Monday, March 31, 2008

'07-'08 Power Profiles

The accompanying chart from WKO+ software shows the best Critical Power for every duration for the last two seasons for one of the athletes I coach. He is a 56-year-old who competes both as a road cyclist and triathlete. He is quite successful racing in both sports.

The solid yellow line is his 2007 season and the broken yellow line is the 2008 season as of last week. Across the horizontal X-axis are durations starting with 1 second on the left end and progressing beyond 4 hours, 34 minutes, 29 seconds (4:34:29) on the right end. The vertical Y-axis represents power. The low end is 0 watts and the high end is 1800 watts. (While a good rider, he's never done 1800w in his life or even close to it. Everything above about 1000w is random and incorrect data and should be ignored.)

Notice how at about 3 minutes the yellow lines separate. This tells me that as the duration of the effort gets shorter he was producing far greater power in 2007 than so far this year. I expect nearly all of the 2007 data points left of 3 minutes were produced in races. And since he hasn't raced yet this year and has been focused on base training elements (aerobic endurance, muscular endurance, force and speed skills) his upper end power has not been challenged. It's time to shift his training focus toward intervals with shorter work bouts of about 3 minutes or less done at his CP6 power (best power output for 6 minutes).

Also notice how the lines to the right of 3 minutes converge. As the duration gets longer his power output approaches that of last season. This suggests that his base aerobic endurance fitness is well developed and confirms that it's time to move on to the build period of training with a greater emphasis on anaerobic endurance.

Click the chart to expand it so you can read the comments which further describe what I see happening with his training this season.

Analysis tools such as WKO+ are changing the way I go about making decisions regarding how to train athletes. I'm a better coach and the athletes are faster because of such data.


At March 31, 2008 11:34 AM , Blogger Ron said...

Seems like he lost a lot of his upper end fitness. I also think he could focus more on getting accurate power information on his intervals less than 1 minute, rather than the data upto 4 hours and 30 minutes. Its pretty much sealed that he has very good endurance.

At April 2, 2008 6:37 PM , Blogger MWHack said...

Also, wouldn't you even expect some of his top power outputs for longer durations to increase as well once racing starts? It seems unlikely that even the most disciplined of athletes would have higher power output over the course of an hour of training in Jan/Feb/March than in a very hard race. Has that been your experience?

At April 2, 2008 8:31 PM , Blogger Joe Friel said...

mwhack--Certainly. You can see there is a small gap between the '07 and '08 data to the right of 3 minutes. I expect that gap to close as the race season progresses. It's just that the gap to the left of 3 minutes is huge.

At April 5, 2008 4:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

too bad WKO+ doesn't work for MACs

At July 28, 2008 3:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

His power profile looks really unique to me. It's interesting that his 2007 CP30 power is close to mine (245 vs 250w) but his sprint power is way, way huge (him: 1800+ watts peak vs mine of 1100w or so). Have you suggested match sprints on the track to this guy, Joe?

At July 29, 2008 3:42 PM , Blogger Joe Friel said...

anon--That 1800 was bad data. He has never exceeded 800w. The athlete and I found the bad data point in an old file and deleted it.

At October 4, 2008 3:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my own power history, looking at Normalized Power tends to smooth the curve considerably (though many of my rides are off-road). Is there a reason why you wouldn't want to look at his NP vs his Average power?

At October 4, 2008 4:43 PM , Blogger Joe Friel said...

Hi Anon--WKO+ software uses AP for this chart.


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