Ride Your Life training tips
Why talk about Power Profile in a news area of a bike tour site?
Given that in this space we deal with cycling holidays and that training for us is aimed at enjoying the cycling experience of a bike tour, we are pleased to host a short article dedicated to one of the elements that can affect the quality of training.
It is not essential to have your own power profile ... you can live well even without it, and staying on the subject of bikes you have a lot of fun even without it, however we believe that training based on power is able to optimize the time spent in the saddle.
Training can then be understood as the tool to reach the goal of a race, or to support a bike trip with distances and altitudes to overcome. Whatever bike tour you want to treat yourself to, you still need a workout and training based on your power profile can make a difference.
Training can also be understood as a lifestyle, something you practice because it makes you feel good and not necessarily aimed at a goal.
Again, however, training with Watts values the quality of our training.
Performance in cycling is influenced by numerous factors, first and foremost by the technical characteristics of the athlete. The Power Profile was born with the intention of giving an objective evaluation to the main physical abilities of each cyclist.
How many times have you heard phrases like "I'm still in the sprint!", Or "I'm more inclined to take long climbs than short ones", and you've probably said them yourself at times. Often these are statements based on personal feelings that could however be misleading.
You can miss a sprint not only because of a low peak of power, but because you are simply not able to sprint, or you can suffer a short effort because you have not warmed up enough or you have mismanaged the effort itself.
WHY SHOULD YOU CREATE YOUR OWN POWER PROFILE?
It is part of the cyclist's nature to compare himself with others to know "who is stronger?", To understand "at what level are they?"
The Power Profile does just that. By dividing the values of each into categories and relating them to those of all the others, it helps us to discover what our talents actually are. For example: are you more suited to explosive efforts? Or do we perform better over the distance? What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?
The Power Profile therefore represents a practical tool both to distinguish the level of cyclists and to identify their characteristics (Leo et al. 2021) and is directly influenced by the type of training performed and the competitions carried out, reflecting their results and effectiveness ( Leo et al. 2020).
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN POWER PROFILE
The goal is to test your power peaks over different durations, each representing a fundamental ability (these are related to the concept of the classic 7 training zones according to the Coggan classification):
In the Power Profile test, designed by Andrew Coggan himself, we find:
MMP 5 '': evaluates the Neuromuscular Power, corresponding to Z7
MMP 1 ': evaluates the Anerobic Capacity, corresponding to Z6
MMP 5 ': evaluates the Vo2max corresponding to Z5
These three values, combined with that of the FTP (which evaluates the Lactate Threshold, Z4), provide the data to complete your Power Profile.
The protocol foresees to perform:
20 '/ 30' heating
1 'at maximum intensity
5 'at maximum intensity
2 sprints of 15 'separated by 3' recovery
10 '/ 15' cool down
GET YOUR OWN PROFILE
Once the Power Profile and FTP tests have been performed, the 4 values obtained must first be related to your body weight and then entered into a normal analysis software, which will automatically create your Power Profile.
The great advantage of the Power Profile is that it easily and clearly highlights potential weaknesses and strengths, making them immediately jump into view.
In fact, you immediately notice if there are clearly better or worse characteristics than others, for example if you have better values on short or long durations, or if perhaps you have a balanced profile in the various areas.
This information provides greater awareness to both the athlete and the trainer and, if used correctly, can improve the planning of one's training.
In fact, you may decide to improve a certain factor that limits performance or choose to move towards competitions that highlight your best skills, increasing the chances of success.
Being able to determine and evaluate one's characteristics is essential to manage in the best way your preparation.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and following their evolution over time can give you considerable advantages in optimizing and setting up both training and competitions.
The Power Profile appears to be a reliable tool for assessing the physical abilities of cyclists (Pinot and Grappe 2011) and for increasing awareness of themselves, their skills, and their potential, improving the quality of the experience on two wheels.
“Power Profiling, Workload Characteristics, and Race Performance of U23 and Professional Cyclists During the Multistage Race Tour of the Alps” – Peter Leo, James Spragg, Iñigo Mujika, Andrea Giorgi, Dan Lorang, Dieter Simon, Justin S Lawley (2021)
“The record power profile to assess performance in elite cyclists” – J Pinot, F Grappe (2011)
“Training Characteristics and Power Profile of Professional U23 Cyclists throughout a Competitive Season” – Peter Leo, James Spragg, Dieter Simon, Justin S Lawley, Iñigo Mujika (2020)
Daniele Bazzana – BC Training
Cycling trainer and biomechanic