What Is A Power File Analysis?
We’ve been offering power file analyses over the past six months and have been blown away by the response! We’ve completed well over 100 of these, but we thought we’d make a post to explain what it is we are looking for, and why.
Many athletes receive their customized video reply and reply, “That was awesome! How is this free?”
There have been a lot of coaches that have helped to steer us in the right direction, and while the one on one coaching relationship is something that I can’t imagine life without, before I had a coach, I didn’t even know what I was missing.
This post isn’t to sell you on getting us as a coach, but to highlight what we can show you about your training; what you’ve been doing, how you compare to your competition, and some suggestions to highlight what we’d recommend in order to hit your goals?
Achieving Your Cycling Goals
Before we jump into Training Peaks and WKO4 to look at your power files, we ask athletes to paint more of the picture. In their own words, we want to learn how they see themselves as a cyclist, where does it fit in with their daily life, and what are their goals.
Below are the basic list of questions that we ask to get a better idea of everything.
Top 3 Goals for 2019 Season
Top 3 Goals for 2020 Season
What do you see as your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What types of races do you excel in? What types are very challenging?
Long term cycling goal? (Go pro, category upgrade, big race, etc)
What types of cycling training/coaching/programs have you done previously? Do you think it was effective?
How many hours do you train during the week? How many on weekend?
What days can you ride? More importantly, what days are off limits?
What is your current weight?
Power File Analysis
The main goals of the analysis are to:
Benchmark your performance level versus your peers
Compare yourself to your theoretical self using the software’s algorithms
Look at your Performance Manager and see how you build and prepare for events
Circle back after reviewing the training to see if it will actually help you reach your goals
You Versus Your Peers
Taking a look at yourself versus your peers based on watts/kg. This simply give you a rough estimate of some weaknesses to consider, but at the end of the day, you want to make sure you’re not only training weaknesses, but addressing the demands of your A-priority races.
This athlete has a great kick for up to 10s, but then starts to fade from 30s to 1m30s to a Category 4 level. But, her watts for VO2Max efforts of 3m to 8m are at a Cat 2 level!!
She levels out around Cat 3 for 25 minutes out to 2 hours.
If she wants to be a crit racer, she’ll need to bump up that 30s to 1m30s power, in terms of raw watts, but also repeatability. It’s great if she can get the watts up for one effort, but she’ll need them higher overall.
Using this chart lets us find out where you are weakest, and then compare that to your training.
Are you addressing your Achille’s heel?
You Versus Yourself
This graph will nitpick, but it’s these small details that reconfirm our findings above on some clear weaknesses to get after immediately.
The red line is the Modeled Power Duration Curve; said differently, it’s what wattages the computer algorithms think you should be able to produce at different durations.
The yellow line is the Measured Power Duration Curve, or what you’ve done within the past 90 days (or whatever time period you select, but 90 days is the gold standard right now. Occasionally we’ll look at 30 days but that’s a different blog post.)
Where the yellow line is below the red line is areas to quickly go after. As you perform better than the yellow, the red model will change. You constantly can find new places to improve; but, don’t chase the rabbit that isn’t headed to the podium. Always come back to training physiological systems that are applicable to your race. If you’re trying to win the State Time Trial but your weakness is sprinting, don’t do just sprints to chase that red line!
Makes sense, right?
This athlete need to really hone into the 40-60s area and event specific/rider style specific 20m plus.
Where Has The Ship Been, and Where Is It Headed?
Lastly, the Performance Manager Chart. I was hesitant to include this, so make sure you read this blog about not obsessing over CTL, here and here.
While there is more to riding and racing than just the metrics, taking a look at how the athlete builds fitness is a good indicator of what types of rides they are doing, as well as giving us a look at whether they are resting enough.
I’m a big fan of 3 weeks on, 1 week off, so that you can build your CTL up, and then allow it to dip back under the ATL while you are resting. This is “coming up for air”, and your TSB becomes positive.
This will change if you have a race, since you won’t be building up right to the race. You need to reduce the training for a few days (intensity and/or duration) which allows the Fatigue (ATL) to drop (increasing your Freshness), along with a slight drop in CTL (Fitness), but not so much that you lose a ton of fitness and capability to perform at your best.
This rider has a solid build (Blue Arrow) where you see a nice ATL above the CTL and Fitness is rising. A rest period follows so that the training can be absorbed; great!
The green arrow could be something like an extended vacation away from the bike. While coming into the 40’s for TSB is not ideal, if you go away for a couple weeks and can’t ride, it is what it is. You’ll come back, ease into the training, and you’ll be crushing it again in a week or so.
It’s also a good habit to get out of the trees and see the forest. Take a look at your current Year To Date. It will help tell some more story. Are there peaks and valleys? You can’t aways just be ripping it. In the same way that you need to go slow to go fast in a microcycle, you need to ease up and let the body rejuvenate season to season, and truly GROW.
Want To Get Faster?
Accomplish the following by taking advantage of our Free Power File Analysis:
Better understand your strengths and weaknesses
See How You Compare To Your Peers
See How You Compare to Your Theoretical Self
See If You Are Building Fitness Properly
Have A Clearer Roadmap To Your Goals
Email Brendan at Brendan@EVOQ.BIKE and if you want to get a head start, include your answers to the questions above. Then, connect your Training Peaks account here.
Within a week, you’ll get a video back with all of the screenshots and data to help make you a faster cyclist. Check out our testimonials if you’re still not sure if you want to get faster.
Whether you’re training for your first big group ride or chasing a National Championship, we’ve been there and can help you get to the top!
Thanks for reading, and please share this with other cyclists that may be interested. Have a great day!
Check out more blogs here; free speed!