Monday, April 14, 2008

VeloNews - Training Article - Power at lactate threshold wins races

Interesting article over at Velonews Training titled Power at lactate threshold wins races.

Overwhelmingly, the most damaging error committed by developing cyclists, from a methodological point of view, is spending too much time training aspects that do not efficiently contribute to the athlete’s potential. This is a double whammy for the aspiring cyclist, because it takes energy from the systems that contribute the most. The error compounds in that energy is being wasted working systems that aren’t effectively maximizing the rider’s output.

The most common example is cyclists that cripple themselves with an overdose of excessively depleting work (zone 5/ VO2). The systems involved in races of an hour or more are primarily aerobic, and the focus of the training for these events should also be aerobic. If an athlete is forced to go anaerobic in order to make a selection, then the racers in the selection that are able to maintain aerobic status are clearly in an advantageous position. Going to VO2 (lactate accumulation) against riders who are at or below LT, is usually a losing proposition.

I have to agree somewhat with this article. While my weakness is power above VO2Max I do have very good power at everything below that. I.e. when looking at the WKO Power Profile I suck big time at 5sec and 1min. But have very good numbers at 5min and 1hour.

This leads to success in some types of races, as long as I don't burn too many matches I tend to be strong at the end of the race. I just have to save my matches so I can burn them in the sprint. So longer points/scratch races at the track. Flat and rolling RR's, ITT are where I do well.

It also leads to failure big time in other races. If the hills are longer than 10sec and shorter than 2-3 minutes, I get out climbed and dropped. And once dropped unless I can TT back onto the group I'm not going to be with the group at the end of the race. Which generally means a poor finish.