Confused about power zones

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Herbsman
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Confused about power zones

Postby Herbsman » Tue Jan 01, 2013 19:20 pm

I'm confused, I did an 80 second hill climb averaging 540 watts, and this is over 180% of my FTP. According to Golden Cheetah's graph this is zone 7, however this power chart http://www.johnstonefitness.com/wp-cont ... chart-.jpg suggests that a zone seven effort would last between 5 and 15 seconds :? Similarly in Training & Racing With A Power Meter it says level 7 exercises are usually super short and lasting less than 10 seconds :? The book suggests doing eight to ten hill climbs of 45-90 seconds at 140%FTP, which for me would be 406 watts, and with 4-5mins recovery.

Am I missing something here? I felt like I could have done the 540w effort eight times as per the book at the start of a ride if I was feeling good, or could have gone harder for a single effort, but this one was after a 2.5h ride, I was hung over after boozing til 4am, couldn't stomach any breakfast so was starving, only had 4 hours sleep etc. Do I have a duff power meter, should I be doing this hill at 406watts instead, or is zone 7 actually different to what I think it is?

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Alex_Simmons/RST
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Alex_Simmons/RST » Tue Jan 01, 2013 21:29 pm

Well apart from validating that the data is correct*, I see nothing to suggest that you are not capable of an effort at that power level. It's a very hard effort that would be emptying your anaerobic work capacity quite quickly but then you might be a rider with a naturally high AWC / anaerobic abilities.

Keep in mind that the levels are descriptive, not prescriptive. IOW they indicate the primary nature of training adaptations induced by riding at such a level, rather than suggest what one is actually maximally capable of.

In particular, anaerobic and neuromuscular attributes are not well predicted by one's aerobic capabilities (e.g. FTP).


* which given you started out a bit "relaxed of mind" is not a bad idea - and conducting the experiment again to validate is not difficult

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Herbsman
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Herbsman » Tue Jan 01, 2013 23:07 pm

Thanks Alex.

For anaerobic efforts like this I'm not sure whether I should push as hard as I'm capable of, or ease off a bit to guarantee that I can do all of the planned intervals and save some glycogen for the next day's training...

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Alex_Simmons/RST
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Alex_Simmons/RST » Wed Jan 02, 2013 05:53 am

Herbsman wrote:Thanks Alex.

For anaerobic efforts like this I'm not sure whether I should push as hard as I'm capable of, or ease off a bit to guarantee that I can do all of the planned intervals and save some glycogen for the next day's training...

The answer to that is beyond the scope of a general advice forum.

End of the day, you need to know what you are seeking to achieve from your session, and how it fits in with the bigger picture of the rest of your training and what you are attempting to achieve.

I don't think glycogen replacement is going to be the issue wrt backing up for the next day.

Trev The Rev
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Trev The Rev » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:22 am

Herbsman wrote:Thanks Alex.

For anaerobic efforts like this I'm not sure whether I should push as hard as I'm capable of, or ease off a bit to guarantee that I can do all of the planned intervals and save some glycogen for the next day's training...


I don't think you need to worry about saving glycogen for the next day's training, a decent dinner should do the job. But hard anaerobic efforts do require more recovery so you have to find a balance that works for you.

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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Trev The Rev » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:44 am

Herbsman wrote:I'm confused, I did an 80 second hill climb averaging 540 watts, and this is over 180% of my FTP. According to Golden Cheetah's graph this is zone 7, however this power chart http://www.johnstonefitness.com/wp-cont ... chart-.jpg suggests that a zone seven effort would last between 5 and 15 seconds :? Similarly in Training & Racing With A Power Meter it says level 7 exercises are usually super short and lasting less than 10 seconds :? The book suggests doing eight to ten hill climbs of 45-90 seconds at 140%FTP, which for me would be 406 watts, and with 4-5mins recovery.

Am I missing something here? I felt like I could have done the 540w effort eight times as per the book at the start of a ride if I was feeling good, or could have gone harder for a single effort, but this one was after a 2.5h ride, I was hung over after boozing til 4am, couldn't stomach any breakfast so was starving, only had 4 hours sleep etc. Do I have a duff power meter, should I be doing this hill at 406watts instead, or is zone 7 actually different to what I think it is?


You don't have to worry about things like this if you train with feel.

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Alex_Simmons/RST
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Alex_Simmons/RST » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:54 am

Trev The Rev wrote:You don't have to worry about things like this if you train with feel.

or with power. :wink:

danowat
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby danowat » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:02 pm

Trev The Rev wrote:You don't have to worry about things like this if you train with feel.


Indeed, ignorance really is bliss :D

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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Trev The Rev » Wed Jan 02, 2013 13:43 pm

danowat wrote:
Trev The Rev wrote:You don't have to worry about things like this if you train with feel.


Indeed, ignorance really is bliss :D


It is bliss until you try to download the data and discover the power meter was on the blink and you have no internet connection and can't even vent your frustration on cycling forums.

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amaferanga
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby amaferanga » Wed Jan 02, 2013 14:06 pm

Trevor - was your new years resolution to derail every thread on the Training section with your sh!te?
More problems but still living....

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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby jibberjim » Wed Jan 02, 2013 14:32 pm

Percentage of FTP for short efforts is not a useful thing to think about - it depends hugely on your anaerobic work capacity and aren't comparable between individuals. (Using a percentage of a power sustained mostly by aerobic system to decide the zone of an effort sustained mostly by your anaerobic system is silly.)

Do them on Perceived effort, or previous successful interval power. In fact do that for all workouts rather an arbitrary percentages that may or may not be relevant to you.
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ShutUpLegs
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby ShutUpLegs » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:39 pm

amaferanga wrote:Trevor - was your new years resolution to derail every thread on the Training section with your sh!te?


Interesting he suggests PE rather than real data
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Tom Dean
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Tom Dean » Wed Jan 09, 2013 16:54 pm

Go on then, how do you interpret that?

Trev The Rev
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Trev The Rev » Wed Jan 09, 2013 17:06 pm

Tom Dean wrote:Go on then, how do you interpret that?


I think to be fair, no good coach would use a power meter the way they used them in that paper.

Froomes Edgar
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Froomes Edgar » Wed Jan 09, 2013 19:10 pm

Tom Dean wrote:Go on then, how do you interpret that?


I would interpret it as follows: The people who came up with that experiment are f*cking morons.

Tom Dean
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Tom Dean » Wed Jan 09, 2013 19:50 pm

Not unreasonably. I assume in posting the link though, Trev the Rev thought there was some useful information in there?

Froomes Edgar
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Froomes Edgar » Wed Jan 09, 2013 20:31 pm

Tom Dean wrote:Not unreasonably. I assume in posting the link though, Trev the Rev thought there was some useful information in there?


That a lot of "sports scientists" are f*cking morons?

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Alex_Simmons/RST
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Alex_Simmons/RST » Wed Jan 09, 2013 20:34 pm

ShutUpLegs wrote:
amaferanga wrote:Trevor - was your new years resolution to derail every thread on the Training section with your sh!te?


Interesting he suggests PE rather than real data

To be fair, PE is real data. It's just a matter of how and when to usefully apply it.

Meta analysis of Borg scale:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12430990

Some example studies involving cycling:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23007491
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14707775
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17694318
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15211017
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9802254
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22575497
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9580972

Trev The Rev
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Re: Confused about power zones

Postby Trev The Rev » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:07 am

Alex_Simmons/RST wrote:
ShutUpLegs wrote:
amaferanga wrote:Trevor - was your new years resolution to derail every thread on the Training section with your sh!te?


Interesting he suggests PE rather than real data

To be fair, PE is real data. It's just a matter of how and when to usefully apply it.

Meta analysis of Borg scale:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12430990

Some example studies involving cycling:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23007491
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14707775
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17694318
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15211017
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9802254
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22575497
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9580972


My reservations about power meters are limited to price, reliability, psychological issues and overemphasis on power meter data clouding or excluding other factors from being taken into account when in the wrong hands. No really serious cyclist or coach would not use them. But that does not mean you can't train effectively without them.

Based on Alex's posts on this and other forums I would recommend him if you want to train with power.


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