2018 Road Racing

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  • 2018 Road Racing
  • continuity
    Member

    I’m still a bit taken aback.

    4.5w/kg untrained 20min ftp?

    Thst’s on a similar level to someone saying “I deadlift 250kg for reps untrained, y’know, I just went to the gym for the first time” It’s in a similar ballpark. Or…I went to the climbing gym for the first time and flashed a f7b. Coggan’s power tables puts 4.5w/kg in the top end Cat 2 territory, which is several years of training for most people.

    https://cyclingtips.com/2017/06/just-how-good-are-male-pro-road-cyclists/

    Another reference that puts it into perspective.

    continuity
    Member

    I guess what’ I’m saying is when you say untrained a bit of me suspects what you’re actually saying is “i’ve done a load of training but before my first structured training programme that is what I put out”.

    I’m very happy to be wrong and if you just put out 4.5w/kg casually knocking about as an unfit adult male you should be looking at a pro contract in a year or two – and moreover I wish you the very best of luck!

    Apologies if that sounds too rude or cynical.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    I started having ridden a bit but never trained at all properly at about 3w/kg and after 3 years am now at about 4.6w/kg.

    Got my 3rd cat in my first season in crits and since then have been searching to do better in open road races.

    So Continuity – I think/hope you’re right, people don’t just turn up with 4.5w/kg unless they’re on their way to the top somewhat rapidly. You can sit in the bunch with a lot less for sure if it’s not hilly. And you might have a big sprint at the end too.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    And I’m sure people know this, but FTP and 20min power are very different things.

    crosshair
    Member

    I’m sure Nath will reply in due course but I think you’ll find Nath did little more than a few thousand miles unstructured road riding for a couple of years beforehand. Perhaps an odd flying lap of Richmond Park.
    Getting his body fat down to such a low level probably helped too- he created the right physique.
    But yes, as per his original thread, he pretty much had 4.5w/kg ftp off the bat. (336w for 20 mins @ 71kg if I remember rightly??)
    And he’s stubborn enough that I have no doubt he could have held 320 for 60 minutes had he wanted to πŸ˜†

    You two sound like the bitter professor off of Good Will Hunting πŸ˜†

    Nath talking about 4.5w/kg:

    [video]https://youtu.be/mz1siP7pItc[/video]

    crosshair
    Member

    I also wonder about Coggans chart. The 3 Zwift Acadamy finalists were all under 23 and all had 6w/kg ftp’s.
    Ollie Jones, the winner, has a 450w ftp aged 21.

    nathb
    Member

    Exactly what CH said.

    In 2013 I was 95-100kg and ridiculously unfit. I bought a Hardtail and started doing a few rides, moved to London and it got pretty much shelved in 2014 until September when I bought a road bike. From Sept 14 to October 16 I just rode and ran around, mainly richmond park, started commuting, did a couple of sportives and also started Zwifting. In Oct 16, starting my previous thread, I was now around 70kg (having previous been down to 65kg) and placed an order for a Chinese carbon race bike. Believing my Tacx trainers 5.0w/kg to be correct in Dec 16 I turned up to Hillingdon for my first race, and surprising didn’t win – although I attacked 5/6 times for fun. In Jan 17 I rented a power meter and found I had 4.5w/kg πŸ˜† But I got my third cat by Feb 17? and got a sponsor – who supplies me (well CH actually haha) with nutrition and kit. Did some highly structured training in summer and got to 5w/kg and then got ill. I’m now doing a Ketosis diet so probably back to 4-4.4w/kg with 0 top end πŸ˜†

    Here’s the numbers to put it in context:

    There’s pics of fat me vs me at the moment etc on here: https://www.instagram.com/nath_gb/

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    That’s just astounding Nath, honestly… absolutely astounding. I do think you’re quite unusual though that you’ve gone from Zero to Hero with not a massive amount of time and effort (comparatively of course).

    continuity
    Member

    So you lost 30 kg in 2-3y with training but not bike specific training.

    Then you did 2 years of sportives, zwift and unstructured riding/training.

    Oct 16-Jan 17 you started training harder on the bike.

    Then Jan 17 you tested at 4.5 for 20.

    Sounds like good progress – and I congratulate you on your transformation – it’s great to see people working hard and getting fit. I wasn’t far off the mark though – that’s a 6 year progression from “unfit” to 4.5w/kg – not “untrained 4.5w/kg” =].

    Maybe I am bitter CH? Or maybe I have a 6w/kg ftp? Who would know – I’m not dick measuring I’m just interested in training in general.

    Happy racing and I hope I have more to contribute to this thread next year!

    crosshair
    Member

    I didn’t say you were bitter, just that was the tone of the posts but then text is pretty hard to interpret sometimes πŸ™‚

    I think Nath has done awesomely well on the mileage he’s put in!

    lodger
    Member

    what time period are you generating 5 W/kg for? Is that based on FTP? i.e. 95% of your 20 minute average?

    I had been pretty much exclusively a commuter for 15 years (100 miles a week) until last spring when I started ‘training’ in the loosest sense for a London to Paris 24 hour ride. As a result, now doing more weekend rides, park laps and wattbike riding and inevitably starting to feel the competitive urge. like Nath, lost a bit of weight, 95 ish down to 83 today. realistically another 2 or 3 to go.

    Starting to think about having a go down at Hillingdon since I live in west london but I’ll be 39 at my next birthday so I’m wondering about sticking to training for now and holding out till the vets.

    FTP tests so far have varied wildly from 3.1 to 4.5 w/kg more to do with the different bikes than my performance I think – lower end more realistic. Today’s session was 15 intervals of 30 seconds between 550 and 650 watts followed by 1.5 to 2 mins rest depending on now much the power was dropping.

    Posting this partly as a reminder/motivation for myself. Have enjoyed nath, CH and weeksy etc progress and TiRed’s sage advice so far!

    crosshair
    Member

    Give it a go Lodger- it’s the best way to find out πŸ™‚

    It’s so hard to quantify what’s needed. My best power for a whole race is still the first one where I got lapped four times πŸ˜†

    Without repeating myself too much- I love it! It’s literally the only thing I do where I’m truly in the moment. For 50-80 minutes, I physically can’t think about anything else.

    blader1611
    Member

    @continuity how did you get β€œ6 years from unfit to 4.5w/kg” when nath started his journey in 2013 or did i miss something along with math lessons?

    TiRed
    Member

    Starting to think about having a go down at Hillingdon since I live in west london but I’ll be 39 at my next birthday so I’m wondering about sticking to training for now and holding out till the vets.

    Pretty much where I started (except I’ve never been over 75 kg). Started at 45, so already midway through the masters 40-50 class, and now riding 50+ (and 2nd cat). The answer is to ride with a club for a while to hone those group riding skills, then race Hillingdon over the Winter Series. You can of course just turn up and ‘av a go, but for that you need a sense of perspective and some idea of group riding.

    Oh and you’ll get dropped on your first outing… We all do unless you have those 4.5 W/kg – I definitely did not!

    The vets series the following summer was the making of me. It’s E1234 (we have at least one E btw and a couple of 1’s), and the riding standard is exemplary – OR ELSE!

    warton
    Member

    I don’t think Nathb’s story is that startling. I know two lads who went from overweight to absolute beasts on the bike. I think it’s because their legs are used to carting around that extra weight, and are very strong. One guy is easily knocking Out 5 w/kg. Obviously gifted as well, but his first season, with little structured training and he was flying.

    Goals for me in 2018, after targeting and gettin cat 3 last year, more structure, more road, no crits. And to retain my club road racing trophy…

    mrblobby
    Member

    For balance, w/kg is an useful metric but you can do very well on relatively modest numbers (at least going by the numbers being posted on this thread!) Friends of mine are now cat 2, win road races in 3/4, others regularly podium in XC events (winning one of the big 12 hr events this year), all around the 3.5 w/kg mark. Much down to experience and specificity of training.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I don’t think Nathb’s story is that startling. I know two lads who went from overweight to absolute beasts on the bike.

    It’s impressive though – always good to see what a bit of commitment and practice will get you.

    A guy I used to race with – he was mid-pack at best in Sport MTB – spent an entire winter doing couriering and his mileage rocketed. The following year he was top 10 every single time in Sport.

    Same sort of thing applies to road racing with the exception that power does not always win the race, it’s quite easy for a tactically smart but weaker person to beat a more powerful but less tactically aware rider.

    crosshair
    Member

    I think that’s what’s so engaging about it for me. Ok so I’ve been playing chess so far with just a couple of Pawns at my disposal, but you know if you deploy them properly you can still do something with them. And that’s enough of a hook to keep me going back whilst I try and improve my pieces as it were.
    Nath started with a Queen but it still took him a few goes to learn how to use her πŸ˜‰

    nathb
    Member

    I’m not that startling, don’t worry πŸ˜†

    But thanks for the kind words all πŸ™‚

    My journey started Sept 14 with my first road bike purchase, unfortunately I was about 75kg by then through diet so couldn’t convert all that leg fat into muscle lol.

    My first ever structured training session was summer 17, after my third cat, and I didn’t really race after getting my third due to personal circumstances. So it was all a bit wasted.

    Please do share your stories though, this thread isn’t all about my story!

    CH – I don’t think I ever played a decent game with her πŸ˜†

    crosshair
    Member

    Yeah you rode tactically at Abingdon a couple of times. Heck, you even drafted in the bunch πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    He sat at the back with me once, giving me the “get on my wheel” signal.

    I looked at him and said “I’m ok mate”

    3 corners later, I missed a kick and was history!

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Yeah, I don’t think it’s bitter/negative comments from Continuity or myself…..It was more that I don’t think 4.5w/kg is the norm….Or maybe it is the norm and that’s why I’m taking a battering most weeks. The bar for even the lowest tier of road racing can seem very high but that’s just the way it is.

    Some people are luckier than others with their natural athletic ability and how they respond to training, some people are better natural racers but less fit. And there are people everywhere in between.

    And that’s not moaning, I enjoy working hard in training, I’ve never been massively gifted at sport but in the grand scheme of things there will be people outside any level of competitive sport who would love to get to even a basic level of fitness. So I consider myself pretty lucky to be currently fit and healthy and to be able to contemplate improving rather than just getting there in the first place.

    TiRed
    Member

    win road races in 3/4,

    4.5 Watts/kg won’t win you a race – trust me I know the hard way. It books you a spectator’s ticket to the back of the bunch sprint. What will win you the race is 20 Watts/kg for the last 300 m. Oh if only – I could have been a contender…

    mrblobby
    Member

    4.5 Watts/kg won’t win you a race – trust me I know the hard way. It books you a spectator’s ticket to the back of the bunch sprint. What will win you the race is 20 Watts/kg for the last 300 m. Oh if only – I could have been a contender…

    Yes, that’s the point of the post really. No point training for a high 60MP if what wins you a race is a high 30 second sprint effort (or repeated 10 second over threshold efforts with short recoveries like XC or CX.) People I mentioned are good at what’s needed to win at their chosen disciplines, which isn’t a high FTP.

    crosshair
    Member

    Yeah I think that’s a good post mtbtomo. It would be easy to look at other people and wonder what the point is but for me, I knew I wanted to be racing! Out there mixing it for an hour of immersion every week. So everything else ceased to matter. I could hang with the bunch and I had an outside chance of points so crack on πŸ™‚

    If I’d had more watts at my disposal and scored 12 points quickly, it wouldn’t have made any real difference. I’d have been doing the same 3/4 race at Hillingdon and clinging on to the 2/3’s at Thruxton for dear life πŸ˜‰

    nathb
    Member

    Oh on paper I should be a cat 1/2, I had sprinting power and long drawn out power, hell on Zwift I’m classified as an elite rider…

    But I never cracked the ability to translate it into a win on a real life race circuit, this is the point I (and CH was kindly) trying to make. I genuinely suck at racing πŸ˜† CH will attest to the amount of times I used to do sprint practice on the way home from Hillingdon as I still had loads of unspent energy left.

    This is not a willy waving post, I hope it doesn’t come across that way!

    crosshair
    Member

    I didn’t say you suck! You just haven’t had to test yourself properly irl. The 3/4’s at Hillingdon were sketchy this season so I don’t blame you for not performing there. You should have stuck at the E,1,2,3’s πŸ™‚

    crosshair
    Member

    Just entered the 3/4 race on the 23rd. Last week’s didn’t look much quicker or aggressive than the 4ths only so I quite fancy it.

    Training wise, it’s a good slot. I’ll be at the end of my first rest week from Sweetspot Base 1.

    In terms of expectations, I’ll keep an open mind. If ten point hungry 3’s turn up then I’ve got little chance anyway.

    Having a good handle on my numbers is a double edged sword and makes me realise how few my options are still.
    So my three tactics will be-
    a) watch who’s attacking and try and find another guy for a long range punt.
    b) try and repeat my previous attack but close enough to the finish to hold it. The most I can manage at a fast enough speed is around 10-15minutes I think.
    c) unleash a proper sprint!

    Of course, the more attempts I have at option ‘a’, the less energy I’ll have for ‘b’ and likewise for ‘c’.
    A cold or wet day with everybody hating life and sat cozy in the bunch could work in my favour but the stronger the wind, the closer to the finish option ‘b’ has to become!

    It’s so hard to commit when you know the sprint finish is the odds on favourite outcome but these winter races have to be as good a time as any to be brave.

    TiRed
    Member

    Well I rode the second E123 Full Gas at Hillingdon. About 25 riders on the line, so a much smaller turnout than previous years. And younger too. A few vets, but not many!

    Initial pace was brutal, I tried to stay with an attack, did huge amounts of work but hung in. After 25 min I was flagging so near the back recovering. Then on the bends the ride in front leaves a huge gap of three bike lengths, I can’t get around him, the last two back-markers get past and bridge, and me and the wall are out the back πŸ™ . Dropped. Not been dropped for an age in a circuit race of any form.

    Paced myself at 2:20 – 2:25 laps (I was dead), and caught some ladies, then a few of the stragglers off the bunch. Lapped and joined at the back for the last 20 minutes. Didn’t contest the main bunch sprint, but did contest the lapped riders foursome. Second in that.

    Hard ride – Sufferscore of +100 for one hour isn’t a bad workout. Must not work so hard at the start of the race – as if!

    I think it’s the points that deter riders – the third cats are trying to maximise their gains, so 3/4 was rammed. The E123 was fast and smooth. Think I may be away on the 23rd.

    There is a race at Cyclopark (Gravesend) this Saturday, low E12 entries so far. And of course Crossmas at Berkhamstead on Sunday.

    crosshair
    Member

    Wow! Sounds brutal indeed!! All part of the gamble though isn’t it, and why most races are so negative.

    Nothing ventured nothing gained and a straight forward cruise around in the bunch may have got you a ‘better’ finish but at the expense of any fun and excitement πŸ™‚

    crosshair
    Member

    Grrr! I was excited about tomorrow but am on the brink of a cold. I ditched all my riding this week in an attempt to shake it off and I haven’t got any worse.
    I guess I’ll have to see what the morning brings but I’m all set up ready to go.

    mrblobby
    Member

    Best of luck CH.Shall set some time aside tomorrow to read the report πŸ˜‰

    crosshair
    Member

    πŸ˜† I would probably have played it safe and stayed home were it not my last chance to race until February. As it is, I need some fuel for the January training fire!

    blader1611
    Member

    Good luck CH, hopefully the other riders have over indulged allowing you to coast to victory.

    crosshair
    Member

    Just had a browse and there are lots of points hungry 3rd Cats entered so it’s purely a training race today for me I think.

    TiRed
    Member

    Good luck today. I’m at the in-laws for an early Christmas lunch and bike fitting a nephew. And yes, the 3/4 races look pretty keen!

    crosshair
    Member

    Bloody TCC boys shutting everything down πŸ™„ πŸ˜‰

    Luckily I launched the winning break early on and then got away myself with one to go and got 5th πŸ˜†

    Sooooooooo pleased πŸ™‚

    mrblobby
    Member

    Bloody good work there CH πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    That’s half a report, let’s have the rest!

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