Wednesday, September 19, 2007

RR power and Crit power

Sometimes the more charts I have to study, the less each of them means to me. If I wanted to boil my long-term cycling training progress down to two numbers, they would be:

1. Functional Threshold Power (FTP) - sustainable power for an hour

2. Crit Normalized Power (CNP) - sustainable power for 35 minutes

The first is well-known. I just invented the second one.

Those two numbers are indicative of my sustainable power in road racing (FTP) and criterium racing (CNP). Here's a chart of how those numbers have increased for me over the past season:

Both numbers showed substantial improvement through the winter and early spring, then plateaued through the summer, and have started trending upwards again. My FTP is now at 280 and my CNP is at about 292. Why the late season increases? Here are some theories as to why the numbers might be going up again:

1. Cumulative effect of entire year of hard training (this one may be the most likely explanation)

2. Delayed effect of huge weekly effort at RAGBRAI in late July (8 weeks, that seems reasonable for adaptation to the effort?)

3. Effect of sprint training that I started in mid-August (unlikely, I think, but possibly a contributor).

Keeping the numbers headed northward is one thing. Next and just as importantly, I have to learn how to use the power more efficiently in races - staying at the front of crits, attacking at the right time in road races, working effectively for teammates, etc.

1 Comment:

Stuart Lynne said...

You need to compare this to your TSB... if it is positive then you are in effect tapering a bit and that allows you to put out higher numbers.

On the other hand if it is negative that means your numbers are indeed moving up and if you where to taper a bit (e.g. for a race) then you would be in good shape.