Increase your threshold power: Join Power Meter Project 2008!

Back in January 2007 I did a Power Meter Project to find out how people I didn´t know personally responded to some of my training theories. They performed a 12 week training program with power profile tests in week 1, 6 and 12. The results were really impressive with progress in all major physiological parameters.

Now I’m looking for riders who want to be a part of my project:

Increase your threshold power in 31 days


Ӣ Age: 18 years or older
Ӣ Own a power meter (SRM, PowerTap, Ergomo or Polar CS600)
Ӣ Training amount: 10-14hrs per week.
Ӣ Follow the training plan strictly

What do you get?
You get a free 31 days training program that will increase your threshold power. There will be self performed physical tests on day 1 and 31. Training amount will be 10 to 14hrs per week. The training program will be personalized to your current physical fitness based on self performed tests.

If you are interested in being a part of this project, please leave a comment on this post. I will contact you via email with more info.

Last chance to participate is July 7th.

Increase your threshold power: Join Power Meter Project 2008! Read More »

Last chance to participate in the Power Meter Profile Project is 31st of July

The Power Meter Profile Project has been collecting power meter data from riders from all over the World for the last 3 months. 31st of July is the last chance to join this project and make the total data amount even better. Thus, if you haven’t submitted your power records yet, then it is about time to fill in the form on this site. If you know about PowerTap or SRM users who have performed these tests then please ask them to submit their data. The more data we get, the more power to this study.

Read more about the Power Meter Profile Project here.

I will publish the results and conclusion in August.

Last chance to participate in the Power Meter Profile Project is 31st of July Read More »

VO2 Max Is Essential In Competitive Cycling

Gonzalo is one of the more experienced riders into power meter training as he has been training with power for the last three years (SRM, Ergomo and now PowerTap SL). What he was looking for was a training program that could motivate him for training to cycling races of 80-90km. Motivation is the cornerstone in many riders training program, because even the best program will end up as a failure if the rider is not motivated. I guess a part of the predicted progress can be explained by motivation. A motivated rider trains harder and obtains better results than a non-motivated rider. Thus, my challenge was to motivate Gonzalo and keep track of his performance during the 12 weeks.

Focus on Aerobic Power
I decided to focus on 5 and 20min maximum power in the first 6 weeks and then work harder with anaerobic power in the last 6 weeks. I prefer to build a great aerobic base instead of just working on the anaerobic stuff from the very beginning. The reason for this is that it takes longer to build an optimal aerobic engine than anaerobic endurance. It is quite fast to train anaerobic endurance to a relative high level compared to the time it takes to optimize maximum oxygen consumption. Well, but he asked for more anaerobic endurance and sprinting power? Yes, but in cycling races of 2 hours it is essential to have a high VO2 max and endurance. If he got that, he has a chance to get home with the peloton or even make a breakaway. But if he is limited in these two factors, VO2 max and endurance, he will be dropped before they get to the final sprint. Thus, the primary goals for the first period were improvements in 5 and 20min maximum power.

Like all the other riders in this project Gonzalo had to struggle with intervals three times a week. In the first couple of week it was two days with intervals and on Sundays he participated in some duathlon events of 2hrs duration. The following weeks were with intervals on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Gonzalo performed several intervals of 6min work / 4min active recovery with a workload around his 20min maximum power (Normally done three times on each interval day). There were also a couple of days 3x(3+3)min and 40/20sec intervals to maximize his VO2 max and add some fuel to his anaerobic enzymes.

1min power increased dramatically making him a much stronger rider with more punch in his attacks. Combined with significant improvements in 5 and 20min maximum power, Gonzalo is now a lot more competitive in flat cycling races. I could wish that he was stronger in sprints, but the 1, 5 and 20min maximum power will result in more success for him in the races after all.

Maximum 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
Week 12 (Watt) 1113W 674W 416W 342W 73kg
Week 12 (Watt/kg) 15.2W/kg 9.2W/kg 5.7W/kg 4.7W/kg

VO2 Max Is Essential In Competitive Cycling Read More »

How To Make It To The Podium With Less Training

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.

Have a look at the graphs and full results

How To Make It To The Podium With Less Training Read More »

Brief Results From The Power Meter Project

I thought it was time to make some posts about the Power Meter Project 2007 since the project is over and I got all the results ready. For people who haven’t heard about the Power Meter Project I will start with a short summary about the project:

Inclusion criteria: SRM or Powertap
Back in November 2006 I invited motivated riders to participate in the Power Meter Project 2007. The purpose of this project was to investigate what results completely unknown riders were able to achieve with wattage controlled intervals dictated by me. The only requirement to be included in the project was to have a calibrated Power Tap or SRM power meter mounted on their bike.

Goal: Stronger riders, better coaching

For the last seven years I have coached riders in Denmark with great success, but training with power is still a quite new phenomenon. I have some great data from wattage controlled training in the winter months for my riders, but having data from more riders simply increases my overall knowledge about coaching and power meter training. Thus, I thought the internet was a great way to achieve more data from riders there were willing to strictly follow my program for 12 weeks. By offering them a free training program it was a win-win situation for both parts.

Communication via email
The 5 participants in the project did an awesome job throughout the 12 weeks (one rider dropped out after 9 weeks). They sent me emails, questions and race reports that gave me an idea of how they were doing and showing me that their motivation were enormous. It was really difficult to know how to adjust training because all I knew was a short summary of their power meter data and a brief report about how they were doing.

Intervals three times per week
I decided to make tough programs with interval intensities close their scores in the maximum power output tests. E.g. 20 min maximum power output were converted to 3 or 4 intervals of 6min with 20min power (4min recovery with 50% 20min power). The frequency of intervals was also higher than in most training programs with 3 interval days per week. Some of the riders replaced one of the interval days with a race day.

Summary of results
”¢ Improvements in 5 sec power, but not all riders. One didn’t spend time on sprint training, because his focus was on aerobic endurance. Another rider was probably close to his potential when the project started.
Ӣ Great Improvements in 1min maximum power (anaerobic endurance). This skill is probably where power meters are most valuable. Precise intervals resulted in increments of above 20 percents.
Ӣ Great improvements in 5min maximum power (VO2 max). This skill is really useful, so it has a great impact on performance in most cycling races. These are the improvements that satisfy me most.
Ӣ Good improvements in 20min maximum power (Threshold power).

Overall I will conclude this project as a success. The riders achieved great success and were impressed on their own progress. In the following posts I will take a closer look to each of the participants’ progress.

Brief Results From The Power Meter Project Read More »

We Need More Submissions For The Power Meter Profile Project

We are now close to 40 submissions for the Power Meter Profile Project. That is great, but we need even more submissions because that will make the data more reliable. Category 1 riders are the best represented group in the project so far, but all other groups are represented. If you have not performed the tests yet or just haven’t sent them, read more about the Power Meter Profile Project.

I know that there are many cyclists that use the tests in this project, so by participating in this project you will have a unique chance to compare power meter data with people from the rest of the world. Thus, I will strongly recommend you to submit to the project and ask your friends to do the same.

I want to publish a lot of statistics about watts and related parameters. I need to know the power profiles of as many athletes as possible, so please tell your friends about this project. The more power profiles I get, the better and more reliable results can be presented here on the website.

Last chance to participate is 31st of July 2007

We Need More Submissions For The Power Meter Profile Project Read More »

Wattage controlled intervals improve performance

There have been some delay of the final tests in the Power Meter Project, but I have received some test results and race reports that indicate improvements. I’m really impressed by the participants because I know that they have been through some really tough interval workouts during the last 12 weeks.Wattage controlled intervals are a great way to control pace and secures that the rider trains exactly the physiological skill he is interested in.

Until now I have received the incredible results from Paul Skiba and Gonzalo Vilaseca. I will post some comments on these results soon, but you are welcome to take a closer look at them now. I have not seen how many watts Marc Moeller was able to do in the final week, but I know that he has made some great results in a couple of cycling races. Please consider that podium places are more important than watts on your PowerTap anyway”¦

Wattage controlled intervals improve performance Read More »

Every single watt counts at high level cycling

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 critical power tests Marc has performed with his PowerTap:

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 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”.

Every single watt counts at high level cycling Read More »

Evaluation of critical power tests performed in Week 6

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.

Evaluation of Gonzalo’s critical power tests performed in week 6

Evaluation of critical power tests performed in Week 6 Read More »