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the RATE of power improvement

does it slow down?

Hi

Ive been using this website to assess estimated power for a hill i do all the time

http://www.analyticcycling.com/ForcesPower_Page.html

the hill times are coming down all the time and my av. power for tehe climb has gone from 143 W to 232 W in 4 months.

if I keep cycling how I am now (4 times a week for 90 mins) will the watts keep increasing at the same rate? I used that site to do some estimations: to get up the hill in the same time as others I cycle with I would have to do it in 320 W and 374 W to keep up with the fast guy(s). :shock:

BUT if I climb with these guys every time then we both are improving our power but will the improvements be the same? will it be harder for the 374 W guy to add a watt compared to me adding a watt?

will it get harder to push harder?

like, if you buy a bike: there is a sensible money limit where improements are VERY hard to get for every £........ is it the saame with power and training time?

can I estimate how long it will be till I can get to [x] Watts?

Posts

  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    does it slow down?


    Oh yes!

    Slows down then comes to a halt then goes down hill.

    The rate at which it slows down will be greater if you do weights or lsd during the winter. :wink:
  • Murr XMurr X Posts: 258
    does it slow down?
    Oh yes. :cry:
    if I keep cycling how I am now (4 times a week for 90 mins) will the watts keep increasing at the same rate?
    Definately not for much longer sadly.
    BUT if I climb with these guys every time then we both are improving our power but will the improvements be the same? will it be harder for the 374 W guy to add a watt compared to me adding a watt?
    It is highly likely that the "374 W guy" will find it much more difficult to improve his fitness than you, that is assuming he has more training under his belt than you do and that being the reason for his higher power output. The fitter you are the harder it is to improve on what you have, someone who is very fit may have a very hard time just trying to maintain what they have got.
    will it get harder to push harder?
    Hard to say what you mean but trying harder never gets easier.
    can I estimate how long it will be till I can get to [x] Watts?
    No that is just not possible. Also depending on what "[x] Watts" is it may not even be an obtainable figure to reach and you only really know what your capable of if you are doing it.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    OI stop knicking my answers.

    I was here first. :lol:
  • There are diminishing returns, yes. Doing the same training is also likely to become less effective as you get stronger. Six hours per week is also not a lot of volume.
    Depending on the length of the hill and your weight, you should be able to improve a fair bit. It's also worth calculating power using Friel's simple formula (google Friel hill power and you should find it). Analytic Cycling is very sensitive to crr and CdA assumptions whereas Friel's matches well with what my SRM says most of the time.
  • Murr XMurr X Posts: 258
    To the OP I should have mentioned that calculating your power is not always very accurate (as James_London has pointed out) and a powermeter is the best way to go.
    chrisw12 wrote:
    OI stop knicking my answers.

    I was here first. :lol:
    Yes but I probably started on typing my post first! :lol:
  • It is an indiviidual thing, the rate of gain (if you train well) is fastest from a low level or untrained state. However if your training does not change, then you will plateau, indeed probably decline in performance as for the body to continue adapt it require further stimulus.

    Unfortunately, 6 hours per week wil only get you so far.

    You need to vary the workload, target different adaptations and if done well you can continue to increase power for many, many years.

    Everyone responds to training types and loads differently.
  • Thanks people!

    BUT --- I have an issue with what you are saying about hitting a plateau.

    If I use the hills as intervals and im doing them harder each time and the power is increasing then wont I just keep improving?

    I use them instead of 2x20 and thats a workout people use for yearrs without hitting a plauteu. (?)

    im getting a new job soon and it means i could be moving closer to the hills and could get out more often with a long ride at the weekends.

    does cadence matter in intervals? i dont think about it when doing the hills because my gearing limits it somewhat. if the hill isnt that steep I can spin fast but my lungs DIE...is this more/less of a benefit than doing the hill in a big gear(which hurts my legs a lot) but at the same power??

    my goals are TTs. im losing weight fast so maybe hill TTs will interest me in teh future.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Thanks people!

    BUT --- I have an issue with what you are saying about hitting a plateau.

    If I use the hills as intervals and im doing them harder each time and the power is increasing then wont I just keep improving?

    Physiologically, you can only improve so far. As Alex said - improvements from an untrained state will be greatest and improvements after that will taper off and slow down.

    At some point you will simply be the best you can be.

    Changing training methods and routines will help you improve once you start to plateau - and can bring further improvements. But at some point you'll stop improving. Otherwise you would become the best cyclist on the planet!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Pokerface wrote:
    Thanks people!

    BUT --- I have an issue with what you are saying about hitting a plateau.

    If I use the hills as intervals and im doing them harder each time and the power is increasing then wont I just keep improving?

    Physiologically, you can only improve so far. As Alex said - improvements from an untrained state will be greatest and improvements after that will taper off and slow down.

    At some point you will simply be the best you can be.

    Changing training methods and routines will help you improve once you start to plateau - and can bring further improvements. But at some point you'll stop improving. Otherwise you would become the best cyclist on the planet!

    No-one will be as good as me. Ever.
  • so: as I improve, i need to ride more] to improve?

    theoretically: what if I had no other commitments and rode day in day out 24/7 with propeper rest, nutrition etc: would I be able to go beyond the plateau? is it my time available thats limiting me? if I someone hadall the time in the world, could they have the potential to do very well?

    do the pros just ride all the time? :shock:
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    so: as I improve, i need to ride more] to improve?

    theoretically: what if I had no other commitments and rode day in day out 24/7 with propeper rest, nutrition etc: would I be able to go beyond the plateau? is it my time available thats limiting me? if I someone hadall the time in the world, could they have the potential to do very well?

    do the pros just ride all the time? :shock:

    You will always be limited by genetics. No matter how hard or smart or long you train.

    That's why NapD will always be the best. He has the best genetics.

    (But seriously - you can train all you like and reach your own personal potential. But you cannot exceed your own finite potential. If that makes any sense.)
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,786
    if I someone hadall the time in the world, could they have the potential to do very well?

    Depends what you mean by 'very well'. There are plenty of people in that situation who are still really ordinary. You couldn't take 'anyone' for example and make a pro out of them just because they did nothing else.
    I suggest you ride as much as you want/enjoy but don't do loads more just because you think it'll make you into a great rider. You'll soon know if your good by just doing a bit.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    so: as I improve, i need to ride more] to improve?

    theoretically: what if I had no other commitments and rode day in day out 24/7 with propeper rest, nutrition etc: :shock:

    Theoretically that is impossible unless you intend sleeping on the bike. :wink:


    But, I've got pretty much all the time I want on the bike (with commuting and having a family that find my sarcasm so irritating that they want me out as much as possible :shock:) and I'm still useless. There is definitely a point of diminishing/no returns and ime the biggest problem to limitless training time is mental not physical. The brain will give up way before the body will.
  • GavHGavH Posts: 933
    Usain Bolt will NEVER beat Paula Radcliffe in the Marathon. Paula Radcliffe will NEVER beat Usain Bolt in the 100m - NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY TRAIN. Genetics will limit their ability. Likewise, Usain Bolt will NEVER run the 100m in 1 second. Again, the human bodies inability to run that fast will prevent him from doing so.

    Extreme (and sadly not cycling related) examples but ones that I think demonstrate that each and every one of us has a limit which CANNOT be exceeded for one reason or another.

    All you can do is train hard and train smart and then when you feel or see the improvements tailing off, look to make amendments to your training and hope for specific improvements from there.
  • BUT --- I have an issue with what you are saying about hitting a plateau.

    If I use the hills as intervals and im doing them harder each time and the power is increasing then wont I just keep improving?
    No. You will improve for a while of course but not forever.

    The method of stimulus needs to change in order to progress fitness beyond a certain point. Our physiology requires it, partly due to the different time courses for the various physiological adaptation that occur. Some plateau in a matter of weeks, others many months and yet others take many years.

    The training required to continually elicit position adaptation over the long term requires variation in the stimulus, both in terms of volume and in intensity and frequency.

    And of course there does need to be periods of backing off from the training load. Less than what many people often think but it is still necessary.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Can I use pain after a ride as an accurate indicator of physiological adaptation? I can do a few local climbs without pain (and quicker) than 6 months ago and sometimes over-pace hilly 95-120 kilometer rides to the point where I realize it's probably not going to increase my power at all because i've been taking it too easy. These are often group rides, where there's a lot of stopping/starting at the top of climbs, so it's hard to get into any kind of rhythm of pain buildup.

    I remember when I first started riding - after every ride I could walk upstairs but would find it impossible to walk down them because my legs were so weak! :lol: I was at an untrained state back then and saw crazy improvements fast so i've always associated improvements with pain and suffering.
    does cadence matter in intervals? i dont think about it when doing the hills because my gearing limits it somewhat. if the hill isnt that steep I can spin fast but my lungs DIE...is this more/less of a benefit than doing the hill in a big gear(which hurts my legs a lot) but at the same power??

    Great quote:
    what's important is how hard you ride rather than how you ride hard.
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Bhima wrote:
    Can I use pain after a ride as an accurate indicator of physiological adaptation?

    No.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    But, surely, the fatigue is proof that you've gone beyond your limits slightly?

    Obviously, you can adapt certain systems without going into the pain zone, but that's not what I meant...
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Pain is just weakness leaving your body.

    Or some such nonsense.
    :roll:
  • Bhima wrote:
    Can I use pain after a ride as an accurate indicator of physiological adaptation?
    You can use subjective perceived exertion as a guide to how hard your ride was. Experienced power meter users get quite good at being able to guess, for instance, the Intensity Factor of their ride without knowing what their power meter actually says.

    "If it feels hard, it is hard." - A. Coggan
    Bhima wrote:
    Great quote:
    what's important is how hard you ride rather than how you ride hard.
    I don't remember that one. If i used it, it would need to be considered in context.

    It wouldn't apply, for instance, in a race situation, where how you ride hard matters.

    But in the context of training to elicit positive physiological adaptations, then yes, a focus on effort/power is what matters, rather than being concerned with cadence or other things.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Its unfortunate but you will hit a plateau at some stage. On the positive side it might be a false summit and after a bit of retrenchment its quite possible that having flatlined for a bit you may well start improving again. Happily I think thats the norm rather than the exception, at least until father time has his say. (when exactly he steps in is another question..)

    One thing that could help is varying training regime. If you cant break a given time/effort for a hill then stop doing it for a while and do same intensity on the flat. When you go back to the hill u may surprise yourself.

    Personal view is also that there is a risk that the measure itself can be limiting. As the rate of improvement starts to flatten you inevitably start to think when will I stop improving. Dont want to put thoughts into your head but lets say in your case its 250W. If you keep struggling to break this but fail then it can become pretty dispiriting. Again one thing to break out of this is to measure something different, like speed or even (and I speak as a long time power geek) HR or just old fashioned RPE.

    What's also interesting about this topic is that it begs the question of whether there is any way to tell in advance what your likely limit is going to be. If you take 2 untrained blokes, same age/height/weight and put them through a training plan you can pretty much be certain they will be able to ride faster/longer at the end than the beginning but not so sure you will be able to predict which will be better.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
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