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Wattage Targets

BorderlandBorderland Posts: 72
edited June 2014 in Amateur race
Full disclosure: I am a shipbroker, do not watch my diet, do not watch my alcohol intake, was a fit and talented rower around the age of 18 and currently commute 12km each way to work on my bike plus the odd gym session and rugby match. I weigh 100kg.

We just got a WattBike downstairs and I am wondering what sort of targets I need to set if I wanted to win races at Cat 1 level.

I can hold 40 km/h for 2.5 hours or 100km whichever way you look at it and yesterday held 371 watts (46.5 km/h or 15.5 km total) on a 20 minute session.

I realise I am heavy, I could drop 5 kilos through diet and training but in reality getting below 90kg would be a serious challenge at 6' 3" and with wide shoulders and rugby build. I did do an etape in 2012 but didn't train other than commuting and quite honestly the course was up and down all day so after blasting the flat I found myself considerably out of my depth (and bloody freezing as I am sure others will attest).

Other than that the only other cycling achievement I have was doing the 3 ascents of Ventoux in a day which was tough but manageable, and haven't done a true race per se.

Any advice, training tips etc welcome. First aim is to hit 400W for 20 mins and 95kg, not sure yet how realistic this is. I have Richmond Park to train around.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,057
    If you've not actually raced before, I would focus on a few 4th cat races first, before gaining enough points to move up to 3rd, 2nd and then 1st category. Let's not run before we can walk...
  • No never, just the etape which I wouldn't exactly call a race. I have to be honest I quite enjoy just cycling, I more want to gauge what level I would have to be to compete in Cat 1 and whether that is attainable before I start shelling out and chases races all over the shop. Completely agree with your sentiment though.
  • JPJ001JPJ001 Posts: 40
    I suggest you do an FTP test, either 8 or 20 min, then have a look at the link to get a broad indication.

    http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/wp-conte ... filing.jpg

    Based on this and your weight you will need an FTP of 500, ie hold 500 watts for an hour, or loose a load of weight.
  • So 5 watts/kg? Even if I get to 90kg I need to hit 450 watts. I've done a 20 min @ 370 watts and on that basis it sounds like I have quite a long way to go, but equally my drop off over the 2.5 hour is not massive which makes me feel I am better suited to endurance. Can you get similar figures to those you linked to on the FTP test for a 1 hour session?
  • Borderland wrote:
    I can hold 40 km/h for 2.5 hours or 100km whichever way you look at it and yesterday held 371 watts (46.5 km/h or 15.5 km total) on a 20 minute session

    Is this all on a Watt Bike or in the real world?
  • Borderland wrote:
    I can hold 40 km/h for 2.5 hours or 100km whichever way you look at it and yesterday held 371 watts (46.5 km/h or 15.5 km total) on a 20 minute session

    Is this all on a Watt Bike or in the real world?

    Pinch me :wink:
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • No all the numbers are watt bike, I'm guessing they drop considerably outdoors although a break from the sweat-tinged stench of our crypt gym might spur me on! I'm not geared up regarding speedos et al on the road yet unfortunately although I'm going to go try this Richmond Park 3-lap challenge either this weekend or the next - would that give me some point of reference?
  • Who said power sells cars but it's torque that wins races?

    A bicycle race is very much a man against a man... you have to try and race and see where you stand... you might be awesome, you might be shxt or you might be totally unable to sprint or incapable of riding in a group... wattage is meaningless, otherwise Tony Martin would win races... :wink:
  • @SloppySchleckonds very witty name but as per above all watt bike. Doing another 100km session next week so I am more than happy to send you a photo. It's hardly herculean!
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,057
    Borderland wrote:
    No all the numbers are watt bike, I'm guessing they drop considerably outdoors although a break from the sweat-tinged stench of our crypt gym might spur me on! I'm not geared up regarding speedos et al on the road yet unfortunately although I'm going to go try this Richmond Park 3-lap challenge either this weekend or the next - would that give me some point of reference?

    Like I said earlier - let's just get out on the bike a bit first, before we get too far ahead of ourselves. Power numbers are useful in the right circumstances, but it's not the final arbiter of what makes a good bike racer.
  • Who said power sells cars but it's torque that wins races?

    A bicycle race is very much a man against a man... you have to try and race and see where you stand... you might be awesome, you might be shxt or you might be totally unable to sprint or incapable of riding in a group... wattage is meaningless, otherwise Tony Martin would win races... :wink:

    I gotcha don't worry I'm not naive enough to think ergos win races I spent enough time smashing rowing machine brutes on the water back in the day. But Tony Martin does win races :P
  • hatch87hatch87 Posts: 352
    It depends on what you're aiming for, I have a TT friend who trains at nearly 600w for 30 seconds, 450w for 60seconds and does interval watt training regularly, but struggles for the instant power required for a sprint towards the end of a race.
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/686217
    Come on! You call this a storm? Blow, you son of a censored ! Blow! It's time for a showdown! You and me! I'm right here! Come and get me!
  • Well I will pull out some minute figures too I haven't done a sprint recording watts yet. Will do a 20 minutes flat out then 20 minutes UT2 to get a rough idea of hour split before I leave the office. Great photo hatch87!
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    I don't understand your motivation. Why do you suddenly want to win Cat 1 races? It sounds like some sort of (excuse the lack of euphemism) censored -measuring exercise. How do you even know you'll like racing? What if you hate crits and only like the road but keep getting dropped on the climbs? As others have said, you need to learn to crawl before you can run, much less sprint.

    Power isn't everything. Tank wins Cat 1 races and a (relatively) heavy weight but he does happen to be 6'7" and has been doing it for a while. If you can keep your power output high and constant then you may be better off suited to TT's. Although I should warn you, there are no real laurels to be had and it sounds like you want accolades...
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Grill wrote:
    I don't understand your motivation. Why do you suddenly want to win Cat 1 races? It sounds like some sort of (excuse the lack of euphemism) censored -measuring exercise. How do you even know you'll like racing? What if you hate crits and only like the road but keep getting dropped on the climbs? As others have said, you need to learn to crawl before you can run, much less sprint.

    Power isn't everything. Tank wins Cat 1 races and a (relatively) heavy weight but he does happen to be 6'7" and has been doing it for a while. If you can keep your power output high and constant then you may be better off suited to TT's. Although I should warn you, there are no real laurels to be had and it sounds like you want accolades...

    I want a target, I'm not asking for racing advice I'm asking for raw stats I need to be aiming for. I understand where you're coming from but I'd like a benchmark because I'm not going to be zooming around doing races left, right and centre. My job doesn't leave me much time for it and I already play rugby on Saturdays so I don't want to be out in the middle of Surrey every other Sunday. All I have so far were old Strava runs I did when I used my race bike to commute which is all well and good but doesn't give a great gauge.

    You can be a smarmy so and so and insinuate I am glory-hunting but you have completely missed the point, as I tried to point out earlier.
  • Well, you need to put the time and the races...

    You have to start as a cat. 4 and need to get 10 points to get to cat 3... that's easy... then you need another 100 to get to cat. 2 if I remember correctly... that's not easy, it means racing every weekend. Once you get to cat 2 you need to maintain your status i.e. if you don't race you go back to cat. 3... so it's a long way to get to the elite of amateur racing... budget for a few years
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    You've got to realise, you don't just 'win' Cat 1 races. Everyone has given you good advice about what you need to do and it involves hitting the road and getting actual experience. Power isn't everything and neither is power to weight. Racecraft is just as important and I would go so far as to say that resolve is also just as high on the list.

    You've already been presented with a target of 5w/kg which still doesn't accurately portray race conditions as it's not like you're going to TT the race.

    You still haven't answered my question. Why? If you're not willing to sacrifice one day every two weeks to race then you'll never win by wattage alone...
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Grill wrote:
    You still haven't answered my question. Why? If you're not willing to sacrifice one day every two weeks to race then you'll never win by wattage alone...

    That's nowhere near enough to climb the category ladder... it's enough to get to cat. 3... but then if he wants to progress to cat. 2 and cat. 1 he needs to race every week at the very least
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,057
    then you need another 100 to get to cat. 2 if I remember correctly... t

    40 points from 3 to 2 - 200 points from 2 to 1.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,057
    Borderland wrote:
    I want a target, I'm not asking for racing advice I'm asking for raw stats I need to be aiming for.

    Your target is to line up for a 4th cat circuit race and then re-evaluate once the race is finished.
  • I asked for wattage ideas and what I would have to be doing to win Cat 1 races, not in the sense of actually winning them but in the sense of getting to that level first in terms of power and then going from there to hitting races. As I said at the start "We just got a WattBike downstairs and I am wondering what sort of targets I need to set if I wanted to win races at Cat 1 level" and in the title "Wattage Targets" as well as when I answered Imposter earlier "I have to be honest I quite enjoy just cycling, I more want to gauge what level I would have to be to compete in Cat 1 and whether that is attainable before I start shelling out and chases races all over the shop." It's not a long thread Grill but I figured you'd have picked that up...
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,057
    You can enter regional level 1st cat events as a 3rd cat. Genuinely, all this talk of power numbers is a total waste of time right now - you just have to enter a race in the first instance and see where your strengths/weakenesses are.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    No need to get defensive homie, you got the answer to that question in the third reply. My question was why Cat 1? Why not Cat 2/3/4 or even Elite? I guess your answer is 'just because that's what I picked', in which case fine.

    Just staying a Cat 2 is hard enough, especially if you don't have time to get to races.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Grill wrote:
    No need to get defensive homie, you got the answer to that question in the third reply. My question was why Cat 1? Why not Cat 2/3/4 or even Elite? I guess your answer is 'just because that's what I picked', in which case fine.

    Just staying a Cat 2 is hard enough, especially if you don't have time to get to races.

    Fair enough mate. I think it's unrealistic to get elite numbers (are they pretty much semi-pro/pro level, that's my understanding could be wrong) but I wanted a challenging target.

    I guess a good way to get the answers I am looking for is to ask which categories users race in and what their numbers look like?
  • Borderland wrote:
    Grill wrote:
    No need to get defensive homie, you got the answer to that question in the third reply. My question was why Cat 1? Why not Cat 2/3/4 or even Elite? I guess your answer is 'just because that's what I picked', in which case fine.

    Just staying a Cat 2 is hard enough, especially if you don't have time to get to races.

    Fair enough mate. I think it's unrealistic to get elite numbers (are they pretty much semi-pro/pro level, that's my understanding could be wrong) but I wanted a challenging target.

    I guess a good way to get the answers I am looking for is to ask which categories users race in and what their numbers look like?

    Lance aimed for 6.8 watts per kilogram to win a race in France.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • 6.8 watts per kilogram of dope?
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    Based on my experience, getting the 10 points for 3rd cat (although that may have gone up for this season?) isn't "easy" but if you have any real talent for road racing its achievable off limited training. Getting the extra 40 points for 2nd cat is a bit harder if you don't have time to race / train regularly, however it can be done. Getting the extra 200 points for 1st cat is pretty much impossible unless racing a bike is the main thing in your life. You need to race regularly, do big races with big points, invest in time and equipment, change your diet, all sorts of things.

    At 100kg you might be fine at 3/4 level, although sounds a bit heavy. I'm 6'2" and around 82kg and I'm usually one of the bigger guys on the start line. To answer your original question, I'd say you'd need an FTP of around 400W to be around the level you'd need to be competitive at 4th cat, although a lot depends on the course, who else is riding, whether you can sit in and then compete for the sprint etc. Best way to find out would be to have a go. I do think 1st cat at that weight and with that level of application is very unlikely though.
  • Borderland wrote:
    6.8 watts per kilogram of dope?

    I think you'll win that one.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • I've got Oprah on my side.
  • bigmat wrote:
    Based on my experience, getting the 10 points for 3rd cat (although that may have gone up for this season?) isn't "easy" but if you have any real talent for road racing its achievable off limited training. Getting the extra 40 points for 2nd cat is a bit harder if you don't have time to race / train regularly, however it can be done. Getting the extra 200 points for 1st cat is pretty much impossible unless racing a bike is the main thing in your life. You need to race regularly, do big races with big points, invest in time and equipment, change your diet, all sorts of things.

    At 100kg you might be fine at 3/4 level, although sounds a bit heavy. I'm 6'2" and around 82kg and I'm usually one of the bigger guys on the start line. To answer your original question, I'd say you'd need an FTP of around 400W to be around the level you'd need to be competitive at 4th cat, although a lot depends on the course, who else is riding, whether you can sit in and then compete for the sprint etc. Best way to find out would be to have a go. I do think 1st cat at that weight and with that level of application is very unlikely though.

    +1

    At this weight you need 2000w in sprints, 900w for a minute, 650 for 5mins, 450w at ftp to progress to ride with 3/2 cats. Also loads of experience in bunch riding or even more power to break away at the start and ride the race solo :-D
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