Monday, September 13, 2010

Watts per kilo

So I'm looking over info from this past season, seeing if I can figure out why I sucked in terms of results. I'm well aware that I don't have a high wattage output at threshold, but I'm no Thor Hushovd either. So I figured out my watts per kilo and compared it to Coggan/Allen's table that ventures to correlate the figures to racers of various categories.

According to this table, I should be a Cat 2 racer, given my 20 minute and 5 minute peak power outputs! WTF? The 1 minute and 5 second outputs confused matters more, since those figures put me at Cat 3 and not even quite Cat 4, respectively. This is confusing because I'd been suspecting that my power at threshold was my weak point, since I wasn't making it to the end of the race with enough gas in the tank to contest the finish. These figures would lead me to believe that I should be able to ride away from the field!

They do, however, confirm something I've suspected: I don't like to suffer. Theoretically I have the power to hammer, but once I get into the pain cave (lactate threshold), I can't will myself to stay there, even in a race! But wouldn't a "Cat 2 racer" be cruising easy in a Cat 4 pack?

I think I just need to worry less about the numbers, and more about riding more. One hour interval workouts are time efficient and effective for what they are, but it seems there's no replacement for just getting out and suffering for a few hours! That will entail shuffling some priorities to make the time. Already thinking of next year and cyclocross season has just barely begun!