Author Topic: Realistic power goals?  (Read 1471 times)

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #25 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #26 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 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).

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #27 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).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #28 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 and this. 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #29 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 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/

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2018, 09:33:38 am »
Is losing weight not easier than adding power?

Hahahahahahhahahahahahaha
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #31 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)

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #32 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;)

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #33 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:

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #34 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!
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #35 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......

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #36 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????"
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #37 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.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #38 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?"
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #39 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #40 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.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #41 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).
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2018, 11:32:11 am »
This thread seems to have wandered into a Smiths song. Not that they mattered.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #43 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #44 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #45 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #46 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #47 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?

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #48 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.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #49 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/