to all you Wattage racing nerds.

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to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby Zabriskie19 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:21 pm

Hello to all, (may have offended some on my gtr post hope all is cool)

ok so I have nooooo idea about power, wattage whatever etc. But last race ( A grade ) I was told that we averaged 303Watts (280-290 most races) for the entire race, I was in the winning breakaway of five, only got 4th :x .. but atleast my team mate got the win.

anyway story is the guy who got the average of 303 watts IMO I did a fair bit more work than him, we brokeaway in the second half of the race and he said to me that he thought we averaged around 320 watts for the time in the breakaway, which was just over 30 minutes. I won't lie we were all on the rivet and almost lapped the A grade field.

Now my question is I (at 75kg :| ) must have done around 320 watts or so? which equates too a power to weight ratio of over 4.3 for the whole race now is it just me or is that just not possible I hear it takes 5 p/w to be a pro, ok I was pushing it pretty hard and without sounding stuck up im a fairly fit A grader.

cheers for the replies in advance. :D,

P.S i've raced against a few pros eg. Rico rogers, and aloooot of Drapac Porsche riders. but never beaten any of them! :P
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by BNA » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:37 pm

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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:37 pm

To be honest unless the power meter was on your bike it doesn't mean much.
How long was the race?...if you averaged 320w for 90 minutes then thats not too bad...but 4.3 watts per kilo for an hour isn't all that special.
But then this was a road race and not a time trial so av watts don't mean that much,unless you can give us a NP.
If a fat arse like me could hold 380NP for an hour or 350w for 2 hours :P .
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby Zabriskie19 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:47 pm

Just a criterium, so 60 minutes + 3 laps.

speed wise we did 45.3km/h for the entire race.. I did have my own computer.
but the thing that got me the most was (AT) 75kg (racing weight 71-72kg) so I could increae that to around 4.5 watts per KG for the hour.

another quick question TLL in genral ( I'll ask him tomorrow ) but would someone when talking about there power be talking about normalized power or actual power?


P.S in that table what does FT stand for?

cheers for all that!
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:10 pm

FT stands for Functional Threshold...basically what you could average for 1 hour in optimal conditions.
Criteriums are NOT optimal conditions...too much acceleration,hiding etc...so an NP may be high,but an average not always.I would say your friend is quoting Av because 320 NP isn't very high.
75 kgs is pretty heavy unless you have really high FTP, drop off 5 kgs and increase your power and you won't know yourself...unless your Mum thinks you are ill looking then you aren't skinny enough :lol: ...but IIRC you are only 17 or 18?.
Go find a steep hill at least 20 minutes long,do a test and then do the calcs on analytic cycling or similar...that will give you a pretty good idea of your watts per kilo for 20 minutes (usually 92-97% of that total is your ftp)...it aint perfect but will give you a good idea.
Or even better borrow a power meter and go and do a TT!.
Pro's usually have a freaky number somewhere in that chart....your Avatar would be near the top in 5 sec but no so hot at ftp :D .
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby Zabriskie19 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:48 pm

Still 16 only for a few more days though,

and your right I think doing 320 watts in a criterium, I could do maybe hopefully... roughly 350-360 watts for an hour of racing flat out. but then again I'm no expert but if im able to 5 watts/pkg. ill be pretty happy at my age where it puts me I do race with alot of similar guys too that eg National series and conti licence races I'm just no where near as good as them at this stage. :|
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:18 pm

A coach would be the way to go.
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby DanielS » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:20 am

Like TLL says, without a power meter on your bike you are really just guessing.

Because of the nature of a crit, the Average Power is likely to underestimate the 'real' physiological demand of the race. So Normalised Power (NP) is a much better measure (it takes into account big surges).

If you really want an estimate of your FTP, go and ride up a big hill as hard as you can (at a relatively constant pace) and then use something like analyticcycling.com or cycle2max.com to get your estimated power output.

If you are racing A-grade and getting into long breakaways, I would guess that you'd be in the vicinity of 5W/kg.
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:49 pm

Zabriskie19 wrote:Hello to all, (may have offended some on my gtr post hope all is cool)

ok so I have nooooo idea about power, wattage whatever etc. But last race ( A grade ) I was told that we averaged 303Watts (280-290 most races) for the entire race, I was in the winning breakaway of five, only got 4th :x .. but atleast my team mate got the win.

anyway story is the guy who got the average of 303 watts IMO I did a fair bit more work than him, we brokeaway in the second half of the race and he said to me that he thought we averaged around 320 watts for the time in the breakaway, which was just over 30 minutes. I won't lie we were all on the rivet and almost lapped the A grade field.

Now my question is I (at 75kg :| ) must have done around 320 watts or so? which equates too a power to weight ratio of over 4.3 for the whole race now is it just me or is that just not possible I hear it takes 5 p/w to be a pro, ok I was pushing it pretty hard and without sounding stuck up im a fairly fit A grader.

cheers for the replies in advance. :D,

P.S i've raced against a few pros eg. Rico rogers, and aloooot of Drapac Porsche riders. but never beaten any of them! :P

Apart from all the other stuff the others have mentioned, just as an example of how power can vary between two riders:

A few weeks ago on a squad training ride I run, the first section I typically lead it out to set the pace for the day. It's about a 12-15-min run, of which 10-min is uninterrupted. Mostly flat/slight undulations.

A client of mine was next to me on the front. We are of similar stature, although he weighs a bit more than me. Now I was going along fairly solidly, good tempo pace but I could tell it was just on the edge of too hard for my client, so I kept it there (it's good for him). When I later got his power meter file I compared that same section with my own.

My average power: 260W (my threshold ~ 295-300W)
His average power: 290W (his threshold ~ 275-280W)

So while I was tapping it out without too much difficulty, he was heading towards the hurt box.

Quite simply - he is somewhat less aerodynamic on his road bike than I am on mine (and I am by no means aero). It has pointed out to me another area we can look at to help him gain some more speed. So even though two riders might appear similar, something as small as bike set up can have a large impact on the power - speed relationship.

A competitive local A grade rider will be 4.4W/kg and up, winners probably nudging 5W/kg. I'm close to 4W/kg, and I can hang with A-grade, but not contend. It varies around the world. Go to NorCal and if you're a 45+ masters racer and not 4.8-5.0W/kg, then you'll be pack meat.

People ask me all the time what power it takes to be able to race a given grade, or to win a certain grade. Reality is, there more to it than that. If you want to know what grade you are capable of racing, you go race.

I have people that train at our Studio who put out more power than me, but struggle in races while I'm getting ready to put the hammer down. Why? Because they are still learning the craft of racing, and tend to be a little less effective with their use of power as a result. Winners are often those that pedal the least. But when they do, they pedal hard.
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby trek52 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:37 am

i think people get way to hung up on power, I am not disputing it is great for training but I dont think it a great way to base your racing.

I used to race at a pretty high level, got old, got fat and had near 10 years of the bike. I now do 200km a week max and weigh in at 88kg, race weight was 73. I am back riding club racing, I won A grade vets a few weeks ago and have been going ok in the local crits, I have no where near the power or strength I used to have in the bunch but I can still sprint at 65km/h. What I am saying is that for racing, race craft and knowing how to hurt is way more important that what power you make. In reality I reckon most of C grade can make more power than me, but not many of them know how to race......
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby jules21 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:12 pm

*** thread revival ****

criterium season is coming up and i'm feeling stronger after a long period of feeling crap.

according to strava i averaged 330w up the king lake climb. this is only 890/1585 places (although i did stop for 30 seconds and was only giving ~80%) so very average, but at 83 kg-odd equates to a power-to-weight of ~4 w/kg.

what grade do you reckon i can compete in?
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby vander » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Strava numbers mean nothing. Go race and find out start in D and if thats to easy put yourself up a grade.
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:12 pm

Find the steepest longest climb you can ( with no flat bits at all )... preferably something that will take 15-20 minutes and averages above 4 or 5 % ( the steeper the more accurate )... Know the start and finish elevation, weigh yourself and your bike ... plug it into one of the analytical cycling sites and that will give you a pretty good idea of your power output over that period of time.
I did it 3 or 4 years ago and was pretty close to what I recorded when I got a power meter.
Strava gave me nearly 350w for a 30 minute climb today... I actually think it was pretty close to that :D .
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby jules21 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:27 am

well i just put those figures into bikecalculator and i get 260w, or an awesom 3.13 w/kg! that's probably more believable i think.
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Re: to all you Wattage racing nerds.

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:34 pm

I haven't seen that calculator before... nice and easy!.
Says strava was pretty accurate for my climb, also shows that to get up that climb like I would like to I need to be putting out 400w for 30 minute at 82 kgs.
Not going to happen... lose another 13kgs, wife would love that :lol: ... and only ever done 400w for 10 minutes so not much chance of 30 minutes :lol: .
Although I could lose a kilo of the bike :mrgreen: ... and riding up in a peloton would help!.
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