Friday, January 23, 2009

The Black Box

In the process of researching how to calculate one's highest possible FTP from VO2max, I've investigated the relationship of many different physiological variables. I didn't want the work to go to waste, so I've taken many of the relationships and built them into a spreadsheet that links them together. Here's a screen view of the spreadsheet with my numbers intered into it:

Here's a link to the spreadsheet in Google Docs (click on "edit this page" at the bottom of the sheet to enter your own numbers in the green boxes):
The Black Box

I haven't locked any of the cells, so the Google Docs spreadsheet might get screwed up. If that happens, you can download a copy of the spreadsheet in Excel format at FTP from Calculate VO2 from FTP.

And finally, I've created the ultimate black box. This spreadsheet pushes each of the physiological variables to the limit. It assumes that you have excellent genetics and that you are training to the absolute max with the best available techniques and coaches. If all of that were true, this spreadsheet would tell you your FTP. If you produced above that number for an extended period in the Tour, you'd get a one-way ticket home. Here's that Pro max spreadsheet with Lance's numbers entered:

Here's a link to the Google Docs Pro max sheet (click on "edit this page" at the bottom of the page to enter your own numbers in the green boxes:
Pro Max spreadsheet

Here's the Excel version for download:
Theoretical max FTP from VO2max

I think drug testing based on power is a crazy and unworkable idea, but it's interesting to ponder.