Polar CS600 transmits heart rates from 8 riders in the Tour de France peloton this year. This opportunity gives you a nice chance to study how individual heart rate is and also how important it is to stay in the group to save energy. If you make any interesting observations please let us know.
Archives for July 2007
First of all power meters are getting popular because they are way better than heart rate monitors for monitoring your training. Power output is an objective measure of exercise intensity representing the actual work you put in the pedals.
The PowerTap SL collects huge amounts of data during your training ride. These data gives you a great opportunity to optimize your training and analyze your race performance. These analyzes can be time consuming, but it is here you really get the value for your money.
2. Light weight
PowerTap SL is a lighter version of the original PowerTap. The weight is reduced by using a carbon hub shell combined with a new lightweight aluminum axle combine for the hub. The complete system now weighs 480g including computer.
Saving some weight has a lot of attention from high performing athletes, because no one wants to carry heavy equipment that doesn’t provide extra speed for their bike (at least not immediately”¦) The hub has a weight that is slightly heavier than Dura Ace and Campagnolo Record, but that shouldn’t have much influence on the overall performance and especially not with the current rules weight limits from UCI (minimum bike weight: 6.8kg).
In many years SRM was the only provider of power meters, but only professionals (or rather their sponsors) were willing to pay the price of these power meter cranks. Now you can buy a PowerTap SL for a lower price than cheapest version of the SRM crank (amateur version).
Your maximum power tests indicate that you are significantly stronger, but what impact has these increments had on your performance in races?
Marc: “This has been my best racing year yet in Category 3 and I plan on moving to category 2 in August! I’ve race quite a bit and always felt I had a chance to win, not just finish as middle of the pack. My lowest place in Cat 3 has been 12th and I almost always can finish in the top 5.”
How will you describe your progress through the project?
Marc: “Well to tell the truth I do feel quite a bit stronger this year than last, which is due to the program structure and my sticking to it. Being motivated and focused has helped tremendously. I have a suspicion though that I may have reached a peak a bit early this year and I don’t know if I can get my power levels up quite as high as I had them in early April. I have even resisted doing the tests because I don’t want to know my current max power outputs as they might be discouraging to my present training.”
What is your opinion on power meter training now?
Marc: “There is nothing better than power training. How else could you ever incrementally increase your work load on a bicycle? I think the ability to do repeatable efforts at different percentages of power is critical to progress on the bike. It also is great for letting you know how your legs are “feeling” as you warm up or towards the end of a long ride you know where your relative fitness is.”
Have you adapted some of the ideas from the power meter project into
your daily training?
Marc: “Undoubtedly, the thing I have used most is a range of power intervals from short burst to longer sessions that work different energy systems. For me what I have used the most is the four minute interval, the one minute, and the shorter recoveries at 40 seconds on, and 20 seconds off. Those have helped me the most.”
Yesterday I published and commented on the results from Dave Simonson. Today, I will talk about Marc Moeller who is a category 3 rider with an ambition of promoting to category 2 this season. That goal sounds quite fair if Marc’s training wasn’t limited to only 8 hours per week. Thus, Marc gave me a challenge when he entered the project, but also a great chance to test how much progress you can achieve with training program with limited time available.
Wattage controlled intervals
I chose to push Marc’s intervals to the maximum capable amount. He was supposed to do intervals three times a week, but these days were not only like regular interval days, they were really tough workouts that required a dedicated effort to succeed. These intervals were monitored on his PowerTap Pro. There was a risk that this program could be a failure if the total training load was too heavy.
The three interval days were one session with anaerobic intervals (6 bursts of 40 seconds at 600-650W, recovery 6minutes), one training day with VO2 max intervals (3 times 3minutes 400W, 3min recovery or a couple of sets of 6 bursts of 40/20seconds at 410+ W) and finally one day with threshold power intervals in the range of 3 to 15minutes, normally with a total time of 24-30minutes. Two times a week there were sprint sessions with short power sprints and regular sprints.
Marc improved an all parameters and achieved a slightly weight loss, making his watts per kilogram even better. These results are really remarkable because Marc had a very good fitness before he entered this project and even more impressing when you look at the limited time he has spend on training. The threshold power did not improve as much as the other parameters, but that is not surprising. Even though the improvement is smaller in threshold power it’s still worth the effort because that skill is so important in road cycling.
|Critical 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 12 (Watt)||1286W||684W||436W||352W||79.8kg/176lbs|
|Week 12 (Watt/kg)||16.1W/kg||8.6W/kg||5.5W/kg||4.4W/kg|
These results have convinced me that you can reach a very high level of cycling with focused power meter training. Actually I decided to use a lot of the intervals Marc performed as a test pilot on one of my biggest U23 talents who is also limited in training time this spring due to school work. My own rider has had his most successful spring ever, indicating that there is a big potential in tough wattage controlled intervals.