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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jared_j View Post
    You cannot control for variation in how athletes test their 20 min numbers (fresh? 5 min blowout like Coggan says? on the flats? on a climb?),
    ...
    Good cross-sectional data on power/weight ratios isn't really publicly available, so ultimately making a decision on the validity of this metric as a lay-person rider is going to be a question of faith, e.g. trusting coaches and researchers who have access to the data and publicly state their conclusions.
    That's a good point. Even with just your own tests you're going to see wildly varying ftp test results depending upon the route, and also the test protocol. For example I can achieve a significantly higher 20 minute ftp test result if it's on an uphill course than doing a 20 minute time trial on a flat route.

    About all you can do is try and make sure that your own ftp tests are performed on the same route in the same repeatable manner each time. That should allow you to reliably track your own progress over the year.

  2. #52
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    This is an extract quoted from the Google Wattage Group about the best way to test your ftp.

    You have to sign in to view the actual thread:
    Wattage | Google Groups

    -------------------------------------
    "Question for the group...this will be my second year training with power. In the past, I've used the Coggan method for testing FTP (some pre-work followed by a 20min TT, of which I take 95% to be my FTP for that test). As I understand things, the purpose of the abridged testing protocol is to ensure that the athlete maintains focus and to make the test more manageable overall.

    In discussions with teammates, it's come up that this might be returning FTP values that overestimate your (my) true FTP. Basically the questions revolve around the 95% measure and the pre-work adequately simulating a cyclists true FTP over a 1hr TT (from a fresh state).

    The discussion seemed to boil down to "if you're so confident in your (ie: Coggan's) method, jump on the bike and rip off a one hour TT, see if you can replicate your wattage from the Coggan test...

    Any comments, points for or against the Coggan method? Really what I'm asking the group is who uses the Coggan method (the one specified in his book "Racing and Training with a Power Meter") and who uses the traditional 1hr TT method?" EricV


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    "It doesn't matter what method you use as long as you're consistent. The point of having an FTP number is not so you can participate in e-wang internet contests, it's to guide your effort during training and potentially racing if you're doing TTs. As far as training you'll find out soon enough if your method is working as the workouts based on particular FTP will either be too hard or too easy. You'll end up adjusting the target %FTP that you use as needed.

    If you're using 95% of 20min power to determine FTP and you end up not being able to maintain that in a 40kTT then you just make an adjustment for next time. There is no way to know ahead of time what the ratio of 20min to 60min power is until you actually test both. Many people need a race to generate the motivation to go all out for 60min hence the prevalence of shorter tests." Gregf


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    "There are many reasons why there are several methods of testing for FTP (some valid, some less so):

    - there exist a number of published methods that work reasonably well (some are better than others), in particular those presented by Andy Coggan himself

    - some people don't want to go hard for an hour, so are looking for an easier/shorter alternative

    - some don't want to test 1 hour all out all that regularly, or are concerned with testing interfering with training, so look for other ways (e.g. examining race data)

    - some do not have ready access to suitable venues to go quasi steady state hard for an hour (terrain, traffic lights etc make execution difficult)

    - a 1 hour indoor trainer test may not provide a valid result given the often quoted difference in indoor v outdoor power

    - some need the motivation of a race number on their back to perform, but do not have hour long TTs where they live/train

    - some are experienced in training with power and know from their regular training how it's going (e.g. regular interval work is a test method itself)

    - some might be more interested in performance for other time durations relevant for their goal events, but still want an FTP estimate anyway for all the useful things it enables

    - marketing / "branding" of a preferred testing method by a coaching group/personality

    As a result, there will be no consensus. It comes back to what you are doing testing for.

    To know your maximal quasi steady state power that you can sustain for about an hour, well really there is only one test for that.

    But as to what method is preferred to estimate FTP for the purposes of training with power (setting training levels, assessing fitness changes, using the performance manager etc etc), well one has to take into account all the reasons above that apply to each individual when deciding what's the best method for them.

    As a coach I employ several different methods (e.g. longer and shorter TTs, MAP tests, critical power, assessing regular interval and hard tempo training, inspection of race results) depending on a range of factors for each client. But you then try to remain consistent with the testing approach for that client. Circumstances do change though.

    As to the relationship of the outcomes of the Hunter Allen 20-min test 95% = FTP method, well that's been recently and not so recently picked over a gazillion times. I would suggest that it will get you to within a few %, depending on how one performs the pre-test "blowout" effort. As others have said, pick a method and if you find the result seems a bit out of whack relative to your subsequent training ability, well then you adjust accordingly.

    However there is definitely a variance in the relationship between 20- min power (sans blow out effort) and 60-min power, and those who can hold 95% of 20-min power for 60-min are at one end of the bell curve in my experience. More are closer to 90-93%, some less. And the relationship for an individual can vary as fitness changes and/or they learn to pace better." Alex Simmons


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    >Alex, what are your thoughts on the pre-test blowout?

    "Don't have many. I don't use/prescribe it when testing, just a good warm up instead.

    I prefer to know the mean maximal power for any given duration of interest when testing.

    That's not to say it's not a valid test protocol, just not what I prefer to use. I suppose I prefer not to introduce another variable (i.e. "how hard do I ride the blowout coach?"). I use a multiple of sins depending on the individual circumstances. It sounds like a pretty good shorter training session though, which is always a good thing. Toss in some sprints, bit of lactate tolerance work and voila, one for the omnium guys." Alex Simmons

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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  3. #53
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    I did a computrainer group ride at an indoor facility this Saturday, with my powertap hub on. Weird, huh? I don't know if the results are inaccurate or not using both items but the computrainer and the powertap didn't have the same readings. The powertap was about 25-30watts lower average than the computrainer. It was a great ride but it was set up based on our "guesstimated" FTP so every persons resistance was proportional to their FTP. So 2 guys rode 35-40 miles while others got 25ish. I don't know much about computrainers but we should of all had the same resistance and been able to use our gears.
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme View Post
    I would be willing to bet that it you could predict MOST of the outcomes of races given that information. The exception would be when the best climbers (as designated by power/weight) cannot descend well and are faced with a technical course.
    yep, yeh, yes, ditto +1

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    I did a computrainer group ride at an indoor facility this Saturday, with my powertap hub on. Weird, huh? I don't know if the results are inaccurate or not using both items but the computrainer and the powertap didn't have the same readings. The powertap was about 25-30watts lower average than the computrainer. It was a great ride but it was set up based on our "guesstimated" FTP so every persons resistance was proportional to their FTP. So 2 guys rode 35-40 miles while others got 25ish. I don't know much about computrainers but we should of all had the same resistance and been able to use our gears.
    Have a look at the comments about computrainers by daveryanwyoming in this thread:

    SRM vs Computrainer power readings

    Also:
    SRM vs. Computrainer watts discrepancy : Triathlon Forum: Slowtwitch Forums

    If it was your own computrainer then you could adjust its slope to make it match your Powertap readings. If you're going to be riding a lot in the same facility then you probably want to try and use the same computrainer each time to ensure consistency.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    I did a computrainer group ride at an indoor facility this Saturday, with my powertap hub on. Weird, huh? I don't know if the results are inaccurate or not using both items but the computrainer and the powertap didn't have the same readings. The powertap was about 25-30watts lower average than the computrainer. It was a great ride but it was set up based on our "guesstimated" FTP so every persons resistance was proportional to their FTP. So 2 guys rode 35-40 miles while others got 25ish. I don't know much about computrainers but we should of all had the same resistance and been able to use our gears.
    You can do a static torque test with your powertap to verify it's accurate. Basically you hang a weight from the pedal axle (I use 25lb plate) and look at the torque reading on the PT. I have a spreadsheet around somewhere that calculates it's accuracy, based on torque reading, weight used, gear ratio, and crank length. I check it once a year or so to make sure it doesn't drift.
    On the computrainer I find it's necessary to repeat the spin-down calibration test after at least 10 minutes of warmup in order to get accurate readings. Mine's also calibrated to match my powertap. From the factory the older models were all over the place, but I hear they've gotten better.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Garmin Connect and Strava
    I uploaded the same Garmin Edge 500 .fit file to Strava, Garmin Connect and also into WKO+ 3.0. The results are pictured below.

    Whats your current 30 minute TT power average?

    Garmin Connect automatically splits the ride into moving and stationary time for calculating average speeds. It gives you both moving and elapsed time average speeds but doesn't do the same thing for average power. The overall average speed in Garmin Connect summaries is the lower figure which includes stationary time. Average power in Garmin Connect includes any stationary time also. That means average power will always be lower viewed in Garmin Connect than the same ride in Strava.
    Since the recent Garmin Connect update moving average speed is no longer displayed. All stationary time is included within the average speed and average power figures, unless you have auto pause enabled or manually stop the timer. Garmin's auto pause can affect the accuracy of the recorded power figures so you don't really want to use it with a Powertap. The picture I posted above is the old Garmin Connect layout.

    This isn't so much of a problem if you never stop, or only briefly. A ride like yesterday's is a good example of how lots of stationary time can make the averages meaningless when you include stationary time though. Yesterday I went down the canal towpath for a quiet ride. That involved regularly stopping to open and close gates. I stopped and took a few photos at one point too. On the way back I also punctured and spent 30 minutes ( ) trying to work out what had caused the puncture. I think it was a thorn attached to a stick that probably went through the tyre but then pulled out again.

    What that meant was the ride ended up being 2h32 ride time and 49 minutes of stationary time. If you were to view that ride in Garmin Connect its average speed and average power would be much lower than the moving averages as a result.

    Garmin Connect isn't that good anyway but if you do use it it's something to be aware of.

  8. #58
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    Your power numbers-just curious

    Still having fun with the power meter-it's been a great training tool this season. I just started racing in the expert class getting hammered this season. I don't road race but 1x per year but do train on the road 80% of my rides.

    Anywho, I'm just curious what kind of power numbers my racing peers are putting up and your experience with using power... thrown in some info about yourself like age, class etc.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Whats your current 30 minute TT power average?-power.gif  

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  9. #59
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    I have not tried a 30 minute TT, but I think I can do about 240-245 Watts for 30 minutes, based on a recent interval session as follows:

    16 min at 245w
    3 min at recovery pace
    8 min at 245w
    3 min at recovery pace
    4 min at 245w
    3 min at recovery pace
    2 min at 245w
    7 min at recovery pace
    2 min at 245w
    3 min at recovery pace
    4 min at 245w
    3 min at recovery pace
    8 min at 245w
    3 min at recovery pace
    16 min at 245w

    That is a 85 minute session with 60 minutes at 245w. I am 155 lbs, 50 years old and this was done on a CycleOps 300 Pro.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    GF Superfly 29er HT
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    Pake French 75 track

  10. #60
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    It depends...

    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered View Post
    You are weak and should rightly be ashamed of those numbers!

    But really, What Strat said. Check your preferences in the Power Agent and if you have the time, give the CycleOps help desk a call. They're really good at making sure you get the most from their product.
    Depends on riders weight

  11. #61
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    Here's some data for ya for comparisons.

    This is the culmination of hundreds of power files, taken from the most ideal conditions for highest power (group rides/races are best). Except that these are at elevation (~4000-6000 ft.)

    -The short power records were either crits or group rides that start on a hill.
    -The 2-4 minute records on a long false flat hill, at start of same weekly group ride.
    -The 5 minute on my rollers during a 5-min power test.
    -The 10-30 minute was a day with strong roadies on a long 10% average climb and I nearly the last one up.
    -The 60 and 90 minute PRs, I flatted at the start of a road race and chased alone for 30+ miles; unfortunately didn't catch anyone after spending a few minutes switching tube.

    I usually weigh around 160 mid-summer. Currently 164.

    Cat 3 road, Cat 1 MTB, and entering Bs for cyclocross, nearly 46 yrs old. My race focus has changed to cyclocross. I'm pretty much done MTB racing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Whats your current 30 minute TT power average?-power-records.jpg  

    Last edited by Poncharelli; 12-07-2012 at 07:32 AM.
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  12. #62
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    20 min

    is the most common way to measure pwr and ftp as far as i recall. right now i am somewhere around 3.8w/kilo. adding intensity and getting down to race weight should help quite a bit.

    btw...currently get my butt kicked as cat 1 in s. california.

  13. #63
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    I've only ever formally tested 20 minute power. 337 watts as of 3-4 weeks ago.

    143-145 lbs, recently upgraded to pro.

    2 x 20 intervals at ~90% of my best 20 minute power works for me as far as a bread-and-butter workout. I rarely do intervals < 20 minutes anymore for MTB-specific training.
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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Still having fun with the power meter-it's been a great training tool this season. I just started racing in the expert class getting hammered this season. I don't road race but 1x per year but do train on the road 80% of my rides.

    Anywho, I'm just curious what kind of power numbers my racing peers are putting up and your experience with using power... thrown in some info about yourself like age, class etc.
    Apparently you and I would have a really close race. I'm within 0.1 of your w/kg on all but 5 sec. and 120min. Some higher, some lower, a few the same. My 60/90/120min numbers are 3.3/3.3/3.2. Those three are all from a recent workout up Mt. Lemmon here in Tucson. 6000' of climbing in 2.5 hours will lead to some solid numbers for those.
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    Apparently you and I would have a really close race. I'm within 0.1 of your w/kg on all but 5 sec. and 120min. Some higher, some lower, a few the same. My 60/90/120min numbers are 3.3/3.3/3.2. Those three are all from a recent workout up Mt. Lemmon here in Tucson. 6000' of climbing in 2.5 hours will lead to some solid numbers for those.
    Very cool...whats your age weight class etc? I'm 40, race expert class, 153#. Looking at your numbers you would probably pull past me after an hour to an hour and a half and beat me by 2-3 minutes in a 2-2.5 hour race
    Last edited by 2fst4u; 12-06-2012 at 04:50 PM.
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  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    337 watts as of 3-4 weeks ago, 143-145 lbs.
    Yowsers- that's a lot of power, guess I have some work to do if I want to go pro
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  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Yowsers- that's a lot of power, guess I have some work to do if I want to go pro
    Don't worry, I have lots of work to do as well. Going to be a challenging first season in the new category.

    When I first did a power test it was ~250 watts for 20 minutes a few seasons ago (I had been riding for several seasons already at that time, but no structured training). I've made slow but steady progress through consistency since then. Focused FTP work this past season really paid off.

    I'm getting very close to my big goal of 5.0 w/kg at FTP... but power is only part of riding a bike fast in the woods.
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  18. #68
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    I let myself go after about September of 2011 so my power #'s right now (& weight) are a joke. I'm in the process of rebuilding and getting back to form for next season.

    44 yr old (as of a couple days ago)
    Endurance mtb focus
    15min & 30 min power (Powertap #'s) a couple weeks after last race of 2011 (Breck68) = 286w/15min & 270w/30min (both PR figures)
    3.55 w/kg

    Pretty much a mid-packer in the 40-49 yrs old group in RME series races that I did

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    Don't worry, I have lots of work to do as well. Going to be a challenging first season in the new category.

    When I first did a power test it was ~250 watts for 20 minutes a few seasons ago (I had been riding for several seasons already at that time,

    2 x 20 intervals at ~90% of my best 20 minute power works for me as far as a bread-and-butter workout. I rarely do intervals < 20 minutes anymore for MTB-specific training.
    So your 20 minute test was 250w a few seasons ago, now 337w... big improvement. You rarely do any intervals shorter than your 20m @ 90% ones? This last (and previous seasons) on my tues/thursday workouts I always do intervals, vo2 max and threshold. They are short and intense but in the expert class (just upgraded in 2012) the races are longer than sport and I find I may need a different focus on my training to push higher numbers longer distances.

    Other than your 90%/20m intervals how did you structure your training to improve as you did? Longer rides (duration)? More workouts per week (frequency)? Less intensity with more volume? In other words what worked for you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSH View Post
    I let myself go after about September of 2011 so my power #'s right now (& weight) are a joke.
    And it's amazing how quick that happens. Last season I broke my wrist which kept me off bike over a month and started base miles barely pushing 130W in low tempo HR zone. My LT power at that time was probably 200W or less, but it does come back quick.
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  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    So your 20 minute test was 250w a few seasons ago, now 337w... big improvement. You rarely do any intervals shorter than your 20m @ 90% ones? This last (and previous seasons) on my tues/thursday workouts I always do intervals, vo2 max and threshold. They are short and intense but in the expert class (just upgraded in 2012) the races are longer than sport and I find I may need a different focus on my training to push higher numbers longer distances.Other than your 90%/20m intervals how did you structure your training to improve as you did? Longer rides (duration)? More workouts per week (frequency)? Less intensity with more volume? In other words what worked for you?
    They really need to make the Cat2 and Cat1 distance the same....for so many reasons. Either make the 2 race longer or the 1 race shorter. This ambiguous thought of "Well, the Cat1 guys are pretty fast, so let's just add 5 miles to their race" sorta thing exists nowhere else in racing. It makes it hard for the 2's to figure out how they stack up against the 1's also. That extra lap is a killer the first season as a 1 imo....

    Sorry for the hijack... Tommy...good numbers. Hoping to get there myself.

    Oh, and why the heck are Cat1's racing from longer periods of time (hr more sometimes) than the world cup racers? Haha. Funny really..

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    So your 20 minute test was 250w a few seasons ago, now 337w... big improvement. You rarely do any intervals shorter than your 20m @ 90% ones? This last (and previous seasons) on my tues/thursday workouts I always do intervals, vo2 max and threshold. They are short and intense but in the expert class (just upgraded in 2012) the races are longer than sport and I find I may need a different focus on my training to push higher numbers longer distances.

    Other than your 90%/20m intervals how did you structure your training to improve as you did? Longer rides (duration)? More workouts per week (frequency)? Less intensity with more volume? In other words what worked for you?
    Very little structure, honestly, until this year. With a young daughter and a full-time job I had to structure thing to be effective.

    I had a very good anaerobic engine already from soccer, running, hard MTB riding, and group road rides/racing. What really needed training was my sustained power.

    This is where most MTB racers are deficient, IMO, the ability to go hard for a long time without coasting or soft-pedaling. Granted, off-road you have to coast a lot due to terrain, so road/trainer intervals helped me a ton.

    I now (during a build period) shoot for 2 high-quality interval workouts per week, plus a long zone 2-3 ride on the weekend. All else is zone 2 or even zone 1. About 8-12 hours total depending on the week.

    I will try for 1 week of 1/2 volume after 3 weeks of work this year to avoid overdoing it. Better to be slightly undertrained and fresh tha the opposite.

    I got very far just riding a ton, with a lot of unstructured hard riding. Now with time constraints I need structure, and structure has benefitted me greatly so far.
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  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    They really need to make the Cat2 and Cat1 distance the same....for so many reasons. Either make the 2 race longer or the 1 race shorter. This ambiguous thought of "Well, the Cat1 guys are pretty fast, so let's just add 5 miles to their race" sorta thing exists nowhere else in racing. It makes it hard for the 2's to figure out how they stack up against the 1's also. That extra lap is a killer the first season as a 1 imo....

    Sorry for the hijack... Tommy...good numbers. Hoping to get there myself.

    Oh, and why the heck are Cat1's racing from longer periods of time (hr more sometimes) than the world cup racers? Haha. Funny really..
    I agree totally with your points on distance and categories. Our first race of the XC series this season will be 3 hours long. Friggin' DOUBLE a World Cup duration. What is the point?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fst4u View Post
    Very cool...whats your age weight class etc? I'm 40, race expert class, 153#. Looking at your numbers you would probably pull past me after an hour to an hour and a half and beat me by 2-3 minutes in a 2-2.5 hour race
    Cat 1, 42, 165 pounds currently, but I was down to 158 for race weight last year. Then I sprained my MCL two weeks before the start of the season last year, snowboarding, and didn't race last season. I'm surprised how fast my numbers came back, just got serious again in October. I'm looking forward to seeing how I do in cat 1. I haven't raced in about 10 years, but feel a lot more in shape now with structure and diet.

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  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    I've only ever formally tested 20 minute power. 337 watts as of 3-4 weeks ago.

    143-145 lbs, recently upgraded to pro.

    2 x 20 intervals at ~90% of my best 20 minute power works for me as far as a bread-and-butter workout. I rarely do intervals < 20 minutes anymore for MTB-specific training.
    How much rest between the 2x20's? That sounds like a good workout. I just did some 4x6's, but I'd like to try the 2x20's. I would imagine that working on your 20's all the time would tend to bring up your 20min test power, but it seems like an effective range to train for MTB racing, especially cat1/pro. There's only so much you can do on the short 1 hour weekday workouts.
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

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