mid-30s I grow a belly if I relax my guard. But losing it is not very hard: slightly smaller portions and no gorging after rides and it disappears in three weeks. (Unfortunately I tend to get sick with colds when I have too little fat, so there’s a sweet spot I must respect.)

I don’t snack between meals, and our home rarely has sugary things like biscuits, chocolate, or fizzy drinks (because if they’re there, I can’t be trusted not to consume them immoderately). These habits may help.

Back on power, I’ve found this (https://cyclingtips.com/2017/06/just-good-female-pro-road-cyclists/amp/) and this (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11428684/). I think zakalwe’s 5 W/kg FTP assumption for “most” pro cyclists is an exaggeration. Some male pros can’t do that, and it looks like the females who can are outliers. Additionally, pro female racers appear to average well under 60 kg and these things combine to make a 300 W FTP unusual. Definitely not a reasonable target for a long-distance cyclist of unknown genetic talent to aim at.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: DuncanM on July 16, 2018, 09:17:58 am
Assuming a body mass of 60 kg, that's 5 W/kg, which most female pros should be quite capable of.

Well, I found this (https://www.cyclinganalytics.com/blog/2016/10/comparative-statistics-for-females) when looking for data. It’s still based on self-reported stats so probably exaggerated (the text mentions this), but it’s likely closer than optimistic guesswork by people without power meters (who always think they have more power than they do in my experience).
The Training Peaks data would put the 95% person from that graph in the Cat1 category.  Given the shape of the pyramid (small number of pros), that makes sense. Also, "domestic pro" makes sense in a male cycling context, but less sense in the women's cycling context (at least in the UK).
https://cyclingtips.com/2017/06/just-good-female-pro-road-cyclists/
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: fboab on July 16, 2018, 09:33:38 am
Is losing weight not easier than adding power?

Hahahahahahhahahahahahaha
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Giropaul on July 16, 2018, 01:11:21 pm
Is losing weight not easier than adding power?


Especially because every year after peak power potential ( probably late 20’s early 30’s) a rider will lose power potential. The research I have seen indicates some 4 watts/ year. That’s not that much until you are 10, 20 or more years away from your peak.

Losing weight will work at any age pretty much.

( yes, I know people in their 40’s build power, but they never trained enough to realise their peak potential at the time)
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: sojournermike on July 26, 2018, 11:51:56 pm
Is losing weight not easier than adding power?

Hahahahahahhahahahahahaha

Don’t worry, he’ll find out later;)
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: rob on July 27, 2018, 01:28:40 pm
( yes, I know people in their 40’s build power, but they never trained enough to realise their peak potential at the time)

Don't waste your 20s and 30s people.    :facepalm:
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: fboab on July 27, 2018, 01:46:06 pm
( yes, I know people in their 40’s build power, but they never trained enough to realise their peak potential at the time)

Don't waste your 20s and 30s people.    :facepalm:
Yeah, that breeding business was such a waste of my time!
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: rob on July 27, 2018, 02:01:12 pm
( yes, I know people in their 40’s build power, but they never trained enough to realise their peak potential at the time)

Don't waste your 20s and 30s people.    :facepalm:
Yeah, that breeding business was such a waste of my time!

Oh you know what I mean......
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: fboab on July 27, 2018, 02:03:14 pm
For sure. When I look at young people audaxing, all I can think is "WHY AREN'T YOU RACING????"
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Samuel D on July 27, 2018, 02:05:19 pm
Some would say attempting to maximise your potential at something you’re never going to be good enough to matter at is how to waste your 20s and 30s.

Suffice to say there are many ways to have fun on a bicycle.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: LEE on July 27, 2018, 02:12:58 pm
Some would say attempting to maximise your potential at something you’re never going to be good enough to matter at is how to waste your 20s and 30s.

Bloody pretend racers and Sportive riders!!  If you're going to race me then at least give me 30 seconds warning that you're going to show me how fast you can overtake me*

*When someone in full SKY replica gear blasts past me they usually hang onto the impressive pace for a few hundred metres...that's when I look for their tell-tale, "my legs have gone", glance over the shoulder. 

"Yes, I'm still here mate...and gaining on you...with my saddlebag and mudguards (how I wished I smoked a pipe)"

5 minutes later you get the satisfaction of giving them a casual, "Lovely day for a ride isn't it?"
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: rob on July 27, 2018, 02:42:46 pm
In truth I'm not sure I could have been any better at a younger age.

Maturity brings with it a different level of focus and commitment.   Some call it work/life balance.   Budget has made a bit of a difference as well, but I'm wandering OT.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: DuncanM on August 01, 2018, 11:11:37 am
Some would say attempting to maximise your potential at something you’re never going to be good enough to matter at is how to waste your 20s and 30s.

Suffice to say there are many ways to have fun on a bicycle.
How do you define "good enough to matter"?
I wasted my 20s playing American Football. Amateur (American) football in the UK doesn't matter in any significant sense, however good you get. How's that different from being a 4th cat (or 3rd, second, 1st)? The pyramid of sport is built on those who will never be known smashing themselves for the hell of it.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: LEE on August 01, 2018, 11:23:34 am
Some would say attempting to maximise your potential at something you’re never going to be good enough to matter at is how to waste your 20s and 30s.

Suffice to say there are many ways to have fun on a bicycle.
How do you define "good enough to matter"?
I wasted my 20s playing American Football. Amateur (American) football in the UK doesn't matter in any significant sense, however good you get. How's that different from being a 4th cat (or 3rd, second, 1st)? The pyramid of sport is built on those who will never be known smashing themselves for the hell of it.

It's quite an existential question isn't it?  I mean what's the point of anything?  None of it truly matters, it's mostly about distracting yourself from the fact you'll be worm food soon.  May as well try to get faster on a bike (but watching Antiques Road Show is an equally valid way of killing time).
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 01, 2018, 11:32:11 am
This thread seems to have wandered into a Smiths song. Not that they mattered.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Samuel D on August 01, 2018, 11:34:25 am
How do you define "good enough to matter"?

Able to put a dent in the universe. Unless you can realistically hope to do that, there are probably better ways to spend your 20s and 30s, years which should be filled with learning (ideally living in another country), creative productivity, wild startups, etc., depending on your inclinations. Not the stability, drudge-work, and force of habit that being good at endurance sport requires. As many people discover, there’s ample opportunity for that after you’ve willingly trapped yourself in professional and social commitments anyway, i.e. in middle age.

But it’s a tricky question and no doubt there are plenty of people who have fond memories of racing hopelessly and winning seldom or never even at a low level. Your outlook on these matters is likely to be shaped by your ambition and social class.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: rob on August 01, 2018, 12:32:44 pm
Hard question as a lot of what is and isn't good is self defined.   If you hit your targets for PBs, miles ridden, AUK awards or randonnees completed then great. 

Some people build displays with their medals and finishers jerseys.   I have a few bits and pieces in the spare room and my name appears on a few websites.   My club records are recorded somewhere but I'm not sure where as the website has been down for over a year.

As long as someone at some point refers to me as a decent bike rider then I'll be happy.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: zakalwe on August 01, 2018, 04:42:15 pm
How do you define "good enough to matter"?

Able to put a dent in the universe.

What does that mean?  How do you do that with a bike?  Even someone who won the Tour de France once will probably be forgotten a decade later.  Is being remembered by people the main objective?  If so, why?

years which should be filled with learning (ideally living in another country), creative productivity, wild startups, etc., depending on your inclinations.

Why?  What if your inclinations are to do something different, like, say, endurance sport?  I think all that matters is that you enjoy yourself and generate good memories.

Also, I don't see why endurance sport precludes any of your suggestions.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Samuel D on August 02, 2018, 12:34:27 pm
I have read your six questions, but my answers to them would be so subjective as to be pointless. Each person can make up their own mind on these matters.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: DuncanM on August 02, 2018, 01:19:24 pm
The older I get, the better I was! :)
In retrospect American Football was a stupid sport for me to take up (as a skinny 6ft kid who wasn't super fast), and I'd have been a much better cyclist. Depending on my frequency of crashing, I might have a slightly better memory too! :) However, I can always ride a bike, and I could race tomorrow if I wanted - I definitely couldn't play American football at >40 (even though I am less skinny now). Gotta try new things when you can....
Back on topic - when are you getting a power meter?
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Samuel D on August 02, 2018, 02:44:56 pm
Is “you” me? If so, I dunno. I put power meters on the back-burner when all the pedals seemed to have bothersome flaws, at least for the money being asked. Maybe things have changed (at least becoming cheaper?), but I don’t presently have the desire to train seriously. I’m more prone to bouts of that madness in the winter. In the summer, the sheer exhilaration of unofficially racing with others is sufficient. I should probably officially race, but I think I’d be best at crits and I’m scared of cracking a collarbone.

The older I get, the better I was! :)

Heh. I’m only 36 and I could have been someone, man!

Judging by your power nowadays, you probably could have been a good racer.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 03, 2018, 04:33:39 pm
Bloody pretend racers and Sportive riders!!  If you're going to race me then at least give me 30 seconds warning that you're going to show me how fast you can overtake me*

*When someone in full SKY replica gear blasts past me they usually hang onto the impressive pace for a few hundred metres...that's when I look for their tell-tale, "my legs have gone", glance over the shoulder. 

"Yes, I'm still here mate...and gaining on you...with my saddlebag and mudguards (how I wished I smoked a pipe)"

5 minutes later you get the satisfaction of giving them a casual, "Lovely day for a ride isn't it?"

A group of 5 riders in full Deutschland kit pulled out in front of me on my commute. I was in jeans, with a backpack on. But I couldn't resist overtaking them, on the aero bars, barely ticking over. At the next set of lights they caught me up. We had a chat and road together for a bit. They were the German Marines cycle team in .nl for an inter armed forces bike competition and were out on a training ride. Was fun leaving them behind when I realised I was late for work...

J
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: DrMekon on October 16, 2018, 12:35:32 am
I've been tested at 238w and 234w when I was 72kg. Looking back through some zwift files (I have a Tacx Neo), I've done 230w for over 20mins in some training sessions when I was 66-68kg. I once did a FTP test on zwift on a cheaper Tacx, and it claimed I'd done 306w for 20min. I definitely didn't. I could typically do okay (win sprints, finish top 10) in 3w/kg events on Zwift, but 3.5w/kg were really hard.

Looking back at 10 months leading up to LEL2017 I spent training really hard (up to 20hrs a week, loads of turbo time, following a structured training programme, thinking about nutrition all the time), I learned that I don't improve much. I have really quick mates who ride less, in a less focused way, and all that training just meant I could mostly keep up with them where they would normally drop me (ie the short, sprinty stuff). I don't think I became a significantly stronger audaxer.

I find losing weight easier than gaining power. Having been down at 65kg (bmi 17.x), there's a point at which the losses from power outweigh the gains for me, but it's way skinnier than I thought it would be. I could float up hills but a headwind would kill me. In the end, my chest doc told me I was not carrying enough fat reserves if I were to fall ill with my lung condition.

I don't think I will ever train like it again. It took too much focus, and didn't make enough difference. Also, when you are over-trained, it makes you really shit. I spent much of that time feeling ruined (with some really horrible symptoms). Occasionally, I was on form when I wanted to be (DKTTR/BCM/LEL), but a few times I was in a bad way when I started an event, and it only got worse (MilleP, 3 coasts).

I still like training with power / HRSS, and admire people looking for change in FTP. Back to your question, having been at the sharp end of normal audax, I think most probably have FTPw/kg around 3.5ish. The people coming in from racing or 24hr+ racing tend to be younger, and I could never keep up with them.

I would like to think with a bit of focus, I could get back to 2.7FTPw/kg. I don't see myself getting back to the far side of 3w/kg any time soon.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: zigzag on October 16, 2018, 10:49:22 pm
i think with the right training, enough motivation and discipline it's possible to reach fitness way beyond what we tell ourselves is possible. whether we really really want that - that's a different question. i know what's realistic for me, but i also know the amount of effort and pain it would require to get there (therefore still procrastinate..). my father in contrast is very consistent with his training and slowly but surely inching his way towards 4w/kg (maybe serving in the army helped to cultivate discipline?). the point i want to make is that many people set their "realistic" goals too low, being afraid to change too much and to go too far out of their comfort zone into uncertainty, into unknown.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: DrMekon on October 17, 2018, 08:43:04 am
@Zigzag - you would be someone I would never try to keep up with :)

I kept my weight <70kg / BMX 19.x
Did 450>550>650+ TSS cycles for ages with rest weeks before events
Did lots of horrible sprint sessions

My <2min power jumped loads, and everything below 20m went up  a fair bit, but my FTP did almost nothing. I tried dropping my weight to 65kg (I am 189cm), and got my body fat to the point where the bodpod algorithm was inaccurate (it was claiming 2-3% bodyfat, whereas I know from DEXA that I am ~6-7% when carrying ~70kg). I felt awful anywhere but on hills.

During this period, there were times I felt really strong. Still, my mate Tom (first back on BB200, first back on YD300, Everests for fun and doesn't tell anyone), who trains without even looking at HR can batter me. I did BB200, and was in second place, but the guy who I was following and barely holding on to trains about 7 hours a week. This taught me that I am just not someone who responds well to training.

Luckily, I don't need much motivation or discipline (see The Unbearable Automaticity of Being (https://psych415.class.uic.edu/Readings/Bargh,%20Auotmaticity,%20AmPsy,%201999.pdf)). Being a health psych means I know how to use self-regulatory techniques to make sure I do it without it costing me willpower, but it just doesn't get me very far (and has costs to my relationships, albeit ones I am adept at ignoring). If I am given a training programme, I know how to make sure I do it. I just have come to the conclusion that for me, it's not worth it in terms of the benefits to the cycling I enjoy and in terms of the opportunity costs for other things I should consider (relationships, education, work, wellbeing).

If I were racing, maybe it would be different.

 
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: rob on October 17, 2018, 11:25:50 am
If I were racing, maybe it would be different.

And this is one of the main points.   I see on here and elsewhere a lot of individuals that train because they want to be able to produce better numbers.   Personally, I'm not sure that motivates me - I still don't know what my FTP is.   I entered into structured training because I wanted to be faster in time trials and this has worked, in fact way more than I could have ever hoped for.

Would I have gone through all this just to be able to ride faster in non-competitive events ?    I doubt it.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: chrisbainbridge on October 17, 2018, 05:59:44 pm
And this is one of the main points.   I see on here and elsewhere a lot of individuals that train because they want to be able to produce better numbers.   Personally, I'm not sure that motivates me - I still don't know what my FTP is.   I entered into structured training because I wanted to be faster in time trials and this has worked, in fact way more than I could have ever hoped for.

Would I have gone through all this just to be able to ride faster in non-competitive events ?    I doubt it.

I do not race but I do want to enjoy rather than endure any long rides I do.  I also receive a worthwhile endorphin supplement from structured training.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: mattc on October 17, 2018, 06:43:01 pm
If I were racing, maybe it would be different.

And this is one of the main points.   I see on here and elsewhere a lot of individuals that train because they want to be able to produce better numbers.   Personally, I'm not sure that motivates me - I still don't know what my FTP is.   I entered into structured training because I wanted to be faster in time trials and this has worked, in fact way more than I could have ever hoped for.

Perhaps you're after the same thing - better numbers! It's just that yours are Minutes/Seconds, theirs are Watts.

I'm guessing you started TimeTrialing before you had the option of measuring power or heart-rate; whereas a lot of modern riders had access to power-meters before they did any races at all. So the latter group had natural numerical goals - their power numbers; a bit like Stravanauts immediately see their segment performances popup, and many use those as goals.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Bernster on October 17, 2018, 07:32:59 pm
I do not race but I do want to enjoy rather than endure any long rides I do.  I also receive a worthwhile endorphin supplement from structured training.

This exactly sums up my approach to structured training - it's allowed me to get round some tough Audaxes without having to clock watch too much. Certainly can't say that I've not suffered on these rides, but I'd say that the hours spend on the trainer has made them easier, although always difficult to quantify by how much.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: rob on October 17, 2018, 10:31:50 pm
I don’t doubt that my power output is way up on where it was 5 years ago.   Also I’m not belittling anyone who chases Strava segments or wants to improve their FTP.   It’s just not what does it for me.

It does also turn out that in 20 years of audaxing I had never been very quick, but had finished a lot of long rides through sheer bloody mindedness.   Training properly and losing some weight also made me a more comfortable (I hesitate to say “better”) Audax rider.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: gonzo on November 02, 2018, 08:22:43 pm
I'm very much looking forward to getting power data when the IQ² arrives because I'm an engineer and I like data  :)

This thread is interesting because it gives some context for those numbers!
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: toontra on November 02, 2018, 08:49:02 pm
I'm very much looking forward to getting power data when the IQ² arrives ......

Me too - I wonder how long we'll have to wait! 

Doubt I'll be using them for structured power-based training plans - more to compare with the figures I get on the trainer in the gym (which puts my current FTP around 235w) with actual numbers on the road, and hopefully for a bit of extra motivation.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Greenbank on November 03, 2018, 12:43:56 am
I'm so tempted to trawl eBay for a cheap PowerTap hub to fit on my next commuting bike.

(I don't want to commute regularly on either of my bikes that have PowerTap hubs...)
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: toontra on November 03, 2018, 07:57:54 am
I'm so tempted to trawl eBay for a cheap PowerTap hub to fit on my next commuting bike.

(I don't want to commute regularly on either of my bikes that have PowerTap hubs...)

The main attraction of the IQ² system for me was the ability to easily and quickly swap them from bike to bike. How they perform in real life remains to be seen, though.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: whosatthewheel on November 03, 2018, 08:08:28 am
Obviously impossible to put down numbers for an individual, but if you think your current FTP is no more than 150 Watt, then 300 is impossible.

Doubling power output is something not even a PRO cycling starting from zero manages to do.

If you allow me to be rude, you problem seems to be power/weight ratio rather than power... or in other words, losing weight is the priority.
Not knowing how tall etc, but at 95 kg, to be within a normal body mass range you'd need to be 2 metre tall (6'7" in imperial currency).

You can measure your power output on a watt bike in any gym without the need to waste money on a power meter
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: toontra on November 03, 2018, 09:18:37 am




You can measure your power output on a watt bike in any gym without the need to waste money on a power meter

For me the interest is knowing how the watt bike numbers in the gym translate into what I'm actually doing on the road.


Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 04, 2018, 10:02:55 am
Obviously impossible to put down numbers for an individual, but if you think your current FTP is no more than 150 Watt, then 300 is impossible.

Doubling power output is something not even a PRO cycling starting from zero manages to do.

150 is a guess.

Quote
If you allow me to be rude, you problem seems to be power/weight ratio rather than power... or in other words, losing weight is the priority.
Not knowing how tall etc, but at 95 kg, to be within a normal body mass range you'd need to be 2 metre tall (6'7" in imperial currency).

You can measure your power output on a watt bike in any gym without the need to waste money on a power meter

Yes, power to weight is the issue. Since this thread started I am was 90.6kg when I weighed myself on Wednesday. I'm hoping come next Wednesday I'll have made it through the 90kg mark. I'm aiming for 80kg by 2019/05/01, with 75kg by end of July. I was 104kg in March. I have not changed my diet in anyway (if anything, I'm eating more chocolate), but I have moved rather a lot more. Oh, and to help your maths. I'm 1.7m tall.

J
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: rob on November 04, 2018, 12:34:55 pm
It’s taken me about 5 years to come down from 80ish kg to, at my lowest, 60kg.

This alongside structured training is what has made the biggest difference for me.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: whosatthewheel on November 04, 2018, 01:50:41 pm
Measuring FTP these days is super easy and can be done in 20 minutes... although the number refers to a one hour effort.
On a Wattbike you just have to set the correct program, pedal as hard as you can bear for 20 minutes and voilla...
Numbers on the road can be a bit higher... not a lot, maybe 5 to 10%, basically depends whether you can give your best in the warm/breeze free environment of a gym or not... I can't.

You can also get a good estimate from climbing figures, but you need a proper climb... not many 20 minute climbs in this country (even less in the Netherlands).

Either way, 300 Watts FTP means that with a decent aero position on a conventional road bike, one should be able to do a 25 mile time trial in less than an hour, which is, in my books, pretty damn good going!!
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: rob on November 04, 2018, 04:53:51 pm
You can get under the hour for a 25 off considerably less power than that.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: zigzag on November 04, 2018, 05:21:17 pm
You can get under the hour for a 25 off considerably less power than that.

indeed, in my case 225w is enough*. with 300w i could probably do sub 50min.

*on a tt bike obvs
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: sojournermike on November 04, 2018, 05:57:46 pm
Had an interesting experience a couple of years ago when I met a colleague on a ride organized by a client. Climbing Grinton Moor from Swaledale side he kept dropping me and there was no way back. I caught up on the descent and then on the flat from Leyburn to Masham he could barely hold on to my wheel without me easing for the odd moment. He was 1.5 stone lighter than me, but is suspect I had a little more power... power to weight is almost all up here in Yorkshire!
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: simonp on November 05, 2018, 12:57:31 pm
Sadly my weight has gone the other way since I took up rowing.

No sign of that changing in the near future - doing a weights session, a core session, an hour with a personal trainer and a circuits session in a week, typically.

Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: sojournermike on November 05, 2018, 04:58:15 pm
Sadly my weight has gone the other way since I took up rowing.

No sign of that changing in the near future - doing a weights session, a core session, an hour with a personal trainer and a circuits session in a week, typically.

I suspect your 'new weight' is somewhat less wobbly than my 'old weight'!
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: simonp on November 05, 2018, 05:16:38 pm
Sadly my weight has gone the other way since I took up rowing.

No sign of that changing in the near future - doing a weights session, a core session, an hour with a personal trainer and a circuits session in a week, typically.

I suspect your 'new weight' is somewhat less wobbly than my 'old weight'!

Have more fat than I’d like at present. It seems to be going away and being replaced by muscle during this training phase, though.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Peat on November 06, 2018, 09:02:35 am
I'm just getting started with Power. Bought a 4iiii left crank that I can swap between a few of my bikes.

The main reason was to have some meaningful measure of fitness entering winter and trying to arrive in as good as/better shape next spring. I've done several FTP tests, hill climbs, indoors, outdoors and think I have a decent base of data to go from now.

I did a 200 on Saturday and tried to stay below an 'Intensity Factor' (Wahoo thing?) of 0.65 for the whole ride. For the first 100km, this felt really really boring tbh. I expected i'd be able to push like hell for the second half without issue but I found i had no legs! By the end of the ride, the number had slipped to 0.62 and I felt empty. My average power for the ride was about half my FTP.

I'm trying to digest what that means and what i should do differently. I've done 200's this year where I have pushed hard all day (far higher avg speed and HR than I did on Sat) and made it to the arrivee feeling invigorated.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: whosatthewheel on November 06, 2018, 09:30:35 am
You can get under the hour for a 25 off considerably less power than that.

Yes, but you probably need aero bits and pieces. I was referring to a conventional road setup... you can probably do 57-58 minutes with 300 Watt
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: DuncanM on November 06, 2018, 12:07:54 pm
IF isn't a wahoo thing.  It's probably one of the things that Training Peaks popularised, but it used across the power training spectrum. It just means the percentage of FTP you are riding at.
Sorry, I have no advice for completing the second half of the 200 faster than the first - your pacing sounds reasonable ish to me.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: toontra on November 06, 2018, 01:56:09 pm
For me, on rides of 200 and above, numbers generally go out the window - I go as fast as I think is sustainable at any given point whilst keeping an undefinable bit in reserve.

I use wattage for training and shorter training-type rides where I'm going full out, which theoretically should make the 200+ ones "easier" (i.e. faster and more enjoyable), although I have no empirical evidence for this.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Peat on November 06, 2018, 02:18:08 pm
I think you're probably right. I could end up being a slave to numbers.

Also, It could be the cause of alot of stress. At TiNaT this year (pre power), I ended up going pretty deep early on just to get up some of those climbs. The intensity numbers would probably make ugly reading mid ride.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Frank9755 on November 09, 2018, 02:10:14 pm
Back to the OP - no way of knowing what you can get to re FTP as it depends on stuff like your VO2 max and, essentially, your genetic fortune. 
Based on people that I have ridden similar times to in events, I'd expect that some of the leading women doing TTs would have FTP in the region of 230-250.  No way of knowing if you can get there until you try!  But as others have said, you can do very well with less than that.

You certainly don't need anything like those numbers to perform ok in an ultra-race.  To give you some actual figures, I was just looking at my data for the TCR before and I was down to 80-90W average power for the last few days and climbed Passo Giau at an average power of 130W (average cadence was 51, v. low gears). My weight then was about 70kg.

Your weight loss is impressive!  It will help you on the flat as well as on hills as the smaller you are, the less frontal area you have to cause drag.

Lot's of good advice above but one thing that is not best advice is to train in a non-aero position.  Power is quite position-specific so you need to train to develop xxx Watts not in the abstract, but in the position in which you want to do your riding on the road.  Lots of coaches advise training on your racing bike for that reason.

Virtually everybody can produce more power in a sitting up position than an aero tuck, but they will end up riding slower as more drag.  Much of the art of going fast is finding the right trade-off for you between higher power and lower drag. 
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Kim on November 09, 2018, 02:17:29 pm
Lot's of good advice above but one thing that is not best advice is to train in a non-aero position.  Power is quite position-specific so you need to train to develop xxx Watts not in the abstract, but in the position in which you want to do your riding on the road.  Lots of coaches advise training on your racing bike for that reason.

Makes sense biomechanically, but there may be practical limitations.  For example, if your racing bike significantly raises your chances of road-surface-related high-speed splatty DETH, you may struggle to maintain a decent training effort on rolling terrain.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: rogerzilla on November 09, 2018, 02:22:20 pm
As you get older it will drop off a fair bit, although I was 1 minute faster for a "10" at 40 than at 22 (same kit, no aero tricks except tribars, just more practice on the course).  300W for an hour would be a bit of an outlier if you're 40 or over.

Best efficiency normally comes at under 80rpm, if your knees can take it.  I proved this to myself on the turbo years ago; I naturally spin at just over 100rpm but I could achieve a much higher TT speed at lower revs.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: zigzag on November 09, 2018, 02:31:12 pm
we should not talk about watts in isolation. a trained larger rider can/will produce more watts for the same amount of perceived effort than a smaller one.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Samuel D on November 09, 2018, 03:17:07 pm
Virtually everybody can produce more power in a sitting up position than an aero tuck, but they will end up riding slower as more drag.  Much of the art of going fast is finding the right trade-off for you between higher power and lower drag.

I think indoor training encourages bad habits in this regard. At any rate, the people I ride with who do the most indoor training are those with the least awareness of the overwhelming importance of getting extremely low when doing 40+ km/h. They blast along with power I can only imagine, boring a hole through the atmosphere with astonishing disdain for the economies they would make if their chin was grazing the handlebar.
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Frank9755 on November 12, 2018, 08:14:00 am
Lot's of good advice above but one thing that is not best advice is to train in a non-aero position.  Power is quite position-specific so you need to train to develop xxx Watts not in the abstract, but in the position in which you want to do your riding on the road.  Lots of coaches advise training on your racing bike for that reason.

Makes sense biomechanically, but there may be practical limitations.  For example, if your racing bike significantly raises your chances of road-surface-related high-speed splatty DETH, you may struggle to maintain a decent training effort on rolling terrain.

That's certainly an issue for a bike optimised for riding fast 10s in an extreme position but the OP is training for ultra-races so I expect her bike will be set up to ride all day on the road safely. 
 
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Oxford_Guy on November 14, 2018, 12:27:43 pm
Virtually everybody can produce more power in a sitting up position than an aero tuck, but they will end up riding slower as more drag.  Much of the art of going fast is finding the right trade-off for you between higher power and lower drag.

I think indoor training encourages bad habits in this regard. At any rate, the people I ride with who do the most indoor training are those with the least awareness of the overwhelming importance of getting extremely low when doing 40+ km/h. They blast along with power I can only imagine, boring a hole through the atmosphere with astonishing disdain for the economies they would make if their chin was grazing the handlebar.

How long someone can stay in such a position varies from person to person, the efficiency may not be worth it if it's giving them back pain if they stay in that position too long!
Title: Re: Realistic power goals?
Post by: Frank9755 on November 15, 2018, 02:05:13 pm
How long someone can stay in such a position varies from person to person, the efficiency may not be worth it if it's giving them back pain if they stay in that position too long!

Sure - any discussion of the right position to train in assumes you know what that position is.  If you can't hold it for the time your event requires, then you haven't found the right position for you.  Of course, in an ultra-race, you are not going to be in your fastest position all the time but you would want to be able to hold it, say, for a few hours on a flat stretch.  But, I have to confess that 6 days of headwind across the Nullarbor last year was too long for me to be able to hold my aero position.