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Increase power or endurance?

phreakphreak Posts: 2,693
Hi all,

I ride quite a few sportives and it's obviously difficult to maintain pace over 100 miles (or whatever).

So, my question is, is it better to improve your top end power so your early efforts at a higher pace aren't taking so much out of you, or your endurance so you can maintain your early efforts for longer?

Posts

  • RaphaRapha Posts: 86
    It depends on how much time you have, endurance requires more to improves whilst more intense work can be more efficient. It is also important to consider your nutritional strategies for a sportive because a limiting factor for endurance rides is the amount of glycogen stored in your body.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    phreak wrote:
    is it better to improve your top end power so your early efforts at a higher pace aren't taking so much out of you
    Not sure what you mean by "top end power" - if you mean the sort of power you can maintain for only a couple of minutes maximum, I shouldn't focus training too heavily on that seeing as your target events are long, mainly steady-state efforts.

    But improving functional threshold (1 hour) power means that you can ride longer/harder without fatiguing so quickly.
  • fcuking hard efforts of 0-10 minutes will get you good at those efforts but will barely have any effect on endurance.

    training at moderate/high effort for a few hours will improve endurance and will also help your 0-10 minute efforts so its obv. better


    eg:
    if you can put out 300 Watts for 1 hour and 1000 W in a sprint then doing efforts of 400-1000 W wont help raise your 300 W 1hr effort that much because it trains different systems.

    train around 250-350 W to raise your 1hr effort and you could end up eventually puttting out 350W for 1 hour which means 1000W will 'feel' easier.

    see?
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,693
    Bronzie wrote:
    phreak wrote:
    is it better to improve your top end power so your early efforts at a higher pace aren't taking so much out of you
    Not sure what you mean by "top end power" - if you mean the sort of power you can maintain for only a couple of minutes maximum, I shouldn't focus training too heavily on that seeing as your target events are long, mainly steady-state efforts.

    But improving functional threshold (1 hour) power means that you can ride longer/harder without fatiguing so quickly.

    I guess it's the latter that I meant by top end power. Based upon my turbo work I can do 30km/hr+ for an hour, but my sportive averages at more around 26/27km/hr. So I'm wondering if the turbo work should be increased so that maintaining say 30km/hr is easier and thus the drop off later on isn't so bad, or working so I can maintain 28km/hr for the whole ride.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    phreak wrote:
    Bronzie wrote:
    phreak wrote:
    is it better to improve your top end power so your early efforts at a higher pace aren't taking so much out of you
    Not sure what you mean by "top end power" - if you mean the sort of power you can maintain for only a couple of minutes maximum, I shouldn't focus training too heavily on that seeing as your target events are long, mainly steady-state efforts.

    But improving functional threshold (1 hour) power means that you can ride longer/harder without fatiguing so quickly.

    I guess it's the latter that I meant by top end power. Based upon my turbo work I can do 30km/hr+ for an hour, but my sportive averages at more around 26/27km/hr. So I'm wondering if the turbo work should be increased so that maintaining say 30km/hr is easier and thus the drop off later on isn't so bad, or working so I can maintain 28km/hr for the whole ride.

    Surely the terrain and weather conditions of the sportive will determine your average speed?

    Training on a turbo is one thing. Riding up hills in a sportive into a headwind is another.

    Work on improving your endurance overall though - and your average speed will increase and you won't see as big a drop in the latter stages of events.
  • timmyflashtimmyflash Posts: 526
    Not sure if it's just the same question, but my boss reckons the best way to get fit is just pick a hill and go up and down it as much as you can and just try to improve on the number of repeats you can do.

    Sounds bloody awful to me, but is he right? The you'll be set for say a 100km run with a few hills? Or is there no getting out of having to ride for a few hours to get your legs used to it?
    Steel Blue Fixed - Orange Backpack Cover

    How do i get a link to a photo in here?!

    Fixeh
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    Hi all, So, my question is, is it better to improve your top end power so your early efforts at a higher pace aren't taking so much out of you, or your endurance so you can maintain your early efforts for longer?
    As Bronzie, suggested you need to increase your 'sustainable power' (FTP) if you're looking to do really well at sportives.(and you'll get an increase in "endurance" as a consequence assuming you 'fuel up' well throughout the ride) Hard race pace efforts in 20minute chunks will to the job optimally; turn the intensity dial down a notch or two and 'sweet spot' efforts in the 60-120 minute range will really help to. As an additional option 3-6 minute very hard efforts will also help raise power but I wouldn't chuck these in the mix till perhaps 4-5 weeks to the event.

    You need to put this together in some sort of plan - in short the less training time you have the harder you'll need to ride to get results. Do a search on 2 x20's and 'sweet spot' rides for more info. Whatever you do don't plod around at 'sight seeing' pace for 5-6 hours it won't help your fitness a whole lot, Good Luck :D
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,693
    I've been doing a lot of 1 hour tempo rides over the winter and it has helped my riding in the sportives done this year.

    It just got me thinking though watching Cancellara in Flanders. He seemed to go as quick, if not quicker, at the end of the ride as he did at the beginning. Got me thinking if it's a matter of pacing, fueling etc. as well as him just being pretty darn special.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    edited April 2010
    phreak wrote:
    I've been doing a lot of 1 hour tempo rides over the winter and it has helped my riding in the sportives done this year.
    So why not increase either the intensity or the duration of those rides?

    Remember after a period you'll see no more improvement unless you change something. Usually that means either one or a combination of: intensity, duration, frequency of ridesand sometimes simply more rest. The latter, is not usually the case in my experience because when you've only got 6-10 hours training time available real life (job, family etc) get in the way :D
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,693
    I am increasing the pace of those rides, but also throwing in some other intervals for things like climbing.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    phreak wrote:
    I am increasing the pace of those rides, but also throwing in some other intervals for things like climbing.
    Cool ,as long as pace means "increase in power". As things get warmer my 'human power meter' recognises it becomes much easier to hold 20mph on the flat. I don't think my power output has necessarily increased so to counter this I notch things up to 21mph/22mph (legs allowing!) and tag an extra thirty minutes on to my sweetspot/tempo rides. It seems to do the trick come racing/sportive time in the summer
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,693
    The power is up around 15-20 watts on my turbo power meter from earlier in the year. It's hard to do more than an hour on the turbo though without getting a bit bored.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    phreak wrote:
    The power is up around 15-20 watts on my turbo power meter from earlier in the year. It's hard to do more than an hour on the turbo though without getting a bit bored.
    Nice one, sounds like you're doing WATTS :wink: required. Its all about those summer challenges now! I've been training for about four years relatively consistentlyso to keep fresh and motivated I may check out a new training loop, ride with a different group, treat myself to something new bike related, do a TT, The RP 3 lap challenge etc etc
  • Toks wrote:
    As Bronzie, suggested you need to increase your 'sustainable power' (FTP) if you're looking to do really well at sportives.(and you'll get an increase in "endurance" as a consequence assuming you 'fuel up' well throughout the ride) Hard race pace efforts in 20minute chunks will to the job optimally; turn the intensity dial down a notch or two and 'sweet spot' efforts in the 60-120 minute range will really help to. As an additional option 3-6 minute very hard efforts will also help raise power but I wouldn't chuck these in the mix till perhaps 4-5 weeks to the event.
    Actually, if a rider is reasonably fit already, I wouldn't necessarily wait until late in the piece to throw in hard 3-6 minute efforts.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Actually, if a rider is reasonably fit already, I wouldn't necessarily wait until late in the piece to throw in hard 3-6 minute efforts.
    Why do you suggest this approach?
    Is it because once you've done sufficient L2/3/4 work to reach your "ceiling", you need to raise the VO2 max ceiling with more L5 work?
    Would you expect VO2 max to decline again once you finish a dedicated block of L5 training, or can you hold that level by re-introducing more L2/3/4 work again?
  • Bronzie wrote:
    Why do you suggest this approach?
    Is it because once you've done sufficient L2/3/4 work to reach your "ceiling", you need to raise the VO2 max ceiling with more L5 work?
    That can happen - some riders need a hit to progress.
    Bronzie wrote:
    Would you expect VO2 max to decline again once you finish a dedicated block of L5 training, or can you hold that level by re-introducing more L2/3/4 work again?
    After a dedicated block it will decline eventually but it might not be a "dedicated" L5 block per se (like I would do for example when preparing for pursuit championships).

    L5 work is still good aerobic development work and lifting VO2max is not the only physiological impact of such work. Some of it is still a good thing, in the right dose.

    And the fact that training should also move from general to more specific preparation - which for someone doing, for instance, long endurance type events, will mean focusing on those elements specific to their event demands in a race prep period.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Bronzie wrote:
    Why do you suggest this approach?
    Is it because once you've done sufficient L2/3/4 work to reach your "ceiling", you need to raise the VO2 max ceiling with more L5 work?
    That can happen - some riders need a hit to progress.
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I seem to be banging my head against a 270W ceiling at the minute, so think I'll try some more dedicated L5 work over the next couple of weeks and see if I can raise the bar a little.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Just race in the A group at Welwyn, great training :D
    For the 15 seconds I'd be able to hang on................ :lol:
  • It takes a lot less to hang on than you'd think!
    much less that 270 FTP sort of fitness, just get dead close on the wheels.
    You'd be fine :D
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Bronzie wrote:
    Just race in the A group at Welwyn, great training :D
    For the 15 seconds I'd be able to hang on................ :lol:
    To be honest Rich I have tried the usual with HR training, Power Tap etc but for me, and it is a personall thing as different people respond differently, I find hard sat/sun rides (also long for endurance) and a midweek easy ride get me fit enough to race, then I start racing (only starting in two weeks time) which gets my legs up to speed, then start track racing and training.
    When racing track at Welwyn and some track training I obviously am hitting the right spots to provide improvement, though I do not race every week for entire season like this, I target events such as track champs and ease of week before.
    So the longer winter rides with some hard bits in work for me for endurance and this definatley helps for track as we have compared repeated sprint efforts and you can see the incresed slower times when endurance work on road not done.
    Racing with the B group I find not hard enough to push into higher zones as the pace is not as high as the A's so although I will not win any A races unless the front 6 or 7 guys fall, it gets me prepared for the masters champs perfectly along with coached sessions at newport.
    I could not believe how much my times improved last year with only 8 weeks training from scratch !!
    Not syaing this approach will work for everyone though :D
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    It takes a lot less to hang on than you'd think!
    much less that 270 FTP sort of fitness, just get dead close on the wheels.
    You'd be fine :D
    Sorry, my attempt at self-deprecating humour.

    I can normally hang in there in the 10 miler (certainly early season before the likes of Gibby and Agiskoviner get up to full throttle) - might have to do some ducking and diving at the back with you :wink:
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Well I managed to finish in same straight as Gibby, Brian and MAca few times, even got 5th :D
    Normally managemiddletofront,not quite the back though could be at the back starting this season for few weeks so will keep you company :D
    I normally struggle in the 10 miler having been a hard night and I usually try for a couple of primes :D had a few last year. better than coing 5th :D
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