Realistic fitness expectations.

When drugs don't work: training and health tips!
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Re: Realistic fitness expectations.

Postby Muffintop » Fri Jan 11, 2013 13:50 pm

bahzob wrote:Raising a performance level (watts/kg especially for cycling) is a perfectly sensible goal in and of itself and should be done regardless of whether you actually race or not. How "quick" you ride is hugely variable and a much less useful objective. (my granny can ride at 70 kph in her wheelchair if you push her in the right direction down a hill)

If you look at the training of top riders this is the value they will be monitoring for most of the year, since they know the threshold they need to reach in order to have a realistic chance of achieving a goal.

By all means supplement goals related to an absolute measure like W/kg with those like setting a PB for a TT or moving up a racing category. This will help with motivation and encourage you to consider broader aspects of the sport like aerodynamics, race tactics and the like which make it more interesting. But even with these knowing your w/kg provides a big benefit since it will help you understand what is and is not working to improve them.

The professionals main aim is not achieving a particular threashold though, and they're not paid for that... it's one (of alot of elements that) enable them to compete at that particular level - to ride (and win) the TDF, TT and all that jazz. For them it's just a means to an end, not an abstract end in itself. I'm sure the OP has his own goals in mind, but being in his position I would need something more substantial than the VO2 alone, which he didn't mention so I was wondering what they were.

FCN: Brompton: 12, Tourer: 7, Racer: 4

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Re: Realistic fitness expectations.

Postby bahzob » Mon Jan 14, 2013 09:32 am

Yes the pros have lots of aims. But for tour riders the single biggest one would be that of maximising their power/weight ratio. If you can put out 6.5+W/kg FTP you have a chance to win the tour given the other elements are OK.

As for what pros are paid for, if you read some of the biogs atm it's pretty clear that no only how they were paid but whether they kept a job at all was all about their w/kg. Show good numbers and you moved up the team pecking order, show bad and you are out. That's why so many cheated and paid so much in the hope of being able to buy a shortcut. Not saying this is good but it's a matter of life I'm afraid.

As for goals I guess its a question of different strokes. Personally I find it strange for people to have goals over which they have little or no control or put all their eggs for a year into one basket by targeting a single event. It makes a lot more sense to me to have 2 sets of goals
- One like power/weight (or if no power meter something similar like a climb PB) that is entirely under your control and acts as a good indicator of how you are going.
- Event targets that serve to motivate you for training and, if you hit the power goals, you have a realistic expectation about what will be a stretch to achieve but doable.

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