Thursday, October 19, 2006

Team Time Trial and the Performance Manager

The performance manager is a killer tool for TTT efforts - and IMO would be the perfect type of event to illustrate the relationship between top end and TSB. A couple years back I did a few TTTs, some at positive TSB, some negative. The negative TSB TTTs were incredibly painful just to hit substandard Pnorm values...the positive TSB TTTs were as you say, exercises in restraint.
~ Dave Harris
A couple of weeks ago, three buddies and I contested our State Championships TTT (MMAS 2-4 category) on the constantly undulating Calga Course, about an hour’s drive north of Sydney. It was a late decision to enter, so no chance to get in a prior test run as a unit. There is a bit of a write up here and a couple of photos to boot.
Since three of the team are knowledgeable power meter users (including two members of the eweTSS PMC beta test group), I thought it would be interesting to see what the Performance Manager was telling us as a team.
If you want to know more about the Performance Manager, then this article on the Cycling Peaks site is a good place to start.

So who was where on the Performance Manager Chart curves?
Peter 35 -12
Phil 82 +31
Stan 65 0 (as a rough estimate only)
Alex 84 –5
So before we started, we had a pretty fair idea of where we stood. Some sizeable CTL/TSB mismatches there.
Predictions anyone?

What the CTL/TSB mismatches really mean is that you'll probably have a better idea before hand as to whether you'll be the one doing the shouting or the listening!

Given the course in front of us was a hilly 43km out and back, FTP watts/kg was going to be as important as FTP alone (and we had a 22kg weight spread between us). Putting that together with the PMC data we knew/predicted/decided that:
  • Pete would be the sacrificial lamb

  • Phil would likely be ripping the cranks off and would have to be careful not to blow his mates
  • Stan we weren’t really sure about but he rode well in a test effort the week prior
  • Alex would be good but not as good as the weekend before when he entered the road & crit race championships with +ve TSB.
  • We thought had a chance of making the podium
So armed with that knowledge we already had a fair idea of how to attack the race.
So what happened?
  • Pete made it a little past half way (a fine ride if you ask me given his current weight disadvantage and low CTL).
    37 min; Pnorm 359W; IF 1.198
  • Phil was ripping the cranks off and basically had to hold himself back all day to ensure the team stayed as a unit.
    65 min; Pnorm 280W; IF 0.984
  • Stan did what Stan does best and rode a little hard early on, requiring some firm communication to bring him into line. He paid for it in the 4th qtr of the race (where his lower CTL perhaps was showing itself up). To be fair, Stan is the only one without a PM onboard to help him dose his effort.
  • I did what I could, felt like I struggled mid race but came good in the back half. Ended up with Pnorm bang on FTP but down on previous weekend’s peak.
    65 min; Pnorm 295W; IF 0.999
It was a fun outing and we came away with the bronze medal for our efforts (despite a slow change for Stan’s puncture – we did the maths, somewhere between 40-60 seconds lost or one step on the podium).

So in the end, the PMC was smack on in terms of predicting how we would go as a unit.
Lads on the podium.... (we're on the right)