5 second power: do you consider yourself a sprinter?

The overall question is have you gotten your 5 second peak power PR at the sprint finish of a race? Am I the oddball or is the norm to not hit that PR at the end of a race?

I was doing deeper analysis of my races and assessing my 5-15 second power at the sprint finish of a race, and don’t come close to what I see either earlier in a race or in training. I consider myself a sprinter for sure, as I can come across the finish line with (sometimes in front of, but not that often) the Cat 1 women in my field.

My highest 5 second power was this Monday in the middle of an outdoor training ride at 1009 watts. The highest I’ve seen in a race is 922 watts (sprinting for a $200 cash prime) the weekend before. Also, the highest I’ve seen in a sprint finish is 782 watts at the end of a 1 hour crit during that same weekend. I understand that you’ll be more fatigued at the end of a race, but the excitement makes me feel like others probably come much closer or hit their PR at the end of a race sprinting for a podium position or something else awesome.

So do you consider yourself a sprinter? What’s your 5-second power PR and how does it compare to what you see at the sprint finish of a race?

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Max is/was around 1250 from fresh. at the end of a hard race i’m happy to hit 800w

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Fatigue resistance is a tough thing. Most people will not hit short duration max power at the end of the race, unless it’s a quite short race.

This is why when you read articles about World Tour level sprinters, it’s easy to say “oh I could do that” but it’s totally different to put out those numbers after 2500kj or 3000kj.

I’m usually around 10-20% off my short duration power numbers after 1500kj (which is my benchmark number for fatigue resistance since I won’t be doing any long races) but there are not many points to draw from there since I’m not training it specifically.

(btw, if you have WKO4 you can look at this in the Fatigue Resistance PD Comparison and you can configure it to take a kJ value that matches what you’ll burn in your races)


I have WKO4, and I think I have that chart. I just have to actually look at it in greater detail to really understand what I’m looking at. The trainingpeaks tutorials are a challenge for me to follow, so I gave up on them a while ago. I may have to get back into it to learn more.

5 sec is 1082
10 sec is 1038
20 sec is 940

I wouldnt call myself a sprinter? The crit I did on Sunday I peaked over 1000w 20 times. in a 30 min race.

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You absolutely cannot or should not be hitting a 5 second PR at the end of a race unless you never train your sprint, or, you’re Chris Tolley: https://youtu.be/2x3IQALXkpw


I am definitely guilty of the above meme but my 5 second power is also 2341w which is pretty good regardless of size, especially if it’s flat. That being said, in the two races I’ve done this season I regularly went over 1000w in corners or reacting to breaks but don’t think I could’ve even got over 2000w for a second by the end as I was pretty gassed. But that’s the idea right? Your opponents are all trying to chip away at your supply of matches and you’re putting in the work beforehand to stock up as many and as strong of matches as you can. And then we do it all over again next week, next season, etc.

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I would consider myself a sprinter. Not a very good one (judging by the season so far), but it’s all I’ve got :rofl:

With regards to numbers at the end of a race, mine are definitely better than on the trainer. I cannot sprint on a trainer. It’s truly pathetic. At the end of a race, if I’ve positioned myself well, I’m not going to hand you the race.

Last year I hit just over 1,390 a couple of times and I got beaten, so like I say, I’m not great by any stretch of the imagination!!

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So my logic has been to try and do a couple of sprints at the end of my tougher rides just to simulate a race. It seems as though when I get to the end of the race, that my form just goes out the window on that final sprint, based on some photos and videos. So hopefully working on it with tired legs will at least help me with my form and maybe slightly better output on race day!

FWIW, I just want the $200+ primes anyway, and hit a decent number then. Maybe money motivates me more than the podium :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Pretty good? Even if you were 100kg that would be extremely exceptional. Are you secretly Chris Hoy?


Here is a quick guide for how to use it:

#1. Go to your races and select the period of time leading up to the final effort in either TR or TP and note the kJ expended to get an idea of your normal race efforts. For me, I just use 1500kj, which is higher than most of my XC races but roughly matches what I’d get on a long group ride like Montrose (and is also used in the Season markers chart which I reference somewhat regularly).

#2. Pull up the chart and use one of the longer time periods in the right hand explorer (I like to look at Year to Date or the specific years)

#3. Configure the chart and replace the default value of 3000 in the formulas with your specific number. For example, PD Curve after 1500kj looks like:


#4. Once you replace all the default 3000 values, you’ll get a chart that looks like this:

This should help you understand where you are falling off the most after your desired energy expenditure.


Right there with you. $50 prime? FULL GAS! Get the prime, retreat to the back, and try to recover. Slowly move up and wait for the lead out with 2 to go.

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@stevemz I’ve got homework this weekend! Thanks for you help, I’m going to definitely take a look at this in the next couple days!

@DMC what’s hard is that the best primes are always within 5 laps to go :scream: I recover okay but usually just shy of the podium. But I’m not chasing points nor the little money offered in a women’s prize purse, so it’s all good fun!

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Yeah 2300s is probably world class. For reference Andre Greipel tops out around 1800w he has said. granted that’s after a loooooong ride in the TDF or something :yum:

That is world class level power!


If you are going over 1000 watts 20 times I would really look at your positioning, cornering, etc… thats really impressive that you are capable of that but also says you may have a lot of opportunity to be more efficient and save that power for when it really matters.


Good god, man. I’d love to see what your power files looks like in a race. Could your screenshot one with these values?


My 5 second power is pathetic… I’ve never had a big burst capability, but while a nice 5 second power is good, holding high power for 10-15 seconds can really separate people.

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I hit 1290 for 5 seconds after a hard crit last week which I was quite happy with, but I think I want to try and become a breakaway rider as I find those kind of races abit more fun!

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