Virtual Racing with a powermeter

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GiantMike
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Virtual Racing with a powermeter

Postby GiantMike » Sun Dec 09, 2012 15:42 pm

If you have a powermeter I think we could have some fun 'racing' over the winter. Below is a rough guide to something I've been planning for a while.

Overview: Virtual Racing means that riders 'race' against eachother, with their result being measured by how they perform compared to their own FTP. For each race, riders will submit a data file of their race and the winner will be the rider who has achieved the best relative performance. This allow all riders to race on an even playing field regardless of age, sex or fitness. And it should be more fun than training alone.

Ethos: Turbo training is terribly boring at the best of times. This will add another dimension to training and might give it a bit more focus.

Requirements: You'll need a powermeter and a turbo trainer. You'll need to know your FTP and be able to record your effort and send the data file to me via email.

Set-up: For the first 'race' I will come up with a multi-stage workout which all racers will complete within a certain timeframe and then send the results to me. I'll anaylse the results in Golden Cheetah and declare a winner, making the winning file available to all racers. The winner will be the rider who has the highest overall power output relative to their FTP.

First Race: The first race will be something like

after a 10 minute warm-up...
7 minutes above 105% FTP (for the first 7 minutes you must keep average power above 105% FTP)
7 minutes below 90% FTP (for 7 minutes you must keep average power below 90% FTP i.e. a bit of a recovery)
20 minutes free riding (for 20 minutes go as hard as you like.)
cooldown


There are obviously hundreds of different race formats to choose from so it should always be fun. Well, it should always hurt, but in a fun way.

Scoring: Using the above example, the average power of the 3 work sessions will be divided into your FTP and the winner is the rider with the highest score. So, if your FTP is 200, you might get 7 mins at 220W, 7 mins at 180W then 20 mins at 204W. Your average power output would be 202.35W giving a score of 101.17%. This is then compared to the other racers' scores and the winner then chooses the next race format (but can't win his/her own race).

Fairness: This is just a bit of fun so we'll have no cheating please. Riders with excessively high scores will have their FTP raised to ensure that developing riders are accurately handicapped for each event.

Minimum Numbers: 2 riders, but the more the merrier.

I was thinking of having the first race this week with files to me by Friday lunchtime. Every rider gets to see the winning rider's (probably the top 3's) data file to keep things as fair as possible.

If you're interested or have any comments, please post below then drop me a pm with your email address so I can send you mine for the data file.
my power improvement experiment blog

Rule number 100: It's your bike and your money and your time; do what you like with it and ignore other peoples' rules. Except this one.

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springtide9
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Re: Virtual Racing with a powermeter

Postby springtide9 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:11 am

Lots of views, but no comments... so will give some of my views.

Although I like the idea in principle, I'm not sure I can really commit to this now.

A few issues...

(1) I'm not sure the FTP values people are using are either not that accurate or the test methods are not consistent.
This means anyone using a 'stretching' FTP value is at a disadvantage and vice versa. (Check out people on TR who are completing high IF rides with relatively low HR)

(2) It's the wrong time of year for me to really be smashing myself on the turbo. Apart from being told to spend more time in Zone 2 and/or Sweetspot rides, it's also the time of year that involves late nights and the occasional drop of mulled wine etc (training for me at this time of year, generally means 'damage limitation'!)

Also using a TR profile for the 'race' would be very useful. It just means we have some form of visual indication of the tracking of our ride, especially when riding during the rest segment (where really you want to track as close to the maximum power as possible, to keep your ave power up)
Simon

Trev The Rev
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Re: Virtual Racing with a powermeter

Postby Trev The Rev » Mon Dec 10, 2012 13:35 pm

Why not keep it simple.

20 minutes average power divided by weight in kilograms. Some of us old timers can convert to horse power and lbs.

danowat
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Re: Virtual Racing with a powermeter

Postby danowat » Mon Dec 10, 2012 13:44 pm

Trev The Rev wrote:Why not keep it simple.

20 minutes average power divided by weight in kilograms.


In that case, I lose :P

There is a reason why I TT you know...... :D

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GiantMike
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Re: Virtual Racing with a powermeter

Postby GiantMike » Mon Dec 10, 2012 19:16 pm

springtide9 wrote:A few issues...

(1) I'm not sure the FTP values people are using are either not that accurate or the test methods are not consistent.
This means anyone using a 'stretching' FTP value is at a disadvantage and vice versa. (Check out people on TR who are completing high IF rides with relatively low HR)


Fair point. But if you win a race you can't take part in the next one AND your FTP gets raised for subsequent races. At the end of the day it's a training tool and if anybody is desperate enough to cheat in a fun event between mates they're only really cheating themselves.

springtide9 wrote:(2) It's the wrong time of year for me to really be smashing myself on the turbo. Apart from being told to spend more time in Zone 2 and/or Sweetspot rides, it's also the time of year that involves late nights and the occasional drop of mulled wine etc (training for me at this time of year, generally means 'damage limitation'!)


There is never a bad time to smash yourself on the turbo! A lot of roadies smash themselves in cyclocross series without any ill-effects when the road season starts again.

springtide9 wrote:Also using a TR profile for the 'race' would be very useful. It just means we have some form of visual indication of the tracking of our ride, especially when riding during the rest segment (where really you want to track as close to the maximum power as possible, to keep your ave power up)


Is there a way of planning a ride on TR for riders to do their own workouts or are you tied to the ones provided?

I was planning to use Golden Cheetah for visual reference, but it would also work with a powermeter and a garmin, for example. As you say, loads of views but little interest. Makes me wonder why the road races are so popular.
my power improvement experiment blog

Rule number 100: It's your bike and your money and your time; do what you like with it and ignore other peoples' rules. Except this one.

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GiantMike
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Re: Virtual Racing with a powermeter

Postby GiantMike » Mon Dec 10, 2012 19:19 pm

Trev The Rev wrote:Why not keep it simple.

20 minutes average power divided by weight in kilograms. Some of us old timers can convert to horse power and lbs.


Because then some riders would have an advantage. The whole point is that it's a level playing field for all riders regardless of age, FTP, weight, height, sex, intelligence etc. You race against your own FTP, and because you're 'racing', you train harder and complete more workouts.
my power improvement experiment blog

Rule number 100: It's your bike and your money and your time; do what you like with it and ignore other peoples' rules. Except this one.

Trev The Rev
Posts: 1005
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 09:10 am

Re: Virtual Racing with a powermeter

Postby Trev The Rev » Tue Dec 11, 2012 09:41 am

GiantMike wrote:
Trev The Rev wrote:Why not keep it simple.

20 minutes average power divided by weight in kilograms. Some of us old timers can convert to horse power and lbs.


Because then some riders would have an advantage. The whole point is that it's a level playing field for all riders regardless of age, FTP, weight, height, sex, intelligence etc. You race against your own FTP, and because you're 'racing', you train harder and complete more workouts.


Only improvement in power to weight ratio counts. It would favour less well trained riders though, as well as fat riders on a diet.

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GiantMike
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Re: Virtual Racing with a powermeter

Postby GiantMike » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:02 pm

Trev The Rev wrote:
GiantMike wrote:
Trev The Rev wrote:Why not keep it simple.

20 minutes average power divided by weight in kilograms. Some of us old timers can convert to horse power and lbs.


Because then some riders would have an advantage. The whole point is that it's a level playing field for all riders regardless of age, FTP, weight, height, sex, intelligence etc. You race against your own FTP, and because you're 'racing', you train harder and complete more workouts.


Only improvement in power to weight ratio counts. It would favour less well trained riders though, as well as fat riders on a diet.


Please re-read the first post to clarify your understanding.

The aim is that Bradley Wiggins and Christopher Biggins could 'virtually race' on a level playing field.
my power improvement experiment blog

Rule number 100: It's your bike and your money and your time; do what you like with it and ignore other peoples' rules. Except this one.


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