General Discussion Triathlon Talk » back on the bike, much higher power output Rss Feed  
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2017-10-12 5:02 PM

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Subject: back on the bike, much higher power output
Hi all....

After a few years of being off the bike (and out of sport entirely for the most part) I've gotten my bearings again and hope to return to the realm of fitness and sporting fun. Since 2012 I've gone through 4 international relocations, a divorce, remarriage, job stress, etc. In that time I have developed some bad habits with food and drink, and lost my good habits of being active and health conscious. Needless to say, I've put on some weight during that time. Actually, a lot of weight.... around 50 lbs. Yikes. Who is that in the mirror???? :-)

So, enough back story.....

I've done 2 rides in the past week and the Garmin numbers have all been expected, except for power. I expected to be slow, have a lower cadence, and my heart rate/RPE to be high compared to previous seasons. Oddly enough, my power output is much higher than expected. I have to assume this is due to my weight gain? In previous years the power output I had this week would have put me near or above my heart rate threshold... my 1 hour ride yesterday rang in at an average power number quite a bit higher than my peak season's Functional Threshold Power.

My Quarq was recently serviced by Sram, and it seems to be reporting consistently (unlike what I've seen in the past with defective meters). Consistency in a power meter is more important than the actually watt accuracy anyway, right? I mean, it doesn't matter if you're really putting out 250 watts, but your meter says you're doing 220, as long as the variance is consistent?

So all that said to ask this.... are my oddly high power meter numbers due to weight gain? I suppose a comparison of power-to-weight ratios of old workouts to current ones might shed light on my situation?

Thanks for any feedback you might have. Cheers everyone, hope your training is going well........

-Alan



2017-10-13 6:54 AM
in reply to: racalvert

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Subject: RE: back on the bike, much higher power output
Can I ever see myself in this post?! Heavier than I've ever been (although still happily married) and really fallen off the wagon in the last couple of years.

Anyways, have you calibrated your power meter lately? Especially after a long time off, the calibration can drift pretty far out, showing numbers that are plain wrong. Unfortunately I don't think you have gotten stronger by not training... (oh I wish!) and unless your weight gain is muscles (which it doesn't sound like it is, no offense and I'm in the same boat), then you're not going to generate more power.

Even if the meter is off, any improvements you see will still be accurate as most power meters are quite accurate in a linear change.
2017-10-13 1:44 PM
in reply to: audiojan

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Subject: RE: back on the bike, much higher power output
I certainly did not mean to imply that I have gotten stronger.... quite to the contrary.

I did spin the pedals in reverse 4 times before my rides, which I guess I thought was recalibration? Of course once I read your post I remembered there's a recalibration button in my Garmin setup. I'll make sure to do that before my next ride which is a FTP test ride. Sigh, I always dread those....

Anyway, thanks for the reply. Here's to both of us returning to the realm of fitness!

-Alan
2017-10-14 7:22 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: back on the bike, much higher power output
So I did a FTP test ride today, links to power output are below. This is the same workout, exact same flat course, same weather conditions, same power meter. It is on a different bike though. The 2012 workout was done on a Cervelo P3, and today's workout is my road bike.

5.5 years later, much lower fitness level, 35-40 lbs heavier... but an increased wattage of 250??? The 2012 test was done just a few weeks before the time-trial I was training for and it was the best bike fitness I've ever had.

2012 (NP = 329)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B782CHV1ihfVbEV6SDllUU1ENXc

2017 (NP = 587)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B782CHV1ihfVaGEwTV8zRG9STTQ

Can anyone offer any ideas on the large difference in power? I'm hesitant to say my power meter is defective since the graph is so consistent for the entire interval. I've owned a defective meter in the past and it's pretty obvious when they're bad.... but I'm certainly not the expert.

Is it just that it takes that much more power to move my fat arse around the course? Is my power meter wonky? I don't need much of an excuse to pre-order the new Garmin Vector pedals. :-)

Edited by racalvert 2017-10-14 7:24 PM
2017-10-14 8:34 PM
in reply to: racalvert

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Subject: RE: back on the bike, much higher power output

I don't think you're a professional TT World Champion at the moment, so it'd be a good idea to have the PM checked out. 

2017-10-14 8:43 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: back on the bike, much higher power output
I just got the meter back from Sram for maintenance and it checked out good.



Edited by racalvert 2017-10-14 8:57 PM


2017-10-16 12:49 AM
in reply to: racalvert


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Subject: RE: back on the bike, much higher power output
Originally posted by racalvert

So I did a FTP test ride today, links to power output are below. This is the same workout, exact same flat course, same weather conditions, same power meter. It is on a different bike though. The 2012 workout was done on a Cervelo P3, and today's workout is my road bike.

5.5 years later, much lower fitness level, 35-40 lbs heavier... but an increased wattage of 250??? The 2012 test was done just a few weeks before the time-trial I was training for and it was the best bike fitness I've ever had.

2012 (NP = 329)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B782CHV1ihfVbEV6SDllUU1ENXc

2017 (NP = 587)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B782CHV1ihfVaGEwTV8zRG9STTQ

Can anyone offer any ideas on the large difference in power? I'm hesitant to say my power meter is defective since the graph is so consistent for the entire interval. I've owned a defective meter in the past and it's pretty obvious when they're bad.... but I'm certainly not the expert.

Is it just that it takes that much more power to move my fat arse around the course? Is my power meter wonky? I don't need much of an excuse to pre-order the new Garmin Vector pedals. :-)


Well something's wrong. That's a massively high FTP, elite level. Even your previous wattage of 329 is pretty high. Your HR is quite low as is your speed. Brad Williams is a top AG triathlete and recently rode a 2.08 for a 70.3, his power for that race was NP 290, his FTP is 340. Yours is close to double his. A recent 70.3 for me, I did a 2.25 with NP of 190w, speed was 23mph/37km/hr your speed for your FTP was 20mph/32km/hr, but your NP was triple mine!

Something is broken. I'd imagine your FTP to be closer to 200.
2017-10-16 6:37 AM
in reply to: racalvert

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Subject: RE: back on the bike, much higher power output
Originally posted by racalvert


2017 (NP = 587)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B782CHV1ihfVaGEwTV8zRG9STTQ




Your PM is not working. A professional tour de france rider will do 6.5 w/kg on a 20min test

Do a calibrate on it, just for hoots, but there is something very wrong.
2017-10-16 7:21 AM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: back on the bike, much higher power output

Yeah, go ahead with the Garmin Calibrate for now to see what it does. Just know that it's not really the same as what SRAM does in their calibration as it's more partial. Similar to the back pedaling.

2017-10-16 7:37 PM
in reply to: 0


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Subject: RE: back on the bike, much higher power output
Use this calc to give you a rough idea.

http://bikecalculator.com/wattsMetric.html

If I put in the data you gave me, distance, speed and I've assumed a weight of 200lbs, your FTP is around 150w which seems about right for that speed.

I'd be giving Quark a call if I were you.





Edited by zedzded 2017-10-16 7:37 PM
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