Icons & Definitions
2PEAK uses the following icons to represent the single workouts within your training plan. Workout Description Training Duration and Intensity
2PEAK shows the duration and intensity of the training in a bar diagram. Duration is always in time - not distance! The symbol to the left of the bar shows the sport discipline – in this case: cycling. Basic training is always in the basic endurance zone - Z2 (light green). Intervals at higher intensities are embedded in this light green bar. In this example the whole workout lasts for two hours. After a warmup, there are two intervals in Z4 (orange) then there are two more in Z5 (red).
Training details in the weekly plan
By clicking alongside the training bar in the weekly plan, you will be shown a detailed view. The icons under the training bar show the content of the training: in this case, uphill intervals and stretching after training. To the right, the intervals are shown as text.
Z2 means Basic Endurance - the basic training zone. Z4 means the Threshold zone and Z5 High Power zone.
20 minutes are shown as 20' and 20 seconds as 20”.
By clicking directly on the training bar, you get a printable detailed view. Here you can see the exact time schedule and details such as the pedalling cadence (in cycling). The intensity is displayed as you prefer: as pulse frequency or power (in cycling) / speed (in running).
Z1, Recovery Zone (lowest intensity)
The Z1 training zone actively promotes recovery after hard efforts.
Z3, Upper Endurance Zone (medium to higher intensities)
Tempo-Training in Z3 improves your endurance and ability to maintain a high speed. This intensity is typical for long climbs and marathons. The intervals in Z3 are usually long (20 minutes shown here)
Z4, Threshold Zone
Training in Z4 raises the anaerobic threshold and improves your race specific endurance. Zone 4 training is always in interval form with repetition (20 minutes shown here). Z5 Power Zone
In Z5 the intervals can last from a few seconds to several minutes (3 minutes shown here). In the very short maximum efforts, sprinting and acceleration ability is improved. It is important to perform these short intervals flat out, with full commitment.
Zone 5 efforts of over 1 minute should be performed as a time trial. Don't start long Z5 intervals at a sprint but more restrained, so that you can maintain the effort for the duration of the interval.
Recovery between Intervals
The length of the recovery between the intervals can be seen in the detailed view: three minutes in Z2 with a cadence of 70 to 90 RPM
General Icons for Scheduling and Logging
2PEAK permits detailed scheduling and corrects the recovery index automatically, when rest days, travel days or or No Time for training is planned or logged. The effect these three icons have on the recovery index ist identical.
Use this icon, if you have no time to train or if you want to plan a training free day.
2PEAK will plan rest days. Rest days allow your body to recover for the next planned efforts. You can also enter a rest day, when training has been scheduled but you couldn't carry it out because you didn't feel fit enough. If this is the case, you will need to correct your recovery index accordingly.
Enter travel days when you can't train with this icon.
This icon shows the ideal point for carrying out a performance test. These tests should be done at regular intervals. A test will replace any intervals which might be included in that day's schedule.
Sports and disciplines
2PEAK has the following basic sport disciplines: Running, Cycling, Triathlon and X-Country Skiing. These disciplines can be extended to other disciplines, according to the training package you chose.
Running is offered as a self contained sport discipline and as part of the triathlon package but it may also be added as a supplement to other sport packages.
If you choose a Long-Run (1:15 and longer) 2PEAK will calculate the ideal length for you, based on your previous longest duration runs and slowly build on it. But these runs will be reduced in case you cannot sustain additional load or are forced to reduce it. The build up is therefore a function of what you have proven to be able to "digest". Long-Runs never include any intensity above base endurance.
Trail Running is offered as a supplement to other disciplines. With regards to content it is corrersponding to running but it will allow to report your trail mileage specifically. Orienteering
Orienteering is offered as a supplement to other disciplines. With regards to content it is corrersponding to running but it will allow to report your orienteering mileage specifically.
Alpine Speed Hiking
Alpine Speed Hiking (fast vertical walking/running in mountainous terrain) is offered as a supplement to other disciplines. With regards to content it is corresponding to running but it will allow to report your vertical speed running mileage specifically.
Cycling is offered as a self contained sport discipline and as part of the triathlon package but it may also be added as a supplement to other sport packages.
If you choose a Long-Ride (2hrs and longer) 2PEAK will calculate the ideal length for you, based on your previous longest duration rides and slowly build on it. But these rides will be reduced in case you cannot sustain additional load or are forced to reduce it. The build up is therefore a function of what you have proven to be able to "digest". Long-Rides never include any intensity above base endurance.
Mountain Biking corresponds to running with regards to content but it will allow to report your vertical speed running mileage specifically.
Spinning may be added as a supplement to the Cycling package. The intensity will be automatically adapted to the shorter volume.
X-Country Skiing ( both classic and skating technique) is offered as a self contained sport discipline. In order to prepare for XC ski races, you need to switch to a proper XC ski plan. Please contact support if you need assistance.
With Roller Ski we mean all alternative "dry-land" disciplines which allow you to train without snow. In order to prepare for XC ski races, you need to switch to a proper XC ski plan. Please contact support if you need assistance.
Swimming is a part of the Triathlon package, it may be added as a multi sport option to other packages.
This option is only available for triathletes. It is used by 2PEAK to determine your "deficient discipline" meaning the sport in which compared to wahr you trained and the season is ideally chosen. And no, you cannot select just two disciplines, since we always pick the biggest deficit out of all 3 disciplines.
Inline Skating is offered as a supplement to other disciplines. It will allow to report your inline mileage specifically.
Yoga or Pilates is offered as a supplement to other disciplines.
Back Country Ski Touring is offered as a supplement to other disciplines. It will allow to report your ski touring efforts specifically.
Stand Up Paddling is offered as a supplement to other disciplines.
Snow Shoeing is offered as a supplement to other disciplines.
Ice Skating is offered as a supplement to other disciplines.
Nordic Walking is offered as a supplement to other disciplines.
Other Sport Disciplines
This title is used for ball sports and other disciplines, which are not specifically recognized.
Strength training is incorporated in all training packages.
2PEAK recommends stretching after every workout.
Upper body strength training
When this icon appears, the upper body shall primarily be trained.
Circuit Training (Strength Endurance)
Gym circuit with few exercise stations (e.g. Knee bends, knee raise, leg stretches) and immediate sport specific implementation after each lap. The exercises are carried out with low weight and 30-40 repetitions without break between stations. Implementation is carried out on the static bicycle or treadmill at Z2 or Z3 intensity. After the last lap there is at least 10 minutes on the static bike with a high cadence.
Example:10min Z2, cadence 90RPM warmup, then trunk strength training plus 4 laps of the circuit each followed by 3min static bike Z2-Z3 at 100RPM, trunk strength exercises and finally 10min cool down in Z2 at 90 - 100 RPM.
This type of circuit training is different, in that it only uses the body's own weight. Strength endurance and Coordination should be mainly trained with simple exercises. Exercises such as pressups, static skipping with minimum ground contact, trunk training, stretch jumps... are just part of this type of exercise.
Example: 4-6 laps, at each station 30sec effort (6 repetitions) and 30sec recovery.
Cycling specific drills
Cadence oriented Training
- Here you should ride in a low gear with a cadence of 100 to 120 RPM. High frequencies train your motor skills especially and also improve your pedaling efficiency.
Strength Oriented Training
- When you see this symbol, you should ride in a high gear at a cadence of 50 to 70 RPM. Hilly or mountainous terrain is ideal for this.
- If you don't include hills in your training, you will have problems when racing or riding marathons in hilly terrain. Hills should be ridden with a relaxed upper body and a bar top grip, or alternatively out of the saddle ("honking”). .
Mastering the required skills very often brings a greater benefit than expensive material or "flat out riding". You should specifically work on your pedalling, cornering, braking and handling skills.
This sprint exercise improves your max. strength and acceleration. It also brings into play your arm and trunk muscles. Ride out of the saddle in an all out effort on a four to eight percent gradient. (1 in 25 to 1 in 12)
Takes advantage of the passive acceleration from the slope. Improves specifically your
top speed and max. cadence. The gradient boosts your motor
skill by spinning faster than your legs
normally could at a low pedalling power.
The ideal topography is a straight, open, traffic free slope of up to five percent (1 in 20).
This exercise is executed at the bottom of a valley, where the descent, where you accelerate to a high speed, reverses to a climb. Leave the chain on the big ring and try to maintain both the speed and the cadence as your legs start to hurt. This improves your lactate tolerance and mental strength. Mountain bikers profit from this on single trails and technical climbs while road racers are better able to handle strength sapping "counter-climbs" which often occur on long descents.
Planning your Season Scheduling help
Your season planning revolves around the one or two main events you have chosen. 2PEAK always calculates the optimum route to top fitness backwards from the peak and taking into account your time budget and restrictions, calculates the ideal workout each day from today on, to get you to top form for D-day. Of course the more time you can invest in your goal the better but unpredictable changes are a fact of modern life. Deviations from your plan don't jeopardize your goal as long as you keep your aim and the plan is re-calculated taking into account all the changes whenever major change occurs.
Form which has been built slowly and steadily will remain stable and robust. Then, if the plan can not be followed 100% it will not set you back as much as if you were living on the edge with no room for error. Of course you can't be in your best shape all year long, because the body needs to recover long term in macro cycles (long cycles) exactly as it does short term in micro-cycles (weekly cycles). Fitness is a sequence of stimulation and recovery. If you are always in the same shape then you are not using your full potential. Highs and lows are a natural part of an athlete's life. Therefore: don't get too ambitious early in the year! If you want to peak in July, you don't need to train intensively all through January.
Experience shows, that most of us can remain dedicated training and stay motivated for about 3 months continuously. To stay with the countdown analogy: Three months before D-day the hot phase - race preparation - starts in which you train the abilities required for the selected race. There is little difference there between a pro athlete and an enthusiast. But before this phase, the foundation should already been laid in extensive and specific basic endurance work.
. How should I train in a Training Camp?
1. Forget about average speed and total distance
2. Races in training camp are counterproductive
3. Ride at your own pace. Target is the lower end of your basic endurance zone
4. Organise some quiet time and recovery between workouts
5. Start slowly and increase the volume gradually
6. Don't be too shy to take a rest day on your training camp
7. Eat healthy nutrition
8. Eat moderately but sufficient - stay fueled - on your rides too
"Twelve hundred miles in 14 days!" Proudly, with chest expanded, they report this heroic deed as soon as their feet are back on solid ground – and a few days later they report sick in bed with flu – a lot of athletes confuse the feeling of overexertion with form build-up. Training volume may not be expanded at will but must bear relation to the previous training. Brutal volume doesn't lead to solid form. Those who choose this approach to training camp will come back more exhausted than when they left. You can't lay the foundation for the whole year in 10 to 14 days. With the work well dispersed in small amounts, an early training camp should be an important brick on which to build.
Those who have done their training homework before the training camp and are able to take the higher volume, should plan to ride twice a day instead of sitting in the saddle as long as possible. This way the higher volume is more easily digested. Listen to your body - not to the pace of your colleagues. Pay off comes on race day. Ignore all the distance and average speed data and follow your heart rate monitor. You need do no more than to stay in your designated heart rate based training zone!
No time for a training camp? Tip: a training camp is a mental thing anyway and can be done just as well at home. Find or organise a couple of long weekends in sequence - add a free day or two so that you get two blocks of 2-4 days to dedicate to training and ride if you can on each intervening day too, even if that is just an evening roller session. An endurance "block" as described, is more productive than scattered workouts. Pay attention to healthy nutrition and if you are also doing a demanding job, your body will be even more stressed, so make sure to get enough high quality rest.
You can find concrete volume suggestions based on your training record in your 2PEAK plan (starting at the Silver Package or as an upgrade on lower plans).
Picture: example of a short training camp
Utilize the transition period correctly
The transition period falls between two competition seasons. A transition period will be planned by 2PEAK when the next main competition is planned far ahead(the date of this competition may lie outside the validity period of your training package). You can see the transition period in the periodization view of your schedule, when you float the mouse arrow over it – provided the next competition lies far enough ahead, around 7 months. You can also see the periodization in the weekly view, when you float the mouse arrow over the coloured left border of the calendar. The transition period is always shown in grey. When you see that there is a transition period, the main goal in your timetable should be altered to avoid "de-training”. Then 2PEAK will show you an example of a schedule, where you can utilize limited time to the best effect and also plan alternating sport disciplines. You can then amend this schedule to suit your own needs and then have your plan recalculated. Attention! Make sure that you reset your competition aim at the end of the transition period and update the time budget in your timetable.
Questions on Pulse / Heart-RateQ and A
Q:My training partner has a pulse 20 b.p.m. below mine, when we are both all-out uphill. Is he in better form than I am?
A: Heart frequency is a very individual thing. The number in itself doesn't tell you anything about the form of the subject. If you are both going the same speed when you are at the limit, then your performance is identical.
Q: In races - already on the start line - I have a much higher than normal pulse. Is that normal?
A: Yes - quite normal. A race is a stress situation and your pulse reacts to that. As you gain experience, this effect will lessen.
Q:Can I see if my form is improving by my pulse?
A: After a lot of endurance training the cardio-vascular system becomes more efficient. For the same power output, the pulse will be lower. So in this sense you can say, that see your progress but you really need an absolute datum (for runners, speed - for cyclists - power in Watts) to evaluate the heart frequency properly. Nevertheless, if you are riding your training route in a shorter time and the pulse stays constant or falls in a period of time, this indicates better form.
Q: My pulse doesn't reach the top regions in training. Why is that?
A. There are several reasons why this can happen. If you have been training slowly and steadily, your body gets used to this - see previous question. You may need a couple of intensive intervals to really get your pulse up there. It can be that the pulse only reaches its maximum rate after a few intervals, so it's important not to start the intervals too hard. A low or inflexible pulse can also be a sign of over-tiredness. If you've been training for several days, you probably need one or two rest days - then your heart will react more readily.
Q: What pulse rate should I have in a cycling marathon?
A: You should always try to stay below the anaerobic threshold in a marathon - especially at the beginning - towards the end it will come as it must. Usually the first climb is climbed too fast, which screws you for later on. A regular pace is the best guarantee for an optimum total time. For efforts lasting several hours, a climbing pulse in the Upper Endurance Zone - Z3 is a realistic number.
The pulse monitor is not
suitable on its own, for measuring high intensity training. We recommend our racing cyclists to train with a power meter and our runners with speed zones.
Interval Training in Z5, High Power Zone
Training in the High Power Zone - Z5. This is always trained in the form of intervals and with complete inter-effort recovery. Complete means: the recovery duration must be long enough for you to re-motivate and be willing to do the next interval.
IMPORTANT: For managing the intensity in the High Power zone, especially with short intervals, heart frequency (pulse rate) is unsuitable, because the heart reacts too slowly. Apart from this, depending on individual and form, the max pulse rate might not be reached – although the power level or tempo may very well be in the max power range.
Here you can find more detailed information how to train in the Max Power Zone:
to the article training in the Max Power Zone
Indoor trainingWhat is the best way do train on the rollers in winter?.
Is static cycling an alternative to road training even? Yes and no. It is certainly a better alternative than not training at all. Even when you jog, cross-country ski, swim - cycling still has to be practised. And when the dark evenings and below zero temperatures don't encourage cycling, then the rollers / home trainer make sense.
There are, however arguments against riding long sessions on the rollers. Firstly, it is boring. Nothing to look at, nothing to occupy the brain - that makes pedalling subjectively harder than it is outside. If you train with a power meter you will know - 200 watts indoors is like 250 watts outside - at least.
The impression isn't only due to the missing variation - but real reasons:
static riding raises the body temperature, because there is no relative wind. Perspiration flows in rivers but the body still overheats. You can see this well by the pulse, which rises continuously, while at a similar performance level outside, it would be steady. After an hour the subjective effort inside is miles away from that outside. This has consequences for the musculature: If you train indoors, you will bring less power to the pedals at the same level of effort, than you can out of doors.
So here is out tip: for long roller sessions, make sure of proper cooling - either use a fan, let fresh air in, or place the whole set-up out of doors.
As training on the roller is more intensive than on the road (no roller session without a strength training) it can be shorter than road training. 2PEAK takes account of this, when you
move your training indoors, from the road. Since roller workouts are ideal for hard interval content, 2PEAK stresses this aspect in roller training. Even quite short sessions of 30-45 minutes can include an effective stimulus, when specifically trained.
Here's an example of a roller programme:
15 Minute warm up in Z2
4 x 2 Minutes Z4 with one or two minutes easy pedalling between
15 Minutes warm down in Z2/Z1
15 Minute warm up in Z2
10 x 30 Seconds Z5 with only 30 seconds recovery in Z1, Z2
15 minutes warm down in Z1, Z2
15 Minutes warm up in Z2
3 x 6 Minutes Z3 at 50 RPM with 3-5 Minutes easy pedalling between
15 Minutes warm down in Z1, Z2
120 Minutes Z2 - that's about equivalent to a three hour ride outside
The specific cycling intervals make sure that your musculature stays in shape. You can train the basic endurance on foot, skis or in the gym. And when in the early season you ride your bicycle "properly" again, your legs won't have to begin at zero.
The ideal way is to train on the rollers using a power meter, or a home trainer which shows the power output in watts. This increases the quality of your training, compared the the pulse meter alone.
With the Silver Package / Fall/Winter training package and higher you will get the instructions for roller training in your training plan. The roller training here is shorter and more intensive than normal road training. Give it a go!
Motor skills training for rollers
With speed exercises you can vary the roller training. When you ride shorter units on the rollers, intervals or cadence pyramids serve better than endurance methods:
Warm up for 15 minutes Z2 at 80-100 RPM
6x6 seconds maximum cadence - at low resistance at first
between intervals 5 minutes Z1 Recovery Zone with normal cadence
15 minute warm down.Z2, Z1
or a cadence pyramid:
15 minute warm up Z2 80-100 RPM
Increase the cadence every minute by 10 RPM until you reach your limit
then reduce the cadence by 10 RPM each minute (reverse pyramid)
15 minute warm down.Z2, Z1
Training Zones and Performance TestsDiscover your Zones - Practical Power Tests
recommends checking on your performance level regularly, so you know which training zone you can best train in. In this way, you set the starting point for your training plan.
2PEAK has dedicated tests for cyclists (MP Test) and runners (MAS Test) which you as the athlete can run for yourself. As these tests require you to go to the verge of exhaustion, they are only to be used by athletes who may go to the limits of their capability. If in any doubt, consult your doctor first. From these tests we can calculate your training zone values. We can also observe your performance progress as you train.
The self testing should ideally be complemented by a power diagnosis; preferably by Spirometry, which gives more detailed results than a simple lactate test. By the way we can incorporate power diagnosis results into your plan for a charge of €30.- and then we adjust your training zone values and settings accordingly.When should I do a power test?
In order to achieve realistic results, you should be in training for at least two weeks before making a test. Otherwise your training zones might shift too far. Do the tests when you are fit, healthy and recovered - preferably after a recovery phase. For consistancy, you should repeat the tests evey 4-8 weeks.
MP test for racing cyclists
The Max Power test (MP test)is for checking your maximum power output over 20 seconds, 1, 3, 4, 8, 16 und 32 minutes (MP 0.3..to..MP 32) and for constructing your personal power curve.
Note that these tests allow your training zones to be better calculated and checked when over 4 minutes long. Eight minutes are even better. Short tests are for checking your anerobic performance (sprinters and criterium specialists) - long tests for eliciting climbing and time-trialing ability.
The MP test is performed on climbs with an average gradient of 7% or more (1 in 14) so that the power output is mainly measured from the weight raising work. You will need an exact altimeter, stop watch and a means of measuring the distance.Choose a suitable climb to correspond closely to the times specified above. 2PEAK adjusts small differences mathematically. Before the test, mark prominent way points to use as start and finish points.To define aerobic capacity. duration should be at least 4 minutes - if possible 8 minutes. You will need a climb of 230-460 feet (70-140 m) height difference according to the speed you climb, to perform a 4 min test.
Warm up: 20 minutes at the upper range of your basic endurance zone.
Test: after the warm up, cross the start point at a flying start. Ride at a constant pace as fast as you can maintain. To ensure you can maintain the rhythm throughout, hold back at the beginning! If the gradient is constant, you can use your speed reading to check the pace. Time your ride passing the finish point. Use a helper for timing, when sprinting fast, short tests.
Based on the height gained, your exact total system weight (everything you are wearing, pocket contents, and the complete bike with tools bottle, drinks, computer etc.)- the total time and the total distance, your power output can be determined fairly accurately. The accuracy increases with decreasing speed on steeper hills - as aerodynamic drag becomes less of a factor. Divide your system weight between Naked Body weight in one value and ALL the equipment(Machine, clothing. pocket contents etc.) in the other. This enables a precise Power/Weight ratio calculation unfalsified by changes in clothing from season to season.
If you workout on a stationary bike with power meter, you can enter the MP values from here
using average power and duration (at least 6 minutes) for an all-out test.
To check up previous hill MP tests, select Tools >cycling fitness tests >power test-climbing
To verify the anaerobic threshold and to calculate your training zones according to pulse (heart frequency) a four minute test isn't long enough. We recommend a 30 minute time trial - you can do it on your mountain bike or cyclo-cross bicycle at cold times of year. Off-road, the lower relative wind speed makes things more comfortable.
Ride for half an hour on a course of your choice, where you can keep a steady pace - short climbs or descents don't matter. Ten minutes into the ride, start your pulse meter and check the average pulse for the remaining 20 minutes. This value will be pretty close to your anaerobic threshold. Enter this value on the training zone page: based on pulse, put a dot in the anaerobic threshold (LT = Lactic threshold = anaerobic threshold)choice.
Then your seperate training zones can be calculated and stored in your profile.
Illustration 3: Entering the Anaerobic threshold
Illustration 4: Training zones calculated from the anaerobic threshold
If you are well trained and perform tests regularly, you will observe the training zone values don't change much but the power values in each zone increase appreciably. This shows how your body operates more economically and develops more power with less cardio vascular load.Show performance development
The power tests are based on rides on your local big hill. Using 2PEAK's tools you can calculate average power output from the lifting work performed. This works surprisingly well, as we have been able to prove on many occasions, using a power meter.
Self testing is a good way to check on your progress, without expense - and for example to augment a power output diagnosis with regular tests.
The MP (max power) tests run from 20 seconds to 32 minutes. MP4 means a max power test of 4 minutes for instance. To calculate the aerobic power, the test dutation should be at least 4 minutes. In winter this is a reasonable and acceptable duration. You can prolong the tests with increasing form. from 8 minute or 16 minute tests, elapsed times for long distances can be estimated (for instance marathons.
You'll find your previous 2PEAK tests at >Tools >Fitness Tests in Performance Evolution.
There you can edit or erase your tests at any time. To get the tests in graphic form, click on the + sign in the Graph column. You can erase an entry by clicking x. The Vo2max power (equivalent to MP6-8) only increases slowly during a season, once you are well trained. The real effect of the training is that you can hold the same output over a much longer duration in summer, than in winter - 5 or 6 times longer. To observe this clearly, you should make a series of longer tests in summer.
Power data based TrainingThe Advantage of Power training to a Cyclist
You may hear athletes talk about their fitness in expressions such as "I rode 50 minutes at an average pulse of 180, pretty good huh?" Or the average speed of a ride is often cited: "We recently averaged 22 mph (33 km/h) on a training ride!" Neither statement really means anything in terms of training value. A high heart rate, is for sure an indication of a strenuous workout, but that's all. Out of context this statement is quite value-less. The same is valid of bragging about average speed: was it affected by uphill or slightly downhill, or flat with a tailwind? Alone or in a group? Often the average speed logged falls throughout the season, because our training rides and races get more demanding - although the power output actually improves. The average speed does not tell us anything about performance without more relevant information.
The aim of training is not to be able to work at an ever increasing heart rate. The aim is to improve performance - in other words power output. HR is often misused as a performance indicator because the pulse meters are readily available, relatively inexpensive and therefore wide-spread. On the other hand, direct power output measurement can only be achieved using more complex and expensive equipment, so this is less common.But it is a fact, that the muscular effort is the definition of workout intensity and since heart rate is only one of several parallel data more or less accurately reflecting that intensity, it should be clear that measuring the power output directly is the better method.Fuel
For the muscle to produce a certain amount of power, it needs to be nourished ("fueled") and supplied with oxygen. The transportation system is the blood stream. The quantity of oxygen that can be made available depends on the heart rate and the volume of the heart muscle. Then other factors have an influence such as the oxygen saturation of the blood cells (hematocrit). The efficiency of the pump (heart) can therefore not be measured by heart rate alone. Increased pumping rate of the heart always reflects increased muscle work during an exercise but it is an effect, rather than the cause. Sound complex? It is, but the simple news is, in the end it is the output that matters.
Power can be exactly defined in scientific terms. For a cyclist, this is a product: force from the leg (strength) multiplied by leg turning speed (cadence) and is expressed in watts (watt = joule/seconds= energy per time unit). A small force multiplied by a high cadence can give the same power as a bigger force multiplied by a lower cadence. A good example is Lance Armstrongs "twiddling"-style. Lance produces a remarkable power output by multiplying a very high cadence by an average force. A rider like Jan Ullrich on the other side produced a identical power performance by applying an average cadence to a remarkable force.
So power output is the key to speed.
Assuming constant external conditions (wind, gradient, riding position, etc.) only increased power output leads to faster speed.
The best rider does not win because of having highest heart rate, the biggest oxygen intake or pushing the biggest gear, but rather because in relation to his total system weight (rider + all equipment including bicycle) and/or the aerodynamic coefficient of this system, he has the highest power output. Fortunately things such as tactics and other parameters also substantially influence a race outcome, otherwise road racing would end up being pretty boringly predictable...
And the equipment also plays a part, as the speed calculator shows us.What is power:weight ratio?
Even absolute power output is not the whole point. Only when power is divided by the weight, do you get a relevant value, the power:weight ratio. The power:weight ratio decides how fast a cyclist can ride up a climb. The amplitude can vary between 1 W/lb (2 W/kg) for some riders and 14 W/lbs (7.2 W/Kg) for pro riders.
Watching the pros we notice how this correlation dictates their appearance: first they train to achieve a maximum of strength (force) and then they lose as much weight as possible without jeopardising that leg strength. They realise that losing weight increases the power:weight ratio. Before Bjarne Rjis won the Tour de France in 1996, he had to lose 11 lbs (5 Kg). Losing 5% to 10% of body weight was easier to achieve than increasing power output by the same percentage, especially being already at a very high level.Aerodynamics - what is Power:Drag ratio?
In the same way as power:weight ratio is important for a climber, the power:drag ratio is what matters most for a time-trialist. This is a quotient as well: power divided by CdA. This expresses how good "engine" power output is in relation to the aerodynamic drag of the "bodywork". Sitting in an extremely low drag position on the bicycle, makes you much faster for the same power output. Riders who have a high power:weight ratio and a high power:drag ratio, are successful on the flat and the climbs too. Good all-rounders like Armstrong or Ullrich are good examples. But specialists can also be good at both disciplines. The 2002 world time trial champion Santiago Botero has also won the climbers polka dot jersey in the Tour de France.
Depending on age and fitness level these ratios differ significantly. With 2PEAK you can compare your power output to those of other athletes - and you can filter age and volume to ensure peer-to-peer comparison. So you can get to the starting line well informed and with realistic expectations.Power Measurement
By now it should be clear that power measurement is crucial in the pursuit of fitness improvement. How is it done? The smartest solution is a power-measuring device such as the Power Tap hub or the SRM crank. These instruments meter your effective power output as you ride. Your bicycle effectively becomes a mobile ergo-meter. The data can be downloaded to your computer and analyzed. So an objective analysis of training intensity can be achieved. This data can then be uploaded to 2PEAK for further analysis and integration into your training plan.
Power measurement is a great way to keep track of your progress. Integrated with 2PEAK planning, they are even more useful. 2PEAK analyzes past work but also and more importantly uses the acquired knowledge to configure subsequent training to permit further fitness improvement. At 2PEAK we "complete the progress circle".
On the other hand power meters are pretty expensive. As an alternative we suggest our 2PEAK MP test (Maximum Power test) - a climbing test on a longish climb. Both methods are based on calculating of the hoisting (lifting) power. The necessary data are: the system weight, the height difference in feet or meters and the time. All of which are relatively easily ascertained.
The MP test, like a power measurement device monitors fitness improvements, using an objective and accurate method - timing your effort up your favorite climb. If you aim to improve your power output from say, 260 to 300 watts on this climb (for the gain in time gain check speed calculator in the tools menu), you can simply use the MP test to check your improvements.
Systematic training with a power-meter device is still easier, however and permits a continuous insight into your body behaviour in training.
One difficulty to do with power output measurement is its dependence on duration of effort. The effort that the human body generates is always a function of the duration: if the time increases the power output decreases. This is especially so, for efforts under one minute, where the available power is extremely duration dependent. This is due to the dominant anaerobic component. This occurs in Z5 - High Power Zone which can't be assessed in pulse rate (the heart rate lags behind the effort and can therefore not be used as an accurate indication). This is why 2PEAK simply defines the last training zone as the zone demanding your highest motivation. As duration increases, the aerobic component of the effort gains importance and so the output decreases slightly with increasing time: the 4 minute effort is closer to the 1 hour effort in terms of average power output then to the one minute effort. The attached chart illustrates this:
The curve shows the power output of a well trained athlete dropping with relation to time. Starting at the maximum 8 minutes output (MP8) the output drops by 7% with every time the duration (red line)doubles. The gradient of the drop depends on the individual and his ability to hold an effort for an extended period of time.
How does power data help workout management ?
The power demands differ from race to race. A marathon or stage race requires excellent long term endurance but very little anaerobic capacity or speed. This is very different in a XC race, a criterium or a cyclo-cross race: if you want to be with the leading group, you need to be able to ride in the "red zone" when climbing, exiting corners and sprinting. The talent required is ability to recover from short-term oxygen-debt on the next short descent or respite. Sprinters, of course need bursts of explosive power to leave the competition in their wake - also anyone who can't respond to attacks in the field because of lacking explosiveness will be dropped and can pack up. Time-trialists need huge aerobic capacities to be able to ride for long periods at the aerobic threshold level.
These differences in competition, lead to different profiles and different training requirements without which you'll not succeed. 2PEAK's race planning takes these requirements into consideration. By including your racing profile in your training file we permit you to train systematically for your objectives. In power mode, the training zones and the intervals are defined in watts per unit time and the training is logged in watts too. Training control is based on main values and improvements can be seen instantly.
How do I upload power data to 2PEAK?
2PEAK offers the option of uploading power data from the most common devices such as SRM, PowerTap and Polar (Data from Polar pulse-only devices can be uploaded too.) The files are recognized automatically based on their extension and are then selected and analyzed. The whole procedure is done in just a few seconds and saves you having to enter it to your training log manually since all the pertaining information will be transcribed automatically. This way you spend more time training and less sitting in front of your pc!
Only power data allows you to evaluate so objectively your training effort and your improvements on the bicycle. Irrefutable intensity and volume data can be retrieved as required and be used as a base to manage your subsequent training.
Why is there heart-rate data but no power data in the readout?
You have first to re-define your training zones based on power, so that your data can be correctly attributed. As long as the training zones still are only defined in terms of pulse power data will not be used or shown.
Why is there a discrepancy in the evaluation in between heart rate and power defined training zones?
There are several reasons for this:
1. The correlation of heart rate and power is not always stable, since the heart rate depends on many other factors beside power.
2.With improved fitness your power output increases relative to the heart rate.
3.Short term peak loads especially if extreme, are not reflected in the pulse, since the heart rate lags behind the effort .
Here's a short overview of the 3 power measurement systems supported by 2PEAK :
SRM was the first and amongst pros still the most popular system : The power meter from the German manufacturer SRM consists of a modified crank that is compatible with Campagnolo and Shimano bottom brackets and measures the applied pedal force using strain gauges. These are electrical resistors that change their conductivity proportionally if mechanical force is applied. The extracted data is then saved in a small computer on the handlebar. This device is popular with pro's because of its precision and reliability.
PowerTap, like SRM, uses strain gauging – but measures the power data in a special rear hub. This device is more economical and is exact, but does not have the same "bullet proof" reliability of the SRM crank. Also, the accompanying software is less flexible.
Polar has the most exotic approach, the gauging tool is an optional extra for the 700 series heart rate monitor and registers the frequency of the chain vibrations under various tensions. The concept is similar to the pick-up of an electric guitar and permits power output to be calculated. This is a very original approach, but unless set up with great care, can turn out less precise and reliable than the systems above.
NutritionWhat should you eat during training?
Do you feel you could eat a horse after a heavy workout? No wonder, as the energy turnover in cycling is immense. So it is important before, during and after training to eat correctly.
When training in Z2 - Basic endurance Zone - at 170 Watts average power for instance, around 600 kcal are burned. A long session of 5 hours will use 3000 kcal. Add the basic daily consumption of calories and you end up with a daily total of over 5,000 kcal.
If the intensity is low enough (in the lower to middle Z2 -basic endurance zone) depending on your form, up to 2/3 of the of the required energy will be taken from fat burning. So 5 hrs at 170 Watts would burn around 250 gramms of fat! Once the intensity increases, the proportion of fat burned is reduced. If you haven't trained a good basis first, it is difficult for the body to reduce its metabolic level after a short peak load and instead of burning fat, starts using the glycogen reserves in the muscles. The glycogen stores hold typically 2,000 kcal - just enough for three hours at 170 watts.
The ideal nutrition is organised so that at any time there is enough energy ready to support your training effort. Getting low on energy is not the aim of the training! An important role is played by the previous day's nutrition. After training intensively, there are only a few hours, to refill the depleted glycogen store efficiently. The immediate post training processing lays the foundation for the next day's training. Within 30 minutes of finishing, you should have a recovery drink - either 1/2 litre (~ a pint)of an appropriate ready drink or the same amount of undiluted apple juice. Depending on how strenuous the training was, there should then be a carbon hydrate rich meal within 30 - 90 minutes, pasta for instance.
2PEAK's diet plan, available as an upgrade to all training packages, informs you precisely when, how much and what to eat, in order always to have sufficient reserves in training .
When and how should I supplement magnesium intake?
Intensive training leads to an uncreased need for magnesium, a mineral, which is important for muscle recovery. The daily requirement for a racing cyclist is around 500mg. The best way to take it is through your normal meals. Magnesium rich produce includes amaranth (a cereal) soya flakes, whole corn bread, oat flakes, nuts etc..
If you need a supplement use only natural preparations such as laver (sea weed). Important, only after a regular intake will the magnesium level in the musculature increase.
Pharmaceutical products can be of help in cases of severe magnesium deficit but they are not suitable long term for keeping the balance right, as they don't reach the cells. Under strain and especially during competition, magnesium products burden the stomach unnecessarily and should therefore be avoided.
Should I train if I am sick?Don't do it!
You should not train at all if you are sick, so that the body doesn't weaken further. If you are sick, you can't do any useful training work. Moreover if you have a virus infection, training is very dangerous and can damage your heart for instance. Concentrate instead on getting better. That is the best thing you can do for your form.
Subsequent training after sickness
No matter how good the training schedule, or how healthy the life style, illnesses can still occur. At 2PEAK we keep your training on course though, because you can have the subsequent training recalculated, to lift you gently back to form. You can choose between transition periods from zero to 14 days for your training to be gradually worked up. Rule of thumb is: if you have been sick for a week, you should take a week to get back to your previous level. Of course, the gravity of the sickness makes a big difference.If you have had a feverish influenza or an infection to get over, you will naturally be weaker than a sportsman/woman who has been off with a sprained ankle. If unsure if you are ready to train again ask your doctor's advice.
There are two ways to log sickness: Via >Training>Time table>sickness or via the log page. You can "plan in" your sickness and see how this affects your training schedule - by having the plan recalculated. Sick dates are shown in the periodization and in the calender as a red cross.
Example: Competition preparation interupted by sickness
ToolsWhat's the Relationship between Power-output and Speed?
Using the 2PEAK speed calculator you can see how much power is needed for a given speed - or vice versa. The tool is programmed to reproduce all the forces against which a racing cyclist does battle.
To make this calculation for flat terrain, the CdA value is sufficient. The Cd value is the product of the frontal area (A) and the Cd value - the coefficient of drag, which depends upon the efficiency of your position - and can only really be accurately measured in a wind tunnel. For an initial calculation use one of the example CdA values. You can check the calculation later, if you reverse the calculation and let the tool find your speed from your power output data. If there is a difference between the speed actually ridden and the calculated one,you can alter the CdA value until the speeds coincide. Now you know your real CdA.
The power output calculation for uphill work is a lot more accurate than on the flat. Why? - At the comparatively low speeds used in climbing and correspondingly low aerodynamic drag (which increases/decreases as the square of the speed)the hoisting (lifting) effort is more relevant. The hoisting power can readily be calculated using the readily found weight of the system (rider and equipment+bicycle). So the following method has proved best: Use a steep hill and find out your maximum power output in watts over a given time (do the MP Test)before you start any aerodynamic drag calculations.
Personal settingsCan I change my personal data?
After login, you can edit your personal data in >Settings >Personal Settings.
Can I stop the service any time?
You always pay for a given length of time, the packages are not automatically prolonged. So if you don't wish to continue training with 2PEAK, you don't need to do anything. If you require, we can remove all your data from the system.
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"PEAK sends at irregular intervals ~ 6-8 Newsletters per year witth training tips and system information. You can stop this anytime via the unsubscribe link.
How can I upgrade?
Go to >Settings >2PEAK Status >Upgrades, if you would like to buy upgrades to your current packages. To change to a different packages, then go via Shop - the sum will be calculated with your remaining present credit deducted.
How long does 2PEAK keep my training data?
Your data from the last 12 months are always kept at 2PEAK. When you buy a training package the time is extended by 12 months from the date of expiry. To ensure continuous data storage, buy a new package within 12 months of the expiry of the last one.
Shop and training packagesCan I start training as soon as I have paid?
The programme is open as soon as the credit card payment is made. For payment by transfer, the programme opens as soon as payment is received - generally this takes 3-4 days.
Can I change to a different package?
Yes. You can change to a different package at any time. When you upgrade to a higher package, the unused time on your old one will be credited. The running time for the new package begins from when you buy the upgrade.