Would I just be wasting my time?

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Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby twizzle » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:08 pm

After some expert advice here.

Using the Coggan power/weight table for 5 sec / 1min / 5 min / 20 min... I'm borderline Cat2/Cat3 for 5 minute and 20 minute power, but Cat 5/Untrained for 5 second / 1 minute power.

I've just been moved up to B grade for Vets road racing and in my first race got smashed on a longish (2 - 3 minute) ~6 - 7% climb when putting out over 500W for two minutes. I then spent ~3.5km chasing before getting back on and then managed to stay in the bunch for all of the short/sharp climbs. At the finish (slight uphill into a headwind), I attacked from the back of the pack for the last 400m and managed to get third.... and the winner basically fell off his bike in the finish chute because he was cramping from the effort of getting past me. The guy who came second was also cramping, but stayed upright. I didn't win, but I made them suffer. :roll:

So - I'm obviously strong enough to smash them on flat races, but every one of them can put out enough power on a climb to drop me. Given my crappy short-term power, is it possible to train around this issue, or is this just a sign that I have too much slow-twitch muscle and should accept that I'm only going to be competitive on flat courses and time trials? Yes, I need to lose weight, but a 10 - 15% reduction wouldn't have saved me from the thrashing I got on Saturday - I'm guessing at least 7W/kg for two minutes to have stayed with them, and the most I have ever made is 5W/kg.
Last edited by twizzle on Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:39 pm

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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:39 pm

As I am in the same position...although maybe a slightly higher 1min and 5 min power and slightly lower FTP than you...it is only a few % all up.
I know what the answer is and it ain't easy...you are pushing 102 (?) kgs up a hill...they are pushing 60-70kgs (?).
The good thing is that you can improve your power to weight by 10-20% by fork control..they will never improve theirs by anywhere near that by training their already light bodies :wink: .
Either that or limit yourself to flat races...but wheres the fun in that :D .

I suppose I should also say that I have raced at 85kilos and at 110kilos...correct me if I am wrong but you haven't been racing that long and so have always raced at 100+ kilos.The difference being at the lighter weight makes is insane...and comes down to more than just improving your power to weight...it improves loads of things.For me one of the biggest things is in body cooling...I am not wearing a 10 kilo blubber suit anymore :lol: .
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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby Ross » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:18 pm

Coming third in your first ever B grade race isn't getting smashed I don't reckon, even if you did have to put in 110% effort - isn't that what you are supposed to do in a race?
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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby ft_critical » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:09 pm

Have you considered doing hill intervals. I really like two and then three phase climb training. Not up Mt Anslie or anything, just a 1km climb, something that is longer than you will tackle in a race.

Last year I was able to hold the wheel of our Elite team on a 4km 5% climb as a result of this training. And I am at 81kg right now. And to begin with, I sucked at climbing.

My early training was channeling Jan Ulrich - pedalling a big gear, seated, low cadence etc. What I find with whipets is that they spin, they can't grind up a hill. So grind a higher gear, then at 3/4 of the hill use your explosive power to smash to the top of the hill.

Do you stand as well as do seated climbing? I found learning to climb efficiently while standing also helped a lot.
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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby twizzle » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:39 pm

Hmmm, TLL.... doesn't sound like training can resolve the crappy short-term power. But I've just done an hour on the trainer and converted 3,200Kj of body into heat.

Ross - trust me, when the bunch pulls away up a long hill and you are the only guy dropping off the back and the PowerTap says you are putting out over 600W, you know you are frocked. The only reason I got back on is because they weren't organised into a paceline. When I got back on, the eventual winner who was on the back (who is my height but a skinny build) looked at me and said "The guys up the front were under orders to drop you. What are you doing here?". My expectation is that, next time, they will kill themselves to drop me on the climbs and they will then work together to keep me off. Kind of like the C grade guys used to do until I improved my climbing... :roll: Except, I always used to have company in C grade, and this time there was only one other guy and he was too stuffed to help me. :(

ft_critical - I already do hill intervals. I'm mainly a seated climber, for me it's more efficient and having done back-to-back tests I know that grinding the gears burns me out quicker than seated spinning. Switching from standard to compact cranks last year gave me the ability to stay with the C grade guys up hill because I was able to hold a comfortable cadence instead of burning out... but in B grade I just don't have the cardio/power to push out the watts for that long. Mind you, I've only been racing for just over a year, so I have a lot of room for improvement.
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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby Ant. » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:19 pm

twizzle wrote:After some expert advice here.

Using the Coggan power/weight table for 5 sec / 1min / 5 min / 20 min... I'm borderline Cat2/Cat3 for 5 minute and 20 minute power, but Cat 5/Untrained for 5 second / 1 minute power.

I've just been moved up to B grade for Vets road racing and in my first race got smashed on a longish (2 - 3 minute) ~6 - 7% climb when putting out over 500W for two minutes. I then spent ~3.5km chasing before getting back on and then managed to stay in the bunch for all of the short/sharp climbs. At the finish (slight uphill into a headwind), I attacked from the back of the pack for the last 400m and managed to get third.... and the winner basically fell off his bike in the finish chute because he was cramping from the effort of getting past me. The guy who came second was also cramping, but stayed upright. I didn't win, but I made them suffer. :roll:

So - I'm obviously strong enough to smash them on flat races, but every one of them can put out enough power on a climb to drop me. Given my crappy short-term power, is it possible to train around this issue, or is this just a sign that I have too much slow-twitch muscle and should accept that I'm only going to be competitive on flat courses and time trials? Yes, I need to lose weight, but a 10 - 15% reduction wouldn't have saved me from the thrashing I got on Saturday - I'm guessing at least 7W/kg for two minutes to have stayed with them, and the most I have ever made is 5W/kg.

2 mins is getting pretty aerobic if you ask me (a 1min effort is ~1/3rd aerobic, and it goes along exponentially-ish from there).

Also, you believe you need to climb (for that climb, that day) at 7W/kg to hang with; just remember they'd need to climb at 7W/kg for that to be true
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You've got the aerobic part down in spades. I haven't done it for 100kg, but I have for 60 and 70kg (actually 70 and 80kg, taking into account bike+equipment). Up an 8% gradient, 80kg versus 70kg at 350W: 17.9kph versus 19.9kph. Doesn't sound like heaps?
What about if it's said this way: At 20kph up 8%, 80kg man will need 398W to match the 70kg man's 352W

Or a lesser gradient but higher speed: 4% slope and 29kph:
70kg = 335W
80kg = 370W


This is purely a case of fork control, as TLL states.
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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby Marty Moose » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:50 pm

How tall are you Twizzle!!
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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby twizzle » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:10 am

Ant. wrote:Also, you believe you need to climb (for that climb, that day) at 7W/kg to hang with; just remember they'd need to climb at 7W/kg for that to be true


Total climb time was about 2.5 minutes and 800m. I was averaging about 548W for the first 30 seconds (gear change in the middle) and it was like I'd put the brakes on. My final attempt to stay on had me sitting on 700W for a few seconds before I burnt out and dropped into the 400W range before finally dropping into my FTP range. The 1:30 average was 499W, the 1:45 was 496W. So I was right up with my "Best Ever" effort, but dropped about 50m in 800m. I made up for it a bit in the final sprint, because my 30 second power was 828W, and my one minute was 614W.

Ant. wrote:What about if it's said this way: At 20kph up 8%, 80kg man will need 398W to match the 70kg man's 352W

Which is actually only a 0.896% difference in W/Kg.

Ant. wrote:Or a lesser gradient but higher speed: 4% slope and 29kph:
70kg = 335W
80kg = 370W

Which is a 3.3% difference in W/kg.

Ant. wrote:This is purely a case of fork control, as TLL states.

How many Kg's would I need to lose to make up my perceived 26% deficit? Let's assume that I'm wrong about the 700W and that I only needed to average 600W to stay at the same speed. That would still be a ~14% deficit on my best-ever W/kg for that time... and that's going to be pushing the limit on weight loss. And, as mentioned before, the pace up that hill was supposedly pretty slow on that day.
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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby twizzle » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:01 am

Marty Moose wrote:How tall are you Twizzle!!


191.5, so a few cm shorter than TLL, but my pedal-to-saddle height is slightly longer. And he makes more sprint power than I do, and has much better endurance, but my 20 minute power is better... but he weighs less. TLL's almost my twin! :P .
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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby DanielS » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:17 am

Do you train for these sorts of shorter efforts at the moment? If you are struggling with 2-3 minute climbs, then my feeling would be that you should go out and.... ride up 2-3 minute climbs!

EDIT: Nevermind, I just read the other responses a bit more carefully and saw that you already said that you do hill intervals.

If you are getting dropped on the hills -- losing weight is almost certianly your best bet.
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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:27 pm

Twizzle's hill effort numbers are pretty good from what I have seen.Certainly good for the longer 8-12min efforts.Maybe not quite as good for the shorter 3-5min range...but even if he put out another 50w in that range...he like me (twin) is at a disadvantage on the climbs.
One thing I did last year to help was always attack the climb first and drift back thru the bunch so I am still in touch over the top...possible for me with 50-80 riders in a bunch,smaller bunch for Twizzle I think...the main draw back of this and the reason I stopped is that the break always got away on the climb and as I was drifting back I actually needed to accelerate hard to get back on.Which is harder than just holding the high pace.No matter what the charts say hills are huge effort for the bigger guys...and like I said it comes down t more than power to weight.On a pinch I am starting over 1000w and averaging 600w per minute to stay in touch...but I am going a lot slower so cooling goes out the window....600w per minute is a huge amount of body heat to dissapate.So if you go to hard you pop pretty quick.

Twizzle talking strictly about the Coogan charts...you know your numbers now...plug in the same watts but take off 5 and 10 kgs...see how far you move up the charts...a lot!...so imagine 15kgs.I know the charts have limitations but they let you know what you could do at the lighter weights quite well.

Also one thing I will say to Twizzle's comment that people think he looks to skinny at 90-95kilos.I have lost nearly 10kgs since Jan.People are already commenting that I shouldn't lose too much.I think if people are used to seeing you for so long at a set weight then obviously you look skinny to them when you drop the weight...seeing that Twizzle is my twin :lol: ...I know at even 90kgs I am carrying plenty fat...so I am going for 20kgs.People won't even notice after a few months...but boy you will!...especially trying to hold my wheel :twisted: .

Blah blah blah :roll:
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Re: Would I just be wating my time?

Postby 1q2w3e4r » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:37 pm

7 w/kg seems like an awful lot of power for a climb even at 2 minutes long. Do you think they were really that far in front of you?

I don't have any efforts from that short in duration, the closest one I have is from a 40k C grade road race last year out over the Akuna Bay/West Head course where we finished 2 minutes behind B Grade so it's probably a fair comparison. Both climbs are longer though, the first at 1.8km, but its tackled in the first 5 minutes of racing so everyone hit it with fresh legs. 5:32 to climb at 300 watts or 5 w/kg for me. The last climb is at the finish up Akuna West and it was covered in 10:5x at exactly 4 w/kg.

Putting it in perspective, on fresh legs the best I can manage up that climb now on a test I did back in March was 4.4 w/kg (now racing B grade).

I'd suggest TTL's strategy of starting the climb(s) at the front of the bunch, trying to slow them down/maintain a steady effort as much as possible and drift back through the group as it progresses.
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby twizzle » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:35 pm

As mentioned above, I was making 496w for the climb, which for me is 4.85W/kg... and that was at the 43 minute mark and it was the second climb.

New weight target... 15kg to lose.
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:45 am

twizzle wrote:New weight target... 15kg to lose.

:D
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby nimm » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:50 am

damn you guys with huge power and plenty of weight to lose! :lol:

I'm ~67kg atm and could easily lose 2kg and possibly a couple more but that's it. The only option for me is to train more :)
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:21 am

I was thinking of you today twiz :D ...I got dropped like a stone on my group ride tonight...no big deal and in a way it is good as I need to factor in a bit more recovery before Sunday's race than I thought....but as I have 5 days it should be fine...if today was Thursday I would be worried!.
Even thou I was blocked in the legs tonight....I put out 899 watts for 30 secs and 700w for a minute...which was fine and I didn't lose any ground in that minute...but pretty much on the minute mark I exploded and still had another minutes climbing to go as I watched the wippets ride away from me!.
Thats 9.5w per kg for 30 secs and 7.4w per kg for a minute...just not sustainable for us big guys!!!...once I hit my goal weight in another 12kgs they won't know what hit'em!!!.
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby twizzle » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:19 am

Lol - sad isn't it.

Well, I had my last training ride before the race on Saturday and struggled to get above endurance power. I pretty much bonked at the 45 minute mark. Being complex carb intolerant at the moment... it looks like I'm not creating enough glucose to replenish the muscle glycogen stores. Might skip the race this Sat and see if I can simple-carb up for the 2-day race in May. Not looking good for racing, but it's one way to lose weight. :(
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:43 am

Eating for 23. BMI that is.

Body mass 100.0 kg
Height 191.5 cm
BMI 27.3 kg/m^2

For men only:
Stand in front of mirror with no shirt.
Tense your upper body muscles.
Jump up 'n' down.
Anything that jiggles/wobbles can go.
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby Ant. » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:12 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Eating for 23. BMI that is.

Body mass 100.0 kg
Height 191.5 cm
BMI 27.3 kg/m^2

For men only:
Stand in front of mirror with no shirt.
Tense your upper body muscles.
Jump up 'n' down.
Anything that jiggles/wobbles can go.

LOL!!! :lol: :lol:

New RST protocol for determining race weight? :mrgreen:
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby ft_critical » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:48 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Anything that jiggles/wobbles can go.


Alex, there is something jiggling and wobbling about in the mid body region, that, whilst not essential to cycling, I have become rather attached to throughout my life.

I also noticed that if I raise my arms during the test, I become a lot fitter looking.


Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Stand in front of mirror with no shirt.


[Edit] Oh I see, shirt off only.
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby goneriding » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:37 pm

ft_critical wrote:"The guys up the front were under orders to drop you. What are you doing here?"


The reply to that question is easy - "Resting"! :D

I've used that one before. Usually gets a giggle! Can't help you with being able to climb better though!
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby twizzle » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:18 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Eating for 23. BMI that is.

Body mass 100.0 kg
Height 191.5 cm
BMI 27.3 kg/m^2

For men only:
Stand in front of mirror with no shirt.
Tense your upper body muscles.
Jump up 'n' down.
Anything that jiggles/wobbles can go.


:lol:

O.K. - the 23 came from working out my previous target weight and converting to BMI. I'll just see where I end up. But at this point, I reckon D grade would be a struggle. Seriously, I had trouble getting out of the recovery zone this morning.
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:34 pm

Hey Twizzle, what do you mean hi-carb intolerant at the moment?? Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but I am trying to come to terms with, all these new ways of training. :?
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby twizzle » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:12 pm

foo on patrol wrote:Hey Twizzle, what do you mean hi-carb intolerant at the moment?? Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but I am trying to come to terms with, all these new ways of training. :?


Complex, not high.

Long story, but (once again) I've damaged the lining of the small intestine and I can't make the enzymes required for final stage digestion of polysaccharide sugars into disaccharides (glucose etc.). I can't eat starches or complex sugars without it feeding the bacteria and/or yeast which have now moved into the small intestine - it results in massive gas production and bloating. The bloating, via the tear in my diaphragm caused by the first time, irritates my vagal nerve and causes "wonderful" effects such as not being able to swallow, blood pressure fluctuations, heart rate changes. First time occurred back when I was 'fat ba$tard' after a course of erythromycin, this time it was triggered by a gastro bug. And it takes months to clear up, because the only real solution is to avoid anything which requires disaccharide enzymes for absorption so that I can process all of the intake, and that will starve whatever is living in my small intestine until it dies.

I've just eaten as much as I could stuff into my stomach (~1700Kj), and it only just exceeded the energy I burnt on the 23 minute ride home (~1640Kj). And I had the worst training ride this morning where I burnt ~ 4000Kj. :( So the ride to work was worth roughly 10 bananas, the ride home was roughly four. I can't eat that much fruit!!! I have a bag of glucodin in my backpack, it's worth roughly 5,950Kj... but it means eating 350gm of 'sugar', and the absorption rate is probably too high to cope with anyway so I'll need to take it with fruit.

Frack, frack, frack, frack.... :evil:

Edit: Kj in bananas correction.
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Re: Would I just be wasting my time?

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:14 pm

Hmmmmm, that makes life difficult! :(
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