Thursday, September 10, 2009

Three Years of Tuesday Worlds: AP vs NP

I've had some discussions with a teammate recently regarding Average Power (AP) vs Normalized Power (NP). Although the data shows that for most time intervals my maximum average power hasn't changed drastically, I posed to him that I believe I can repeat the hard efforts more frequently in race-type situations. He responded that "it's probably just NP busters messing up your data due to different types of interval sessions you're doing this year." I thought he might be right, so I've developed a way to check.

I wanted a way to compare apples to apples so that variations in my training plan (different types of workouts) would not affect the result. I have power data for at least a portion of each of the past three seasons of Tuesday Worlds group rides - 2007, 2008, and 2009. So I made mean maximum power (MMP) and mean maximum normalized (MMNP) power charts using only those rides for each of those years. They are shown below. As you can see, 2008 was a crappier year than I thought. But more importantly, look at the huge jump in my MMNP in 2009 relative to the jump in MMP. I've sacrificed FTP by doing more L5 intervals and fewer TT training rides, but it's definately benefited my ability to repeat hard short-term efforts in RR (or crit) type events. That's the only conclusion I can draw so far - I'll keep pondering it.

Next year the goal is to move both lines to the northeast while maintaining a good aerobic engine for TTs also.