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2011-07-21 4:25 AM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
peby - 2011-07-20 8:06 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

Is your position identical in both cases ? Very often in a climb, we will come out of aero, sit up, opening up our hip angle which can affect how much power we can generate. Or we even come out of the saddle. Our cadence will drop and we will mash more. Overral, if your position is changing when climbing, that could explain part of it.



2011-07-21 5:32 AM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
peby - 2011-07-20 10:06 PM

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


Part of it could be due to position, but it is very likely mostly due to crank inertial load. RChung explains it on this thread (on page 1):

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp...

Shane
2011-07-21 7:06 AM
in reply to: #3607448

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

YeaJackson - 2011-07-21 12:07 AM 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?

"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."

 

^^^^ But for me the experience is actually opposite. In the big hills , even with the zeroes from coasting my average power will STILL be higher than it would be if I pushed it in the flats.

So no....your example was not crappy. I just could not relate to it.  

2011-07-21 7:10 AM
in reply to: #3607531

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
marcag - 2011-07-21 5:25 AM
peby - 2011-07-20 8:06 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

Is your position identical in both cases ? Very often in a climb, we will come out of aero, sit up, opening up our hip angle which can affect how much power we can generate. Or we even come out of the saddle. Our cadence will drop and we will mash more. Overral, if your position is changing when climbing, that could explain part of it.

Actually my position will be the same..........I am a seated climber for the most part. I rarely stand. And I am only riding my road bike these days, so there is no aero to consider.

2011-07-21 8:11 AM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
aquagirl - 2011-07-21 5:06 AM

 

 

^^^^ But for me the experience is actually opposite. In the big hills , even with the zeroes from coasting my average power will STILL be higher than it would be if I pushed it in the flats.

So no....your example was not crappy. I just could not relate to it.  

Yes that is what I experience as well. 

2011-07-21 8:13 AM
in reply to: #3607531

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
marcag - 2011-07-21 2:25 AM 

Is your position identical in both cases ? Very often in a climb, we will come out of aero, sit up, opening up our hip angle which can affect how much power we can generate. Or we even come out of the saddle. Our cadence will drop and we will mash more. Overral, if your position is changing when climbing, that could explain part of it.

I should have mentioned that these rides were done on a road bike with hands on the hoods in both cases. The climb I did, I was in the saddle the whole time. The only variable (as you mentioned) was the cadence. 



2011-07-21 9:50 AM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

 

The link Shane posted was very useful, so I will re-post it here

RChung - 2011-05-24 10:49 AM

It's because of the crank inertial load. When you're climbing you're typically using a gear ratio that produces low crank inertial load, while when you're descending you're typically using a gear ratio that produces high crank inertial load. Many (most?) riders have difficulty modulating their power when the CIL is high so they have to concentrate more to keep power steady (and high). Conversely, when CIL is low many (most?) riders have immediate feedback that helps them to modulate their power and keep it steady (and high).

[Edit:] CIL varies with the fourth power of gear ratio. So, if you're climbing a hill in a 39/26 = 1.5 gear ratio that's low CIL while if you're descending in a 52/13 = 4.0 that's high CIL.

This whole CIL thingy makes a lot of sense.

For me, hip angle seems to make a difference. Getting out of aero, I can produce more watts. Sometimes I'll do intervals on flats and at the end of the interval I am just shot, and getting out of aero allows me to push through. Others have commented that they also can push more watts coming out of aero. Of course you lose more speed being less aero than you gain through a few more watts.

producing more watts on hills seems like a pretty common occurrence.

2011-07-21 10:09 AM
in reply to: #3608018

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
marcag - 2011-07-21 7:50 AM

 

The link Shane posted was very useful, so I will re-post it here

RChung - 2011-05-24 10:49 AM

It's because of the crank inertial load. When you're climbing you're typically using a gear ratio that produces low crank inertial load, while when you're descending you're typically using a gear ratio that produces high crank inertial load. Many (most?) riders have difficulty modulating their power when the CIL is high so they have to concentrate more to keep power steady (and high). Conversely, when CIL is low many (most?) riders have immediate feedback that helps them to modulate their power and keep it steady (and high).

[Edit:] CIL varies with the fourth power of gear ratio. So, if you're climbing a hill in a 39/26 = 1.5 gear ratio that's low CIL while if you're descending in a 52/13 = 4.0 that's high CIL.

This whole CIL thingy makes a lot of sense.

For me, hip angle seems to make a difference. Getting out of aero, I can produce more watts. Sometimes I'll do intervals on flats and at the end of the interval I am just shot, and getting out of aero allows me to push through. Others have commented that they also can push more watts coming out of aero. Of course you lose more speed being less aero than you gain through a few more watts.

producing more watts on hills seems like a pretty common occurrence.

So the key is learning to gain more control of the CIL in a TT situation?

2011-07-21 10:15 AM
in reply to: #3608066

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
peby - 2011-07-21 12:09 PM

So the key is learning to gain more control of the CIL in a TT situation?



Basically; the more time you spend trying to hold a specific number of watts in different situations, the better you will be in those situations. It is still going to be easier to hold high watts up a hill but pushing big watts on the flats and downhills will improve with more time spent doing it in training.

Shane
2011-07-21 10:15 AM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
aquagirl - 2011-07-19 8:52 AM

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

 

You apparently do not understand the purpose of the test.  As others have said it is repeatability and reducing possible interference by other variables that is important.  You should strive for consistency from test to test otherwise you are just exercising in futility.

You can also get the same or better information as the ftp test by doing a lactate test and if you really want to you can limit it to two or three 4 minutes intervals at just below and above your expected threshold.  You can then check it occasionally to see if it has moved with an equally easy test but all tests should be done under as near as possible identical conditions and preferably in a rest week of a training cycle.  Theoretically the test is supposed to predict your maximal performance and that can only be done while rested.



Edited by Jerry Cosgrove 2011-07-21 10:16 AM
2011-07-21 10:34 AM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
I've worked with 2 different coaches that did it 2 different ways. When I had the privilage of working with Robbie Ventura he did a 2-3 climb course over 30 minutes. Now I work with a former pro triathlete that is working off a flat course 30 minutes.

Observations:
1. The test with climbs was obviously higher than the flat test. I suspect i may be a better climber than time trialist and am more efficient at keeping my #'s higher in downhills.

2. Both years netted roughly the same amount of power gains for me over the winter's training plan

3. I acutally found it harder and more boring to test FTP on the flat and may have accounted for a lower number

Conclusion:
I don't think it matters how you test. It matters how your coach designs the workouts around your FTP. You'll likely have the same results, all things assumed equal.


2011-07-21 10:44 AM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
aquagirl - 2011-07-19 6:52 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?

2011-07-21 10:44 AM
in reply to: #3603398

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
aquagirl - 2011-07-19 6:52 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?


You'll be about 5% higher on a hilly TT, so you can always subtract that out. The reason it's easier is b/c you are recruiting more muscle mass going uphill. If your coach is telling you to do it on the flats, then listen to him, or you'll be one of those people, we coaches like to call 'uncoachable' and then you'll get the phone from your coach that you are fired. And that wouldn't be much fun.

Stick to the plan. Amen.

Edited by mikericci 2011-07-21 10:47 AM
2011-07-21 10:53 AM
in reply to: #3608066

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
peby - 2011-07-21 9:09 AM
marcag - 2011-07-21 7:50 AM

 

The link Shane posted was very useful, so I will re-post it here

RChung - 2011-05-24 10:49 AM

It's because of the crank inertial load. When you're climbing you're typically using a gear ratio that produces low crank inertial load, while when you're descending you're typically using a gear ratio that produces high crank inertial load. Many (most?) riders have difficulty modulating their power when the CIL is high so they have to concentrate more to keep power steady (and high). Conversely, when CIL is low many (most?) riders have immediate feedback that helps them to modulate their power and keep it steady (and high).

[Edit:] CIL varies with the fourth power of gear ratio. So, if you're climbing a hill in a 39/26 = 1.5 gear ratio that's low CIL while if you're descending in a 52/13 = 4.0 that's high CIL.

This whole CIL thingy makes a lot of sense.

For me, hip angle seems to make a difference. Getting out of aero, I can produce more watts. Sometimes I'll do intervals on flats and at the end of the interval I am just shot, and getting out of aero allows me to push through. Others have commented that they also can push more watts coming out of aero. Of course you lose more speed being less aero than you gain through a few more watts.

producing more watts on hills seems like a pretty common occurrence.

So the key is learning to gain more control of the CIL in a TT situation?



If you want to learn how to push more watts on the flats, then ride the flats. A lot. In the aero bars. In the big ring. How many of you go out and stay aero for 2+ hours at an even aerobic effort? This is how you build TT power. Gordo coined this great phrase a few years back - "ABRO" - Aero, Big Ring ONLY. I do this every once in a while and I can see the benefits of it rather quickly.

This is such low hanging fruit for the average AGer.
2011-07-21 12:02 PM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

mikericci - 2011-07-21 10:44 AM

If your coach is telling you to do it on the flats, then listen to him, or you'll be one of those people, we coaches like to call 'uncoachable' and then you'll get the phone from your coach that you are fired. And that wouldn't be much fun.

Reason #1 to be self coached.

2011-07-21 1:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

mikericci -

If you want to learn how to push more watts on the flats, then ride the flats. A lot. In the aero bars. In the big ring. How many of you go out and stay aero for 2+ hours at an even aerobic effort? This is how you build TT power.

 

What range of % of FTP do you mean by Aerobic ?

For example I do at least one ride a week, 2+ hours at 80 to 85% of FTP



2011-07-21 1:56 PM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
marcag - 2011-07-21 1:49 PM

mikericci -

If you want to learn how to push more watts on the flats, then ride the flats. A lot. In the aero bars. In the big ring. How many of you go out and stay aero for 2+ hours at an even aerobic effort? This is how you build TT power.

 

What range of % of FTP do you mean by Aerobic ?

For example I do at least one ride a week, 2+ hours at 80 to 85% of FTP



I NEED to do this more!!!
2011-07-21 3:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
sand101 - 2011-07-21 11:02 AM

mikericci - 2011-07-21 10:44 AM

If your coach is telling you to do it on the flats, then listen to him, or you'll be one of those people, we coaches like to call 'uncoachable' and then you'll get the phone from your coach that you are fired. And that wouldn't be much fun.

Reason #1 to be self coached.

Correct! If you are uncoachable, you should be self coached!
2011-07-21 3:50 PM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
marcag - 2011-07-21 12:49 PM

mikericci -

If you want to learn how to push more watts on the flats, then ride the flats. A lot. In the aero bars. In the big ring. How many of you go out and stay aero for 2+ hours at an even aerobic effort? This is how you build TT power.

 

What range of % of FTP do you mean by Aerobic ?

For example I do at least one ride a week, 2+ hours at 80 to 85% of FTP



How did you determine your FTP?
For my crew under 75% IF is aerobic. You are riding in, what I could call 'Tempo' or HIM training zone. There is a lot of bang for your buck there, as long as it's applicable to your race distances and goals.
2011-07-21 4:45 PM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
mikericci - 2011-07-21 3:50 PM

How did you determine your FTP?
For my crew under 75% IF is aerobic. You are riding in, what I could call 'Tempo' or HIM training zone. There is a lot of bang for your buck there, as long as it's applicable to your race distances and goals.

I determine my FTP a few ways. I do the 20' tests now and then. I do 3 or 5 minute tests to get the other point to do the FTP calculation. I recently used a 15km TT to do the 20 min test in aero, relatively flat. I also like to do the 20' on hills, the same hills aquagirl wants to use. They are great.

I also log all my workouts in Golden Cheetah and closely monitor my CP curve and I test points along that curve regularly.

I know my FTP is going up or down based on my ability to to the 2x20'@FTP with 5min rest.

I very very rarely ride under 80% IF and never under 75 IF. I always thought there was little value there. Maybe I was wrong

 

 



Edited by marcag 2011-07-21 4:48 PM
2011-07-21 5:43 PM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
marcag - 2011-07-21 3:45 PM
mikericci - 2011-07-21 3:50 PM

How did you determine your FTP?
For my crew under 75% IF is aerobic. You are riding in, what I could call 'Tempo' or HIM training zone. There is a lot of bang for your buck there, as long as it's applicable to your race distances and goals.

I determine my FTP a few ways. I do the 20' tests now and then. I do 3 or 5 minute tests to get the other point to do the FTP calculation. I recently used a 15km TT to do the 20 min test in aero, relatively flat. I also like to do the 20' on hills, the same hills aquagirl wants to use. They are great.

I also log all my workouts in Golden Cheetah and closely monitor my CP curve and I test points along that curve regularly.

I know my FTP is going up or down based on my ability to to the 2x20'@FTP with 5min rest.

I very very rarely ride under 80% IF and never under 75 IF. I always thought there was little value there. Maybe I was wrong

 

 


Just for accuracy's sake here are a few examples of determining FTP:
1. 20' Power test x 95%
2. 2x20' power test with 2' recovery. Not 5.
3. 40k TT or one hour at best effort. This is probably the most accurate way to determine FTP.

Going uphill is good, but you can only take 95% of that number.

Riding in the 80-85% Range is the equivalent to running in Zone 3 all the time, and I hope you don't do that!

80% of your time should be aerobic - below 75IF.
15% could be LT work (right ~ FTP).
5% could be VO2 Work.

Example:
If you ride 5 hours per week, 4 hours are Aerobic, 45 minutes are LT / FTP, 15' are VO2. You can change this up so you do more LT / VO2 work, but you'll have to drop volume, and you have to be careful with recovery. If you crush yourself and it takes 3 days to recover, then the you are going too hard.


2011-07-21 6:23 PM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?

mikericci - 2011-07-21 5:43 PM
80% of your time should be aerobic - below 75IF.
15% could be LT work (right ~ FTP).
5% could be VO2 Work.

 

Do you define 75IF as 75% of FTP?

I typically spend 45% in Z1, Z2 (below 75% FTP) and this includes my time between intervals, getting through traffic.....

I spend 27% between 75 and 90% of FTP

I spend 18% around FTP

I spend 10% over FTP

I check my ratios for April which was a good month (30hours) and a bad month like July (17hours so far) and the ratios seem to align.

You don't seem to put much time on the range between 75% and say 90%

We are way off topic. Sorry Helen

 

For my official FTP I use the 3' and 20'formula and it usually comes pretty close to 95% of the 20' test. The 2x20 with 5minutes is not a test but a workout I do.

2011-07-21 10:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
marcag - 2011-07-21 5:23 PM

mikericci - 2011-07-21 5:43 PM
80% of your time should be aerobic - below 75IF.
15% could be LT work (right ~ FTP).
5% could be VO2 Work.

 

Do you define 75IF as 75% of FTP?

I typically spend 45% in Z1, Z2 (below 75% FTP) and this includes my time between intervals, getting through traffic.....

I spend 27% between 75 and 90% of FTP

I spend 18% around FTP

I spend 10% over FTP

I check my ratios for April which was a good month (30hours) and a bad month like July (17hours so far) and the ratios seem to align.

You don't seem to put much time on the range between 75% and say 90%

We are way off topic. Sorry Helen

 

For my official FTP I use the 3' and 20'formula and it usually comes pretty close to 95% of the 20' test. The 2x20 with 5minutes is not a test but a workout I do.



 I don't advocate much in the 75-80% range. 80-90% is pretty solid and if you are racing HIM races, this is good. I like to see athletes going 'hard' or going 'easy' but not in between. I see more benefit from hitting hard (FTP), then the mid range stuff.
2011-07-22 9:00 PM
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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
mikericci - 2011-07-21 6:43 PM
marcag - 2011-07-21 3:45 PM
mikericci - 2011-07-21 3:50 PM

How did you determine your FTP?
For my crew under 75% IF is aerobic. You are riding in, what I could call 'Tempo' or HIM training zone. There is a lot of bang for your buck there, as long as it's applicable to your race distances and goals.

I determine my FTP a few ways. I do the 20' tests now and then. I do 3 or 5 minute tests to get the other point to do the FTP calculation. I recently used a 15km TT to do the 20 min test in aero, relatively flat. I also like to do the 20' on hills, the same hills aquagirl wants to use. They are great.

I also log all my workouts in Golden Cheetah and closely monitor my CP curve and I test points along that curve regularly.

I know my FTP is going up or down based on my ability to to the 2x20'@FTP with 5min rest.

I very very rarely ride under 80% IF and never under 75 IF. I always thought there was little value there. Maybe I was wrong

 

 


Just for accuracy's sake here are a few examples of determining FTP:
1. 20' Power test x 95%
2. 2x20' power test with 2' recovery. Not 5.
3. 40k TT or one hour at best effort. This is probably the most accurate way to determine FTP.

Going uphill is good, but you can only take 95% of that number.

Riding in the 80-85% Range is the equivalent to running in Zone 3 all the time, and I hope you don't do that!

80% of your time should be aerobic - below 75IF.
15% could be LT work (right ~ FTP).
5% could be VO2 Work.

Example:
If you ride 5 hours per week, 4 hours are Aerobic, 45 minutes are LT / FTP, 15' are VO2. You can change this up so you do more LT / VO2 work, but you'll have to drop volume, and you have to be careful with recovery. If you crush yourself and it takes 3 days to recover, then the you are going too hard.

 

All of this is VERY informative , thanks for posting this.

And just to reiterate ,I AM going to listen to my coach and do test in the flats as he instructed.

No point in giving the man my hard earned $$ if I am not going to listen to him.

2011-07-22 9:04 PM
in reply to: #3608166

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Subject: RE: Would my FTP be accurate?
mikericci - 2011-07-21 11:44 AM
aquagirl - 2011-07-19 6:52 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?


You'll be about 5% higher on a hilly TT, so you can always subtract that out. The reason it's easier is b/c you are recruiting more muscle mass going uphill. If your coach is telling you to do it on the flats, then listen to him, or you'll be one of those people, we coaches like to call 'uncoachable' and then you'll get the phone from your coach that you are fired. And that wouldn't be much fun.

Stick to the plan. Amen.

Also very useful info.

Thanks!



Edited by aquagirl 2011-07-22 9:05 PM
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