Power Profiling: Why you should be doing it at least 1x year

Training with Power has become THE way to train. Trickling down from the pro cycling ranks, this revolutionary technology has literally redefined our understanding of our training, how efficient we are, and how much improvement we've made, for lost.

If you're like most riders or triathletes, you're simply riding with your powermeter and using the ranges based off of a Functional Threshold Power field test to ensure you're riding is done at the needed intensities.  But what if I told you that your powermeter is capable of telling you FAR more about your abilities, your training's effectiveness, and, perhaps even allow you to tap into an unknown natural gift you have?

Well, it does, and I am! 


But how do you begin to better understand your bodies energy systems and their abilities?

With a simple Power Profile Test, which can be done on your own (preferably outside on a safe road) with your powermeter, some water, a little bit of on-bike food, and a desire to better understand your abilities.

 

I don't need a power profile.... Do I?


Some riders, and most triathletes, may be saying to themselves
"I don't need to know my power profile, because I'm only riding at one intensity/ Threshold & Tempo/ for fun / for fitness."

The only one of these riders above that we may give a pass to, are those who are riding for fun. If you're in any of the other categories, ESPECIALLY if you're riding for fitness, the Power Profile can tell you a lot more about where your riding is missing on giving you out massive rewards in your abilities and performance. (yes, we know you're riding for fitness, but let's be honest, EVERYBODY wants to be there first up that climb!) The Power Profile allows you to understand your strengths & weaknesses- perhaps some you didn't even know existed, and affords your the opportunity to refocus your riding to be more well-rounded.

 

One such area, as highlighted by Joe Friel's book "Faster After 50" are the highly explosive 5-15 second efforts that put pressure on the ATP-PC energy System, and the Neuromuscular system. Not only do these efforts help maintain fitness in those over 50, but when planned properly in a training plan, they can also maintain lean muscle mass!

Talk about a win!
 

So how do you do a Power Profile Test? 

The Power Profile test can be done in PLACE of your regular FTP Testing once or twice a year. Here at HVT I usually have my athletes perform one in the beginning to mid-base period, and if we feel it's justified, another one just before we get into their last build before their peak/specialization period. 

Testing your Power Profile more than once a year isn't really necessary for the vast majority of riders in the world, unless you're looking to make a leap to a whole new level or kind of riding (i.e. making the jump from highly competitive road cycling to Cyclocross- two COMPLETELY different sports). 



POWER PROFILE TEST PROTOCOL:

Find a road that is quiet with no stop signs or intersections, as we need each efforts to be uninterrupted. Ideally this testing should occur at the same time of day, as well as the same point in a training block, as we want the test to be repeatable and reliable. 

The Power Profile testing we do here at HVT is based off of the Allen & Coggan Power Profile Test.

WARMUP
Beginner riders take 15-25 minutes of endurance riding
Intermediate & Advanced take 30-45 min, depending on you current average ride times (if you're usually under 2 hours, stick with 30 minutes)

then 3 x 1 min Fast Pedaling (light gear with high cadence, but not quite bouncing in the saddle), with 1 minute easy pedaling in between efforts.

5 minutes easy riding

MAIN SET:
5 minutes LACTATE THRESHOLD (97-102% FTP)
5 minutes Recovery (<65% FTP)

1 minute ALL OUT (> 140% FTP)
5 minutes Recovery (<65% FTP)

10 minutes Endurance (self- selected cadence)

5 minutes ALL OUT (Start from 18-20mph, Get out of the saddle and ATTACK HARD, and make sure to NAIL the last 45 seconds as if you're just ahead of the group heading to the finish line!)
10 minutes Recovery (<65% FTP)

1 minute ALL OUT (start from 18-20 mph, PUSH HARD ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE END!)
5 minutes recovery (<65% FTP)

1 minute ALL OUT (ONE MORE like the last one!)
5 minutes Recovery (<65% FTP)

2 x 15 seconds SPRINTS from 15mph & cadence of 85-90 to start!
2 minutes easy pedaling in between efforts

15-20 minutes easy riding c.d.



Look ahead at the next week or two of riding- As it is the holiday season, you'll probably be at an irregular time in your training schedule, so wait until after the new year to do the test. Remember, we want to perform the test at the same time in a training block, and preferably on the same roads and in the same conditions.

To understand what the Power-Profile test means, check out our video, and leave a comment below letting us know how you did!