Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Peter

Why is motorpacing so good?

Recommended Posts

G'day Animal,

 

Mmmmmm, this one comes up quite a bit too.

 

 

 

If I can hold a 53/14 at 90rpm am I not stronger than someone who can only hold 53/15 at 90rpm? Even though the strength component may seem miniscule, it still makes me stronger? What other term would be better other than being stronger, more strength etc?

 

At the end of the day I'm still stronger because I can push a bigger gear at the same cadence?

 

 

It depends how you define strength. I think you mean endurance. To turn one revolution of 53/14 at the same velocity is a demonstration of strength. Holding that for 2, 5 or 20 minutes is a demonstration of endurance.

 

Read this

 

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/cyc...t-analysis.aspx

 

especially...

 

Finally, force-velocity scatterplots can also be used to illustrate how strength per se (i.e., the maximal force generating capacity of the pedaling muscles) rarely, if ever, limits power output. This is shown in Fig. 10, in which all five examples have been replotted with an expanded Y axis and a horizontal line has been added to show this individual's maximal AEPF of 918 N (determining using the inertial load testing method - thanks to Dr. Jim Martin, University of Utah, for providing this information). As can be seen in this figure, even though this rider is somewhat weaker than average, they rarely use more than 50% of their maximal AEPF when training or racing. Indeed, even when time trialing at a relatively low cadence of only 80 rpm, to generate 300 W still only requires that they utilize less than one-fourth of their maximal cycling-specific strength.

 

Holding that 300 watts for a duration is a different matter entirely.

Edited by Plazbot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So kinda like using a power meter, what does one do when they don't have the little screen to look at to tell them how hard to ride?

Use other means to assess intensity of effort, since that is (from a fitness development standpoint) the most important thing to understand when training. It's just a power meter is by far the best tool for that.

 

No one suggests you need to "look at the screen". But you've completely missed the point in any case (which is, if you've forgotten, that people often attribute performance gains to the wrong things and these tools help us to identify what's actually going on, rather than some idle speculation).

 

Using a power meter, making riders good at using a power meter.......

A power meter is a tool, not a bolt on motor.

 

flouro your spot on I reckon. training at 250w is not just training at 250w, hot days cold days, flat or climbing, 80rpm or 120rpm, all these and more things contribute to the effect of that training. Power is not the be all and end all, it is but another valuable tool that should be used for what it is, one more way to measure/guage your effort, but should not be used alone forsaking all others.

Who says that one should use a power meter in isolation of other information and foresake all others?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... Yeah I disagree with that Animal. Have been doing that big gear stuff since I read about Conconi and Ferrari advocating it and Lemond recommending it. Cadel Evans still does a lot of it on the road, I prefer the ergo and do one minute repeats at around 55rpm and high watts that have your legs screaming at the end, it definitely makes you stronger in a specific sort of way, as an example on a rolling TT course it enables you to maintain position and power over the hills and use your strength to punch it without lactate/fatigue.

It helps you ride a lower gear at higher power. You rarely, if ever get anywhere near needing your strength when riding a bicycle. About the only time you approach that level of force is the first pedal stroke of a track time trial start and out of the gates of BMX event.

 

I am plenty strong and but this is very specific and really helps make you stronger. If the forces arent high enough to increase strength how is it I could only maintain a certain wattage when I started and this improved by over 100 watts over time?

It does nothing to increase the maximal force generation ability of your muscles. IOW it does not make you stronger. What it is doing is to improve your aerobic metabolic fitness, i.e. maintain a higher power, for longer. But you can do that by riding at those powers in a normal gear. But if riding those big gear efforts is a way to help you do it, then that's a good thing. And is my point - it's the power you are riding at that matters far more than the gear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I sort of do agree with you, but in saying that science quite often is flawed by what we get to witness everyday in the real world. Just because something has been proven it doesn’t always make it right, because sure as shit some time down the track it will be proven incorrect.

I think the science is OK, it's people's (mis)interpretation of science that more likely the problem. Or worse, the preponderance of pseudoscience.

 

In way I agree with 100% in that I think that powermeters contribute to putting on the blinkers. They provide a very accurate measure of power/effort, but fail to acknowledge that power/effort is affected by so many variables. To me that is the flaw with powermeters. A powermeter fails to measure what affects power, true???

It's a tool to tell you exactly how hard you are working.

 

If you think that it reads minds, can forecast the weather, or know what you ate for breakfast, if you had a fight with the significant other, drank six beers last night etc then you're expectations are a little unrealistic :lol:

 

They do what they do very well, and tell you your power output. It's up to you (or your coach) to then use that information, within the context of everything else you know.

 

It is a flawed argument that suddenly you forget all other information available to you because you have a power meter. What a power meter does though is provide highly objective information and helps one sort out what's important and what's not.

 

Anyone who trains with power knows that they feel better/worse on any given day and that their power output reflects that. That's normal.

 

It is so difficult to control the variables and then when you do they results can’t hold up in terms of real world applications. I think this why it is impossible to prove that motor pacing and or BG work does not work. It can’t be proved.

I never said MP or BG doesn't work. I just said that people are attributing outcomes of these training methods to the fact that it's the MP or riding BG, when really it's just because they are riding harder/higher power. If MP or BG is a way to make them ride harder, then great. You can still ride harder in normal gears and without a motorpacer.

 

What are your views on this statement I read quite often

 

A watt is a watt……………….. I personally think this is incorrect because there are so many variables that affect our ability to produce and HANDLE a watt. In other words I believe 200 watts can feel easy some days while on other days 200 watts can feel like a grind, so how do powermeters take that into consideration, over something like a HR monitor, pace, or RPE?

Well there are so many angles to this question it can't be answered simply.

 

Again, having power meter information available does not mean you ignore everything else. That's just foolish.

 

Pithy Power Proverb: "Power calibrates PE, PE modulates Power"

 

P.S: I just want to make it clear, I’m not having a go, just wanting to learn more.

I'm not taking it any other way. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to the contributors of this thread for all the great info and discussion!

 

Now, back to the real world…

 

It is not the most practical form of training that is for sure. My nearest velodrome is 90min drive and the nearest appropriate road is 60min drive and as I don't have a motorcycle license I couldn't return the favor anyway. As the benefits are mostly psychological I doubt I will be MP anytime soon. So practicality wise a PM would be more useful to most I would think.

 

I will just go and ride a club race and try to sit on one of the World Masters Games Gold medalists for as long as I can. Don’t suppose if I sing out he will slow down for me though. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Rentakill

... a similar effect to MP is essentially riding in a group or sitting behind riders that are much better than you. It has the same effect i.e. making you ride faster and harder than you would on your own and have to hang on. I have been doing this for years as a way to get fit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... a similar effect to MP is essentially riding in a group or sitting behind riders that are much better than you. It has the same effect i.e. making you ride faster and harder than you would on your own and have to hang on. I have been doing this for years as a way to get fit.

 

Completely agree - ride with faster people- get faster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Completely agree - ride with faster people- get faster.

 

You can leave people out of it :-) Ride faster, get faster. It really is that simple :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... a similar effect to MP is essentially riding in a group or sitting behind riders that are much better than you. It has the same effect i.e. making you ride faster and harder than you would on your own and have to hang on. I have been doing this for years as a way to get fit.

Describes most of my Track training sessions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I thought everyone knew motorpacing was all about the neural adaptations of high speed and high kinetic energy riding........................it appears not!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Rentakill
And I thought everyone knew motorpacing was all about the neural adaptations of high speed and high kinetic energy riding........................it appears not!

 

Aha! Yep there is also the adaptation of learning how to ride and react at higher speeds, and the skill and familiarisation component. For fat fellas the g forces at each end of the track feel very different at 55 or 60kmh than they do at 45.... this also translates to some degree to motorpacing on the road, the familiarisation of being able to ride at higher speeds, there are a few differences particularly in cross wind or other challenging conditions. Learning how to relax and be comfortable with that is something one has to experience....

 

..... anyone caught a gust coming back toward blood hill at Calga at around 80kmh on that long open stretch with all their bling on their TT bike? It is exciting :lol: if you havent experienced the fun of that before, especially if you have a big blob of body like mine on top of your aerodynamic sail...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And I thought everyone knew motorpacing was all about the neural adaptations of high speed and high kinetic energy riding........................it appears not!

Reference my first post on this thread. Again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Who says that one should use a power meter in isolation of other information and foresake all others?
It ain't the gear/low cadence that makes you better, it's the power you are riding at.
You say here that the gear and cadence are irrelevant as long as the power is correct.

 

This was the crux of my disagreement in the first place. 250w is not just 250w in every situation, because you can push 250w @55rpm, and you can push the same @120rpm and the resulting gains will be very different! While a power meter is a great tool, it is but one tool amongst many that all should be used together for the best result.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Animal
You say here that the gear and cadence are irrelevant as long as the power is correct.

 

This was the crux of my disagreement in the first place. 250w is not just 250w in every situation, because you can push 250w @55rpm, and you can push the same @120rpm and the resulting gains will be very different! While a power meter is a great tool, it is but one tool amongst many that all should be used together for the best result.

 

As far as resulting gains

Pedalling at 55rpm and 250W will make you good at pedalling at 55rpm and 250W if you do it long enough.

 

Pedalling at 120rpm and 250W will make you good at pedalling at 120rpm and 250W if you do it long enough.

 

I'm not trying to take the mickey or anything. But what is your point?

 

If you think that pedalling at 55rpm will somehow make you "stronger" then you are mistaken (if you are doing it for any sustained period of time) because the forces involved, whilst marginally higher then the same wattage at 120rpm are still relatively low compared with the maximal force you could apply.

 

If you have lots of mountains to climb, then you will be well served in climbing lots of mountains. If you have a time trial or triathlon to ride, then the long climbs at 55rpm whilst being good for your fitness if the power involved is sufficient, are not helping you because of the 55rpm, they are helping you if the power involved places the required strain on the body.

 

I'm a fan of mixing things up and I think you'll find (I've not personal experience, just from what I've read) that the "power" gurus do mix things up. Just because they talk a lot about FTP doesn't mean all they do in training is efforts at FTP.

 

What we know is that lots of training that cyclists and triathletes do works, but the reasons why it works may not be why lots think so.

 

At the end of the day, the triathlete is a time constrained athlete in the sense they can't train like a single sport athlete no matter how much time they've got. So doing workouts that provide best "bang for you minute" will be important.

 

SPECIFICICIFIICICTY!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not trying to take the mickey or anything. But what is your point?

My point is that power is not the be all and end all of training, the holy grail. All factors need to be considered, gear, cadence, HR.....all the other variables, as a whole, not individually, exclusive of the others.

 

That's all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I suggest TriGold for the thread... Cheers boys learnt alot.

 

I can only imagine Fluro and Alex Simmons chatting to each other... :D:D:lol::lol: I would understand every second word and still learn 5 times the amount I currently know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can I suggest TriGold for the thread... Cheers boys learnt alot.

 

I can only imagine Fluro and Alex Simmons chatting to each other... :D:D:lol::lol: I would understand every second word and still learn 5 times the amount I currently know!

 

 

It's funny you say that because I quite like the way someone like Joe Friel has been able to rebadge the science into a formula to is accessible to the public. I understand his terms strength endurance and muscular endurance (even though from a science point of view they don't exist) and can associate specific sessions with those terms, however, people like Andrew Coggan can't accept such a point of view and never will.

 

I swear sometimes I think Coggan and Alex are the same individuals. :D

 

 

fluro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can I suggest TriGold for the thread... Cheers boys learnt alot.

 

I can only imagine Fluro and Alex Simmons chatting to each other... :D:D:lol::lol: I would understand every second word and still learn 5 times the amount I currently know!

 

 

Agreed. Two blokes who talk from a position of learning as opposed to from a book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I swear sometimes I think Coggan and Alex are the same individuals. :lol:

I am no where near Coggan's class when it comes to physiology, physics, maths, science in general. He is one very smart dude and I have learned many things from his work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand there was a nasty crash today in a group doing some motorpacing work in the shire somewhere I think. I don't know many details but believe one rider was knocked unconscious for quite some time. Hope they are all OK.

 

I am however flabbergasted as to why on earth a group would want motorpacing on the road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Animal
I understand there was a nasty crash today in a group doing some motorpacing work in the shire somewhere I think. I don't know many details but believe one rider was knocked unconscious for quite some time. Hope they are all OK.

 

I am however flabbergasted as to why on earth a group would want motorpacing on the road.

 

Oh dear. I hope everyone is OK.

 

There should be an addition to this thread - Why motorpacing is so bad.

 

I don't know the specifics of this case.

 

But speaking generally. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a trend for coaches and even just training buddies to buy a moped or postie bike and tow each other around, or tow the whole group around, with no experience, education or idea of what they were/are doing and why.

 

I've expressed my concern privately to a few others - the last thing we need if for motorpacing to take off in Triathlon (although I think it may have started to). I'm not doubting the usefulness of it for some, but for the vast majority they can do without it.

 

Not having access to motorpacing doesn't mean you are not going to reach your potential or goals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am however flabbergasted as to why on earth a group would want motorpacing on the road.

Motor-pacing on a public road is illegal, and to do it on a velodrome you need a motorcycle licence, a Cycling Australia/Triathlon Australia full race licence, and a derny drivers ticket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Animal
Motor-pacing on a public road is illegal, and to do it on a velodrome you need a motorcycle licence, a Cycling Australia/Triathlon Australia full race licence, and a derny drivers ticket.

 

Thanks for the input DD.

 

I would like some sort of clarification though. As I had a conversation with a coach the other day who contacted Police in his local area asking about Motorpacing and they said yeah, no worries, don't choose busy roads, have a flashing light on your bike and don't break any road rules????

 

Of course, Police are not always the most up to date on the actual legality of items like this that are not straight out of the book so to speak.

 

If motor pacing ona public road is illegal, why do so many professional athletes (particularly cyclists) do it in Australia and discuss it quite openly.

 

Why hasn't anybody else raised it in this thread?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the input DD.

 

I would like some sort of clarification though. As I had a conversation with a coach the other day who contacted Police in his local area asking about Motorpacing and they said yeah, no worries, don't choose busy roads, have a flashing light on your bike and don't break any road rules????

 

Of course, Police are not always the most up to date on the actual legality of items like this that are not straight out of the book so to speak.

 

If motor pacing ona public road is illegal, why do so many professional athletes (particularly cyclists) do it in Australia and discuss it quite openly.

 

Why hasn't anybody else raised it in this thread?

Well I use public roads Animal, but I do it where no-one sees us. Quiet country roads. I certainly wouldnt be doing it in Sydney. Im very discreet about it, but if people are going to be stupid and motorpace on busy roads, then the Police will enforce the law, which is to do with tailgating another vehicle. Its true that Police may turn a blind eye, but if we are going to do it under their noses then we are pushing our luck. I just want people to remember that we need to be careful where and when we motorpace, its an awesome training tool and we dont want to lose it or have a crack down as a result of people doing the wrong thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×