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2011-07-19 7:52 AM

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Subject: Would my FTP be accurate?

I have to do another puke inducing FTP test next week. Blech.

I want to do it in the big hills......but my coach wants me to do it in the flats. 

Psychologically it is easier for me to "punish" myself when climbing.

Watts are watts right?

He is concerned that there will be a couple of "soft spots" in the climb that I am planning and thus my wattage will not be as high. But I still say that I will be able to geberate more watts when climbing, even with a couple of lulls in the climb.

 

What do YOU think?



2011-07-19 7:54 AM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

the problem with doing it in "hilly" area's is that at any point you are going down your watts are going to drop off a LOT. At the end of it, your Normalized Power is going to look a bit closer to FTP than your avg. Watts.

 

I'd take your coaches advice... that's what you pay him for, right?

2011-07-19 8:00 AM
in reply to: #3603406

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
Leegoocrap - 2011-07-19 8:54 AM

the problem with doing it in "hilly" area's is that at any point you are going down your watts are going to drop off a LOT. At the end of it, your Normalized Power is going to look a bit closer to FTP than your avg. Watts.

 

I'd take your coaches advice... that's what you pay him for, right?

I know.....I know, I pay him to listen to him. But I still argue with him from time to time! 

He is concerned about just what you describe.........that the soft spots will cause oo much drop off.

 

OK......theoretically if I had a 20 minute climb that I could use, would it be accurate?

The climb I am thinking of is about 15 minutes straight up, but then there are a couple of lulls.......  

2011-07-19 8:17 AM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

if the 20' was at a steady incline, yes that would be "ideal." If it's a real "climb" it's possible your avg. watts may end up  higher than what your FTP is, depending on how well you climb. For me, I climb at higher watts than I TT. Maybe I'm a wuss though.

2011-07-19 8:20 AM
in reply to: #3603452

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
Leegoocrap - 2011-07-19 9:17 AM

if the 20' was at a steady incline, yes that would be "ideal." If it's a real "climb" it's possible your avg. watts may end up  higher than what your FTP is, depending on how well you climb. For me, I climb at higher watts than I TT. Maybe I'm a wuss though.

Its a real climb....grades from 10 to up to 16% I believe. 

Pretty sure I am a bigger wuss than you.......I KNOW I climb at way higher watts. And I just find it so much easier to suffer when climbing....don't know why.

Which is WHY I want to do the FTP in the hills.

But maybe it would be "falsely" high then? I am still so new to all stuff power related. 

2011-07-19 8:29 AM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
You know, it's possible there's another reason for him to tell you to use the flats and not the hills, besides the obvious one of repeatability and reducing variables.

Maybe he knows you struggle with pushing yourself harder on the flats, and he wants you to develop that skill.

Just sayin'.


2011-07-19 8:34 AM
in reply to: #3603477

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

Scout7 - 2011-07-19 9:29 AM You know, it's possible there's another reason for him to tell you to use the flats and not the hills, besides the obvious one of repeatability and reducing variables. Maybe he knows you struggle with pushing yourself harder on the flats, and he wants you to develop that skill. Just sayin'.

 

Hi Guinness Guy!

It is not so much that I struggle with pushing myself on the flats......its more of an issue of being kinda terrified of the darn horrific 20 minutes. Shudder.

When I do plain old intervals on the flats, I can always exceed the numbers he gives me, no problem. But I think the TEST just makes me nervous for some reason. Probably performance anxiety. Does that make sense? I want so badly to do well, and am afraid of disappointing myself. 

2011-07-19 8:35 AM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

Could you wear a parachute (or baggy clothing) on the flats?  That'd make it more climb-ish.

Alternately, if you need a 15 minute climb to become a 20 minute climb, you could add some ballast to your bike.  Adding weight will add to the total amount of energy required to get to the top, and as long as your wattage remains the same, then it'll take longer to get to the top.

2011-07-19 9:16 AM
in reply to: #3603497

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
AHare - 2011-07-19 8:35 AM

Could you wear a parachute (or baggy clothing) on the flats?  That'd make it more climb-ish.

Alternately, if you need a 15 minute climb to become a 20 minute climb, you could add some ballast to your bike.  Adding weight will add to the total amount of energy required to get to the top, and as long as your wattage remains the same, then it'll take longer to get to the top.

I'm just picturing somebody riding down the road with a parachute behind them.   that would turn some heads.  

2011-07-19 9:23 AM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
Do it in the flats.  Those are some steep pitches and I bet you will be out of aero (and maybe out of the saddle).  Better to do it the way you intend to race, especially if it's more challenging for you.
2011-07-19 12:11 PM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
aquagirl - 2011-07-19 7:52 AM

I have to do another puke inducing FTP test next week. Blech.

I want to do it in the big hills......but my coach wants me to do it in the flats. 

Psychologically it is easier for me to "punish" myself when climbing.

Watts are watts right?

He is concerned that there will be a couple of "soft spots" in the climb that I am planning and thus my wattage will not be as high. But I still say that I will be able to geberate more watts when climbing, even with a couple of lulls in the climb.

 

What do YOU think?

I think you are forgetting about the concepts of variability and intensity when thinking about your power (Watts). For example, you might be able to put out an average of 200 Watts on a flat course, but only manage 180 Watts on a hilly course b/c you coasted down the hills and got zeroes in power reading on the way down. This result doesn't make sense to you b/c you were probably killing yourself on the hills at an effort level harder than you would have experienced on a flat road. As it turns out, those extreme efforts are potentially exponentially harder on your system.

So which should you ride? The answer is whichever you want. Just make sure to use xPower (Skiba) or Normalized Power (Coggan) to calculate power numbers that account for the above factors.



2011-07-19 12:32 PM
in reply to: #3603459

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
aquagirl - 2011-07-19 8:20 AM
Leegoocrap - 2011-07-19 9:17 AM

if the 20' was at a steady incline, yes that would be "ideal." If it's a real "climb" it's possible your avg. watts may end up  higher than what your FTP is, depending on how well you climb. For me, I climb at higher watts than I TT. Maybe I'm a wuss though.

Its a real climb....grades from 10 to up to 16% I believe. 

Pretty sure I am a bigger wuss than you.......I KNOW I climb at way higher watts. And I just find it so much easier to suffer when climbing....don't know why.

Which is WHY I want to do the FTP in the hills.

But maybe it would be "falsely" high then? I am still so new to all stuff power related. 

A 20 minute sustained climb of 10%+?  All I can say is oof.

What is this climb? 

2011-07-19 10:43 PM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
Sounds like Mix Canyon (tops out at a 23% or so grade).
2011-07-19 10:59 PM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

It shouldn't matter too much where you test -- just be consistent in where you test, so that your tests can be reasonably compared with one another. And for that matter, if the test results are going to be used to inform upcoming training, then test in a similar situation to how you'll be training. It doesn't matter what raw numbers you come up with. It matters that you come up with numbers that you can use to guide you going forward.

I know what you mean about being nervous about the test. There are some workouts that scare me in that fashion. I find that doing more of them makes each individual one less fear-inducing. 

Good luck!

2011-07-20 5:40 AM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

Power is power, yes, but you feel a significant enough difference that you don't even want to test on flats, so something is going on.

On a hill, you might alter your hip angle, hand position, and/or cadence relative to what you use on the flats.  If your aero position is very aggressive, but you are sitting more upright on the hills (opening up your hip angle and expanding your chest more), then this could account for the power difference.

2011-07-20 6:18 AM
in reply to: #3605256

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

Until recently I could definitely generate a higher number climbing. I suspect you are thinking of the Gats ? Problem with the Gats is there is never much more that 12 minutes of climbing then a short downhill then more climbing. But I could still generate highest numbers because I end up coming out of the saddle and pushing lower cadence and it goes by way faster. But it would generate numbers that I thought  I could not replicate on flats in a TT position. I thought I couldn't until I did the OBC TT.

The OBC Thursday night TT is a great place to do a FTP test since it's about 22 minutes long, relatively flat. I did mine last Thursday and finally managed to do my highest 20' test on Flats in aero. They do it along the Parkway near Rockliffe airport. Now that I have a target to beat I will better pace myself.

I always get very nervous before a 20' test for the same reason as you. My best results were always impromptu tests up the Gats. You are hitting good numbers for 5' so you say F'it, and push for another 15. No time to be nervous because they are not planned.

That's what I love about Golden Cheetah. It extracts an FTP from your rides so as long as you push it now and then, it keeps your FTP up to date for you. It's also fun to do tests of various lengths to test points along your CP curve.

If you were really tough you would do your FTP test on the trainer :-) The most depressing thing in the world is hitting a great FTP in September in the Gats then trying to replicate it on the trainer in December



Edited by marcag 2011-07-20 6:19 AM


2011-07-20 7:46 AM
in reply to: #3605376

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
dredwards - 2011-07-20 5:40 AM

Power is power, yes, but you feel a significant enough difference that you don't even want to test on flats, so something is going on.

On a hill, you might alter your hip angle, hand position, and/or cadence relative to what you use on the flats.  If your aero position is very aggressive, but you are sitting more upright on the hills (opening up your hip angle and expanding your chest more), then this could account for the power difference.

 

Was going to say this too.  Use the position you're going to use for the race.  That's the one you want be in for the harder workouts as that's the one you want to develop.  I do basically all my speed and power work in the aero position because of this.

It's still possible to have cadence differences between hills and flats, but this will tell you something about where your power is and what you may want to work on.

2011-07-20 8:07 AM
in reply to: #3605376

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
dredwards - 2011-07-20 5:40 AM

Power is power, yes, but you feel a significant enough difference that you don't even want to test on flats, so something is going on.

On a hill, you might alter your hip angle, hand position, and/or cadence relative to what you use on the flats.  If your aero position is very aggressive, but you are sitting more upright on the hills (opening up your hip angle and expanding your chest more), then this could account for the power difference.

 

This is very true.

Helene, I think you said you could generate more watts on your road bike than your TT bike. This may be why

2011-07-20 1:12 PM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
Your coach is right. A slight incline can be helpful for the reasons you allude to...it's easier to keep pushing hard up a slight incline. 10% is not a slight incline. your gear selection and cadence is going to be very different on that hill. If you ALWAYS train and race on that 10% incline then go for it. but it really sounds like you want an "easier" way to do your test.

This may be one of the very, very, very few times where I'll actually agree that the term "HTFU" applies to triathletes. Just do the test. Get mad at your coach for assigning it and take the rage out on the bike test. How often do you test? The more more you do it, the less scary it will be.

Besides, if you are using power with all your riding, training is testing and testing is training. In that respect, it won't matter where you "test". But your coach apparently has a specific plan and if you change up the location, it's going to change his plan that you already paid him to create for you. Why pay him to plan if you don't trust his plan?

Questions are good, but if you need the forum to convince you to listen to your coach, there are some red flags there.
2011-07-20 2:16 PM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
Seriously?  Do it in the flats!  If you make the number bigger, it just means you'll training zones will be harder!  Laughing
2011-07-20 6:09 PM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

Thanks for all the replies!

 

Ok firstly, yes of course I will listen to my coach and do the test as he has instructed. I am pretty new to being coached, but did promise myself that if I was going to hire a coach I would do whatever he said, otherwise it was simply a waste of my money and his time. My point in asking this question here was simply to get some info.

I think a big part of my issue is psychological. I really do not like being "tested" . Time trials in the pool when I used to swim masters used to terrify me. I hated them.

I find it much easier to suffer on a bike than in the pool, but still the prospect of a "test" makes me nervous. Just afraid of disappointing  myself, as I mentioned before.

I suppose the best way to get around this is simply to get used to the idea of the FTP test. This will only be the second one that I have done so I am still learning. The first one was done on the Computrainer , inside, at my coach's place. I do think that testing outside will be easier ....

And as for generating more watts on the hills.....I think I find it easier because the hill is there to push you, you have no choice but to climb it, and you cannot slack off. On the flats my brain will probably start talking to me " Oh come on, you cannot possibly keep this up, back off...you KNOW you want to."

To those who mentioned that it was better to test the way I was planning to race.....well sadly I no longer  do tris because of my knee. My sole reason in hiring a cycling coach was simply to get faster on the bike. Thats it. I basically lost all my fitness after extended recovery post knee surgery. I just want to get my fitness back.

 

Anyway.......thanks for listening .

I will let you all know how it goes. Shudder. Vomit.



2011-07-20 6:11 PM
in reply to: #3605400

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
marcag - 2011-07-20 7:18 AM

Until recently I could definitely generate a higher number climbing. I suspect you are thinking of the Gats ? Problem with the Gats is there is never much more that 12 minutes of climbing then a short downhill then more climbing. But I could still generate highest numbers because I end up coming out of the saddle and pushing lower cadence and it goes by way faster. But it would generate numbers that I thought  I could not replicate on flats in a TT position. I thought I couldn't until I did the OBC TT.

The OBC Thursday night TT is a great place to do a FTP test since it's about 22 minutes long, relatively flat. I did mine last Thursday and finally managed to do my highest 20' test on Flats in aero. They do it along the Parkway near Rockliffe airport. Now that I have a target to beat I will better pace myself.

I always get very nervous before a 20' test for the same reason as you. My best results were always impromptu tests up the Gats. You are hitting good numbers for 5' so you say F'it, and push for another 15. No time to be nervous because they are not planned.

That's what I love about Golden Cheetah. It extracts an FTP from your rides so as long as you push it now and then, it keeps your FTP up to date for you. It's also fun to do tests of various lengths to test points along your CP curve.

If you were really tough you would do your FTP test on the trainer :-) The most depressing thing in the world is hitting a great FTP in September in the Gats then trying to replicate it on the trainer in December

Exactly! We think alike Marc.......

2011-07-20 8:06 PM
in reply to: #3607098

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

I'm late in the responses and unfortunately cannot add any educated advice, but your question did bring up something similar that I have experienced and thought of posting a separate thread about this. 

I also recently got a power tap and up till now have just been observing the numbers cause I haven't quite yet figured out how to use the data properly.

My concern (which I think relates to yours) is, I can ride a certain local, long hill averaging 4 to 7% which takes me approximately 30 minutes before it starts to level off somewhat. 
My average wattage for that climb fluctuates between 160 & 250 but seemed to hover around 180/185 the majority of the climb with my h/r staying around 155/160.

I find this climb well within my abilities and could (if necessary) push a bit harder and still finish the climb without issues. 
However, when I attempt those numbers on a flat piece of road, I cannot sustain more than 10 min. at 180/185 watts and at that point my h/r is getting close to maxing out (168)

So if watts are watts, why do I find these differences so difficult?

(my apologies if this is a hijack)  Innocent

2011-07-20 8:54 PM
in reply to: #3607217

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
peby - 2011-07-20 9:06 PM

I'm late in the responses and unfortunately cannot add any educated advice, but your question did bring up something similar that I have experienced and thought of posting a separate thread about this. 

I also recently got a power tap and up till now have just been observing the numbers cause I haven't quite yet figured out how to use the data properly.

My concern (which I think relates to yours) is, I can ride a certain local, long hill averaging 4 to 7% which takes me approximately 30 minutes before it starts to level off somewhat. 
My average wattage for that climb fluctuates between 160 & 250 but seemed to hover around 180/185 the majority of the climb with my h/r staying around 155/160.

I find this climb well within my abilities and could (if necessary) push a bit harder and still finish the climb without issues. 
However, when I attempt those numbers on a flat piece of road, I cannot sustain more than 10 min. at 180/185 watts and at that point my h/r is getting close to maxing out (168)

So if watts are watts, why do I find these differences so difficult?

(my apologies if this is a hijack)  Innocent

Not a hijack at all.........this was exactly the whole point of my thread.

WHY is it so much easier to generate big fat watts on an incline? 



Edited by aquagirl 2011-07-20 8:54 PM
2011-07-20 11:07 PM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
I thought I posted earlier about the concepts of variability and intensity with respect to power measurements. Embarassed My example must have been crappy. Should I try again?
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