The Bell curve of cylists - how fast are the average TR users?

Plugging a different podcast - The Cycling Podcast have just launched a series called Explore

The first episode was about The Transcontinental Race, the second about Australia including The Indian Pacific Wheel Race and the third which I partly listened to whilst doing a TR workout is about Lands End to John O’Groats

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I hear ya… but the human factor is always going to be the limiting factor I would think.

As for complicated meals (i.e. Thanksgiving Dinner) I just guesstimate on the calories and don’t bother with the rest. Other than that I always try to complete each day even if it’s a couple of days late.

My log streak on MFP is 1557 days and counting. :slight_smile:

I know, it’s crazy to think that if you just maintained your power between 40 and 50 you’re really moving to the right side of the bell curve like you increased your watt/kg by .25. That’s pretty significant in my mind!

If you also get a bit smarter (as we all do) and can race better you can really improve your results even though your raw watt/kg didn’t move.


You are average in the "highly-motivated and smart’ category. These are cyclists who own power meters and want to train indoors with TrainerRoad. That puts you in rarefied air to start with!


Mines 3.85 according to virtual power.

I’ll just assume it’s in the 3’s W/kgs in real power terms.

So pretty average. I’m in the recovery week of ssbmv1 so we’ll see if TR works. :slight_smile:

More fun data! This time I pulled raw FTP data for men and women.

Interesting facts:

  • The top of the bell curve for Men is between 230-240 watts.
  • Men “mess up” the bell curve at 200 and 300 watts; both are “over reported” and don’t fit the bell curve. My guess is that men tend to round up at these numbers due to our egos :rofl:. I know I’ve been at 290 before and went “Might as well make it an even 300!”.
  • Women seem to suffer the same rounding up issues as men at 200 watts.
  • The top of the bell curve for women is between 150-160 (80 watts lower than men).

Men Raw FTP

Women Raw FTP


What does the vertical axis indicate?

Percent of all users (male or female, depending on the chart).

Also looks like over reporting at 400. As if 390 isn’t high enough!


Thats some impressive data reporting. Very cool to see. Now I just need to get to the top of that bell curve. haha

Why have a 390 watt FTP when you could have a 400 watt FTP?! :wink:


One more female to chime in!

I’m currently around 3.2W/kg, hoping to be up to about 3.5 by March. I’m getting back into structured training for next season after goofing off for a couple months. Now with a few extra pounds and mentally weak for suffering! :sob:


I’m curious where you got the age information. It has been a while since I set up my account, so I can’t remember if I gave my birth date to you. Maybe the app asked for it, but I can’t find my birth date in my profile on the web site. (Don’t worry, I don’t mind you having it, even though I keep many things private.)

It’s asked during on boarding. If you’re a really long time member it won’t be set, but those people were not included in the results.

At 6’4”, 87kg, I feel a lot better about these charts. Afraid I’ll never be a w/kg monster.

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You can be a flat crit MONSTER though; especially if you can make yourself aero.

That’s my goal, we have to play to our strengths.


This is what I try to keep in mind. Thankfully I live in Nebraska, so I don’t have to worry about climbing too many mountains :joy:

I’m relatively new to training for cycling (come from a running background) and I’ve been trying to focus on improving my diet and my body composition, but I’ve been careful to prioritize fueling my workouts above anything else–when you have adequate carbs in your system, it’s really like having jet fuel running through you in my experience. I just want to focus on maximizing my power gains before anything else.


Totally. The dude who won the Master’s Crit Nationals here last year was NOT a slim fellow! But he could sure smash out the wattage.

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I find that if you fuel for your workouts you also tend to lose body fat just because you can do longer/harder workouts more often. When I get in a groove my body composition improves without even trying…and my power increases.

Plus I get to eat.

It’s awesome!


I agree! My weight has been pretty consistent, but there have been gains in the “mirror test” for sure.