Doping in C-grade ?

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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:32 am

winstonw wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:No, they are not.

What determines your category level in the USA (and many other countries) are your race results and points accumulated from racing.


So Allan and Coggan race category table is wrong?
http://www.americanroadcycling.org/articles/PSL/WiddersHump/WattsSpeed.htm

The power profiling tables are not indicators of race gradings. You race to determine that.

The power profiling table is about understanding your individual power profile, i.e. your own strengths and weaknesses, so that you can assess what it is you need to most work on in training, and taking into consideration the nature of the specific demands of your goal/target events. It's really important to read the accompanying notes to the table.

It is not a table meant to define what a Cat 3 (or whatever) needs to have in order to race, rather, it shows power levels that are fairly typically displayed from riders racing at those levels. As Twizzle noted, individual can race well or struggle at a given grade and yet have completely different power profiles.

Also note that the very top of the table is defined by a specialist in a cycling discipline for which that power is a fundamental element of performance success. Nobody will be all of those things at once.

e.g. the 5 second power number is from an elite track sprinter (although it may have been updated in recent times by a BMX pro). Elite road sprinters (e.g. Cavendish etc) don't come close to those levels.
the 1-min would be a track kilo rider, the 5-min from a world class individual pursuit rider and the 1 hour power is from a TT specialist (think someone known for world hour record).

In the case of the latter rider, their peak 5-sec power was around 12.5 - 13 W/kg, (in the untrained non-racer category - below "Cat 5") and yet they raced in the TdF several times, have won stages and worn the maillot jaune.

Andy Coggan (who developed the power profile concept and the tables) was not overly happy with the overlaying of race categories on the table, for the very reason that people will do as you have, misinterpret the data to mean something that doesn't.
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by BNA » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:41 am

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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:41 am

toolonglegs wrote:It's not wrong... It just gives you an idea where you stand... But as no one has a straight line across the 4 values ( or do they?...

Some people do show a roughly "flat" power profile, it's just not overly common.

One thing that people need to validate is that they truly do have representative maximal effort samples for their power profile. It's pretty common, for instance, that many people don't have a real representation of their 1-min power, since it's such an evil bastard to do properly.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:53 am

nickobec wrote:I have a decent 5 min, my 5 to 10 min power is well above my critical power curve, sub 5 minute drops away dramatically from the curve and after 10 minutes, my power goes into a steady decline below the curve.

So knowing those guidelines, using the critical power curve, I know I need to work on my sprinting and endurance / FTP and I need to start using my strength to my advantage.

The idea of understanding your individual characteristics to help guide your training is a good one, however there is no such thing as a "CP curve" since there is only one critical power.

CP is the slope of the line plotting maximal energy output versus duration.

The Critical Power (CP) paradigm describes the work-time relationship, where the work (joules) performed during a maximal bout of exercise is dependent on the duration of effort and the individual’s current aerobic and anaerobic capabilities. i.e. a higher work rate (power) is possible over shorter durations and vice versa.

The work-time relationship is readily (and quite accurately*) expressed as a linear equation:

Workmax = AWC + (CP x t)

Workmax is the total work performed (in joules)
AWC is the anaerobic work capacity (y axis intercept – joules)
CP is the Critical Power (slope of the line – watts)
t is time (x axis – seconds)

In this sense CP is the maximal Power output sustainable over a long time without fatiguing. In practical terms CP corresponds closely to FTP.

It is possible (indeed useful) to use this relationship to establish both a rider’s CP and AWC and can be readily done via measuring the average Power of two or more maximal exercise bouts over different durations between 3 and 30 minutes.

The CP paradigm can also be used to pre-determine/estimate a rider’s maximal Power output over various untested durations, as well as establish changes in both AWC and CP resulting from training.

* There are of course some caveats in using the CP model as described, particularly about not using it in a predictive sense for predicting Power for very short or very long durations, and importantly the quality of the inputs used in the model. Feed the model rubbish data and you'll get crap output (GIGO).
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Chris249 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:40 pm

[quote="Alex Simmons/RSTHeffron last two Saturdays - B Grade - winners:
20 Oct: 37.9km/h
13 Oct: 38.7 km/h

The corresponding C grade average winning speeds for last 2 Saturdays at Heffron were:
36.2km/h
36.3km/h[/quote]

Just for the sake of comparison, from my (very limited) experience won't some of the difference in speed be explained by the fact that Saturday is a scratch race and therefore a significant proportion of the pack could be soft-pedalling at times or lurking out of the wind, whereas on Tuesday it's a handicap and therefore more B Graders are cooperating to roll the other packs? I know I have furiously soft-pedalled on the front of Saturday B for tactical reasons. :D

I agree that Tuesdays are harder, but it seems that there are some riders who do better on Tuesdays (i.e. ride a higher grade and/or place better) which could perhaps underline the different requirements of handicap racing and that a significant proportion of the extra pace is in the format.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:05 pm

Chris249 wrote:Just for the sake of comparison, from my (very limited) experience won't some of the difference in speed be explained by the fact that Saturday is a scratch race and therefore a significant proportion of the pack could be soft-pedalling at times or lurking out of the wind, whereas on Tuesday it's a handicap and therefore more B Graders are cooperating to roll the other packs?

Yes. Except in this case the speeds differences are stark.

There's more to it that that of course, with the typically more variable pace in a scratch race offsetting the more consistent pace in a handicap. They will result in different speeds but have similar level of metabolic strain. But then, how many are really doing the work in the handicap races?

Which is why when we compare race power outputs, it helps to look at things like Normalised Power as that can help to better understand the demands a little better.

What you will find is that if the race was hard, scratch or handicap, you'll end up with very similar normalised power, even though average power may be somewhat different.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby winstonw » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:20 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Andy Coggan (who developed the power profile concept and the tables) was not overly happy with the overlaying of race categories on the table, for the very reason that people will do as you have, misinterpret the data to mean something that doesn't.


Bollocks - his apology for producing the table is grammatically ambiguous.
"Such information could be then used to help plan an appropriate training program, evaluate the effectiveness thereof, and to possibly identify events where an individual might be expected to achieve the greatest success. My goal was therefore to develop rationale guidelines that could be used for this purpose."

The bolded bits speak volumes to the scientifically rigorous. Success????!!! success at what exactly? beating other people in a category.
Say no more.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby twizzle » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 pm

winstonw wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Andy Coggan (who developed the power profile concept and the tables) was not overly happy with the overlaying of race categories on the table, for the very reason that people will do as you have, misinterpret the data to mean something that doesn't.


Bollocks - his apology for producing the table is grammatically ambiguous.
"Such information could be then used to help plan an appropriate training program, evaluate the effectiveness thereof, and to possibly identify events where an individual might be expected to achieve the greatest success. My goal was therefore to develop rationale guidelines that could be used for this purpose."

The bolded bits speak volumes to the scientifically rigorous. Success????!!! success at what exactly? beating other people in a category.
Say no more.


... or knowing that you are only good for TT's or sprints and should stick to events where you can use your strengths.


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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby winstonw » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:39 pm

twizzle wrote:... or knowing that you are only good for TT's or sprints and should stick to events where you can use your strengths.


So on Coggan's table, which power measurement has the highest predictive power for the races participated in most often by Australian cyclists, which I presume are criteriums of 45-65 minutes.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby vander » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:42 pm

winstonw wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Andy Coggan (who developed the power profile concept and the tables) was not overly happy with the overlaying of race categories on the table, for the very reason that people will do as you have, misinterpret the data to mean something that doesn't.


Bollocks - his apology for producing the table is grammatically ambiguous.
"Such information could be then used to help plan an appropriate training program, evaluate the effectiveness thereof, and to possibly identify events where an individual might be expected to achieve the greatest success. My goal was therefore to develop rationale guidelines that could be used for this purpose."

The bolded bits speak volumes to the scientifically rigorous. Success????!!! success at what exactly? beating other people in a category.
Say no more.


The events is more talking about 5 sec people in the sprint, 1 min people with a last min breakaway 5 min people pushing it up a little hill dropping everyone and FTP people going long and hard. Or for events, 5 sec people more on the track in the sprint, 1min kilo, 5 min pursuit, FTP points race (if they have ok 5sec) or on the road in TTs. It is not about what Cat to race.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:52 pm

winstonw wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Andy Coggan (who developed the power profile concept and the tables) was not overly happy with the overlaying of race categories on the table, for the very reason that people will do as you have, misinterpret the data to mean something that doesn't.


Bollocks - his apology for producing the table is grammatically ambiguous.
"Such information could be then used to help plan an appropriate training program, evaluate the effectiveness thereof, and to possibly identify events where an individual might be expected to achieve the greatest success. My goal was therefore to develop rationale guidelines that could be used for this purpose."

The bolded bits speak volumes to the scientifically rigorous. Success????!!! success at what exactly? beating other people in a category.
Say no more.

If you say so. But why do you selectively quote and seemingly ignore Andy's opening paragraph which quite clearly makes this point?

It is simply human nature to wonder how one compares with others for any measurement, and cycling power output is certainly no exception to this rule. Consequently, there have been numerous calls for, and some attempts at, generating guidelines or benchmarks for power output based on rider category (i.e., cat. 1, cat. 2, etc.). Aside from satisfying people's natural curiosity, though, such category-based values would seem to have limited practical use - after all, the best measure of a rider's competitive ability relative to that of others is their actual race performance, not their power output. If, however, valid standards were available for power across different durations that represented different physiological characteristics or abilities, then it would be possible to identify a particular individual's relative strengths and weaknesses based on their "power profile". In such an analysis, the primary comparison would therefore be the rider against themselves, and not (directly) against others.


This issue has been covered ad nauseum by Andy (and Hunter Allen) on several training and specialist power forums over many years. If you would like some sample references, the best are probably found in the archives of the wattage forum* which also includes the archives of the days it used to be hosted on Topica, going back over a decade.

* now on google groups - you need to sign up to view - if I know it's you, I'll approve the request.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:00 pm

But just to have some fun with your mind, here's a post which puts a different twist on power profiling - Aero Profiling:

http://alex-cycle.blogspot.com.au/2011/ ... -item.html

which includes a link to a related item on aerodynamics and the individual pursuit:
http://alex-cycle.blogspot.com.au/2011/ ... aster.html

It's something Andy and I worked on, although to be fair, in this instance Andy crunched the numbers and I just made them look pretty, as well as researched the records to be applied to the charts.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:07 pm

winstonw wrote:
twizzle wrote:... or knowing that you are only good for TT's or sprints and should stick to events where you can use your strengths.


So on Coggan's table, which power measurement has the highest predictive power for the races participated in most often by Australian cyclists, which I presume are criteriums of 45-65 minutes.

Hint: It's an aerobic sport.
Another hint: If you have an FTP of 4.5W/kg, and struggle in Cat 4 crits, then it's not your power that's the problem. And yes, those people do exist. It's called not having sufficient race craft/smarts/experience/cornering & bunch skills.

So once again, use of these tables to predict race category is a waste of time. Go race to find out what grade you are.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby winstonw » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:21 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:If you say so. But why do you selectively quote and seemingly ignore Andy's opening paragraph which quite clearly makes this point?


Because if Andy was true to his opening paragraph, he would never have produced the table.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby winstonw » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:25 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:So once again, use of these tables to predict race category is a waste of time. Go race to find out what grade you are.


If you are saying power plays no roll at all, then bollocks again. It isn't 100% about race craft.
I've seen elite athletes from other disciplines (swimming) take up crit racing, and accelerate from B to A to Elite A, and place regularly.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:37 pm

winstonw wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:So once again, use of these tables to predict race category is a waste of time. Go race to find out what grade you are.


If you are saying power plays no roll at all, then bollocks again. It isn't 100% about race craft.
I've seen elite athletes from other disciplines (swimming) take up crit racing, and accelerate from B to A to Elite A, and place regularly.

You seem to be quite good at putting words in people mouths, so I see little point in continuing the conversation.

Let me know when you have something constructive to add.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:39 pm

winstonw wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:If you say so. But why do you selectively quote and seemingly ignore Andy's opening paragraph which quite clearly makes this point?


Because if Andy was true to his opening paragraph, he would never have produced the table.


I think you said it best:
winstonw wrote:Bollocks
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby winstonw » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:09 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:You seem to be quite good at putting words in people mouths, so I see little point in continuing the conversation.

Let me know when you have something constructive to add.


Likewise...."So once again, use of these tables to predict race category is a waste of time. Go race to find out what grade you are."

Of course, your addendum should be "don't waste time training with power meters. Just go race to find out how good you are."

Though I do agree with you comparing power/wt ratios was a serious error of judgement for a PhD in sports physiology to make, considering the differential in flat course speed between a 90 and 65kg athlete with same power/wt ftp.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Cycledelica » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:31 pm

winstonw wrote:Bollocks - his apology for producing the table is grammatically ambiguous.
"Such information could be then used to help plan an appropriate training program, evaluate the effectiveness thereof, and to possibly identify events where an individual might be expected to achieve the greatest success. My goal was therefore to develop rationale guidelines that could be used for this purpose."

The bolded bits speak volumes to the scientifically rigorous. Success????!!! success at what exactly? beating other people in a category.
Say no more.
I think the point is that you get graded according to how you go in a race, not what power you develop over a certain duration. Now having said that, of course the tables can be used as a guide because it's plainly obvious that the higher the average power you can sustain during a race, the higher the grade you will be able compete in without getting dropped.

You asked what would be the best predictor for success in a crit 45-65min. In this case, I think you will have multiple variations of power profiles that could be successful. Without ever having done a crit race, I know that they are highly intermittent and you need a fast sprint at the end to win. This is called repeat sprint ability. In team sports, (eg AFL) the better predictor of repeat sprint ability tends to be at the short end as opposed to the long end (ie: peak anaerobic capacity, not aerobic). So my guess is that those cyclists with a power profile more skewed towards the pointy end eg: 5sec through 1min will generally be more successful in crit racing than those whose peak is at 10min or 30min (on Coggan's tables), whereas the opposite will be true for ITT performance.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby vander » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:33 pm

winstonw wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:You seem to be quite good at putting words in people mouths, so I see little point in continuing the conversation.

Let me know when you have something constructive to add.


Likewise...."So once again, use of these tables to predict race category is a waste of time. Go race to find out what grade you are."

Of course, your addendum should be "don't waste time training with power meters. Just go race to find out how good you are."

Though I do agree with you comparing power/wt ratios was a serious error of judgement for a PhD in sports physiology to make, considering the differential in flat course speed between a 90 and 65kg athlete with same power/wt ftp.


....

He is not saying not to use powermeters or power, but use it for training dont go, oh I have never raced before my power sits in Cat 1 on the chart im going to go race Cat 1 (or even Cat 2) or equivalent, because you may not go well because you dont have the other skills.

For an example (might make it easier for you to understand), at Raw everyone starts in novice grade then works their way up, this year there was a rider that races at NRS level so he had the power to race Div 1 if not Div 2 easily, however he still started in novice then raced a few races in Div 5 etc etc, did he have the power to race in those easily yes, but why did he do it, to get used to a track bike, to get used to the banking, to get used to being a lot closer to other people etc. It is same for on the road, although you may not start in the lowest group but you need to learn the bunch skills and most importantly learn how to win. I know people that are way too strong for their grade and they dont win much at all because they cant get into a good position for the sprint they just arent good enough tactically.

So yes power is not everything, and in races yes it is next to useless (unless you are breaking away with an hour to go and you want to pace your effort) however as a training tool it is magic.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby vander » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:37 pm

Cycledelica wrote: This is called repeat sprint ability. In team sports, (eg AFL) the better predictor of repeat sprint ability tends to be at the short end as opposed to the long end (ie: peak anaerobic capacity, not aerobic). So my guess is that those cyclists with a power profile more skewed towards the pointy end eg: 5sec through 1min will generally be more successful in crit racing than those whose peak is at 10min or 30min (on Coggan's tables), whereas the opposite will be true for ITT performance.


I have found repeat sprint to be a beast of its own. Some people with high 5sec wont be able to, others with high aerobic capacity will be able to do little efforts again and again and again. I have found in a race its actually better to be more aerobically fit as the off times (between corners/attacks) you are working at a lower% of threshold thus recovering more. Though I do believe your AWC has a lot to do with repeat sprint efforts.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby nickobec » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:03 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:The CP paradigm can also be used to pre-determine/estimate a rider’s maximal Power output over various untested durations, as well as establish changes in both AWC and CP resulting from training.

OK, I got the name wrong, what I was attempting to say was the CP paradigm does not predict my maximal Power output well over certain durations. Particularly in the 3 to 5 minute range.

It may have something to with my age 52 and the fact I am on PEDs for sports that involve firearms, beta blockers, so lower HR than most.

My lack of race success since getting promoted, is less to do with x watts over y minutes, sure an FTP of over 4 w/kg or a 5 second sprint at 17w/kg would help. But lack of race craft, knowing the best time to make use of my abilities and power I have got and protecting myself from my weaknesses are what is holding be back.

As I said before the Allen & Coggan chart is good for working out your strengths and weaknesses compared to other riders, so
1 you can work out how to use your strengths to your advantage
2 identify your weakness so you can try to improve them
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Christine Tham » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:22 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Christine Tham wrote:But it doesn't mean it will be forever beyond your ability - that was what I was questioning.

I never said it was.


No, you didn't say that exactly. However, you did say this:

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Mind you, C-grade at a Tuesday evening Heffron (which is the relevant race quoted here) would be beyond most weekend warriors.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:05 am

nickobec wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:The CP paradigm can also be used to pre-determine/estimate a rider’s maximal Power output over various untested durations, as well as establish changes in both AWC and CP resulting from training.

OK, I got the name wrong, what I was attempting to say was the CP paradigm does not predict my maximal Power output well over certain durations. Particularly in the 3 to 5 minute range.

It may have something to with my age 52 and the fact I am on PEDs for sports that involve firearms, beta blockers, so lower HR than most.

My lack of race success since getting promoted, is less to do with x watts over y minutes, sure an FTP of over 4 w/kg or a 5 second sprint at 17w/kg would help. But lack of race craft, knowing the best time to make use of my abilities and power I have got and protecting myself from my weaknesses are what is holding be back.

3-minutes is at the very short end of the predictive abilities for CP, certainly anything much shorter like 1-2 minutes will be unreliable, as is anything longer than an hour (indeed I wouldn't use the predicted 60-min power as an estimated of FTP, but just the CP value), but in any case, one should use as one of the inputs into the CP model a maximal effort in the 4-6 minutes range, which by its very nature will help to accurately predict performance at that level.

Pithy Power Proverb: "The best predictor of performance is performance itself" - A. Coggan. Yep that same scientist that Winslowm seems to think is a fool.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:21 am

winstonw wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:You seem to be quite good at putting words in people mouths, so I see little point in continuing the conversation.

Let me know when you have something constructive to add.


Likewise...."So once again, use of these tables to predict race category is a waste of time. Go race to find out what grade you are."

Of course, your addendum should be "don't waste time training with power meters. Just go race to find out how good you are."

Though I do agree with you comparing power/wt ratios was a serious error of judgement for a PhD in sports physiology to make, considering the differential in flat course speed between a 90 and 65kg athlete with same power/wt ftp.

Dr Coggan doesn't have a PhD in sports physiology. This stuff, of which his knowledge is vastly superior to most, is but a hobby for him.

But you're right about the difference in flat course speed, and funnily enough, Dr Coggan does too. He did after all publish information about how one can use a power meter to precisely measure one's aerodynamics, as well as having conducted many hundreds of experiments on this matter. And you know, he is also named in the paper that developed and published the mathematical model describing the physics involved.

Of course a smart and crafty 65kg rider will sit in the draft of the 90kg guy and roll him later on in the race. Who knows, maybe the 65kg guy has a better sprint.
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Re: Doping in C-grade ?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:27 am

Christine Tham wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Christine Tham wrote:But it doesn't mean it will be forever beyond your ability - that was what I was questioning.

I never said it was.


No, you didn't say that exactly. However, you did say this:

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Mind you, C-grade at a Tuesday evening Heffron (which is the relevant race quoted here) would be beyond most weekend warriors.

And as I explained, I was talking about current ability, not potential, and said that if they trained sufficiently many certainly would become capable, but by the definition of weekend warrior I had also explained that training in such a manner to achieve this would mean they are no longer a weekend warrior.

Hence I stand by my statement.
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