Monday, September 10, 2007

End of Season Assessment

I've completed my last race for 2007, so it's a good time to look back and see how the season went. I'll take the next few posts and look at several variables and how they changed from 2006 to 2007 and throughout the 2007 season.

First, I'll compare overall fitness. Two charts pretty much tell the story when it comes to my 2006 fitness vs my 2007 fitness. The first is Mean Maximal Power 2006/2007, shown here:

My Cycling Peaks WKO+ software searches the data from all of my power meter downloads throughout the season to compile this chart. The x axis is the time interval on a logarithmic scale, and the y axis is my best 2007 average power for each time interval. It's worth noting that my time trial data is not included because I don't yet have an Ergomo bottom bracket for the Cervelo.

It's pretty obvious that I've made huge gains since the 2006 season. My peak sprinting power has increased from about 800 watts to about 1000 watts. My 1-minute power has increased from about 300w to 460w, and my 1-hour power (Functional Threshold Power) has increased from about 210w to about 280w. Some of that is not reflected directly on the chart, but most of it is there.

Here is the same data presented using Normalized Power, which is essentially equivalent constant power (it needs at least 5 minutes of data to work, so there is no 0-5min data here):

My power has increased across the board, but the increase from about 240 watts to 300 watts normalized power for the 30-minute interval has probably made the biggest difference. That improvement has allowed me to stay in all my competitive division crits this year. With last year's power, I think I'd have been dropped in all of them. I held a normalized power of about 290 watts for 40 minutes in the Grant Park crit last weekend and still only barely was able to hang onto the end of a very hard charging front group. Maybe next year I can get that number to 310 or 320 so that I can contest those races instead of just hanging in there.

I'd say my 2007 improvements were due to:
30% - Peach Peloton rides last winter providing me a much better early-season base
30% - Tuesday Worlds hard rides making the longer high-intensity rides easier to do
20% - A fairly regular racing schedule (about 25 races over 7 months)
10% - Computrainer ERG workouts to maintain some intensity in early-season training
10% - Targeted training and self-analysis made possible by Ergomo power data and Cycling Peaks WKO+ software