ActiveWorx Logo
search



INCREASING YOUR THRESHOLD POWER BY 20% IN 13-WEEKS
November 22, 2012  

Supplied by Trevor Court from ActiveWorx

An average of 22% improvement within a 13-week period. During the 13-week program the athletes completed 36 indoor training sessions on a Computrainer in total. This means that each athlete increased their Threshold Power by 32W on average.

 

The indoor sessions started in earnest at the beginning of July and ended after the 94.7 Cycle Challenge on the 18th November. The classes included 2 indoor power based sessions a week where the athletes would come to Activeworx and ride on the Computrainers. The classes were structured in 6 week blocks and each block would focus on specific intervals to stress different energy levels in order to peak the athletes for the 94.7. At the beginning of each 6 week block we would test them on the Computrainer to determine their Functional Threshold Power.This Power is very similar to Lactate Threshold, and is the power the athlete should be able to maintain without the build-up of excessive by products that would lead to fatigue. We were able to create a baseline with all the athlete’s test data and we were able to assess their level of improvement throughout the whole 18 week cycle.

 

Fig 1: Showing the Progress of the Athlete’s Threshold Power over the 18 Weeks

The nice thing with training on the Computrainer is that we could control the workouts and create very specific intervals for the sessions. We were able to eliminate the monotony of the training by having different systems to enhance the quality and feel of the training. We mainly used the Erg Video program and Computrainer 3D software to create the specific 1hr sessions for the athletes. The nice thing with the Erg Video is that all the athletes could do the workout together and still everyone would ride at their own level. The Erg videos work on a percentage of the individual’s Threshold Power, which means that everyone is riding at the same intensities of their Threshold. What’s also nice is that the Erg Video comes with a standard High Definition Video which adds to the feel of the ride and it seems to make the time on the bike fly.

 

All the hard training finally came down to the race day and it was all systems go. All of the riders had good start times in comparison to their previous 94.7 times. This was due to them all doing some of the bigger classic races in order to improve their seedings. All of the riders had fantastic results and they were a combined 3 hours 41 minutes faster than their previous 94.7 Cycle Challenge times. *Jared’s 94.7 last year was not a fair reflection of his ability because his derailleur snapped. So I guessed he would of done a time of 3hrs in 2011.

 

Fig 2: Shows their 2012 files compared to their previous 94.7 times


94.7 Cycle Challenge

2012

2011

2010

Hilary

03:33

03:54

 

Jared

02:46

05:09*

 

Jodie

03:41

 

04:54

John

03:47

04:27

 

Kym

03:41

 

04:54

 

 

What’s very important with athletes is for them to see improvements during their training and then to convert those improvements into better race times on the road. What would have been a threshold workout for them at the beginning of July is now either an easy endurance workout or a tempo workout. If you were to rate these workoutson a scale from 1-10, (10 being the hardest) they wouldn’t go past 6. So to think that these endurance/tempo efforts would‘ve felt like an 8/9 out of 10 effort at the beginning of these classes is now like a 6, is incredible. This inspires confidence in the riders and it lets them know what they are capable of doing.      

      

Fig 3: Training Zones drawn up according to athlete’s Threshold Power (Watts)


Training Zones (Watts)

Jodie (July)

 

Jodie (November)

Active Recovery

0-64

 

0-79

Endurance

65-89

 

80-109

Tempo

90-99

 

110-129

Threshold 1

100-109

 

130-139

Threshold 2

110-119

 

140-149

Threshold 3

120-129

 

150-159

Vo2 Max

130-144

 

160-179

Maximal/Anaerobic

145-max

 

180-max

 

We have seen incredible results and the biggest improvement was a 38% improvement in threshold power by Hilary Lilford. Obviously the percentage improvements in amateur riders are a lot bigger and more rapid than professional riders, but they are extremely satisfying to witness as a coach. To see these athletes cutting 1hr off their previous times are incredible, and it is also extremely rewarding for the athletes. All of these results show you the importance of doing structured power training that is very specific to the demands of racing. It is not so much the quantiy of training but rather the quality of training. We look forward to seeing the improvements of these athletes in the future and hope they can break barriers that have never been broken.