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The pedaling technique thread

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Sep 23, 2010
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JamesCun said:
FrankDay said:
JamesCun said:
I'll reply again since this is a newish aspect to the thread. The data on Sam is meaningless without an accurate FTP. End of story.

Can you also explain what FTP1 is?
FTP1 is the maximum power the athlete can sustain for 1 hour. Here is the problem, of course, the data on everyone is meaningless without an accurate FTP1 because FTP1 is the basis many use for determining race effort (using intensity factor). How does anyone know that their FTP1 is accurate? The problem here is that if Sam had used the recommended IF for racing IM based upon his "known" FTP1 he would have raced at .75 of 320 or 240 watts. yet, he was able to race at 280 watts. Even if treated like a pro and is told to race at an IF of .8 he would race at 256 watts, 24 watts below what he was actually capable of doing. No way he wins his age-group if he follows the recommendations for either pro or amateur athletes. So, it appears he raced based upon how he felt and how he felt gave him a much better result than anyone would have predicted looking at his numbers.

The point of my question was TP simply said his FTP was too low so he could fit into their general recommendations. That may be true but seems like a cop out, like Martin concluding that it is ok to continue riding 170 cranks when the data suggested otherwise. But, looking at the Rodriguez data, it suggests that it is possible to ride at higher intensities if the muscles are better balanced. Unless we know both the FTP and the IF the rider can sustain we cannot accurately predict what they can do. One thing about science, we learn more trying to explain what doesn't fit than seeing a lot of data that simply reinforces what we know. Want to advance your knowledge? Try to explain the stuff that doesn't make sense to you. Clearly, Sam doesn't fit into their model very well, it would seem. Can you explain why? I think it has to do with how he trains allowing his muscles to be better balanced than typical.
You are making stuff up now. FTP1 isn't a thing, certainly not something I've ever seen Coggan discuss. It also isn't a 60min number, you should review his thoughts on the subject. You also don't understand the IF pacing guidelines for IM racing. They are GUIDELINES...you must interpret your own situation and experiment with things to find out what works for you. Pretending Sam is an age grouper is just silly, he rides and races as fast as a pro. His label is irrelevant in terms of physiology.

It is also more than ironic that you are questioning TP's integrity in terms of reporting numbers. You often misrepresent things to try and prove your product is effective.

The explanation is simple, Sam didn't know his accurate FTP and the IF was just plain wrong. Garbage in garbage out.
So, the number is wrong so Sam is an idiot? If someone as experienced as Sam (a regular user of a PM and the amateur record holder for the bike split at Kona) doesn't know his FTP then what hope is there for the ordinary guy? If you are so much smarter than him here how come you aren't faster? The PM is supposed to be such a powerful weapon to help people train and race better. Where is the data to support such a contention? My point is that Sam raced at an IF way beyond where a pro would be expected to race. Either his FTP is way off or the standard recommendation as to what effort one should maintain for an IM for someone like Sam is way off (edit: or knowing or not knowing this stuff just doesn't make a whit of difference). Which is it? How is one to know?

I am not questioning anyone's integrity. I simply pointed out that TP, when confronted with Sam racing at a IF of .86 simply resolved this by stating that his FTP was probably in error so that everything fit with what they believed. I was simply pointing out that an alternative explanation might explain this, especially in view of the Rodriguez data. How do you explain his being able to increase his FTP (as a percentage of his max power) from 78% to 87-89%? What is a normal FTP1 compared to max power from a ramp test?
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Absolutely pathetic.

No one called Sam an idiot. Obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed as he buys into your bullswaste.

Strawmen for Africa. Ability doesn't depend on knowledge of FTP, his IF was wrong based on an incorrect FTP (GIGO), Gyde didn't ride at an IF of .86.

Stop spreading misinformation and lying to people.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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CoachFergie said:
Absolutely pathetic.

No one called Sam an idiot. Obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed as he buys into your bullswaste.

Strawmen for Africa. Ability doesn't depend on knowledge of FTP, his IF was wrong based on an incorrect FTP (GIGO), Gyde didn't ride at an IF of .86.

Stop spreading misinformation and lying to people.
This is part of the problem, when confronted with data that doesn't comport with your bias you simply declare the data wrong. Anyhow, I am glad you will admit that ability (and, I presume, performance) doesn't depend upon knowledge of FTP (or, I presume, any other information that can be obtained from a PM). Or, at least, there is no evidence to support such a contention. Sam apparently rode the fastest bike split ever (by an amateur) at Kona not knowing anything about anything even though he did have a power number in front of him while he did so (and he shared his power data with the world). What might ordinary people take from this?

I am simply raising the possibility that training better aerobic muscle balance might allow one to race at a higher IF. All I get in return is Sam doesn't know his FTP. Why do you find that impossible? Do you have any experimental evidence to suggest that impossible? What is the equivalent of the FTP1 of a well trained isolated muscle compared to the max power of that muscle compared to the FTP1 compared to the max power of an intact cyclist using a bunch of muscles?
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Stop being a Quack Frank.

The burden is for you and Sam making questionable claims to prove his FTP was correct. How was his FTP determined?

Just the same as it is to prove that your other marketing claims are true like a 2-3mph increase in speed or a 40% increase in power that was only due to Gimmickcrank use.

Till then, walks like a duck....
 
Jun 1, 2014
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Frank, there is no FTP1. If you are going to use peoples training theories, at least understand them and use them properly. It is FTP.

OF course you don't need a powermeter to race face. No one has ever made such a claim. You have still yet to provide any evidence that a powermeter is a faulty measurement tool. Please do that before you make any more strawmen arguments about their use.

Anyway, that is about all I can handle. Continue with your endless string of garbage.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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CoachFergie said:
Stop being a Quack Frank.

The burden is for you and Sam making questionable claims to prove his FTP was correct. How was his FTP determined?

Just the same as it is to prove that your other marketing claims are true like a 2-3mph increase in speed or a 40% increase in power that was only due to Gimmickcrank use.

Till then, walks like a duck....
This is what Frank chooses to ignore with all his anecdotal 'evidence' that 'proves' the effectiveness of his product. No one can prove anything with the random data that is presented with absolutely no verification. His claims about Rodriquez are laughable and can never be proven (he claims to be sworn to secrecy on the topic...hahaha).

He creates a wild scenario in his head and uses some flawed data as evidence of its possibility. First he needs to prove that the data is correct, otherwise his thought experiment is about as worthwhile as a typical 3am drunken rant. It isn't for us to disprove his theory because it isn't a theory, its just useless made up speculation.
 
Several possible explanations for Sam's IF number -
1) The FTP number he used was incorrect (low).
2) The FTP number he used is correct, but physiologically he can perform at a higher IF than is typical 'for some (as yet unknown) reason'.
3) some combination of #1 and #2.

If Sam regularly monitors his performance with a PM, then I'd think he would have a good 'feel' for what wattage he can sustain for an event.
Was he surprised by being able to generate the watts that resulted in the high IF?

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Sep 23, 2010
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You guys are crazy. I have simply observed some interesting points in the data and theorized this may lead to an interesting new understanding of training and pacing. I do not know what is "correct" and what is not just as you have no basis for assuming any of the data is incorrect. Are any of you capable of discussing what might be possible? Apparently not.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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JayKosta said:
Several possible explanations for Sam's IF number -
1) The FTP number he used was incorrect (low).
2) The FTP number he used is correct, but physiologically he can perform at a higher IF than is typical 'for some (as yet unknown) reason'.
3) some combination of #1 and #2.

If Sam regularly monitors his performance with a PM, then I'd think he would have a good 'feel' for what wattage he can sustain for an event.
Was he surprised by being able to generate the watts that resulted in the high IF?

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
I don't think Sam was surprised by his performance since he is pretty much at this level every time he competes. What isn't known is what his FTP really is? All we know is what training peaks thought his FTP was when they analyzed his performance. I think though, we can feel comfortable in the Rodriguez data as it was collected by a Spanish National Team coach, who we would presume knows what he is doing. His FTP being 87-89% of his max power the last two tests I think is way outside of normal.
 
May 13, 2011
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FrankDay said:
His FTP being 87-89% of his max power the last two tests I think is way outside of normal.
So he can output 88% of his 5 second maximum for ~ and hour. Well color me more than skeptical and if you believe it than I've got a bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in. The fact that you'd bring this up just goes to show how little understanding of power you've got.

Hugh
 
Apr 21, 2009
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FrankDay said:
You guys are crazy. I have simply observed some interesting points in the data and theorized this may lead to an interesting new understanding of training and pacing. I do not know what is "correct" and what is not just as you have no basis for assuming any of the data is incorrect. Are any of you capable of discussing what might be possible? Apparently not.
No, we are capable of discussing the evidence presented to us. Your evidence and claims are very weak. You can't even convince a cycling forum let alone any form of peer review and if you were convinced the research to date that shows Gimmickcranks are a pointless exercise then why have you not done a Tim Noakes and submitted a letter to the editors pointing out the researchers errors.

Now I can back up my claims of seeing a 3-4 mph increase in speed and a 41% increase in power with numerous ride files from several athletes. You can't provide one decent unadulterated, or measured with a properly calibrated power meter, piece of evidence to support your claims.

The burden of proof is one the person making outlandish claims from the sanctity of his own web site. If you really had any conviction for your product you would publish hard data where we can scrutinise it like the chap from Spain whose power files mysteriously repeated themselves and the MIT (no less) grad who didn't know to zero his powertap and didn't think it strange that his 1hr power from rollers was higher than his power from a hill climb that took him 20mins to complete.

Smoke and Mirrors Frank, absolutely pathetic!
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Doesn't Training Peaks give athletes estimates of their FTP (and other power/endurance estimates) based upon the training files submitted?

Edit: from the training peaks site:
A more convenient and possibly more accurate way of determining your functional threshold power is therefore to simply rely on data collected using your power meter in the field. There are a number of different ways of doing so, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages, but all of which provide very similar estimates of threshold power. In order of increasing complexity, these are:

A good estimate of your functional threshold power can often be obtained by simply uploading all of your training data into TrainingPeaks WKO+, and then examining the power frequency distribution found on your "Athlete Home Page". Because exercising above threshold power is quite strenuous and there is a limit to how long you can do so, there will often be a rather noticeable drop-off above this point in this graph. (This same approach works even better for identifying an individual's spontaneously-achieved maximal heart rate - thus reducing or even eliminating the need for formal testing!) Of course, this method works best if the time period being examined includes some high intensity training and/or racing, which serves to make the distinction between sub-threshold and supra-threshold efforts more distinct. Also, sometimes the drop-off in time spent above threshold power is more apparent when the width of each power "bin" is reduced from the default of 20 W to a smaller value, e.g., 5 or 10 W. TrainingPeaks has been specifically designed to allow you to customize graphs, to make such analyses possible.
Another way of estimating your threshold power without performing any formal testing is to simply evaluate the steady power that you can routinely produce in training during longer hard efforts, e.g., intervals or repeats aimed at raising LT, or during longer climbs. In TrainingPeaks WKO+, perhaps the easiest way of doing this is to add a horizontal grid line to a "stacked" graph of an appropriately-chosen workout (or race), and looking for places where your power is quasi-constant for some minutes at a time. You can then adjust the gridline up or down as needed to hone in on the best estimate of your threshold power.
Perhaps an even more precise way of determining your threshold power, yet one which still doesn't require any formal testing, is to examine your normalized power during hard ~1 hour mass start races. Since TrainingPeaks automatically calculates normalized power even if you haven't yet entered a value for your threshold power, using the program to first analyze several race files may be the quickest way to deriving a good estimate of your threshold power.
It's certainly not essential to have you're FTP pegged as someone who is racing long course triathlon is better served establishing goal pacing from long workout data or long course race data.
do you have any evidence it is essential that anyone (whatever the race) know their FTP? Or anything else?
I think it's important to understand that Sam is a pretty unusual athlete. Before ever hearing of Powercranks his tested VO2 max was in the 80s and he did his very first IM in a time of ~ 9:30 without any sort of structured plan or intense training. Needless to say, he picked his parents very well.
Exceptional genes do not allow one to violate physiological limits. Can Sam ride closer to his limits than most people? If so, how does he do it?
 
Sep 23, 2010
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sciguy said:
FrankDay said:
His FTP being 87-89% of his max power the last two tests I think is way outside of normal.
So he can output 88% of his 5 second maximum for ~ and hour. Well color me more than skeptical and if you believe it than I've got a bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in. The fact that you'd bring this up just goes to show how little understanding of power you've got.

Hugh
I don't think so. Don't you think it a bit strange that someone with an FTP of 390 would have a 5 sec max in the 400's? I can do more than that and my FTP is probably 180. My expectation is that number represents his max in a ramp test. Whatever it is 88% of max, however it is calculated, for an hour seems particularly exceptional. Don't you find such a result somewhat intriguing?
 
Apr 21, 2009
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FrankDay said:
sciguy said:
FrankDay said:
His FTP being 87-89% of his max power the last two tests I think is way outside of normal.
So he can output 88% of his 5 second maximum for ~ and hour. Well color me more than skeptical and if you believe it than I've got a bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in. The fact that you'd bring this up just goes to show how little understanding of power you've got.

Hugh
I don't think so. Don't you think it a bit strange that someone with an FTP of 390 would have a 5 sec max in the 400's? I can do more than that and my FTP is probably 180. My expectation is that number represents his max in a ramp test. Whatever it is 88% of max, however it is calculated, for an hour seems particularly exceptional. Don't you find such a result somewhat intriguing?
Not in the least, fairly typical for those of us who understand racing and training with a power meter, understand the concept of TrainingPeaks metrics and have measured this in scores of riders.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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FrankDay said:


Frank, this is really really pathetic now.

You are talking about testing numbers and you don't have the faintest idea what protocol was used to capture those numbers. You just continue to say they were done by a good sport science person so you take them at face value (same as that useless abstract that you take at face value). How the testing was done is much more important than what the numbers are from the testing. The numbers are meaningless if the testing was done poorly or done to test something different.

Go back to school and come back here when you have a clue.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Hope for you yet, it's totally dependant on how you got to VO2max. It's a bit like determining FTP, get it wrong and you come to all manner of silly conclusions and every man and his dog has his own way to test both concepts.
 
May 13, 2011
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FrankDay said:
I am not questioning anyone's integrity. I simply pointed out that TP, when confronted with Sam racing at a IF of .86 simply resolved this by stating that his FTP was probably in error so that everything fit with what they believed. I was simply pointing out that an alternative explanation might explain this, especially in view of the Rodriguez data. How do you explain his being able to increase his FTP (as a percentage of his max power) from 78% to 87-89%? What is a normal FTP1 compared to max power from a ramp test?
Let's look at Sam's performance a somewhat different way that might shed a bit more light on how likely it was he was riding at a higher intensity than the pros in the race.

Looking at data from Kona in 2013 found here https://triathletelife.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/kona-power-performance-and-body-composition-info-2013/ we see for the average male pro riding with a power meter:



So Sam with his 80+ml/kg VO2 max was riding at at 5% lower watts/kg than the average pro rather than vastly more intensely as you contend. I think that puts things nicely in perspective. The fact that he actually went faster is good evidence of the advantage getting to sling shotting past the 1000 athletes that beat him in the swim;)

Hugh
 
Sep 23, 2010
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So, I have been thinking about this last night. I think I can summarize my thoughts pretty succinctly. Let's talk about increasing FTP and I am going to use the Rodriguez data to illustrate the point. Remember Rodriguez in 13 months increased his FTP from 284 to 394, a 39% increase. How can we account for this increase in his FTP?

I see only three ways to increase FTP.
1. Use more muscles when pedaling (this is what happens when we improve with regular training, using more of the same muscles. PowerCranks simply add more muscles to the mix)
2. Pedal more efficiently, get more power out of each oxygen molecule consumed (several things can change efficiency from changing the muscle fiber mix to pedaling technique)
3. riding closer to ones limits (why training peaks states amateurs can usually ride an Ironman at an IF of 0.75 while pros can do so at an IF of 0.80. Did Sam ride at an IF of 0.86? Who knows, it doesn't matter what the number was, it was what it was.). I see this improvement (between the amateurs and pros) coming from better muscle balance, the weakest muscle being used being closer to the capability of the fittest muscle. Failure occurs when the first muscle fails, not the last.

VO2max is simply a measure of the maximum muscle mass being exercised aerobically. It doesn't matter if one is using one muscle more or more muscles, what matters is the total muscle mass being used. Rodriguez increased his VO2max from 4962 to 5794. This 17% increase in VO2max means he was using about 17% more muscle than when pedaling than a year earlier. This can account for 17% of his FTP increase.

We also know when at FTP he was riding closer to his max power limit, increasing from 79% to 87%. This is a 10% increase. When we increase the 17% increase in muscle mass by another 10% (1.17 X 1.10) end up with a 29% increase in FTP that can be accounted for by these two mechanisms. How much increase is still unaccounted for?

A 39% increase is still 8% larger than a 29% increase (1.39/1.29=1.077). Luttrell demonstrated a 10% increase in pedaling efficiency possible from training with PowerCranks. Therefore, the rest of the increase must and can be accounted for by an increase in efficiency. It is not possible to know from this data the reason for the increase in efficiency (pedaling technique or something else) but it surely has to be there (unless one of you can come up with an alternative mechanism to account for these numbers.

I think it is clear, the reason the power increases seen from training with PowerCranks are so high is it is a combination of small things all working together. 40% improvement is "impossible" in most athletes if one is just training the same muscles to do more. It is not if it is possible to invoke all three mechanisms combined together.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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sciguy said:
FrankDay said:
I am not questioning anyone's integrity. I simply pointed out that TP, when confronted with Sam racing at a IF of .86 simply resolved this by stating that his FTP was probably in error so that everything fit with what they believed. I was simply pointing out that an alternative explanation might explain this, especially in view of the Rodriguez data. How do you explain his being able to increase his FTP (as a percentage of his max power) from 78% to 87-89%? What is a normal FTP1 compared to max power from a ramp test?
Let's look at Sam's performance a somewhat different way that might shed a bit more light on how likely it was he was riding at a higher intensity than the pros in the race.

Looking at data from Kona in 2013 found here https://triathletelife.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/kona-power-performance-and-body-composition-info-2013/ we see for the average male pro riding with a power meter:



So Sam with his 80+ml/kg VO2 max was riding at at 5% lower watts/kg than the average pro rather than vastly more intensely as you contend. I think that puts things nicely in perspective. The fact that he actually went faster is good evidence of the advantage getting to sling shotting past the 1000 athletes that beat him in the swim;)

Hugh
I think you are comparing apples to oranges here. First, Sam's time suggests excellent aerodynamics more than "slingshotting" past people. He had passed 90% of those he was going to pass in the first hour. Further, bigger people always have lower watts per KG and for the "same" position will generally have better aerodynamics for their power. Look at the tour, it is the big riders that win the time-trials generally even though their W/kg are usually lower than the small guys. Anyhow, Intensity Factor has more to do with how hard one is riding compared to ones capability. My guess is that pros, who have more time to train, would generally have a higher capability so without knowing their relative capabilities (FTP) we are not addressing the question as to what IF they rode at and how to explain it if they were different.

My point is that Sam rode at an IF of 0.86 using what was presumed, before the race, to be his FTP. How accurate that FTP is/was is not known. If this is what TP calculated his FTP to be based upon his submitted files then there is a problem with their algorythm if it is wrong or he rode at an IF of 0.86. (edit: what bothered me about the trainingpeaks article was the author just assumed his FTP had to be off and gave him a new one so his IF would be 0.81. If he had said, I went back and reviewed all his data and his FTP should have really been 335, that would be one thing but he didn't do that. He just thought it impossible so he fixed the numbers to fit what he thought possible.)

I think one thing is clear, better trained and more experienced riders can ride closer to their limit. No one knows exactly how close they can get. Currently is is assumed to be about 0.8 for Ironman. But, Sam's performance at least raises the possibility that the limit is not 0.80-0.81. The question I was trying to ask is IF Sam rode at an IF of 0.86 what was it that would allow him to do so? I theorized, if this were the case, it would be better muscle balance, the weakest muscle being closer to the capability of the fittest muscle. (edit: what got me thinking about this was my review of the Rodriguez data where I saw he increased his "IF" for his FTP to about .88 and I thought this might explain Sam's performance also.)
 
Re: Re:

FrankDay said:
...
I theorized, if this were the case, it would be better muscle balance, the weakest muscle being closer to the capability of the fittest muscle.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
My guess is that most people train to improve the 'weakest muscle' that they are using - since the fatigue/exhaustion of that muscle is what limits their performance. And that is regardless of their 'pedaling technique'.

If someone's technique is NOT using all the muscles that could contribute to power production, then that's a concern.
But still, there has to be the muscle balance so that combination of each individual muscle is used efficiently and effectively. It would be of little value to over develop a muscle that isn't used effectively.

Perhaps elite athletes are somehow 'more aware' of their muscle usage - what muscles CAN be used, and WHEN to use them.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
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