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2015-09-14 9:39 AM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: Racing with Power

Originally posted by TriMyBest

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by marcag couple of things Congratulations. A win and a especially a great run is amazing

I disagree with targeting a NP during the race or pacing by NP. I would leave AP splits on the Garmin. For planning of a race, NP may have a role, during the race it doesn't.

I'm unsure of what you meant here. I generally agree with not using NP for lapping so much as it's more of an overall thing. But can't really tell what was meant for anything else.

During race planning I don’t think your primary goal is to establish an average power or normalized power. You pick a power, say 90% for an Olympic. You then adjust that power for different scenarios. Short and long hill targets, a bit above going uphill (with a cap), trying to hold as much as you can coming down, what to do in a head wind, tail wind etc. But besides the downhill where you have little control over it, you try to ride close to the target for that specific scenario. Most people don’t even have the ability to know what their NP will be if they adopt such a strategy. IMO, few, if any AGers can do a NP of 95% of FTP on an Oly. During execution, chasing averages or normalized targets is a mistake IME. Try to hit the immediate power levels set out in your strategy and AP or NP will end up where it ends up. NP is inaccurate over shorter laps. Trying to bring your NP up or down will just cause you to overshoot and undershoot your power levels. Just try to hit your instantaneous targets. If you are doing long distance, looking at NP over long times frames is ok, but certainly not at Oly and less. At the end, analyze it and adjust it for next race. But I do not see how setting a NP target of 95% of FTP is either practical or possible in many race situations. Don't set targets as an AP or NP. Set guidelines and caps for different scenarios, and execute on them. Just an opinion

I agree that it's not practical to chase a NP while riding.  What I was talking about was using it when discussing % of FTP for racing and as a guide for building your race strategy.  It's a method for picking the 90% number you suggest above.  Also, 95% of FTP for an Oly is the top end for most people, but that's NP of 95% of FTP, not AP, which will always be lower.  I agree that most AGer's will be better off closer to 90% NP.  That's why I qualified my original response.

The reason to start with NP rather than AP, is because it's a tool to adjust the targeted AP based on the course.  It's going to be roughly the same as a % of FTP regardless of the course profile (assuming other variables remain the same).

Consider this situation:  An athlete raced their best Oly at an NP of 93% of their known FTP on a pancake flat course.  The VI should be very low, and AP is going to be very close to the same as NP.  Let's say it is 92% of FTP.  Now, that same athlete has a race coming up that's very hilly.  If they try to target an AP of 92% of FTP again, as they maintained on the flat course, they're probably going to blow up on the run, because the VI will be higher, pushing it up too close to FTP, and burning too many matches on the bike.  So, starting with the NP of 93% that worked well on the flat course, adjust for the anticipated VI (let's say 1.07 to 1.1)   93% / 1.1 = 85% AP and 93% / 1.07 = 87% AP.  This gives a starting point when developing the race plan for the hilly course of an AP of 85%-87% FTP.  From there, the details of the plan is developed the way Marc describes it.

I know you know this stuff inside & out, Marc, so you probably take all this into account almost unconsciously, but for the less experienced power user, I think it's good to understand the concepts, otherwise they ride one race at 220w and run well, try to hold that same AP on the next one, and they blow up, but have no idea what happened.

I know some argue that there are other tools more sophisticated than using AP, NP, and VI, but IMO, they're still good enough for the average AGer.  Combining them with real world experience, like Marc does works well.

 

That's more along the lines of what I was thinking. The overall is the NP to target, but during the event what's on the screen can move up and down depending on the terrain and how one negotiates it, as was explained before. Learning to manage this and arrive at the expected end goal takes some practice.



2015-09-14 9:44 AM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: Racing with Power
Originally posted by TriMyBest
Consider this situation:  An athlete raced their best Oly at an NP of 93% of their known FTP on a pancake flat course.  The VI should be very low, and AP is going to be very close to the same as NP.  Let's say it is 92% of FTP.  Now, that same athlete has a race coming up that's very hilly.  If they try to target an AP of 92% of FTP again, as they maintained on the flat course, they're probably going to blow up on the run, because the VI will be higher, pushing it up too close to FTP, and burning too many matches on the bike.  So, starting with the NP of 93% that worked well on the flat course, adjust for the anticipated VI (let's say 1.07 to 1.1)   93% / 1.1 = 85% AP and 93% / 1.07 = 87% AP.  


What I am saying is don't target an AP or a NP. Forget AP and NP.
Target 90% of your FTP on flats. Target 95% on long climbs, allow 102% on short climbs, 92% into head winds, 88% in tail winds, and let the AP and NP fall where they fall. (I just made those % up, I depends on the athletes).

Certainly don't pace the race by AP or NP, especially on a hilly course.

FYI, I always paced by AP and NP. A really good coach told me to forget that in 2013. I struggled to do so (bad habits), but then I got it and find pacing much more efficient and enjoyable than chasing averages

2015-09-14 9:56 AM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: Racing with Power

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by TriMyBest Consider this situation:  An athlete raced their best Oly at an NP of 93% of their known FTP on a pancake flat course.  The VI should be very low, and AP is going to be very close to the same as NP.  Let's say it is 92% of FTP.  Now, that same athlete has a race coming up that's very hilly.  If they try to target an AP of 92% of FTP again, as they maintained on the flat course, they're probably going to blow up on the run, because the VI will be higher, pushing it up too close to FTP, and burning too many matches on the bike.  So, starting with the NP of 93% that worked well on the flat course, adjust for the anticipated VI (let's say 1.07 to 1.1)   93% / 1.1 = 85% AP and 93% / 1.07 = 87% AP.  
What I am saying is don't target an AP or a NP. Forget AP and NP. Target 90% of your FTP on flats. Target 95% on long climbs, allow 102% on short climbs, 92% into head winds, 88% in tail winds, and let the AP and NP fall where they fall. (I just made those % up, I depends on the athletes). Certainly don't pace the race by AP or NP, especially on a hilly course. FYI, I always paced by AP and NP. A really good coach told me to forget that in 2013. I struggled to do so (bad habits), but then I got it and find pacing much more efficient and enjoyable than chasing averages

That really goes against everything I've done to this point...Well not everything, given expected caps on climbs, etc.  But it does sound like it gets more complicated and possibly more difficult to follow this type of strategy.  How do you pace different segments - you start a hill it's a new lap, into a flat section and it's a new lap?  Curious how you manage this - or do you just look at something like 30/60 sec avg power and not worry about the rest of it?

2015-09-14 10:17 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Racing with Power
Originally posted by GoFaster

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by TriMyBest Consider this situation:  An athlete raced their best Oly at an NP of 93% of their known FTP on a pancake flat course.  The VI should be very low, and AP is going to be very close to the same as NP.  Let's say it is 92% of FTP.  Now, that same athlete has a race coming up that's very hilly.  If they try to target an AP of 92% of FTP again, as they maintained on the flat course, they're probably going to blow up on the run, because the VI will be higher, pushing it up too close to FTP, and burning too many matches on the bike.  So, starting with the NP of 93% that worked well on the flat course, adjust for the anticipated VI (let's say 1.07 to 1.1)   93% / 1.1 = 85% AP and 93% / 1.07 = 87% AP.  
What I am saying is don't target an AP or a NP. Forget AP and NP. Target 90% of your FTP on flats. Target 95% on long climbs, allow 102% on short climbs, 92% into head winds, 88% in tail winds, and let the AP and NP fall where they fall. (I just made those % up, I depends on the athletes). Certainly don't pace the race by AP or NP, especially on a hilly course. FYI, I always paced by AP and NP. A really good coach told me to forget that in 2013. I struggled to do so (bad habits), but then I got it and find pacing much more efficient and enjoyable than chasing averages

That really goes against everything I've done to this point...Well not everything, given expected caps on climbs, etc.  But it does sound like it gets more complicated and possibly more difficult to follow this type of strategy.  How do you pace different segments - you start a hill it's a new lap, into a flat section and it's a new lap?  Curious how you manage this - or do you just look at something like 30/60 sec avg power and not worry about the rest of it?




I look at my 10 and 30sec power. I don't even have my lap power on the same screen anymore. I have to intentionally go look at it if I want to see it. It was too distracting for me. I look at last lap power more than current lap power. That tells me if overall I am pacing well. I may look at it 2 or 3 times in a 2hr training ride.

It's really simple. You try to hit X% of ftp as your immediate power. You allow for a little more on a long hill and a little bit more than that on a short hill. Very simple.

What works for one, might not work as well for others. But if you are chasing a power number, chances are you are making mistakes while doing it. I certainly was

Edited by marcag 2015-09-14 10:21 AM
2015-09-14 10:53 AM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: Racing with Power
Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by TriMyBestConsider this situation:  An athlete raced their best Oly at an NP of 93% of their known FTP on a pancake flat course.  The VI should be very low, and AP is going to be very close to the same as NP.  Let's say it is 92% of FTP.  Now, that same athlete has a race coming up that's very hilly.  If they try to target an AP of 92% of FTP again, as they maintained on the flat course, they're probably going to blow up on the run, because the VI will be higher, pushing it up too close to FTP, and burning too many matches on the bike.  So, starting with the NP of 93% that worked well on the flat course, adjust for the anticipated VI (let's say 1.07 to 1.1)   93% / 1.1 = 85% AP and 93% / 1.07 = 87% AP.  
What I am saying is don't target an AP or a NP. Forget AP and NP. Target 90% of your FTP on flats. Target 95% on long climbs, allow 102% on short climbs, 92% into head winds, 88% in tail winds, and let the AP and NP fall where they fall. (I just made those % up, I depends on the athletes).Certainly don't pace the race by AP or NP, especially on a hilly course.FYI, I always paced by AP and NP. A really good coach told me to forget that in 2013. I struggled to do so (bad habits), but then I got it and find pacing much more efficient and enjoyable than chasing averages
It's different ways of getting to the same place. What you're describing is what I do too at the race plan and execution level. I just determine those numbers in a different way. Personally, I can watch my AP and adjust those flat, climbing, and descending targets a little on the fly based on whether I'm above or under target, weather conditions, and anything else that happens. But, for athletes I coach, I give them targets like you describe. It depends on the athlete's personality whether I even tell them what the AP or NP is that their plan was based on. I do the same thing for those using HR too.
2015-09-14 11:06 AM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Northern IL
Subject: RE: Racing with Power

Originally posted by TriMyBest
Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by TriMyBestConsider this situation:  An athlete raced their best Oly at an NP of 93% of their known FTP on a pancake flat course.  The VI should be very low, and AP is going to be very close to the same as NP.  Let's say it is 92% of FTP.  Now, that same athlete has a race coming up that's very hilly.  If they try to target an AP of 92% of FTP again, as they maintained on the flat course, they're probably going to blow up on the run, because the VI will be higher, pushing it up too close to FTP, and burning too many matches on the bike.  So, starting with the NP of 93% that worked well on the flat course, adjust for the anticipated VI (let's say 1.07 to 1.1)   93% / 1.1 = 85% AP and 93% / 1.07 = 87% AP.  
What I am saying is don't target an AP or a NP. Forget AP and NP. Target 90% of your FTP on flats. Target 95% on long climbs, allow 102% on short climbs, 92% into head winds, 88% in tail winds, and let the AP and NP fall where they fall. (I just made those % up, I depends on the athletes).Certainly don't pace the race by AP or NP, especially on a hilly course.FYI, I always paced by AP and NP. A really good coach told me to forget that in 2013. I struggled to do so (bad habits), but then I got it and find pacing much more efficient and enjoyable than chasing averages
It's different ways of getting to the same place. What you're describing is what I do too at the race plan and execution level. I just determine those numbers in a different way. Personally, I can watch my AP and adjust those flat, climbing, and descending targets a little on the fly based on whether I'm above or under target, weather conditions, and anything else that happens. But, for athletes I coach, I give them targets like you describe. It depends on the athlete's personality whether I even tell them what the AP or NP is that their plan was based on. I do the same thing for those using HR too.

Yeah, I adjust some things on the fly too. Usually not really drastic though. I went a bit harder on the flats late in a race as a longer downhill just before it had me up at 45 mph. No real need to pedal there, so saved up the little extra energy. I'll have rough ideas of what to do and will see how things play out with conditions of the day. Maybe I carry speed though some changing terrain better (or worse) due to wind or pavement conditions. Hence, I like to have an idea of the overall too.



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