Quite a few SPR folk are adorning their bikes with power meters attached to wheels, cranks and/or pedals (like my Garmin Vectors), or are thinking about making the leap into power training, so I thought I would present some of the data collected from the UCI training group ride around Perry Lakes last Saturday. It might be helpful in constructing some workouts for those training for the event – as long as you know your own Functional Threshold Power (FTP).
The lumpy or steeper parts of the profile correlate well with the times when I was over my FTP (maximum wattage able to be held for an hour) and working hard/becoming anaerobic.
Points of interest:
- Length of race is 98km or 2 hours 30mins (give or take). Average power for whole lap was below FTP, so close to sustainable for the whole race. Keeping an eye on average power in relation to FTP over the race may help with pacing, sitting on or rolling-through decisions i.e. rider won’t last if average is too close to FTP beyond an hour.
- 3 difficult places on the course lasting 2mins, 3mins 45sec and 50 seconds (x 12 laps) – become the bases for race-specific interval training workouts.
- Peak power for lap (double my FTP wattage) was produced closing the gap out of the corner on West Coast Hway (downhill) – work on cornering at speed (see Luke Ellis) and be near the front, otherwise match burned.
Curve/graph 2: Last lap (with the attack that split the group) on Oceanic Drive (click to enlarge)
Points of interest:
- High average speed (curve not shown) on ‘climb’ – still a significant drafting effect; benefit to those on the wheel, so tuck in.
- Low power lull below FTP level on false flat before someone attacked; #warningsign.
- Peak power (for the whole ride) of >2 x FTP was produced 1 hour 55 mins into the ride; some intervals should be done when tired/after a longer ride/effort. The Saturday training ride on the course would help to simulate this.
- High wattage (for me) required for 15 – 18 seconds during a typical attack – basis for interval length.
Some potential race specific workouts – substituting your own FTP:
- Race distance/time (2 h 30 mins) at 75% of FTP for the required endurance.
(After warm-up. Any clear road can be used)
- 12 x 2mins or 12 x 3 mins at 110% FTP (1:1 recovery).
- 10 x 4 mins of overs and unders – accelerate to 175% – 200% of FTP at 15 seconds, decelerate to below FTP at 30 seconds, accelerate to same higher power at 45 seconds, decelerate to lower power at 1 minute etc.; keep alternating until 4 mins is up. 3 minute recovery between each one. (Create nice saw tooth effect like the power graph on West Coast Hway above)
- 12 x 50 seconds at 150% of FTP; 70 second recovery (short, sharp workout on a lighter day).
- 6 – 8 x 15 seconds at 2.25 – 2.50 x FTP, longer recovery up to 5 mins if required. This could be added to the end another longer workout to reproduce the fatigue effect.
Based on the power numbers produced last Saturday, these might be some workouts that help to prepare you – if you have a power meter and know your FTP – for the specific demands of the UCI race on the Perry Lakes course (keeping in mind that the ‘long’ laps go up a steeper hill). They can be roughly translated into RPEs (Perceived Exertion ratings – google it) if you can only use more subjective methods.
A good coach can be a big help in putting together a properly co-ordinated programme using this sort of power data. Apparently there are a few about.