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Developing Sustainable Power(29 posts)

Developing Sustainable PowerAsiago
Jan 23, 2004 9:05 AM
I got my Feb issue of Cyclesport yesterday and in it was a column from Chris Carmichael about developing sustained power. Which got me to thinking about schools of thought on developing sustained power.

Carmichael recommends increasing the amount of time for a given interval at a certain power output. For example, "X" number of Watts at "Y" number of minutes. If the rider is not taxed by this output, he suggests increasing the time instead of the power, say "X" Watts for "Y"+2 minutes.

The other option is increasing the power for a given time. For example, if the rider is doing "X"W for "Y" minutes and is not taxed, increase the output to "X"+10W for "Y" minutes.

What are the thoughts of those here on this? FWIW, my coach has me doing the later, increasing Watts for a given amount of time (35minutes). No matter the arguments here, I'm sticking with his program, but I'd like to here what others have to say.

I should note however my very novice thoughts on this. I got the impression from the Carmichael bit that he is talking about intervals much shorter than those that my coach is suggesting. The reason Carmichael suggests not increasing the power is the risk of changing energy sources from aerobic to anaerobic. This makes sense, but only for shorter intervals, say <10 minutes. Whereas, on the length of intervals I am doing, it doesn't really make sense to increase the time, but to increase the power. My coach cited two things he wants to accomplish, increase power at LT, but also push LT higher.

Anyway, thoughts?

re: Developing Sustainable PowerSquint
Jan 23, 2004 9:34 AM
Your coach is correct. You have to increase power otherwise you no longer get the overload effect required to force adaptations in your body. The body has several energy systems that work in conjunction to various degrees depending on intensity and time. If you started doing VO2max intervals of 4 mins at 300W and they were a struggle and then when they no longer challenged you, started increasing the duration, it would be come a more aerobic workout as it approached 12-15 mins. Meanwhile, your VO2max training would've stagnated.

There are a lot of coaches and exercise physiologists that just shake their heads everytime Carmichael, Friel, or Crawford publish an article.
re: Developing Sustainable PowerCritLover
Jan 24, 2004 10:34 AM
Could you give me some of the journals that these articles that dispute Friel and Carmichael, are in? I would like to do some research on the subject, but am not sure where these debates take place.

(I have access to a large university library, so they probably have pretty obscure journals)

re: Developing Sustainable Powerasgelle
Jan 24, 2004 12:59 PM
Go to the wattage list archives at and you'll find many articles cited. But as a start, how about Friel's use of the term "critical power". Friel applies the term to a concept very diferent from the meaning which has been accepted in the literature for years. Do a Pub Med search and you'll find the accepted use of the term.

But why do you seek out the refereed literature to refute Friel and Carmichael. I doubt there will be any article explicitly referring to them for the simple reason that, as far as I can tell, neither has published in a refereed journal.
re: Developing Sustainable PowerSquint
Jan 25, 2004 10:16 AM
Yeah, that's where those "popular" coaches get worked over the most. You don't really need to read specific articles. Once you get an idea of how the body responds to exercise, what some of these coaches write will make you go, "Huh?"

I especially love Crawford's obsession with the CNS. What's next? Resting your bones? Hair?
Perhaps a bit of both, plus decreasing recovery interval...Spunout
Jan 23, 2004 9:55 AM
if you are speaking of intervals.

More power, for a longer period, with less NEED for recovery: isn't that why we are all training?

To get there, we do higher power short intervals, threshold power (get tested frequently, as this rises) for longer times, all the while decreasing recovery.

So, constant power is a bit of a misnomer if you are seeking to work at MAP.
Developing Sustainable Power, possibleTime Trial dot org
Jan 25, 2004 9:21 AM
I have been racing on Rotor Cranks for the past six months and have raised my wattage by 60 at my LT (lactate threshold) in time trial races, leading to a 1.5 mph gain in my top sustained speed.

You may want to check them out, they really do work and come with a 30 day money back guarantee if you dont like them for any reason.
Developing Sustainable Power, possibleSquint
Jan 25, 2004 10:04 AM
I increased my power by 40W in 3 months without any gimmicks. No expensive supplements, fad dit, and no perpetual motion machine cranksets, just a little old-fashioned hard work.
fad dit=fad diet(s)Squint
Jan 25, 2004 10:13 AM
Developing Sustainable Power, possibleTime Trial dot org
Jan 25, 2004 6:55 PM
wow thats great, and with Rotor Cranks you could have a 100w gain. See they way they work is by eliminating the dead spot from the pedal stroke, the cranks are never at 6 and 12 o'clock, one pedal drives the other through the dead spot of the stroke, than it is repeated on the other site.
Get an ad. nmSpunout
Jan 26, 2004 6:00 AM
read my article in Bike.comTime Trial dot org
Jan 26, 2004 6:23 PM

- Gary
BS shields at full strength, captain!Kerry Irons
Jan 26, 2004 5:25 PM
You have no data to support your claims, nor is there any valid research to do likewise. Don't foist your personal "training religion" on others as though it were the revealed truth. You may well have increased your output using these cranks, but you may well have done the same without them, training normally. Then there's the "magic feather" placebo effect. Magic mojo crank designs have been with us for over 100 years, and none of them have lasted more than a few years. Why? Because they are either proven of no value or replaced by the next fad (usually both at about the same time). If these things are still on the market in 5 years, I'll be hugely surprised and ready to eat my words. It's just that in watching this kind of thing for the past nearly 40 years, I've seen a lot of miracle components come and go. It breeds skepticism.
BS shields at full strength, captain!Time Trial dot org
Jan 26, 2004 6:02 PM
There is tons of published scientific data. And race results: winner of Xterra world championships this year. They have been around for FIVE YEARS already! Just not well publicized in the US
Reference, pleaseasgelle
Jan 26, 2004 6:13 PM
Time Trial dot org wrote, "There is tons of published scientific data. "

I went to the rotor home page and found several studies, but none of them showed a journal reference. Where were these published.
Knock yourself out...Time Trial dot org
Jan 26, 2004 6:20 PM
Knock yourself out...asgelle
Jan 26, 2004 6:44 PM
As I said in my previous message I saw these articles but they had no references to where they were published. I'm no expert on exercise physiology and can't really evaluate these studies, but I know that if they've been reviewed and published in the refereed literature, then at least some experts feel the work is valuable.

Are you saying that reports on the manufacturer's web page are what you consider published data? How much credibility can one put in that?
Rotor Cranks dataTime Trial dot org
Jan 26, 2004 7:19 PM
I was sceptical myself until I tried them. No BS, I dropped 1 minute off my 20k tt (30:22 to 29:18) in 3 months with the same level of training and volume. I hate to sound like and ad, but Rotors just made cycling so much more efficient, I produce more wattage at LT now.

I was turned on to them by the praises of Massimo Testa (former Motorola and 7-Eleven team doctor and Steve Larsen's coach) and from John Howard (yes, THE John Howard) who rides Rotor Cranks.

Read around, these things are the real deal. They have not had much exposure in the US yet but have been a hit in Europe and Spain for years.
Let me guess, Anthony Robbins is your Idolusna00
Jan 27, 2004 1:33 AM
This sounds like one of those AMWAY conventions....

'I didn't believe it at first either...I didn't think i could quit my job, but after just 3 short weeks I sold all my cleaning products, and now..look at me, I live in Del Boca Vista and take weekend trips on my SeaRay. Thank you AMWAY.'

Seriously man, its cool and all that you're excited about it, but I have a really hard time reading this when I know you're the same guy who's selling them. Like the others said, buy an ad.
You can get a place in Del Boca Vista? Who died? ;-) nmSpunout
Jan 27, 2004 4:26 AM
My Uncle Izzy, he pulled his back one too many times!! nmusna00
Jan 27, 2004 6:09 AM
BS shields at full strength, captain!Time Trial dot org
Jan 26, 2004 6:18 PM
There is tons of published scientific data. And race results: winner of Xterra world championships this year. They have been around for FIVE YEARS already! Just not well publicized in the US
5 years and STILL nobody uses them. WTF is Xterra? nmSpunout
Jan 27, 2004 4:26 AM
they were used in the Giro and Vuelta last year in the TTTime Trial dot org
Jan 27, 2004 5:35 AM
they were used in the Giro and Vuelta last year in the TT by a smaller spanish team

They will be on the bikes of a

Victor Hugo Pena (TDF yellow jersey) uses them to rehabilitate his knees, but cannot race on them because of his Shimano contract

Ever heard of Peter Reid (Kona Winner 2003) or Steve Larsen (MTB Natl champ)? They were racing against Rotorized cyclist Eneko Llanos who won the world championships by 4 minutes:
These cranks are good for running too?bimini
Jan 27, 2004 8:01 AM
I hate to guess where he is hiding them.
LOLOLOLOL!!!!! nmNo_sprint
Jan 27, 2004 9:33 AM
a questionWoof the dog
Jan 29, 2004 10:10 PM
So, you never answered my question, buddy

Why do you say wheel covers don't work like disc wheels do?



You missed the point of the articleCoot72
Jan 27, 2004 9:55 AM
I believe Charmichael was talking about lactate or sub-lactate power levels. Increasing time when an athlete feels strong and well rested prevents the him or her from going into the anerobic zone. This is based on knowing the power at LT. Of course this can change, but you have to keep in my the assumptions Charmichael is making. I think you have misrepresented his article, so I just wanted to clarify.

That's what we're talking aboutSquint
Jan 27, 2004 11:36 AM
Monitoring your intensity keeps you from going anaerobic, not lengthening the interval. That might ensure that you end the interval at an aerobic level but it won't stop you from going too hard in the beginning and going anaerobic. Besides, if your pacing is that poor then you've got bigger problems.