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How much improvement can I expect to see?(12 posts)

How much improvement can I expect to see?Asiago
Dec 12, 2003 7:22 AM
Okay, I don't really know how to properly phrase this question, but I'll try.

My coach and I are making my number 1 focus this off season to be developing my sustained power. 2004 will be my second year of racing and this winter is my first structured off season. Last winter, I just rode 5-6 hours a week. This entire season (in addition to last winter) I did no work specifically for sustained power. It was definitely my major limiter.

With a program that really stresses sustainable power developement, how much (ballpark) improvement can someone like me expect? He's talking about a 45-50% improvement in sustainable power during a 40minute effort. He's got me mapped out to improve around 5-7%/week for the first 4 weeks then improving at 3-5%/week after that.

I'm gonna be bustin' my arse this winter to make it happen. And I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'm quite motivated to make it happen. But frankly, I can't keep myself from having doubts! This seems a huge expectation.

That seems awful high to me...Dwayne Barry
Dec 12, 2003 8:03 AM
especially if you've been riding for a number of years. 50% would be going from something like 200 watts to 300 watts (or 250 to 375), you get the idea, seems pretty high to me! What's your power now for 40 minutes? Add 50% to it and see if the numbers are at all realistic.

The wattage list at topica could probably answer this pretty definitively.
That seems awful high to me...Asiago
Dec 12, 2003 8:22 AM
Well, I have not been riding for years. As I mentioned, I've never done any of this type of work. I left out specific numbers because I didn't want to embarass myself! :) He has a target power he wants me to get to, and I expressed it here as a % increase! :)

makes a huge differenceDougSloan
Dec 12, 2003 8:40 AM
If you are on the early part of the improvement curve, maybe you could see a 50% increase in power. For example, if you were at 150 watts, I could see getting to 225 -- you just haven't started to tap into your potential, yet. However, as noted above, if you are at 250, getting to 375 would be phenomenal (that's the difference between a Cat 5 and a 1, possibly).

Don't be embarrassed about the numbers. I'm not, and mine aren't that great, either. Having real information will allow anyone to help you much more than merely percentages, because as you can see, percentages are almost meaningless unless we know were you are.

Besides, numbers don't mean squat when the rubber meats the road...

makes a huge differenceAsiago
Dec 12, 2003 9:04 AM

5'7", 138lbs race weight, ~144lbs now! :) 'Tis the eatin' season after all!

Starting at 180W for 40min. His ultimate goal for me he says is to get me to 275W for 40min.

I have no history with power work. When he took me on, I told him I felt that sustainable power was my big weakness. I'm a good sprinter, and decent in the hills simply because I'm smaller. Fast twitch never seemed to be a limiter in whatever sport I participated in.

This week my Tuesday power workout was 40min at 180W. This is done on a trainer with a powertap. I was at LT, maybe just over considering I was on the trainer. Next week it is 40min@190W, then 40min@200W, then 40min@205W.

It was tough on Tuesday, but I did it. However I have a cold so that didn't help. A few weeks ago I did 30min@190W without too much difficulty, HR about 6bpm below LT (170, LT=~176).

I'm am psyched to see how much I can improve.

Dec 12, 2003 10:01 AM
First, it sounds like your indicated power now is under reported. If you were not giving it your all or had a cold, you are likely able to produce more than that right now. I'd bet you could put out 200 now, if you raced it and felt ok. There's almost 10% already.

At 138 pounds, 275 watts will make you a hell of a climber, assuming you can hang on the surges and have the endurance. If you focus only on sustainable power, essentially time trialing, both of the latter may suffer.

It's a reasonable, but optimistic, goal, in any event. Your reach should exceed your grasp...

Dec 12, 2003 11:30 AM

I am psyched to see if I can do it. I know it is an optimistic goal. But if I can get there, I will be flying. I will post back with progress.

Sustainable power is our primary focus for the offseason, but we are not only doing sustainable power work. It'll just receive the most emphasis.

Dec 13, 2003 4:04 PM
flying indeed...

as most others have said, it's probably an attainable goal.

i'm about 6', 140 & made the jump to about 275watts from about 200 in my first year (winter) of serious training & powertap use. that brought me from a decent 4 to a fast 3 here in wi. the next year, i jumped up to just over 300 before putting the powertap away in april - i'm pretty sure i was still getting faster, but i shifted my focus away from sustained power to the ability to get anaerobic and follow attacks. that was last year - and at that output, i upgraded to a 2 and ended the season able to ride at the front fairly well in road races (crits often a story of survival - they're not really my thing)but had a hard time getting through the series of attacks that made the final selections.

I say i put the powertap away b/c once i got to that point - watching the wattage is of no help - you either follow or you don't - best accomplished by racing or a hard group ride where everyone is on the same page (something i was lucky enough to have here).

I prob wont' be doing any LT type work for 6 to 8 weeks - my first 1L semester was tough on the riding schedule and i need to rebuild some base over the holiday before really diving into the intensity. luckily my schedule for next semester is much more accomodating - so i am really looking forward to collegiate nats being here in town.

btw - as doug pointed out, there is a trade-off between sustainable power and the other types - but, in my opinion, it's the right thing to do, and the prototypical "plan" for improvement...base, then sustained power, then a step back to improve that vo2 max - type endurance.

good luck.
re: How much improvement can I expect to see?asgelle
Dec 12, 2003 8:55 AM
I would like to add one other point. Without getting into how much improvement you might expect, I think you should examine your relationship with your coach. I think in order for the partnership between you and your coach to work, each of you must have trust in the other. Your coach gave you a target, if you question it, did you mention your reservations to the coach and if so what was the answer.

I think it is couterproductive for you to question your coache's advice by going to an external source. I think this undermines the coach. Let me ask you this. If you don't have confidence that your coach can set realistic targets for you and guide you to reaching them, why are you working with this individual.
No I trust him.Asiago
Dec 12, 2003 9:11 AM
It's myself I don't trust! I just have a feeling that he is accustomed to more genetically gifted athletes. I have my doubts, and I did raise my eyebrows so to speak. But the bottom line is he has the experience I don't. I'm not going to doubt his program until I try it.

I'm not looking for alternative advice here. If people want to give it, I ain't gonna take it. I WANT to try what my coach has laid out for me. If I am physically not able to improve that much, then I'm not physically able to improve that much and we'll re-adjust what we do. It won't be the end of the world. But I AM going try as hard as I can. We've only set out the next 4 weeks and after that we will evaluate my progress as we set out the next block.

If you don't mind....853
Dec 12, 2003 10:53 AM
Where do you live?
How did you find this coach?
And how much are you paying?

I would love to have a coach, I am stuck in a rut and I think I need somebody to tailor a program to my needs. Good Luck w/ your goals.

If you don't mind....Asiago
Dec 12, 2003 11:26 AM
Are you in the midwest?

Shoot me an email.