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  1. #1
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    Power Training on road for dirt performance

    How are you using your power data to help train on dirt?

    I recently did a 90 minute 302 watt average with a 312 watt 60 minute period. I'm shooting to do well in sport this year. What workouts are best to do for MTB racing where I will be using only a HRM?

  2. #2
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    I'd ditch the HRM as well, or at least not use it/look at it during a race effort. If you train with a power meter for long enough, you get a pretty good idea of what your threshold should feel like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke
    I'd ditch the HRM as well, or at least not use it/look at it during a race effort. If you train with a power meter for long enough, you get a pretty good idea of what your threshold should feel like.
    I tend to use it to peg my aerobic threshold and keep it right there as long as possible which in my case is right at 172-174 bpm,

  4. #4
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    Intervals

    How? I do all my intervals by power. HR is too goofy at high outputs to really hit the ranges by a HR monitor alone. After using power for a while, I can tell by PE where I should be on the MTB as well. HR is only used for me to tell if something is screwy with my current condition.

    Typically my specific intervals are all on the road. on the MTB I do the less precise, long LT type work.

    By those numbers, I'm guessing you are either not a lightweight, or crushing Sport.
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  5. #5
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    last friday I was 196, i'm shooting for sub 190 by my 1st race a few weeks out, i expect to finish the summer up in the 185 range

  6. #6
    LMN
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    I am not a big power meter fan myself (Although I have a road SRM, mtb SRM and a compu-trainer). IMO power is great for monitoring training but not training prescription. But that is a debate for another time.

    How to use your power information. Well by your data you have a threshold of about 3.4 watts per kilo.

    Elite riders are around 5.0 w/kg and Cat 1 (expert) around 4.0 w/kg. At that power output you should be competative in sport but not winning.

    Let us say you up your power to 4.0 w/kg but were still unable to win in sport then you might want to look at other compentents in your racing (technical skills, nutrition, tactics, ect...)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrftc
    How are you using your power data to help train on dirt?

    I recently did a 90 minute 302 watt average with a 312 watt 60 minute period. I'm shooting to do well in sport this year. What workouts are best to do for MTB racing where I will be using only a HRM?

    The Difference between Road and Mountain Bike Power Output and What Your Training Should Do About it.

    The Right Way vs the Wrong Way to Perform Intervals

    Should get you started
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  8. #8
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    That first link of Jason's is good. I've used it to come up with some new workouts.

  9. #9
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    LOL at 4.0w/kg being expert...where is that an expert number? I've estimated that you need over 5 to win an expert race here in Colorado. I was top 5 consistently in sport 2 years ago (didn't race last year) with an estimated threshold of 4.2 that year. I think i can easily achieve that again this year with a little more weight loss, heck I may even be there I haven't done a power hour for months, the last one I did was January and it was 327 for 60 minutes with a little room to spare, so I'm virtually certain I'm in the 350-360 range now.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickySilk
    That first link of Jason's is good. I've used it to come up with some new workouts.
    awesome link, I found that in another thread and will start integrating those workouts into my training days.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by used2Bhard
    By those numbers, I'm guessing you are either not a lightweight, or crushing Sport.
    I was just thinking the same thing. I weighed mid to high 170's with an FTP of 274 and podiumed most of my sport races.

    Expert, however, is a whole 'nother story. I'm felling slowwww.

    -matt

  12. #12
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrftc
    LOL at 4.0w/kg being expert...where is that an expert number? I've estimated that you need over 5 to win an expert race here in Colorado. I was top 5 consistently in sport 2 years ago (didn't race last year) with an estimated threshold of 4.2 that year. I think i can easily achieve that again this year with a little more weight loss, heck I may even be there I haven't done a power hour for months, the last one I did was January and it was 327 for 60 minutes with a little room to spare, so I'm virtually certain I'm in the 350-360 range now.
    The key thing is your estimated threshold of 4.2. Everybody grossly over estimates their threshold.

    If you have over 5.0 and are racing expert then you have truly horrible technical skills.

    If you have decent technical skills, race tactics and a true FTP over 5.0 then you are in the top 20 in elite at US cups.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    The key thing is your estimated threshold of 4.2. Everybody grossly over estimates their threshold.

    If you have over 5.0 and are racing expert then you have truly horrible technical skills.

    If you have decent technical skills, race tactics and a true FTP over 5.0 then you are in the top 20 in elite at US cups.
    I don't understand that.

    If I can produce XYZ watts for an hour, how is that an estimation of my threshold? It is what it is, no way around it.

  14. #14
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    Kinda by definition if you are winning sport you are an expert, and if you are winning expert, you are elite. When I raced sport I was getting consistent podium results at 4 w/kg. This year I've been able to win cat 1/expert at 4.5 w/kg. My w/kg numbers are based on actual best 60 min efforts. Of course this is in Oregon. I've looked at Colorado results and the fields are about double the size, so I'm not suprised the standards are much higher.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke
    I don't understand that.

    If I can produce XYZ watts for an hour, how is that an estimation of my threshold? It is what it is, no way around it.
    Absolutely if you produce X watts for an hour then that is your threshol, but few actually go and test.

    Lots of people do a test and then extrapolate but few actually do a formal test.

    I chuckle because I hear numbers all the time from sport and expert riders that are elite level. One of my athlete has an FTP a little less then 5.0 watts/kg (350 watts at 71kg). At one of the US cups he placed 4th. His technical skills, for an elite, are no better then average.

    The number I threw out there are bang on. So if you can honestly hold 4.0 watts/kg and are stuck in sport then FTP is not your limiter. There is something else that is holding you back.

  16. #16
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    Any idea how many w/kg the women are typically running? My best has been 4 w/kg (when I was road racing a lot), but I laid off of a strict training program for a while & it's dropped some.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrftc
    What workouts are best to do for MTB racing where I will be using only a HRM?
    I would say that HRM is not useful at all gauging your intensity during intervals under 2 minutes, and there's a decent argument that they are not useful for intervals under 5 mins. This is because HR doesn't "catch-up" to your effort level for a while. In other words, you start pedaling hard, and your HR doesn't rise to match that hard effort for a while (1-4 mins in my experience)--better said: HR slowly rises until it finally matches that hard effort level. So, if you're only using HRM sometimes, it's best to monitor/gauge your effort level during intervals/efforts that last 10 mins or longer.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    I chuckle because I hear numbers all the time from sport and expert riders that are elite level. One of my athlete has an FTP a little less then 5.0 watts/kg (350 watts at 71kg). At one of the US cups he placed 4th. His technical skills, for an elite, are no better then average.
    Yes I agree, 5w/kg FTP is solid for any armature racer. An FTP of 5.5w/kg is huge for an amateur racer. Itís achievable, but rare. I live in a city of about 1million. There is one amateur in town that has an FTP around 5.2 to 5.4W/kg. Heís stronger than some local pros riding on continental teams. If I'm not mistaken most domestic pros are around 5.5W/kg. If you look at his palmaries, you can see heís an exception not the norm.

    As someone who trains 7 days a week and competes in the 1/2 road scene I'm always amazed with the numbers thrown out here. Iíve raced in 2 provinces and 3 different states and find the level of combination is about the same, if not a little higher in Quebec.

    Maybe the southern riders are strong because they ride outside 12 months a year, but I bet itís the method used to approximate FTP. Some indoor trainers spit out unrealistically high power numbers from time to time.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    The number I threw out there are bang on. So if you can honestly hold 4.0 watts/kg and are stuck in sport then FTP is not your limiter. There is something else that is holding you back.
    In general, I agree with this statement, but I don't doubt that a Colorado race might have more competitive than in other places.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138
    Any idea how many w/kg the women are typically running? My best has been 4 w/kg (when I was road racing a lot), but I laid off of a strict training program for a while & it's dropped some.
    I coached an Expert National Champion woman a few years ago (the fastest expert woman at nationals that year). I didn't have any power numbers for her at the time she won, but based on some testing numbers from early in the year, I would estimate she was around 3.8-3.9 watts/kg FTP at the time she won the national championship--that's assuming some improvement from early in the year (she tested--accurately--at 3.6 early in the year). She had great technical skills, great mental focus and confidence, and she could suffer really well (better than most).
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  21. #21
    Dirty South Underdog
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    Wow- that's nice to know

    My problem is that I've only had my MTB for about a month, so I've currently got the technical skills of a monkey on rollerskates
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  22. #22
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138
    Any idea how many w/kg the women are typically running? My best has been 4 w/kg (when I was road racing a lot), but I laid off of a strict training program for a while & it's dropped some.
    At the front end of a world cup, around 5.5 watts/kg, maybe higher. To race decent in elite 4.0+ watts/kg.

    Expert is probably around 3.5 and sport around 3.0.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138
    I've currently got the technical skills of a monkey on rollerskates
    That's quite a claim!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toZASyaH23Q

  24. #24
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    So where do you guys get your power data from? Using your roadbike with power meter on road rides or rollers etc?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    I chuckle because I hear numbers all the time from sport and expert riders that are elite level. One of my athlete has an FTP a little less then 5.0 watts/kg (350 watts at 71kg). At one of the US cups he placed 4th. His technical skills, for an elite, are no better then average.
    Don't chuckle at me. My numbers are certainly in the Cat 2 (sport) range as are my results. So I guess I'm kosher...

    At least I know my limitations and do enjoy it all.

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