Monday, May 17, 2010

Fatigue Profiling - from Allen / Coggan V2

So one of the latest new concepts from the new book (do you have to ask.... Training and Racing With a Power Meter, 2nd Edition by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan PhD) is Fatigue Profiling.

For each of the different energy systems, which of course map to how well you perform for each of four different time periods we have (up till now) relied on the Power Profile.

This provides some feedback showing your best numbers for five seconds, one minute, five minutes and one hour. The resulting slopes are usually characterized as "all-rounder)" - roughly sloping up; "sprinter" - steeply sloping down; "Time Trialist" - sloping up; and "pursuiter" - upside V with peak in the one minute column.

I've never learned what my profile represents, other than roughly flat for the first five seconds and one minute (untrained and occasionally getting up into low Cat 5 territory. And roughly flat for five minute and one hour up in the high Cat 4 or low Cat 3.

Fatigue profiling is an attempt to show how fast you fatique  in each of these areas. You set up periodic charts for your recent training. Showing your best efforts periods of time in the range around each power level.

The book suggests cherry picking the numbers from each chart, i.e. best numbers for each level from different days. I'm not quite sure I agree with that strategy. If you think of each energy system has a certain amount of "work" it can do. Higher numbers will (in my opinion) use that reserve faster.

So I'm taking a more conservative approach and picking best sets in the same period.

Peaks Coaching has a small widget that will munge this for you. And provide some commentary on your fatigue scores.

L7 - Neuromuscular Power -  for the limited wattage I have, at least it lasts reasonably well. I can get a nice kick in and keep it going. Just as long as I get out before I'm in L6 territory.

L6 - Anaerobic Capacity - average and below average - and that is starting low! Definitely my weakest ability.

L5 - VO2 Max, starting high, staying above average for short periods, and at least average for 8 minutes. This is definitely my strength.

L6 - Lactate Threshold, starting high, and below average for 60 minutes. Most likely this is because I really haven't done any long hard FTP testing type rides this year. All of the numbers are low.