CyclingNZ Home

Notice: Use of undefined constant person - assumed 'person' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in called from on line in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57
The Power of Taupo
Date: 6 Mar, 2006
Contact: Peter McLeay

Every year more than 10,000 people cycled 160km around Lake Taupo. There is a carnival atmosphere with a wide range of participants, family relay teams, friends, young riders and veterans.  For most riders, this is their "A priority" event of the year. How is your Taupo training going? Is the most frequent question in bunch rides from September onwards. The casual replies understate the dedication and effort that each and every rider has put into preparation before reaching the start line. It is after all a hilly 160km and irrespective of your background it is an endurance event and a significant challenge.

 

In my first attempt I neither knew how to train or even what the event entailed. I had not ridden a bike over for 20 years and my training consisted of buying a road bike and cycling on the flat Auckland waterfront for a month, because that's what lots of other cyclists were doing. Needless to say, on the day several hours of pain were endured and it took a full week for my muscles to recover and to be able to walk properly.  Yes, there is a better way and it starts with knowing the requirements of the event. Traditionally cycling events have been defined in very simple terms. For example, a hilly ride, 5 hours duration at an average of 32km/hr. However average speed is very misleading, there is much more to road racing and maintaining contact than average speed.

 

With the advent of power meters it is now possible to accurately define what is required to perform at a specific level and then tailor make a training programme to meet those characteristics. The athlete then knows, what is required to meet their goal, they have a road map to achieve their goal and can easily measure their progress along the way. This provides confidence and motivation during the long hours of training.

 

A power meter is simply a data logger, it continuously records power output, heart rate, energy consumption, cadence and speed throughout an event.

 

Clearly road racing is extremely variable as shown in the power graph of the first 16kms alone. There are large periods of recovery mixed with periods of very high power output. The graph may look complex but provides a great deal of information. Such as overall;

Duration or time taken               4:39 hours

Energy used                                 3,500 kJ

Average energy consumption         745kJ/hr

Meters climbed                               2,500m

 

 

Average

Maximum

Power

258 Watts

1120 Watts

Heart Rate

144 bpm

174 bpm

Speed

43 km/hr

106 km/hr

 

 

 

 

 


 

This rider spent more than 90 min at or above their threshold power, which is the maximum power they can sustain for 60 minutes.  During the event there were 34 surges greater than this rider's threshold power. These were typically one to two minutes long and between 300Watts and 400Watts. These surges are part of the "wearing down" process before critical selection points.

 

A combination of analysis and experience reveals that there a three critical point of the race.  Firstly, the first hour is climbing, climbing and climbing. 320Watts was the average power output for the first 30 minutes and 300Watts for the first 60min. The performance here is critical as it is the selection process which determines into which bunch you are going to ride in for the rest of the race.

 

The second point of selection is the Kuratau hill after some two hours of racing. It is necessary to average 320Watts for the next 7 minutes if you want to remain in the front bunch. You can see how the maximum sustainable power output of the group is dropping.  Thirdly, the decisive hill, Hatepe, is 20km from the finish and only 2km long, but after 4 hours of racing it feels like Everest which whittles the front bunch down to 30 or 40 riders. You give it everything. At this point this rider could only average 250Watts and got dropped.

 

Conclusion

To do well at Taupo requires an excellent power to weight ratio to stay with the bunch in all the critical climbs as well as an excellent aerobic fitness. Although less than 25% of the race is at threshold power you need to recover quickly from climbs and an excellent endurance is required as the race is over 4:30hours with the decisive hill is 20km from the finish. Last and not least, if you have done sufficient training to remain with the front bunch, then you need to sprint for the finish, so be prepared.

 

Amy Taylor and Peter McLeay are the founders of Kinetic Edge Training Technology (www.kecycling.com).  Amy is an Auckland based Exercise Physiologist with an MSc(Hons) in Sports Science.  She has been cycling for 14yrs and coaches recreational to world champion cyclists.  Peter is mechanical engineer who is has been using power for training. His company Power Training Systems imports and distributes SRM and Power-Tap power meters and Cycling Peak Software.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click to enlarge...

CONTINUE READING
Latest News
The Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) welcomes an increase in the driving age to 16, but says the government also needs to invest in professional cycle training to improve road safety. CAN spokesperson Anne FitzSimon says one of the best ways to raise driving standards is to make cycle training >>
This weekend I got my first taste of NRC racing in America. The Dana Point GP race on sunday was a 90min crit round a fast but very technical circuit in the streets of Dana Point, with a huge crowd and the top US teams present it was a pretty big event and had an awesome atmosphere. Bike Religion >>
Looking for a different challenge and some fun a West Coast couple riding a Unicycle are amongst the 1100 riders doing the Around Brunner Cycle event on the West Coast this Saturday. "We've been riding unicycles for around three years now," Alison Dixon from Blackball said. "It started off >>
Latest Articles
Former world Champion Hayden Godfrey is the latest big name to enter the Around Brunner elite road race this weekend. The 2008 Omnium World Champion was knocked off his bike in Christchurch in February, putting his arm through a car windscreen which required surgery meaning he missed valuable >>
This weekend is again a busy weekend for the Mico/All About Plumbing Cycling team presented by Revolution Racing. Saturday has the team lining up on the West Coast in Greymouth for the 130km National Point Series (NPS) Around Brunner Cycle Ride. Team director Steve Elden says "the ride or race for >>
Less than two weeks after entries opened, interest is already high in Cycling Southland's Harrex Group Corporate Pursuit being held in June. Organisers expect to easily fill the field of 32 corporate teams that will compete in New Zealand's only indoor velodrome in Invercargill in a grading >>
 Photo Gallery

Notice: Use of undefined constant pid - assumed 'pid' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57
Mike NortheybioSPORT Series Champion

Notice: Use of undefined constant pid - assumed 'pid' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57
Criterium National Champs

Notice: Use of undefined constant pid - assumed 'pid' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57
Tour of Southland

Notice: Use of undefined constant pid - assumed 'pid' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57

Notice: Use of undefined constant ptitle - assumed 'ptitle' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in display_page_bottom called from /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_science.php on line 286 in /home/cycling/public_html/cnz5_connect.php on line 57
Criterium National Champs
Home Kiwi Riders Sports Science Beginners Articles Riders Reports Tech Corner Contact
© Cyclingnz.com 2021 | Login | Design by OnfireDesign