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Power Vs Racing level

edninoednino Posts: 684
edited October 2016 in Amateur race
I've just started doing some training with power & wanted to know what power/weight ratio different racers are at.

Currently at threshold of 2.93 W/Kg and I know I'm not fast enough for Cat4 on UK roads.

Anyone race Cat 4 want to post their power to give me an idea? What's needed to be in the bunch & what's needed to be competitive. Or even if mountain bikers care to say their power. Wonder what's need to get out of Sport Cat & into Expert Cat...
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    At that level, I would just turn out and race - see how you get on. W/Kg is probably the wrong measure for most 4th cat circuit races anyway...
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,120
    ednino wrote:
    I've just started doing some training with power & wanted to know what power/weight ratio different racers are at.

    Currently at threshold of 2.93 W/Kg and I know I'm not fast enough for Cat4 on UK roads.

    Anyone race Cat 4 want to post their power to give me an idea? What's needed to be in the bunch & what's needed to be competitive. Or even if mountain bikers care to say their power. Wonder what's need to get out of Sport Cat & into Expert Cat...


    After 6 weeks off I did a 2*20 on a watt bike at just over 3.5 w/kg, would expect to lose half a stone and stick another 30 watts minimum on top by Spring - the dream would be another 40 odd watts and lose a stone.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    Depends what you're racing (road-wise), hilly or flat. Flat crits you need more absolute watts than w/kg; in hilly races, w/kg is more important. If your 3w/kg is 275w that should be fine for any flat races, if it's only 190w you may struggle.

    I only needed 215w to finish in the men's 4th cat bunch at Hillingdon (twisty non-technical course with a small draggy rise), and about 150w at a pan-flat corner-free circuit like Dunsfold Park or Goodwood. But it's more about whether you can respond to the surges, conserve by positioning well in the bunch. 3w/kg should be fine on anything that doesn't have any real hills, unless you are constantly in the wind or yo-yo'ing at the back. Getting a result at 4th cat i in a bunch, having sat in and done nothing at 3w/kg the whole race and being in a good position going into the finish, is going to require something like 800w for 30 secs or ~10-11w/kg I'd guess.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    My peak this season was 340w FTP (5w/kg) and I was 'competitive' at E/1/2 (Nat B). But FTP is only a rough guide for training or TT's. 1-5 minute power is the real road racing requirement.
  • edninoednino Posts: 684
    Interesting posts, thanks
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    DavidJB wrote:
    My peak this season was 340w FTP (5w/kg) and I was 'competitive' at E/1/2 (Nat B). But FTP is only a rough guide for training or TT's. 1-5 minute power is the real road racing requirement.
    True, but the rider with the best 1-5 minute power is not necessarily the strongest. It's as much about how you recover from the short bursts and having a higher FTP allows you to do that better.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Tom Dean wrote:
    DavidJB wrote:
    My peak this season was 340w FTP (5w/kg) and I was 'competitive' at E/1/2 (Nat B). But FTP is only a rough guide for training or TT's. 1-5 minute power is the real road racing requirement.
    True, but the rider with the best 1-5 minute power is not necessarily the strongest. It's as much about how you recover from the short bursts and having a higher FTP allows you to do that better.

    Certainly agree with your points Tom. What I was trying to get across (badly) that while FTP is an important metric it's defiantly a combination of factors that allow you to be competitive a various race levels. A lot of riders (myself included) get fixated with FTP when it is only one piece of the puzzle.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    ednino wrote:
    I've just started doing some training with power & wanted to know what power/weight ratio different racers are at.

    Currently at threshold of 2.93 W/Kg and I know I'm not fast enough for Cat4 on UK roads.

    Anyone race Cat 4 want to post their power to give me an idea? What's needed to be in the bunch & what's needed to be competitive. Or even if mountain bikers care to say their power. Wonder what's need to get out of Sport Cat & into Expert Cat...

    I'm knocking on a bit and I know I can stick with a Cat 3/4 circuit / road race... I think to lessen the analysing and prep your forthcoming season with correct training/periodisation. If you have it, then racing will bring it out in you. Just think of the generations previous that had no recourse to technology ;-)
  • Your right in saying it is a combination of power profiles that give you an indicator of how race if you will be or how well you can suffer.

    Think of it this way, in a typical e/1/2 road race you may average 300w or NP 320w for 3 hrs for example. Your peak 3s may be 1400w. Your 5 minute 400w and your 20minute 350w roughly.

    It is hard to train for all these zones and numbers just by focusing on FTP, having your power meter at 4th cat will mean you can track your progress and improve and use the numbers you race at to aim to hit every often in training.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    There are so many exceptions to the rule that I don't know where to start. Having a decent sprint is at more useful in the lower cats than anything else really. I am sure my FTP was pretty censored when I started racing but I managed to hang in there and win with sprint power. It's taken training to improve my FTP, and I doubt my <30 second power has improved much in 3 years.

    Anyway, in the UK generally more power is better than mega w/kg. There is a balance though.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • I think this is a super topic & it would be interesting to see what numbers others are putting out. I started racing this year seriously with the goal of making 3rd Cat in this my first proper season. I must add that I raced a few in 2013 and enjoyed it enough to decide to give it a shot this year. To put into context I'm 38 and have been riding MTB's, BMX all my life, started 2014 at about 84 kgs and gradually came down to about 81kgs at one point mid summer. I tried one FTP on a Watt bike in the Gym at 83 Kgs and ave. 353w, 4.25 w/kg 20 mins.
    I raced in the Surrey League Handicap road series and came 15th overall at series end & was the 2nd or 3rd 4th Cat. I raced in a couple of circuit specific races, Brighton, Dunsfold & Hillingdon and it was in these three races that I went up to 3rd Cat. I've not raced a handicap as yet as a 3rd although my best placing in the handicaps was when went I went out with the 3rds. I'm looking to train thoughout the winter utilising a power meter and next season would like to try the crits at Crystal Palace, Goodwood and enter the handicaps again. Strava milage this year is 1800 over 64 rides - My aim next season is see if I can get 100 miles a week in and take it from there - although I dont think this is going to happen with work and family commitments.
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  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    leechy12 wrote:
    . Strava milage this year is 1800 over 64 rides - My aim next season is see if I can get 100 miles a week in and take it from there - although I dont think this is going to happen with work and family commitments.
    I'm no expert... but 100 mile a week seems on the low side for really putting in a determined effort to rise through the ranks.
    Someone who made 2nd Cat this season in his 40s and who drives professionally on night shifts put in so many training miles and race miles this season, I half expected him to keel over... but is still going strong.
    He trains with a PM but it is the hard yards that got him the 2nd cat.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    I think lot depends on the quality of those 100 miles. I average over 100 miles a week but most of that is "junk" commuting miles. I would say that you can get away with limited training up to 2nd cat but things start to get a lot more serious then, and you need either talent or mileage (and ideally both) to continue progressing. My stats are pretty similar to Leechy's and I have struggled as a 2nd cat, albeit mainly at the hands of elites and 1st cats.
  • Omar LittleOmar Little Posts: 2,040
    Never mind 100 miles a week managing to get to 3rd Cat on just over 40 miles a week is seriously good going! I guess that is where natural talent comes in - no matter how focused i was there is no chance i could be competitive on that amount.

    Even track sprinters do a fair bit more than that.
  • bigmat wrote:
    I think lot depends on the quality of those 100 miles. I average over 100 miles a week but most of that is "junk" commuting miles. I would say that you can get away with limited training up to 2nd cat but things start to get a lot more serious then, and you need either talent or mileage (and ideally both) to continue progressing. My stats are pretty similar to Leechy's and I have struggled as a 2nd cat, albeit mainly at the hands of elites and 1st cats.

    Within these anticpated "100" miles at least one race would be included during the week.
    VeloViewer Score
    99.35
    From 100 of 1,168 segments.
    Maximum possible score: 99.95
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    You'd have to stick to crits only doing 100 miles. I do 200-300 a week. Normally around 250 miles and thats about right for 2nd cat!
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,120
    Yes for most people but if he can do 353 watts for 20 minutes I would guess he is already capable of being competitive at 3rd cat at 81kgs - or at least potentially competitive as of course there is a lot more to it than having a half decent ftp. Agree with the general point though - it's frightening the commitment many people put into the sport.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • DavidJB wrote:
    You'd have to stick to crits only doing 100 miles. I do 200-300 a week. Normally around 250 miles and thats about right for 2nd cat!

    So what are the number then as per the thread?
    VeloViewer Score
    99.35
    From 100 of 1,168 segments.
    Maximum possible score: 99.95
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    leechy12 wrote:
    DavidJB wrote:
    You'd have to stick to crits only doing 100 miles. I do 200-300 a week. Normally around 250 miles and thats about right for 2nd cat!

    So what are the number then as per the thread?

    Sorry I don't understand what you mean? If you mean power I posted my FTP earlier (4th post down) I can put about a bit more power than you over a 20 but I'm 15kg lighter.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    DavidJB wrote:
    You'd have to stick to crits only doing 100 miles. I do 200-300 a week. Normally around 250 miles and thats about right for 2nd cat!

    There is no hard and fast rules for what you should do at each category. I did more miles as a lower cat than I do as a 1st cat.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    okgo wrote:
    DavidJB wrote:
    You'd have to stick to crits only doing 100 miles. I do 200-300 a week. Normally around 250 miles and thats about right for 2nd cat!

    There is no hard and fast rules for what you should do at each category. I did more miles as a lower cat than I do as a 1st cat.

    Didn't say there was Rob. You will lack the endurance needed for road racing on only 100 miles a week. And you've only done 300 miles less than me this year so you're putting in a lot more than 100 miles a week so stop making it sound like you don't train :wink:
  • Spotted now - sorry mate, reading off the iphone without goggles.
    VeloViewer Score
    99.35
    From 100 of 1,168 segments.
    Maximum possible score: 99.95
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    leechy12 wrote:
    Spotted now - sorry mate, reading off the iphone without goggles.

    No worries good luck with the training and the racing :D
  • milesemilese Posts: 1,233
    I went from 3rd to 2nd cat this season, with 4 crit wins, inc one 2/3/4. One bunch sprint, one long 3 man break, one longer 2 man break and one very late 3 man break.

    Did half a dozen or so RRs, but round here they are fairly hilly and I struggle the more the race goes on. I generally survived the cut and was with the main bunch as it whittled down to the final 20 or so (from 60 or 80), but would get shelled on the final climb, or be hanging on the back when the break went on a big climb.

    I'm 31, was about 72kgs, my best 20 min of the season was 311w in a 10TT, other bests are around 1 min around 600w, 5 secs 1350w, 3 mins 390w. I think.

    Had a new baby since with 3 months off, think I'm gonna struggle as second cat next year. Will definately be putting more hope into crits and need to get my a$$ onto the turbo. 2 x 20 all the way.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    You'll probably be ok if you stick to 2/3 races rather than lots of harder nat b's. You'll find at your weight decent 1/e riders will be doing over 400 for 5 mins, some
    nearer 500, FTP in the mid to high 300's and if they're decent sprinters then more there. So it will be hard.

    2x20 isn't some wonder session btw, and for crits I doubt it's the best use of your time if you were going to do lots of them.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • okgo what kind of numbers do you do at what weight?
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Not enough and too heavy (well, just how I am)

    My profile is slightly skewed towards the shorter durations but on Coggans power chart I'm cat 1 on all of them at what I would say my average race weight is, and pushing into the dom pro bit for sprint. But it's of course what you do with it and when that counts. But I do think there is a baseline of power you will need in some of the harder races.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • milesemilese Posts: 1,233
    okgo wrote:
    You'll probably be ok if you stick to 2/3 races rather than lots of harder nat b's. You'll find at your weight decent 1/e riders will be doing over 400 for 5 mins, some
    nearer 500, FTP in the mid to high 300's and if they're decent sprinters then more there. So it will be hard. X

    2x20 isn't some wonder session btw, and for crits I doubt it's the best use of your time if you were going to do lots of them.

    I generally do well if I make it to the finish with the main group and can always find a sprint, but it's getting to the finish, hence wanting to build a bigger engine with the 2 x 20s. I'll do shorter intervals on the road, but it's impossible to find the road for longer intervals.

    I'll certainly be doing 2/3 rather than e12s...
  • milese wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    You'll probably be ok if you stick to 2/3 races rather than lots of harder nat b's. You'll find at your weight decent 1/e riders will be doing over 400 for 5 mins, some
    nearer 500, FTP in the mid to high 300's and if they're decent sprinters then more there. So it will be hard. X

    2x20 isn't some wonder session btw, and for crits I doubt it's the best use of your time if you were going to do lots of them.

    I generally do well if I make it to the finish with the main group and can always find a sprint, but it's getting to the finish, hence wanting to build a bigger engine with the 2 x 20s. I'll do shorter intervals on the road, but it's impossible to find the road for longer intervals.

    I'll certainly be doing 2/3 rather than e12s...

    I bet you could find the roads quite easily. You may not find a suitable road where you are able to continuously ride at the perfect power without having to stop at any junctions etc, but anyone can find enough road to ride hard for 20 minutes, without excessively worrying about precisely what the average power of the effort is.

    Besides steady efforts don't really happen in races!
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    ednino wrote:
    I've just started doing some training with power & wanted to know what power/weight ratio different racers are at.

    Currently at threshold of 2.93 W/Kg and I know I'm not fast enough for Cat4 on UK roads.

    Anyone race Cat 4 want to post their power to give me an idea? What's needed to be in the bunch & what's needed to be competitive. Or even if mountain bikers care to say their power. Wonder what's need to get out of Sport Cat & into Expert Cat...

    I went from cat 4 to 3 last year. I didn't have a power meter at the time, but based on my (now carefully calibrated to power) turbo trainer records, I was at approx. FTP 280, or 3.7 w/kg. I got all my points in crit sprint finishes. I didn't have the power to make any break stick. I was OK to see the end of 3/4 road races, but not enough to get places. Only one race this year and it wasn't pretty (cat 2/3) - dropped after 15 minutes. I train about 7 hours per week including any racing, which for me is all I can manage.
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