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Podcast focused on the science and physiology behind training and racing

"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

Podcast focused on the science and physiology behind training and racing

Old 05-06-19, 04:00 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
This is true, but it's true for almost every physiological metric. What's more complex is that your metrics are going to be both driven and limited by your genetics when it comes to your baseline, your epigenetics when it comes to your environment/history, and then also your genetics AGAIN when it comes to how well you respond to different modalities of training. Perhaps you just do not respond well to the VO2max training you've been doing.

I think the problem is that you're comparing the rate of naturally occuring mid-to-upper-60s VO2maxes in the general population and extrapolating that to the rate that they'd occur in well trained populations.

Upper 70s and low 80s is far and away ahead of "mid to upper 60s".
Perhaps, but I've also done a few different training methodologies over the years. After 13 years of "elitish" training and racing, I'm pretty confident in my numbers.

I mean, maybe. But there's also the problem of you just saying it and producing no data to back it up. You've quoted an internet article that chose an arbitrary number to try and illustrate something completely different than what you're talking about and then a piece of paper that any middle schooler could come up with (with the corresponding ambiguity and apparent errors).

Yes, it is far and away. But mid to high 60s is also far and away ahead of what seems to be general physiological abilities in bike racing. Again, where would a cat 3 stack up relative to all bike racers? Top 20%? 30%? Higher? Eh.
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Old 05-06-19, 04:05 PM
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While on the subject, anecdotally speaking, my modeled VO2 max on WKO4 is currently 64.2 and 394 watts. I won a 1/2/3 masters crit yesterday, so while my fitness isn't at an elite level, it's not at a cat 3 level, either.

Comparatively, my all time peak is 69.5 and 427 watts when I was at an elite level and racing competitively (sorta) nationally.
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Old 05-06-19, 04:10 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
In Texas 35+ 4/5 is a racing category in master's.
In Texas do bike racers magically jump from 7% body fat to 12.7% on their 35th birthday?

I didn't (though I never started anywhere near 7%, and I'd wager a fair sum the vast, vast majority of bike racers don't, either).

The data makes no sense is the point.
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Old 05-06-19, 05:02 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Perhaps, but I've also done a few different training methodologies over the years. After 13 years of "elitish" training and racing, I'm pretty confident in my numbers.
VO2max also declines with age, so now that you're over 30, your training is also fighting against the effects of aging.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post

I mean, maybe. But there's also the problem of you just saying it and producing no data to back it up. You've quoted an internet article that chose an arbitrary number to try and illustrate something completely different than what you're talking about and then a piece of paper that any middle schooler could come up with (with the corresponding ambiguity and apparent errors).
Firstly, the article directly quotes a scientist from a sports science lab run by GSK, that is now shutdown. It does NOT just randomly arrive at a number to prove a point, as you've clearly mis-construed here. Secondly, the second set of data come from the UT Austin Kinesology and Health Education physiological testing facility, so again, NOT something a middle schooler came up with. Here is the webpage: http://sites.edb.utexas.edu/fit/aero...-with-lactate/

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Yes, it is far and away. But mid to high 60s is also far and away ahead of what seems to be general physiological abilities in bike racing. Again, where would a cat 3 stack up relative to all bike racers? Top 20%? 30%? Higher? Eh.
I never said ALL CAT3s. I also never said "all bike racers" would be able to test in the mid to upper 60s.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
While on the subject, anecdotally speaking, my modeled VO2 max on WKO4 is currently 64.2 and 394 watts. I won a 1/2/3 masters crit yesterday, so while my fitness isn't at an elite level, it's not at a cat 3 level, either.

Comparatively, my all time peak is 69.5 and 427 watts when I was at an elite level and racing competitively (sorta) nationally.
VO2max alone is not a good predictor of race results.
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Old 05-06-19, 07:26 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
VO2max also declines with age, so now that you're over 30, your training is also fighting against the effects of aging.

Firstly, the article directly quotes a scientist from a sports science lab run by GSK, that is now shutdown. It does NOT just randomly arrive at a number to prove a point, as you've clearly mis-construed here. Secondly, the second set of data come from the UT Austin Kinesology and Health Education physiological testing facility, so again, NOT something a middle schooler came up with. Here is the webpage: Aerobic FIT with Lactate - FITNESS INSTITUTE of TEXAS

I never said ALL CAT3s. I also never said "all bike racers" would be able to test in the mid to upper 60s.


VO2max alone is not a good predictor of race results.

No, you didn't say that. You said fast cat 3s can probably test up in to the upper 60s. And I questioned whether cat 3s with such values would be a cat 3 for long, or if there would be a significant enough number of them. And maybe there is data to back up that assertion. There just hasn't been any produced in this thread. Again, that article you referenced has zero to do with the topic you're suggesting. There is ZERO data in that article. There is a quote of a guy asserting "Once you reach around 60, we’re talking category 3 riders, maybe category 2. Cat 1 riders are usually over 70 and beyond" and then the article saying "If we consider our cat 3 rider with a VO2 max of 60 as ‘Mr Average’"... With sedentary people at 30-40, and the top guys at 90+, here's Mr. Average 60. Arbitrary enough.

I have a middle schooler. He's made up charts like that in whatever math class he's in these days. I scratch my head looking at his stuff just like I scratch my head looking at that. Hyperbole, sure, but you're telling me that data set makes sense? How? In what way? In what world does everyone have 7% body fat? Or anyone? It's just numbers, but the numbers don't add up. I question the power values, too. A pretty elite crosssection studied that are popping off 6.3 w/kg for 5 minutes or so as a group average.

No, physiological markers don't automatically result in race wins. But aerobic abilities significantly beyond those of your racing peers tend to show up pretty quickly, especially at a cat 3 level.
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Old 05-06-19, 07:34 PM
  #31  
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I would like to see ToddtheBods last VO2 max test graph. It's one thing to think numbers are "normal" until you do the test yourself - especially after 40 like my last test.
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Old 05-06-19, 07:37 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
In Texas do bike racers magically jump from 7% body fat to 12.7% on their 35th birthday?

I didn't (though I never started anywhere near 7%, and I'd wager a fair sum the vast, vast majority of bike racers don't, either).

The data makes no sense is the point.
I turned 36 in January, I would have loved for my body fat to jump to 12.7% as that would have been a few percent decrease...

Without life altering adjustments to my diet and training routines I'm doubtful I could see single digit body fat.
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Old 05-06-19, 08:41 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
No, you didn't say that. You said fast cat 3s can probably test up in to the upper 60s. And I questioned whether cat 3s with such values would be a cat 3 for long, or if there would be a significant enough number of them. And maybe there is data to back up that assertion. There just hasn't been any produced in this thread. Again, that article you referenced has zero to do with the topic you're suggesting. There is ZERO data in that article. There is a quote of a guy asserting "Once you reach around 60, we’re talking category 3 riders, maybe category 2. Cat 1 riders are usually over 70 and beyond" and then the article saying "If we consider our cat 3 rider with a VO2 max of 60 as ‘Mr Average’"... With sedentary people at 30-40, and the top guys at 90+, here's Mr. Average 60. Arbitrary enough.
Yes I did say that. I did not say "ALL" fast cat3s, I said fast cat3s, as in some of the fast cat3s but not all of them. You're adding words to what I said. Read the words I wrote. If I meant "all fast cat3s" I would have included that word "all".

"arbitrary enough". Ok, well, again, more hyperbole.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post

I have a middle schooler. He's made up charts like that in whatever math class he's in these days. I scratch my head looking at his stuff just like I scratch my head looking at that. Hyperbole, sure, but you're telling me that data set makes sense? How? In what way? In what world does everyone have 7% body fat? Or anyone? It's just numbers, but the numbers don't add up. I question the power values, too. A pretty elite crosssection studied that are popping off 6.3 w/kg for 5 minutes or so as a group average.
I can tell you're trying to be intentionally dense here, but clearly it's not a population average or meant to be a sample of ALL cat3s, but it's data taken from the people who have shown up to UT Austin to get their physiology measured. Obviously it's not gonna be an exhaustive sampling!
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Old 05-06-19, 08:42 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
I would like to see ToddtheBods last VO2 max test graph. It's one thing to think numbers are "normal" until you do the test yourself - especially after 40 like my last test.
My VO2max isn't very good as I'm a right now only focused on sprinting, but a few years back I did 440W for 5 mins at 180 lbs. Happy?

Last edited by ToddTheBod; 05-06-19 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 05-06-19, 10:13 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
My VO2max isn't very good as I'm a right now only focused on sprinting, but a few years back I did 440W for 5 mins at 180 lbs. Happy?
I was never unhappy. Those are good power numbers - congrats.

During my last VO2 test I felt very limited by the mask and the instruction not to stand or rock the bike; I could have produced a much bigger 5 min number if I was allowed to stand and jam - as that is what I am good at. Even then they said I reached VO2max based on my respiratory exchange ratio.

Last edited by Enthalpic; 05-06-19 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 05-06-19, 10:17 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
My VO2max isn't very good as I'm a right now only focused on sprinting, but a few years back I did 440W for 5 mins at 180 lbs. Happy?
Are you a fast cat 3?
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Old 05-07-19, 03:40 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
I was never unhappy. Those are good power numbers - congrats.

During my last VO2 test I felt very limited by the mask and the instruction not to stand or rock the bike; I could have produced a much bigger 5 min number if I was allowed to stand and jam - as that is what I am good at. Even then they said I reached VO2max based on my respiratory exchange ratio.
I hated the mask. Made me feel like I was drowning. I've done the test twice, and I'm convinced that the second time, I bailed out of the test a bit early because I didn't want to hit that point of feeling like I was drowning.

(I don't remember my numbers, but they weren't impressive - certainly not fast cat 3 level.)
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Old 05-07-19, 08:03 AM
  #38  
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First time I did that test, the machine was set to shut down when my HR hit 200. My max HR at the time was around 208 (I can still get it above 200 at the tender age of 50). Damn I was pissed that I had to come back and do the test again.
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Old 05-07-19, 08:59 AM
  #39  
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No one sees single digit body fat without living a lifestyle another would deem as life altering. It’s an inherently a “life altering” %.
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Old 05-07-19, 09:53 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
No one sees single digit body fat without living a lifestyle another would deem as life altering. It’s an inherently a “life altering” %.
Definitions of life altering probably vary greatly.

I've tried a bunch to drop body fat. (Garmin Scale plus math says I have 25 lbs of body fat (16%)). It's extremely difficult for me to lose weight period, let alone make any real difference in body fat.
My last real go at it got me down to about 13% but I lost a significant amount of power and stamina in the process. I likely didn't go about it smartly.

I'm at the point where I think nutrition is the existing barrier to my next level of fitness. Which unfortunately is still a long way from 'elite'.
Continually working towards 4w/kg....
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Old 05-07-19, 11:02 AM
  #41  
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I have done BF testing several times using different technologies. The lowest number I ever obtained was with under water testing at age 30 that was 5.5%. I thought at the time that the test result was low but hey I felt great at the time and I was in great shape - cycling, running and strength training.

About 5 years ago, I had a trainer at Equinox use the skin fold calipers. He takes 3 readings and adds them together and then goes to a chart that has age groups. He comes up with 16% based upon my age. I said...wait a minute, I was expecting 8-10%. If he used the age column for 30 years old, I would be at 10%. Supposedly, the age correction is for visceral fat which is fat that accumulates around organs and etc.

My waist has not changed in 40 years and if anything is slightly smaller so where is this visceral fat accumulating or is my liver getting smaller? There is no answer to this question so a way to correct is by using an athletic discount. Many scales have an athletic setting to compensate for being an athlete.

In the end, the trainer says, you are in great shape, what BF do you want to be. IMO, BF testing is a blunt instrument. However, skin fold testing or observation in the mirror can tell a lot about ones shape and BF %. But much like how high one can box jump or deadlift or how low ones BF, they are metrics for consideration and indication of performance and strength. There are no time bonuses added at the end of the race for the racer with the lowest BF measurement.

What I have found to be true for me, even sprinting, is that the lower my weight the better my power numbers and sprint times. Of course, there is a point of no return.
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Old 05-07-19, 11:03 AM
  #42  
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Also, I have a question for the VO2 experts. I assume that VO2 Max is directly a function of ones weight in Kg. So if I lower my weight 5%, I increase my VO2 max 5%. This assumes my cardio pulmonary system will remain unchanged as I lower body weight and O2 consumption will remain the same. Maybe heat rejection improves with less BF.
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Old 05-07-19, 11:09 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Also, I have a question for the VO2 experts. I assume that VO2 Max is directly a function of ones weight in Kg. So if I lower my weight 5%, I increase my VO2 max 5%. This assumes my cardio pulmonary system will remain unchanged as I lower body weight and O2 consumption will remain the same. Maybe heat rejection improves with less BF.
VO2 measurements generally take bodyweight into account but what would be best is just lean mass. When measured in the lab only L/min are recorded, then simple division by kg. If you reduce lean mass then the same volume of O2 goes to less muscle, so the relative amount available increases. You're right about body fat being hugely important in exercise; heat that cannot be lost from the body signal feedback mechanisms to cut the crap or you'll broil your insides. Heat training helps but y'know, it's complex.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:04 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post

In the end, the trainer says, you are in great shape, what BF do you want to be. IMO, BF testing is a blunt instrument. However, skin fold testing or observation in the mirror can tell a lot about ones shape and BF %. But much like how high one can box jump or deadlift or how low ones BF, they are metrics for consideration and indication of performance and strength. There are no time bonuses added at the end of the race for the racer with the lowest BF measurement.

What I have found to be true for me, even sprinting, is that the lower my weight the better my power numbers and sprint times. Of course, there is a point of no return.
Agreed. But less BF combined with maintaining power equals higher w/kg which equals MORE SPEED!
The metric itself doesn't mean you are fast, but it's a metric where a lower number can make you faster than you are now, so it's worth keeping an eye on and/or trying to improve.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:12 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
Yes I did say that. I did not say "ALL" fast cat3s, I said fast cat3s, as in some of the fast cat3s but not all of them. You're adding words to what I said. Read the words I wrote. If I meant "all fast cat3s" I would have included that word "all".

"arbitrary enough". Ok, well, again, more hyperbole.

I can tell you're trying to be intentionally dense here, but clearly it's not a population average or meant to be a sample of ALL cat3s, but it's data taken from the people who have shown up to UT Austin to get their physiology measured. Obviously it's not gonna be an exhaustive sampling!

I don't know why you keep repeating yourself. You're not saying that. I'm not saying that. Only your referenced article is alluding to something of that nature. Yours, not mine. I'm not adding anything to anything.

I'm trying to be intentionally dense? Well, that's kinda mean. You're making the claims. I question the claims as they seem out of the ordinary. You devolve into constantly repeating what you're not saying.

But really what you need to focus on is the other stuff you're not saying: like, where there's actual data to back up your initial assertions. Because after many posts you still haven't said anything about that, either.

So this isn't me being dense. This is me pointing out you have no data and that the data you're claiming to have is lacking in big ways. Like, to the point of appearing made up. Again, something else you're "not saying".
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Old 05-07-19, 12:20 PM
  #46  
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This always makes me feel fat.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:55 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
In Texas do bike racers magically jump from 7% body fat to 12.7% on their 35th birthday?

I didn't (though I never started anywhere near 7%, and I'd wager a fair sum the vast, vast majority of bike racers don't, either).

The data makes no sense is the point.
35+ Masters in Texas is just Cat 4/5. So that eliminates Cat 3s and up. It's probably the least competitive category, with possibly the exception of Cat 5s. So yes, I would expect those in that category to be less fit, to have more fat %. It's like the difference between the A ride and the B ride. The bodies are different (on average). So if you are 35 and a Cat 3, you would not be able to race master's in Texas. Until you are race age 40.
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Old 05-07-19, 03:42 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
This always makes me feel fat.
I've seen that several times and questioned the accuracy. Likely someone scoured Google Images and pasted in the ones that looked right.
The only thing I think it gets right is that once you get to less than that 11-12% range, there is visually very little difference.
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Old 05-07-19, 04:39 PM
  #49  
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I'm sitting at 11-12% bf atm, according to a skinfold test, but due to my age (47) I don't look like that..in the Marine Corps I did but that was decades ago. I'd like to halve that for some races in the next few months but getting to 6% is hard....its easy so long as I can stay away from my wife, friends, in laws and dictate my own diet but when I get dragged out to restaurants or eating at others people's houses then I don't have the discipline to just eat carrots when there's tastier food sitting there.

According to my Edge and a Ramp test, I'm somewhere around 56-58, while that may be wildly inaccurate I'm not sure having an actual vo2 test is helpful. If I'm wrong let me know.
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Old 05-08-19, 03:44 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post

This always makes me feel fat.
Skinny bike racers look like this:




I'd rather have a dad bod
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