Watt’s Up?

Mini-update on my mini-wattage.

Monday morning, I warmed up a bit and then did a concerted 60 minute effort on the road.  The route included wind and hills, and 3 full stops, so it was less than ideal.  I’ve also found that, when riding on the road, it is hard to reach your maximum potential…riding a trainer, I can push until the world starts turning dark, and the worst that could happen would be a 4′ fall to the floor.  The stakes are slightly higher when being passed by traffic.

Anyhow, average wattage over 60 minutes was 239.  Max average over 20 minutes was 249…although I think if I was going out hard on a 20 minute effort instead of a 60 minute effort, I could put up more wattage.  I also suspect that if I had a better route or better conditions, the wattage would go up a bit…but not meaningfully–probably within a percent or two.

This afternoon, I did a solo ride with winds variable from 8-12mph out of the south/southwest.  30.2 miles, light traffic, no real hills (550 feet of total “climbing”), a few stop signs and 3 traffic lights.  Going on a total elapsed time basis (i.e. start the clock when you start pedalling, and leave it running until you finish the route), I had an average speed of 21.1mph, average cadence of 92, total elapsed time just shy of 1 hour 26 minutes, and average wattage of 228.

At my current fighting weight of 146 pounds or ~66kg, that’s 3.45 watts/kg for 90 minutes, 3.62 watts/kg for 60 minutes and 3.77 watts/kg for 20 minutes.  All of those are taken without watching wattage when riding.  I’m not sure what impact it would have upon my riding to know my wattage on the fly–I suppose I’ll learn at some point.

The wattage/kg chart above is skewed because I am drastically skinny for a rider my height.  As I’ve previously blogged about, I don’t think I’m a Cat 3 rider…I think I’m not leaving much in reserve when riding hard.  But it is good to know that, even on the road, solo, my 90 minute average wattage is better than my best “ride until you pass out” effort on a stationary trainer just a few months ago.  If there’s an Indoor Nationals watt/kg competition this year at NCC, I think I’ve determined that it would be easier to win by starving myself and thus lowering weight than it would be to increase power.  (Hopefully the sarcasm there is self-evident).

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2 thoughts on “Watt’s Up?

  1. These sound like good solid numbers to train off of. Lots of good free info out there on work outs to do with power or buy the Training Bible or Training and Racing with a Power Meter. Without paying a coach we are all just kinda trying to find what works for us. Use your CP60 number as your 100% and your zones now look like this: 70% 168w, 80% 192w, 90% 216w, 110% 264w, 120% 288w. My best guess at your size you probably have an underdeveloped CP1 and CP5 minute power to help with crits and group rides, so VO2-270w (3 to 5 minute intervals ie: 5 sets of 5 minutes on with 5 minutes rest at say 170w plus warm up and cool down looks like this 5x5x5) and 30s/30s till failure at 150% 360w for you. Good Luck.

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