A Rant on Power-Based Training

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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scapie
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by scapie

iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:54 am
Please feel free to proffer any substantive rebuttals.
OK. here viewtopic.php?f=8&t=156535 you're offering advice about bike fitting and handling yet you ride a bike that is 2 sizes too small for you and you don't understand how a bike handles. Yet you're trying to hold it down with claims such as...
I come from a "near" elite athletic background
and
I used to train with a current WT pro
lol.

and now you're kicking off about training with power is a waste of time and coaches don't know what they're talking about all the while about posting things like this...
...DONS (delayed onset soreness/fatigue)...
you havn't even spelt the acronym correct.

stop being so thirsty.

iheartbianchi
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by iheartbianchi

scapie wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 3:36 am
OK. here viewtopic.php?f=8&t=156535 you're offering advice about bike fitting and handling yet you ride a bike that is 2 sizes too small for you and you don't understand how a bike handles. Yet you're trying to hold it down with claims such as...
That's funny that you don't even know my measurements, but you have concluded that my bikes are two sizes too small. And not knowing how a bike handles? If you want to have a discussion on weight distribution and power transfer from the cranks to the rear wheel and how that affects grip and how your weight shifts to the rear with each pedal stroke, I'm more than happy to engage in a separate thread about optimal positioning on a bike.
scapie wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 3:36 am
lol.

and now you're kicking off about training with power is a waste of time and coaches don't know what they're talking about all the while about posting things like this...
Obviously you have not read my post. I never said training with power is a waste of time. In case reading comprehension is not your thing, the point is "viewing power as some kind of replacement for heart-rate based training is flawed." At best, it is a supplement to a sound training program. And whether you like it or not, all aerobic exercise is based on the cross-functionality of your cardiovascular, skeletal-muscular and endocrine systems. Power is merely an output of these systems, whereas your heart rate is a more-or-less accurate measurement of how these systems are functioning at any given point of time.
scapie wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 3:36 am

you havn't even spelt the acronym correct.

stop being so thirsty.
I apologize for the typo, I type a lot, quickly. This is a point for another discussion, but I disagree with the characterization as DOMS as some specific thing, which is why I refuse to say "delayed onset muscle soreness." It's a convenient acronym, but what we identify as DOMS is not a simple matter of "muscle soreness" and there is no consensus as to its exact cause, and I am sure what many people identify as "DOMS" are entirely different ailments. Which is why I am intentionally vague in characterizing it as soreness/fatigue. Is "DOMS" caused by lactic acid? Maybe. Micro tears? Maybe. Inflammation? Maybe. Some other by-product of converting energy into work? Maybe. Free radicals? Maybe. Injury? Maybe. You can even get "DOMS" from a massage or sitting in front of a desk all day.

And as to my qualifications? I'm not forcing anyone to listen to me and I'm certainly not asking you for a dime. I have nothing to sell to you nor any interest in doing so. But I think it is worthwhile to let people know where I am coming from. I was a NCAA Division 1 athlete, and briefly pursued a career as a professional athlete after graduating from college. I qualified for, and competed at senior nationals. I also spent some time training at the Olympic training center and was sponsored by Nike at one point. But I didn't have what it took, so I gave it up, went to graduate school and now work behind a desk. Obviously I interacted with (and still do) a lot of coaches and athletes, and learned quite a lot about training methods and the science behind it. One of my good friends and teammate is riding in the Giro. He gives me a lot of useful insight as to how training is evolving (well it hasn't changed much in the past 10 years) in the pro peloton. And in the interest of community, and the fact that this is a discussion board, I thought I would try to be helpful to people by sharing what I know. Yet all you seem interested in is cutting down people who you disagree with, which in my opinion is a terrible attitude to have.
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Lewn777
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by Lewn777

scapie wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 3:36 am
iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:54 am
Please feel free to proffer any substantive rebuttals.
OK. here viewtopic.php?f=8&t=156535 you're offering advice about bike fitting and handling yet you ride a bike that is 2 sizes too small for you and you don't understand how a bike handles. Yet you're trying to hold it down with claims such as...
I come from a "near" elite athletic background
and
I used to train with a current WT pro
lol.

and now you're kicking off about training with power is a waste of time and coaches don't know what they're talking about all the while about posting things like this...
...DONS (delayed onset soreness/fatigue)...
you havn't even spelt the acronym correct.

stop being so thirsty.
I'm sick of people like you on forums. You offer nothing meaningful to anyone. All the information if you ever to supply any is cut and pasted from other sites - reguritation, if we're lucky. It's like you're trying to play a big game of 'prove someone else wrong on the interweb', the idea of forwarding any kind of discussion on the subject being discussed is totally alien to you. It's like cycling and health is the last interest you have. If it was a discussion on dog's arses, you'd take the other view just, because. Something original or contraversial sets off your spidie senses, as does a typo or grammar error. 'I've got a chance of proving someone wrong here', and in you go.

I personally think the OP's a bit wrong and that power is more important that HR, but I find his opinion interesting and worthwhile because it's built from he own head, and his own experience and reading. Why he thinks what he thinks is interesting to me. I don't want to pick the opposite postition to try and play dick measurer.

Don't take what I wrote personally, there are many many other people like you. The more there are the more people like you think it's acceptable, but it's like internet cancer.

scapie
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by scapie

do you know what i think is like internet cancer? diluting a community of vast experience with BS.

i do agree with one point the OP has made though, and that is i do have a bad attitude. it is the biproduct of bike racing with one benefit being experience.

basilic
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by basilic

scapie wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:52 am
a bad attitude. it is the biproduct of bike racing
scapie, maybe eat something? you could be experiencing hypoglycemia
;-)

ducman
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by ducman

Come on guys, don't start another forum battle.
I agree 100% with the opening post.
But mostly people are to 'scared' to post any opinions around this topic.

Here something that's spooking around my thoughts when i'm on a long training ride:

When you compare the human body to, let's say an F1-car, and for sure the two models are comparable,
What's the most important parameter engine guys monitor... rpm. They look at power to see how good there
Engine is, but simply said, while racing/training, the bigest gauge in front of the driver is rpm. And engineers (=trainer 😀) also take rpm as the main graph.

iheartbianchi
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by iheartbianchi

scapie wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:52 am
do you know what i think is like internet cancer? diluting a community of vast experience with BS.

i do agree with one point the OP has made though, and that is i do have a bad attitude. it is the biproduct of bike racing with one benefit being experience.
I am happy to have a thoughftul discussion as to why you think it is BS. Heck, the training that I used to do as a junior was vastly different than what I did as a senior, and I've seen the evolution of training methods with new developments in science so I am very receptive to change in this regard. Believe it or not, I'm certain I have spent several thousand hours over the past 20 years reading and studying this stuff, mostly because I was obsessed with finding any possible edge to beat my competitors (not that it worked for me since I sadly came to the realization that it's all in your genes). But no need to just call something garbage without actually offering any rationale at all.
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iheartbianchi
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by iheartbianchi

ducman wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 6:21 am
Come on guys, don't start another forum battle.
I agree 100% with the opening post.
But mostly people are to 'scared' to post any opinions around this topic.

Here something that's spooking around my thoughts when i'm on a long training ride:

When you compare the human body to, let's say an F1-car, and for sure the two models are comparable,
What's the most important parameter engine guys monitor... rpm. They look at power to see how good there
Engine is, but simply said, while racing/training, the bigest gauge in front of the driver is rpm. And engineers (=trainer 😀) also take rpm as the main graph.
I confess, I made this thread out of exasperation. I went on two group rides over the weekend, and people were obsessing over their power numbers. "You should be pushing X watts on this segment" etc. etc. None of them had heart rate monitors on, and when I asked the response is "you don't need one when you have a power meter." And of course nobody seemed to know why "x watts" was necessary for a segment, other than to achieve some time goal. Mind you, these were training rides at 35-40km/h, not some ride targetting Strava KOMs. Which got me thinking, "why do people think a HR is not necessary" and "how did FTP become some kind of replacement for HR?" "Do these people even know what the point of FTP is or what it actually is supposed to represent?" "Who is profitting from this?" Of course I'd noticed the decreasing popularity of heart rate monitors among cyclists over the past several years, which I think is a real shame. If I had to choose between power and a HRM, I go with HRM everytime, but HR monitors are so cheap now why wouldn't you get one. If you have a Garmin or similar GPS, you just have to buy a chest strap which is like $50! Heck I have 3 of them and I've even offered to give them to friends for free and they always say it's not needed anymore :(

I take my sport very passionately and I know I talk a lot so sorry for the long walls of text :)
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scapie
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by scapie

basilic wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 6:01 am
scapie wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:52 am
a bad attitude. it is the biproduct of bike racing
scapie, maybe eat something? you could be experiencing hypoglycemia
;-)
ha ha, yeah..i think you're right!
iheartbianchi wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 6:25 am
But no need to just call something garbage without actually offering any rationale at all.
isn't that what you did in your initial post about coaches? coaching is garbage because all it is is experience and outside of the 1970's its not relevant?

if you want to write an opinion post on your thoughts about training with HR and how to best use it, thats all good. if you want to post up about your thoughts on FTP or normalised power and how they're made up numbers and not that useful, sweet. but you need to be careful just blanket calling things out because people look to this forum for advice. its one of the few out there which have alot of exerienced members and good information. Insinuating that using power or asking for a coach is a waste of time to for anyone other than the very elite is incorrect.

iheartbianchi
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by iheartbianchi

scapie wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 8:37 am

isn't that what you did in your initial post about coaches? coaching is garbage because all it is is experience and outside of the 1970's its not relevant?

if you want to write an opinion post on your thoughts about training with HR and how to best use it, thats all good. if you want to post up about your thoughts on FTP or normalised power and how they're made up numbers and not that useful, sweet. but you need to be careful just blanket calling things out because people look to this forum for advice. its one of the few out there which have alot of exerienced members and good information. Insinuating that using power or asking for a coach is a waste of time to for anyone other than the very elite is incorrect.
Thanks for being nicer this time :)

I do think that most coaching is a waste of time and money for amateurs, and I am exceptionally skeptical of anybody who is trying to make a living selling you their "knowhow." From what I've seen, most coaches will basically just glance through your training history, and copy/paste somebody else's training program (with some slight modifications) and then charge you for the privilege. They'll tell you you need to buy an expensive power meter, without mentioning the simpler and far cheaper alternative of using a heart rate monitor.

If that same amateur came on here and asked for a training program, I am sure that we collectively could come up with a better training program for them, for free. If they can't afford it, heck I'd even mail them a spare heart rate monitor for them to borrow.

But just so we're clear, I don't think FTP or power-based training is a waste of time or worthless. I thought I was clear in saying this, but in its current mutated form commonly used in amateur coaching, i.e. sans heart rate monitors, it is a deeply flawed training method. Absent heart rate monitors, power-based training encourages you to go too hard and too long. I think they can be dangerously abused by amateurs, who can tend to obsess over the numbers a bit too much, and in fact result in more harm than good in the long run. There's a reason why you see Chris Froome wearing a heart rate monitor even during competition. He's not just staring at his power, he's making sure that he never gets near his lactate threshold until the very end of a stage, because that's how you blow up big time.
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mattr
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by mattr

So, in summary, crap coaches are crap and you shouldn't use them?

Think we've been here before. Repeatedly.

iheartbianchi
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by iheartbianchi

mattr wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:42 am
So, in summary, crap coaches are crap and you shouldn't use them?

Think we've been here before. Repeatedly.
That’s why I labelled my thread a “rant...”

Also, power meters are expensive. And you should also use a heart rate monitor if you insist on buying a power meter. I think that summarizes it all.
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onemanpeloton
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by onemanpeloton

iheartbianchi wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 10:38 am
OK sure, there are some cautionary points: obviously caffeine, sleep, stress, weather, heat etc. all effect your HR and you need to adjust your effort accordingly. Sore muscles can also impact your HR. Generally, these external factors will tend to make you go slower than you should be going, and you need to be aware of this. But again, the answers are in your control and at your fingertips, and they are based on science.

Just to be sure, there are a few (and I mean very few) coaches who do have invaluable experience coaching based on power, and can certainly take you to levels you never imagined possible (but to be clear, there are similar coaches who do HR based training). However, 99% of you will never have access to such coaches. But absent a stellar coach, you are completely guessing when you train based on power, and you have to be really lucky to find a program that is just right for you. If you're unlucky, sucks for you. If you're lucky, well then just admit you were lucky instead of saying power based training works.
I love this topic and I think it's great to challenge the "norms". I'm sure we can all agree or disagree whilst still being respectful.

My question is, if HR is such a reliable measure of what the body is doing, then why would efforts be adjusted dependent on caffeine, sleep, stress etc? Surely 65% of HR is exactly that, and the stress on the heart is exactly that, regardless of what other factors come in to play. And if you then argue that this isn't the case, how do you know if you're stressed or if the weather's having an effect and how much do you adjust your training for this?

Also, if there are a certain number of coaches that can take you to extremely high levels with power based training, then this suggests that all of your concerns regarding power based training should be aimed at coaches (which I know you've already done to some extent) and not at the nature of the training itself. Otherwise how could these power based coaches get such good results given that you say they have no basis in science, and only in experience?
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ichobi
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by ichobi

From where I am from, most people that buy powermeter also check their heart rate. I thought that was a common understanding that you need to look at both to get the full picture of your performance? Like... a really rudimentary knoweldge. If anything, a lot of the cyclists around here (Bangkok) actually don't use powermeter because it's too expensive. I still have yet to see someone who use just powermeter to guage their ability, and definitely most of the well known coaches here rely on both to check their student's performance. They might pescribe certain watts for exercise but none that I know of won't check HR along side them, it that were the case then they'd be a lot more stupid than most of the amateurs. Actually I am surprised to hear of your experience but I guess different places people do different things. We have our fair share of weird superstitions and beliefs in training as well.

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mattr
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by mattr

Crap coaches are crap. :wink:

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