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How common is 300w for an hour?

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How common is 300w for an hour?

Old 02-11-21, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I had a friend who was a pro triathlete (sub 9 hour Kona-type guy) who started bike racing. I want to say his FTP was 350w, and he could motor all day long at that. Of course, he could not cross 900w to save his life - he just had no top end. Anyway, he rode away from every race field and solo'd for the win in crits and RRs until he got up to a 2.
I stand corrected (although 350W is a good deal more than 300W).
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Old 02-11-21, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
These are very different IMO, but somehow that 20 min thing was allowed to become a valid calculation on what one could do for an hour.
Agreed - that is what I was saying in my post.
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Old 02-11-21, 11:05 AM
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How common is actually holding 300 watts for an hour? I dunno, it's pretty hard to find a place that 300 watts can be done for that length of time with out interuption. The only place I've managed to come close has been on mountain passes & even then...Well, there's still riding to be done that day, 3.64 watts/kg never seems like a good idea.

The times I have done Alp du Zwift however have yielded an actual, measured 288 for a 55 minute run from the starting gate to the top. That sure is awfully close to your question. Close enough for discussion anyway. (Though I'm sure someone would quibble over 12 watts. )

Garmin Insites, comparing myself to men says:
I ride more than 99 out of 100 in duration,
I ride more than 93 out of 100 others in distance,
I ride more than 67 out of 100 in speed,
I ride more than 77 out of 100 in power.
Comparing myself to ALL users in the Garmin Insights data set gives slightly more favorable results.

So theres your answer. Assuming no physiological freakishness or abnormalities on my part: Of male cyclists in the top 1% of time dedicated & top 7% of distance covered it can be done & is likely not uncommon. About 23% do it & it only makes them faster than about 7 in 10 of male cyclists.

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Old 02-11-21, 11:31 AM
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My best year as a cat 2 I did 282w for 55m at training camp. I think I got a little fitter that year, so I maaay have been able to pull off a 290w on a better day. At 66kg, I didn't even beat all our cat 3's up the climb at that power. I think I was 6th fastest on the day or something like that? Best time was about 7 minutes faster. None of the guys that went faster than me were lighter than me either, so I imagine they were all over 300w. So, I would say it's not super common, but not rare either. I think we had ~40 guys doing the climb ranging from cat 1 to cat 5

The 300w FTP is something I've been chasing for years
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Old 02-11-21, 12:14 PM
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300w for an hour put me at a 55:49 for the 40k. So maybe you should ask how common is it to ride a sub-hour 40k.

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Old 02-11-21, 12:15 PM
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And I guess technically 299 wasn't 300. And 55:49 wasn't an hour.
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Old 02-11-21, 01:25 PM
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Here is what CyclingAnalytics.com has to say about it (taken from the statistics section)


A lot of that depends on how many users they have and I really couldn't tell you; between 1000 to 10,000? They're also probably light on users in the higher end and lower end, but also probably lean a bit more athletically, so these average would be higher.
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Old 02-11-21, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I'm not on Zwift, but I was under the impression that w/kg is the deciding factor. So, adding weight would bring w/kg down, making your slower in Zwift. Isn't that why people are "weight doping" by putting a lower weight to increase their w/kg?
In races that don't go up major climbs, the wattage spent moving forward seems to be a deciding factor in Zwift. So, if you CAN do big watts but you will outclass yourself by upgrading from one rank to the next....adding a bit of weight keeps all that forward power at just a bit of penalty for going uphill.

I think the pure w/kg comes in play in the fondos and hill climb races on Zwift. Anything remotely flatter, it's a power fest.

Their formula for your speed isn't purely w/kg, it's watts also. They just class racing by w/kg only. Which is silly as somebody like furiousferret on a flatter race would still be an A/A+ but get destroyed by a bunch of B racers. Which is why I advocate for points each time they put it up for vote on their forums instead of w/kg.

Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
300w for an hour put me at a 55:49 for the 40k. So maybe you should ask how common is it to ride a sub-hour 40k.


You went 26.8mph, well under an hour for a 25mi event. Great roll! Breaking an hour for a 25mi TT is pretty common IMO. I've done 58:38 on only 252w. I'm pretty aero. I bet I could have done it on high 240ish watts. I've done your same speed in a 10mi including a u-turn at only 283w.

There's Ironman folks who have positions good enough that for the full 113 miles bike ride average 25mph on under 240w. They've got custom frame/fork fairings for between arms bottles or behind the seat post aero fairings full of drink that adds to bike aero TT folks can't use. Often designed to improve overall aero.

But breaking an hour in 25mi isn't always a good indicator of 300w. You have the data for yours saying 300w. I've got data going 25.5mph on only 252w.
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Old 02-11-21, 03:35 PM
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Don't have a ton to add that hasn't already been said, but I do think 300 watts for an hour is pretty rare for the general cycling public, or even most amateur racers.

300 watts in a vacuum, for a minute or whatever, isn't a big number. An hour is a long time. 300 for an hour is a big effort and becomes a pretty big number IMO. Really small climber dudes, hard to get the raw numbers up there. Really big dudes, raw numbers are high but sustained efforts are not generally in the toolbox for those guys.

As for Zwift specifically, total crap shoot for too many reason to list, though most have already been mentioned!

An FTP of 5w/kg for a pure amateur racer is pretty high end from my experience, a guy that can do that has an engine and while FTP isn't the end all and might not even be all that important for amateur racing at all, a guy who sits at 5 w/kg is probably pretty successful locally and likely does ok regionally in most cases.
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Old 02-12-21, 08:49 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
These are very different IMO, but somehow that 20 min thing was allowed to become a valid calculation on what one could do for an hour.
I think the bigger problem is that the 20-min test is not administered correctly. Too often, people do just 20 min, and take 95% of that. But the original 20-min. test is much more complex:

1. Start out with a 20-minute warm-up, at about 65% of your max heart rate (HR)
2. Next do three fast-pedaling efforts at 100 rpm for one minute each, with one minute of easy recovery pedaling between each set
3. Ride 5 minutes all out. Punch it and hold it! Start at a high pace, but not so high that you die at the end. You should have a little energy held in reserve to kick it toward the finish line in the last minute.
4. Ride 10 minutes easy at endurance pace.
5. 20-minute time trial.
Then take 95% of that 20-min effort.

How many people are doing steps 1-4?
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Old 02-12-21, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I think the bigger problem is that the 20-min test is not administered correctly. Too often, people do just 20 min, and take 95% of that. But the original 20-min. test is much more complex:

1. Start out with a 20-minute warm-up, at about 65% of your max heart rate (HR)
2. Next do three fast-pedaling efforts at 100 rpm for one minute each, with one minute of easy recovery pedaling between each set
3. Ride 5 minutes all out. Punch it and hold it! Start at a high pace, but not so high that you die at the end. You should have a little energy held in reserve to kick it toward the finish line in the last minute.
4. Ride 10 minutes easy at endurance pace.
5. 20-minute time trial.
Then take 95% of that 20-min effort.

How many people are doing steps 1-4?
20+3(1+1)+5+10+20=61 minutes.

I think the cycling world has been trolled.
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Old 02-12-21, 09:01 AM
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I do step 3) (the VO2 max interval), but admittedly I wouldn't call it "all out", as I typically ride it at ~10% more power than what I aim to hold during the 20'. I'm equally lazy about the rest of the protocol.

The utility in any FTP test (emphasis on that first letter) is that it helps establishes meaningful training zones. To that end, I think that consistency in an athlete's methodology (and result) is in ways more useful than the absolute accuracy of the calculated threshold power. As previously discussed, a true threshold effort itself has limited utility in racing. Empirically I seem to be able to attack and roll breaks (or TTT's) with guys that greatly outclass me from a threshold perspective, but the former plays to my strengths more.

I was thinking about it during my ride yesterday, and if anything, an overestimate of one's FTP is going to make their shorter intervals harder than what they need to be. At the time I thought, well that's better than setting your zones too low and not getting large gains from your efforts, but obviously there is some risk associated with that due to burnouot etc. For me personally, I know that I have a pursuiter's profile and have good anaerobic recovery, so setting the bar a little higher (relative to my true FTP) is probably what I should be doing anyways for efforts in those durations.

tl;dr, it's important to remember the "F" in FTP and to be consistent in one's test method.
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Old 02-12-21, 10:19 AM
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I adjust my workouts based on the results of the workouts. I know what I should be doing during my sets at after the first rep or so of each workout. And probably before.

I guess you could call it a CP kind of thing. I know what I've recently done for 8min as a PR. So, it's a good bet to take 5 to 10w off of that and use that as my 3 to 5min rep power for VO2 work. VO2 being 3 to 8min.

If I'm doing 8min to 12min stuff, I'm going to look at my recent best 20min attempt. Take a few watts off off that, and go from there.

Then the hour? I never do intervals an hour long, I do sweetspot though. For that I adjust as I go as it's a pretty broad range. Once that first workout is in, I can look at it and have a good idea what to do.

So, I don't really hardly ever "test". If I'm going to test, it's going to be a real world effort on a former TT course going after a PR.
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Old 02-12-21, 10:19 AM
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If I did a truly all out 5 minute effort there is no way I could complete at anything that looks reasonably close to ftp for 20 mins after.

I just do Kolie Moores long test protocol instead
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Old 02-12-21, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
I do step 3) (the VO2 max interval), but admittedly I wouldn't call it "all out", as I typically ride it at ~10% more power than what I aim to hold during the 20'. I'm equally lazy about the rest of the protocol.

The utility in any FTP test (emphasis on that first letter) is that it helps establishes meaningful training zones. To that end, I think that consistency in an athlete's methodology (and result) is in ways more useful than the absolute accuracy of the calculated threshold power. As previously discussed, a true threshold effort itself has limited utility in racing. Empirically I seem to be able to attack and roll breaks (or TTT's) with guys that greatly outclass me from a threshold perspective, but the former plays to my strengths more.

I was thinking about it during my ride yesterday, and if anything, an overestimate of one's FTP is going to make their shorter intervals harder than what they need to be. At the time I thought, well that's better than setting your zones too low and not getting large gains from your efforts, but obviously there is some risk associated with that due to burnouot etc. For me personally, I know that I have a pursuiter's profile and have good anaerobic recovery, so setting the bar a little higher (relative to my true FTP) is probably what I should be doing anyways for efforts in those durations.

tl;dr, it's important to remember the "F" in FTP and to be consistent in one's test method.
I think you actually develop better if your ftp is set a little too low than a little too high. Going over ftp during long intervals is going to make them much harder to recover from (at least this was my experience when I used to use the 20m test and my 2x20s made me feel like I was going to die at the end) Going under and then progressively pushing the TTE out seems like it'd be better at avoiding burn out.
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Old 02-12-21, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I think the bigger problem is that the 20-min test is not administered correctly. Too often, people do just 20 min, and take 95% of that. But the original 20-min. test is much more complex:

1. Start out with a 20-minute warm-up, at about 65% of your max heart rate (HR)
2. Next do three fast-pedaling efforts at 100 rpm for one minute each, with one minute of easy recovery pedaling between each set
3. Ride 5 minutes all out. Punch it and hold it! Start at a high pace, but not so high that you die at the end. You should have a little energy held in reserve to kick it toward the finish line in the last minute.
4. Ride 10 minutes easy at endurance pace.
5. 20-minute time trial.
Then take 95% of that 20-min effort.

How many people are doing steps 1-4?

I kinda of agree that I don't really buy that as realistic. If I do 5 minutes all out, that's quite literally all I'm doing. My entire body tends to be jammed up after that. Like, eyeballs cramping. Now my five minute power isn't what it once was, but I can't wrap my head around putting out 405 for five (which I used to be able to do), doing five minutes z2/z3 and then ripping off an even modest 20 minute test, never mind one in the 330s (which I could do in the time period).

The import of this stuff is setting training zones. Too much hand wringing to my mind.

Last edited by gsteinb; 02-12-21 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 02-12-21, 10:44 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by wktmeow View Post
I think you actually develop better if your ftp is set a little too low than a little too high. Going over ftp during long intervals is going to make them much harder to recover from (at least this was my experience when I used to use the 20m test and my 2x20s made me feel like I was going to die at the end) Going under and then progressively pushing the TTE out seems like it'd be better at avoiding burn out.
For most athletes this is probably a better approach and what I might recommend as a coach, especially for a new/inexperienced athlete. I've seemed to make it work for me, but I imagine my workouts would have a much higher rate of attrition of I didn't have a left-learning power curve.
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Old 02-12-21, 10:59 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
I do step 3) (the VO2 max interval), but admittedly I wouldn't call it "all out", as I typically ride it at ~10% more power than what I aim to hold during the 20'. I'm equally lazy about the rest of the protocol.

The utility in any FTP test (emphasis on that first letter) is that it helps establishes meaningful training zones. To that end, I think that consistency in an athlete's methodology (and result) is in ways more useful than the absolute accuracy of the calculated threshold power. As previously discussed, a true threshold effort itself has limited utility in racing. Empirically I seem to be able to attack and roll breaks (or TTT's) with guys that greatly outclass me from a threshold perspective, but the former plays to my strengths more.

I was thinking about it during my ride yesterday, and if anything, an overestimate of one's FTP is going to make their shorter intervals harder than what they need to be. At the time I thought, well that's better than setting your zones too low and not getting large gains from your efforts, but obviously there is some risk associated with that due to burnouot etc. For me personally, I know that I have a pursuiter's profile and have good anaerobic recovery, so setting the bar a little higher (relative to my true FTP) is probably what I should be doing anyways for efforts in those durations.

tl;dr, it's important to remember the "F" in FTP and to be consistent in one's test method.
Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
I kinda of agree that I don't really buy that as realistic. If I do 5 minutes all out, that's quite literally all I'm doing. My entire body tends to be jammed up after that. Like, eyeballs cramping. Now my five minute power isn't what it once was, but I can't wrap my head around putting out 405 for five (which I used to be able to do), doing five minutes z2/z3 and then ripping off an even modest 20 minute test, never mind one in the 330s (which I could do in the time period).

The import of this stuff is setting training zones. Too much hand wringing to my mind.
I don't disagree with either of you, and I have heard coaches say that they don't follow the original protocol because the 5 min effort takes too much out of people, hurting their FTP. But there is a difference if you are using FTP for training purposes versus a prick measuring contest. And i think it's for the latter for a lot of these 300w guys BTS is commenting on.
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Old 02-12-21, 11:22 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I think the bigger problem is that the 20-min test is not administered correctly. Too often, people do just 20 min, and take 95% of that. But the original 20-min. test is much more complex:

1. Start out with a 20-minute warm-up, at about 65% of your max heart rate (HR)
2. Next do three fast-pedaling efforts at 100 rpm for one minute each, with one minute of easy recovery pedaling between each set
3. Ride 5 minutes all out. Punch it and hold it! Start at a high pace, but not so high that you die at the end. You should have a little energy held in reserve to kick it toward the finish line in the last minute.
4. Ride 10 minutes easy at endurance pace.
5. 20-minute time trial.
Then take 95% of that 20-min effort.

How many people are doing steps 1-4?
*raises hand*
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Old 02-12-21, 11:25 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I don't disagree with either of you, and I have heard coaches say that they don't follow the original protocol because the 5 min effort takes too much out of people, hurting their FTP. But there is a difference if you are using FTP for training purposes versus a prick measuring contest. And i think it's for the latter for a lot of these 300w guys BTS is commenting on.
Yea I think it works for aerobic folks, but I think it underestimates how deep a hole the more sprinty type riders can dig for themselves. If I do a 5 min effort *all out*, I usually want to puke after and am jittery for the next 10 mins. I'll have trouble holding a power for 20 mins afterwards that I could otherwise sit at for a couple of hours, let alone anything near a proper FTP. Note that this isn't to say my 5 minute power will be amazing, just that I can hurt myself with it.

But I can do a 52 minute heavy negative-split test and get a realistic number just fine.

E.g.




These really didn't feel harder than a 20 minute test and they're a decent workout to boot

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Old 02-12-21, 11:36 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
tl;dr, it's important to remember the "F" in FTP
F me?
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Old 02-12-21, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by wktmeow View Post
Yea I think it works for aerobic folks, but I think it underestimates how deep a hole the more sprinty type riders can dig for themselves. If I do a 5 min effort *all out*, I usually want to puke after and am jittery for the next 10 mins. I'll have trouble holding a power for 20 mins afterwards that I could otherwise sit at for a couple of hours, let alone anything near a proper FTP. Note that this isn't to say my 5 minute power will be amazing, just that I can hurt myself with it.

But I can do a 52 minute heavy negative-split test and get a realistic number just fine.
I definitely felt this the last time I did the full 5+20 protocol. I had to quit at 14:30 because I knew I wasn't going to make the full 20. It was almost like the ramp test where I just got to a point where it was obvious I was cooked.
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Old 02-12-21, 04:58 PM
  #48  
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It's rare.

300W for full hour, I know one guy who can well exceed that and he's a pro triathlete, won our national medium long distance last year here in Croatia, and another guy who is roughly there or slightly above and he tends to clean house at bike leg of triathlons he goes to,​​​​then this cat1 who rides without a PM but can do it judging by his speed and another who can probably do it and definitely put out some impressive numbers 4-5 years before when he was more active. When we did a local kinda semi-legal hilly 30km TT back in spring, the pro triathlete guy won by as many minutes as was the difference between the cat1 and us middle placed guys.
​​​​​
That's about it. The other 30 or 40 guys I personally know who race either in triathlon or road, can't. A couple of the bigger guys probably could do it and can put put some high numbers in 20-30 minutes, but I don't think Iíve seen them ​​​​​go at it for a full hour and in terms of power to weight (or power to drag even at their height) they're not that special. While a hour at sweetspot is fun, even, you have to really want to hurt yourself to ride at threshold for a full hour.

Last edited by Branko D; 02-13-21 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 02-12-21, 06:01 PM
  #49  
TheKillerPenguin
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
Here is what CyclingAnalytics.com has to say about it (taken from the statistics section)


A lot of that depends on how many users they have and I really couldn't tell you; between 1000 to 10,000? They're also probably light on users in the higher end and lower end, but also probably lean a bit more athletically, so these average would be higher.
This chart makes a decent amount of sense to me.
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Old 02-12-21, 06:09 PM
  #50  
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My power curve looks like one of the steeper ski slopes that I will be skiing on next week, so I am not one of the 300 watt FTP guys.
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