Author Topic: Realistic power goals?  (Read 5579 times)

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #50 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.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #51 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #52 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). 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.

 

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #53 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #54 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.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #55 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.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Bernster

  • ACME (Herts Branch)
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #56 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #57 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #58 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!

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #59 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #60 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...)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #61 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.

whosatthewheel

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #62 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

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #63 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.


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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #64 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #65 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.

whosatthewheel

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #66 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!!

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #67 on: November 04, 2018, 04:53:51 pm »
You can get under the hour for a 25 off considerably less power than that.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #68 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

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #69 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!

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #70 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.


Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #71 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'!

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #72 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.

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #73 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.

whosatthewheel

Re: Realistic power goals?
« Reply #74 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