Question regarding W' bal

Bit of a question on W’ after seeing a huge increase (almost 41%) in mine during an online race yesterday.

Prior to yesterday I’ve gradually honed my W’ setting and it has always been pretty accurate - I’ve always felt absolutely spent as it’s neared zero. However, during my race yesterday I was able to keep delivering high efforts (for me anyway!) after that point and took it to a level of -12.2.

I took this race seriously and whilst I had no chance of winning wanted to give a good performance so spent a lot more time preparing than normal with the following: -

  • Hard interval sessions in the previous week
  • Easier day than normal before race day
  • Slight lowering of seat height on turbo-bike to match my road bikes
  • Good clean/lube of bike chain and transmission
  • Conscious effort to eat more carbs/energy bars prior to race.
  • Stretching prior to race
  • A good pre-race warm up

The race delivered my best ever average power and an improved FTP from 294w to 300w along with W’ going from 29.8 to -12.2.

Just wondering if anyone can give their opinion on if this new W’ value is feasible or should be tweaked more slightly in line with the FTP and what was likely to be the main reason for the improved performance.

Did you modify the FTP to the new value of 300W for this race and reprocessed the results or not?
If you total about 30min (1800sec) above the new FTP value, this already accounts for 6W * 1800sec = 10.8Kj compared to the former FTP of 294W. Then the increase in W’ with the new FTP is ‘only’ about 1.4Kj.

Will have no effect if you have a Pedal power meter, but might have effect with a hub power meter.

In general, stretching is discouraged pre-biking.

Hi, thank you for your reply. Just reprocessed the result using 300W for FTP and it’s given a new W’ of 35.6kJ.

I’m guessing the seat position change has helped my overall power - I had a similar issue last year where I was getting better or comparable hill times on my winter bike despite its extra weight compared to my summer bike and started looking for likely reasons why.

(I was on the turbo trainer btw so technically a hub power meter in effect.)

So if a race result estimated your FTP at 300w my guess is you did not perfectly ride this like FTP style consistency so really if it was possible you gave the same level of effort to an FTP test you would have gotten an even higher FTP.

Now could you sustain that for 60m, that’s hard to say :slight_smile: 35kj is pretty high for 300w FTP but if you tend to be a strong sprinter than it is very possible. Anyway congratulations, It’s a lot easier to do W’ tests to verify that then it is to do FTP tests other than ramp tests which can be skewed by your strong W’.

My belief is these are just numbers that get you in the ball park anyway… so focusing on absolute precision is not necessary but it sure is fun to see improvements like that :slight_smile:

Hi Alex, thank you for your comment, interesting to hear people’s thoughts :+1:

Yes, as you say, it would be interesting to see what would happen over a more ‘even’ effort rather than a race scenario where there you’re battling others though the motivation definitely helps!

I’m definitely no sprinter (too light and feeble for that!) but the route we were on had a couple of short climbs and lots of punchy rises that I used to hold off a group of heavier riders with repeated hard efforts.

Any progress is welcome these days :slightly_smiling_face: