Joe Friel has an interesting article about optimization of aerodynamics for time trialists. He has been doing some testing with differents setups of head position (aero helmet, head position etc.) and saved 77seconds. I can strongly recommend time trialists to have a closer look at that article and notice Joe Friel’s final comments: “I’m afraid many helmets on the market that are marketed as “aerodynamic” are actually less aerodynamic than a standard road helmet. And even wearing a decent helmet with the front down close to the eyebrows, while it may look good, is actually slower than with the helmet’s leading edge worn closer to the hairline in front.”
Archives for February 2007
Marc Moeller has a season goal of moving to cycling race Category 2. Moving up one category per season seems fair for serious cyclists like Marc, but doing it with only 8 hours per week is a bit of a challenge. Nevertheless, he has worked hard for the last 6 weeks to improve his already good fitness.
And with great success!
Here are the results from the maximum power tests Marc has performed with his PowerTap:
|Maximum Power Tests||5sec||1min||5min||20min||Body Weight|
|Week 1 (Watt)||1110W||600W||395W||337W||82.6kg/182lbs|
|Week 1 (Watt/kg)||13.4W/kg||7.3W/kg||4.8W/kg||4.1W/kg|
|Week 6 (Watt)||1184W||649W||417W||351W||80.4kg/177.2lbs|
|Week 6 (Watt/kg)||14.7W/kg||8.1W/kg||5.2W/kg||4.4W/kg|
Week 7 to 12
I know that Marc is getting close to a plateau where additional improvement requires a bigger training amount. But by giving his high intensity training program some periodization, there is a chance that he can continue his progress.
I am really satisfied with the results I have seen from him so far, and predict that he will deliver even more watts next time. It is though pretty clear that he will have to work very hard for every single watt from now on.
But as I told Marc in an email: “Every single watt counts at your level”.
I have often been asked the question: What does 3 x (3+3) minutes VO2 max mean? So I thought it would be a good idea to spent a short post on it. 3x(3+3)min VO2 max means 3 times 3 minutes maximal effort with recovery periods of 3 minutes between each interval. (3min hard work, 3min recovery, 3min hard work etc.)
VO2 max refers to the intensity you shall try to maintain through the intervals.
It’s clear that you don’t know what your actual VO2 is, but when you have tried these intervals a couple of times you will know how to pace yourself.
The important thing to remember is that you are supposed to ride as fast as you can for a period of 3 minutes (but not faster than you can repeat it a couple of times).
It is not possible to use a heart rate monitor for pacing because of the delay of the heart rate but can be a good indicator of your performance afterwards.
A power meter like SRM or PowerTap is very useful for such pacing. Yeah, they are expensive, but strongly recommended if you are a serious cyclist.
In the recovery periods it is a good idea to do some light pedalling to remove metabolites. That will make it easier for you to make the following interval at the right intensity.
Gonzalo Vilaseca has done the first six weeks of the power meter project, thus he has now entered the final six weeks of the project. This part of the training is considered as race preparation.
Competing in a cycling race is one of the best ways to prepare you for your main goal. The reason is that you train exactly what you are going to compete in. I have previously discussed races as preparation for cycling races in an earlier post here. Gonzalo will use Sundays for races where the race itself doesn’t have high priority, but the training he gets from it has a high priority since it is one of the three weekly intensive training sessions.
|Critical Power Tests||5sec||1min||5min||20min||Body Weight|
|Week 1 (Watt)||1105W||557W||357W||321W||73kg/160.9lbs|
|Week 1 (Watt/kg)||15.1W/kg||7.6W/kg||4.9W/kg||4.4W/kg|
|Week 6 (Watt)||1148W||604W||389W||335W||72.5kg|
|Week 6 (Watt/kg)||15.8W/kg||8.3W/kg||5.4W/kg||4.6W/kg|
Gonzalo has improved his performance at all parameters and reduced his body weight with ½kg thus his watts per kg ratio has also increased.
The improvement that impresses me most is the 5min critical power that has gone up from 357W to 389W. The 5min critical power is an indicator of how big Gonzalo’s aerobic engine is and has a high impact on cycling performance in most cycling events and definitely in the events that Gonzalo is preparing himself for.
My plan for Gonzalo
I hope that Gonzalo can raise his anaerobic power further in the following six weeks and maybe add a few watts to his aerobic power.
The program consists of three intensive days (two interval days based on wattage controlled intervals and one cycling race day), three light/medium days and one day off. The program is now more focused on anaerobic endurance with long sprints/jumps with 40seconds efforts above 650W. These jumps are done once a week with full recovery between each anaerobic jump.
The idea is to achieve a high power output and a high level of anaerobic enzymes. These enzymes are heavily up regulated when you train, thus I expect that this training can influence on his 1min critical power.
If he succeeds to build extra anaerobic endurance he has a better chance to play a major role when the attacks fire in a race.
Four riders have completed the first 6 weeks of wattage controlled cycling training. In week 1 they performed four critical power tests to evaluate their sprint power, anaerobic endurance, VO2 max and threshold power.
After the initial testing week they have performed four weeks of wattage controlled training based on their test results and personal goals. In week 6 they performed another test week with four new critical power tests performed under the same conditions as in the first.
The four riders have achieved some great results as you can see on the graphs below. I will make my comments on their critical power tests and talk about their future training programs based on these test results later in this week.
If you are interested in having a closer look on their results in the critical power tests, you can find their numbers here:
Ps. Thomas Davis has had some troubles with his knee, so he has only just begun on the training program.