Power Data Estimates for the climbing stages

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Tim Cahill

Ciccone now climbing better than peak Froome too, amazing considering a couple of years ago he was getting dropped on Alpe by err.. not-peak Froome

And he probably doesn't even crack the top 15 most-egregious

Krzysztof_O

Based on the article, 40 minutes.

Other relevant snippet regarding 7wk/g, which we almost are at now and wat above the previously stated 6.2... :

about 7W/kg, and applying the same equations as I’ve done throughout this post, you can work out that it requires oxygen consumption of 87 ml/kg/min, and a VO2max of 97 ml/kg/min (and that’s at 90% of maximum. If you go with 85%, you get 103 ml/kg/min…).

Is that realistic? I suspect that your answer to that question depends not on what you know, but rather on what you want to believe. I don’t believe that it is possible, because the combination of high efficiency (and 23% is high) and high VO2max doesn’t seem to exist. In fact, Lucia et al showed that there was an inverse relationship, so that those with the best efficiency had the lowest VO2max [cite

Maybe the key is the ability to operate at a super-high percentage of VO2max for a long time. For example Pogacar's best 4-5 minute efforts (San Luca, Eze) were 7.9-8 w/kg, which according to those calculations corresponds to about 97 ml/kg/min of VO2 (effort of this duration is good to cause max. aerobic response - VO2max). However, part of this power is obtained in a purely anaerobic way (part of lactate is not cleared on time and accumulates during such an intense effort), so the true aerobic system response is a bit weaker than that (less than 97). Then 6.9-7 w/kg on PdB would correspond to 87 ml/kg/min, which would indicate 90+% of VO2max. Power curve almost "flat", monster metabolism.

Then again, I have no idea how accurate are those calculations. Another problem is performances vary too much between days. PdB and Isola were watt H-bombs. It's possible that on those super-duper days Pogacar's 5 minute effort would be above 8 w/kg (indicating VO2max boost), who knows?

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meat puppet

Sure, if Pog was one or two blood bags more prepared in the longer climb stages than on San Luca, then of course the maximum oxygen uptake available to him is higher. And had he on those days gone for it during a 4-5min effort, the output might have been higher than, say, San Luca. But only if fatigue doesn't prevent this (I feel stupid writing that, as if he fatigues).

Agreed about "the ability to operate at a super-high percentage of VO2max for a long time" being key. When one thinks about it, that is the definition of endurance right there, and increasing the power and the duration at the higher power is the end goal of all performance oriented endurance training. It never gets easier, you just go faster, as it were.

There is an old but very worthwhile paper on this topic by Coyle (of clinic fame for his work on Armstrong) and coauthors. No doping angle, there, just well done basic exercise physiology that points to very basic and simple things being important.

Krzysztof_O

Sure, if Pog was one or two blood bags more prepared in the longer climb stages than on San Luca, then of course the maximum oxygen uptake available to him is higher. And had he on those days gone for it during a 4-5min effort, the output might have been higher than, say, San Luca. But only if fatigue doesn't prevent this (I feel stupid writing that, as if he fatigues).

Agreed about "the ability to operate at a super-high percentage of VO2max for a long time" being key. When one thinks about it, that is the definition of endurance right there, and increasing the power and the duration at the higher power is the end goal of all performance oriented endurance training. It never gets easier, you just go faster, as it were.

There is an old but very worthwhile paper on this topic by Coyle (of clinic fame for his work on Armstrong) and coauthors. No doping angle, there, just well done basic exercise physiology that points to very basic and simple things being important.

But what is the secret key to maximize sustainable VO2max percentage i.e. getting anaerobic threshold as close to VO2max as possible? (except for obvious solution: high-quality training). I'm curious if there are any "artificial boost" substances that make aerobic metabolic pathways (esp. lactate clearance) as efficient as possible (without boost of the actual VO2max). Or maybe we are going towards gene doping territory.

Sciatic

But what is the secret key to maximize sustainable VO2max percentage i.e. getting anaerobic threshold as close to VO2max as possible? (except for obvious solution: high-quality training). I'm curious if there are any "artificial boost" substances that make aerobic metabolic pathways (esp. lactate clearance) as efficient as possible (without boost of the actual VO2max). Or maybe we are going towards gene doping territory.
I think we’re a long way off from gene doping (re: VO2 max and other oxygen usage) of the type that most folks imagine—substituting or altering a specific gene using Crispr technology to enhance performance. It’s true that there are now ways to use that technology for medical purposes to manipulate genes involved in making blood. One example is a new treatment for sickle-cell disease. But the treatment involves getting the equivalent of a bone-marrow transplant that has health risks and requires hospitalization for long periods. A more likely avenue for gene doping is the emergence of drugs specifically tailored for individual genes involved in erythropoiesis (the blood-making process). For now, those are meant to offset the impact of gene mutations in anemic individuals, so may not help a healthy person at all. But research heading that direction could lead to drugs tailored to specific genes that will will simply enhance the activity of that gene.

But why do all that when we’ll have marine lugworm blood? 😂

meat puppet

Wouldn't the relevant gene to meddle with re endogenous epo production be the one that inhibits epo secretion?

Anyway, going by the slice of ex phys literature that I know, the answer is going to be a pretty boring one: high threshold results from genetics and endurance training. Drugs help one to train harder to attain more of the qualities found useful in the article above. And meddling with blood will help to put more fuel to the fire.