Durability Wins Races - Study

Interesting but if this is their conclusion what are we supposed to do with the information :person_shrugging:t4:.

“We’ve seen that durability matters to performance. But we don’t yet know precisely how it works, or how to best train to improve it.”


This sounds like a job for intervals.icu!

Maybe it’s just because I’m subscribed to all the threads, but the concept of durability- ability to produce high levels of power output late in rides - seems to point to the ability that people train when they’re focused on zone 2 [puts on flame retardant suit and runs away :wink:]


The use of the word durability was confusing to me at first but once I figured out what the author was talking about it made more sense.

To me, durability = ability to stay healthy and not get injured

This author is talking about durability = the ability to continue to produce power as you become more fatigued.

Really great article, I’m going to read the rest of that site now :smiley:


There seems to be an obvious connection here between durability and how long you can burn fat before getting into the glycogen.


I suppose the study saying they don’t know how to train it wouldn’t stop people drawing the conclusion that it points to zone 2…

Not sure it really tells us anything that new. The cliché about monuments v other classics is “it’s different at the end of 250km than 200km”

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W/KG gets all the headlines but the real metric is Watts after X Kilojules. Watts after 2000 kilojoules is commonly used. That metric captures how good someone is at performing when fatigued.


Surprise surprise! All of the studies to date are done on male World Tour/Pro Tour road racers. Sigh. :melting_face:

I don’t doubt the concept of durability. Duh, it exists - most of us have experienced heart rate drift and/or an increase of internal effort to maintain power on our long Z2 rides. It is an interesting metric and I hope more research is done. Hopefully on female pro tour athletes, then amateurs.


If you look at how pros train, its common to see workouts where they ride for a couple hours THEN do their intervals. I’d guess that’s aimed at improving “durability” or what I think is more commonly referred to as fatigue resistance.

Honest question do you think there will be any meaningful difference between men and women? Because I don’t. Maybe a slight bias towards women being more durable but the overall premise is exactly the same?

Also, IDK if you saw their protocol but it was tough. Pro women can do it but I think it’s fairly obvious to us amateurs that doing 5x8’ vo2 and totally gassing yourself is gonna significantly drop your power. Not sure how helpful this kind of testing will be for amateurs (in other words I feel like everyone already knows what the results will be).

Using the word “durability” in this context is an awful grammar choice.

It is fatigue endurance.


We don’t know because they didn’t study it….but it is a scientific fact that women have different endurance / performance qualities than men. The general assumption has always been “well, they are really just smaller men” and everything gets tailored off that concept.

It is really absurd when you think about it.


I don’t know if there is a meaningful difference between men and women. No one knows. You thinking there is no meaningful difference between the men and women is your assumption. That’s why we do science - to put assumptions to the test.

The protocol could easily be scaled to amateurs. The reason it was so tough was because they were trying to fatigue a pro rider.


No one knows? You’re not saying you seriously expect something besides “when a woman cyclist is fatigued her power will probably drop somewhat” do you? It’s not going to be HIGHER, right? I ride with plenty of women, they get tired just like men lol.

And again, it’s super super super obvious what will happen to amateurs.

Um women are humans that burn fat and glycogen just like everyone else, it’s far from absurd for them to follow effective training protocols made for men. I’m not saying they’re EXACTLY the same but try telling my girlfriend not to keep doing the workouts she’s doing because she’s a woman. wtf?

But I never said that….and you are confusing two concepts. We are talking about fatigue endurance / “durability” and whether that is the same between men and women.

The only way to know is to actually study it.

This article seems to me to be nothing more than reporting on the shocking “discovery” that NBA basketball players are taller then non pros and we would love to help people get better at basketball but we have not yet figured out how to make people taller.

We have all trained, and greatly improved, our durability or better said fatigue resistance. We can all recall those early days when our legs turned to Jell-o after an X mile ride but now we do that same ride both faster and without fatigue. None of us on our cycling journey just got faster, we got faster AND able to go faster longer.

I think what the article is saying is that when you get to the tippy top of performance, they have not found that magic bullet workout that will get you a 1% performance increase in “durability.” That does not mean that training science does not know how to make the rest of us better at going faster longer. In fact, the science and practice on this is very good.

But, maybe at some point when sorting out pros, its like being tall. Its just part of that list of things in the talent bank that at some point are just gifts and not further trainable.

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All I said is that obviously the same concepts will apply just maybe slightly different magnitude. Women get tired. They are going to produce less watts when they’re tired. Even if it’s on average 1-5% less difference than the men it’s absolutely meaningless conceptually since there’s already great variation inbetween individuals.

I really hate to point this out, but you are proving my point here….you are just treating them as “smaller men” and scaling things down.

That is the same bias I am am trying to illustrate.

If we want to know if the thesis is true, then they need to do studies on it. This has been proven before….start with women during their menstrual cycle.


OK Power13 you can answer this question then:

“You’re not saying you seriously expect something besides “when a woman cyclist is fatigued her power will probably drop somewhat” do you? It’s not going to be HIGHER, right?”

THEY. are. human. beings. that. burn. glycogen. and fat.

Physics, and physiology don’t go out the window with gender.