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



Challenge accepted :face_with_monocle:


Read again, I said 4w/kg, not 1.6w/kg

1 Like



I think this is perhaps one of the few drawbacks to using technology to gamify/express physiology in graphic/numeric form – we have to get to the ‘next level’ or attain a larger hoard of power.

People forget that it’s merely one tool in the tool box, but become fixated on it. Then training becomes “inside out”, all forces centralized towards increasing FTP instead of expanding FTP to direct other forms/zones of training (if that makes sense; forest/trees type thing?).

Also wondering how many people are forgoing/forgetting other aspects of non-data driven training such as bike handling and race craft in favour of more “tangible” FTP training. Honestly, if you don’t know HOW to race then all the FTP in the world isn’t going to help you; you have to know how to use what ya got!



Exactly. Testing and training in aero position springs to mind here. You’ve got to take the ego blow of a lower FTP to spend more time in aero. It’s especially difficult as TR can’t put a number on how aerodynamic you are.


Sufferfest uses 4DP for exactly the reasons stated above. FTP is one number approximated to 1 duration. There’s so much more to riding and racing a bike.

For the analytically curious, you can also check out Golden Cheetah. This has a Critical Power model which uses a curve fit algo on a range of durations. Bottom line is the more durations you test, the better indication of what sort of cyclist (sprinter, TT, endurance etc) you might be. The Wbal model is also very useful for workouts. In fact it’s helpful to load up a TR workout in Golden Cheetah to see your Wbal during a particularly all out effort. It helps answer the question: how hard did I really go

The problem with Wbal, is that there isn’t consensus in the scientific literature in how best to represent it. There’s too much ride-to-ride variability in a rider’s measurable anaerobic capacity for it to be accurate on a per-ride basis. That being said, across an entire data set, the data smoothes out, and it can be represented more accurately. But that data becomes less useful, as you can’t extrapolate it out to any specific ride with a high enough degree of confidence.

Critical power also highly corresponds with FTP. It is calculated a bit differently, so won’t match exactly. There are other metrics that sometimes get used as well, but since they’re all roughly the same, and describing the same physiological phenomena, it’s not super important which one you choose to train by. Just pick one and stick with it.

The power profile curve you get in Golden Cheetah looks pretty much exactly like what the power record chart you have in TR is. I’d love to see something in TR that helped quantify how good you are at any given duration relative to others. But you can pretty easily look up charts with that in it, and compare your data from your personal records chart.

1 Like

Agree with you about bike handling but with race craft, can’t really hone this without racing and to stay with the pack you need a big motor.

1 Like

<<Exactly. Testing and training in aero position springs to mind here. You’ve got to take the ego blow of a lower FTP to spend more time in aero. It’s especially difficult as TR can’t put a number on how aerodynamic you are.>>

Coach Chad can correct me if I am wrong, but you have one FTP based on your physiological and biochemical adaptations. Your ability to express the FTP may be different (indoors vs. outdoors or road bike vs TT bike), but your FTP is a single number. The percentage of expressed FTP should come up with training such that the indoor percentage of FTP approaches 100%. That said, it is still unclear whether one should train with zones relative to expressed FTP or true FTP in situations where FTP expression is not 100%. I think that Coach Chad discussed this in one of the TR podcasts, but I don’t remember his answer.


@TheBestMe, I think you have it right (take that with grain of salt, as it comes from non-Coach Chad :stuck_out_tongue: )

In general, I think it’s best to use an FTP value that is based in the same environment and conditions as the intended training. Meaning, use the FTP value from and indoor test when doing indoor training.

Unless you have created an environment that fully matches capability between inside and outside, the inside is likely to be a bit lower in overall cap. As such, training with that “reduced” value from an indoor test is likely the best choice.

If you use an outside FTP value and can’t match that indoors, the inside workouts are going to be too difficult and not be stressing you in the proper ways. Conditions matter, and in a perfect world, we’d get them to match. Barring that, it’s important to recognize the differences and apply adjustment (or associated values) in the appropriate places.


today with 74/75 kg * ftp 338 - 4.35 w / kg I like the numbers, but as chad already said “you’re not your ftp”

in circuit crit I suffer so much that it seems that I am fleeing from death, my sprints are very low powers, however on the other hand in long races or endurance I can walk a lot of time on the threshold.

1 Like

Well, I’m dead average here, so hopefully that means I’m not overreporting!

I feel below average basically always, but I was the strongest guy in the 100 miles we did this weekend, so maybe I am middle of the road after all.


Yeah my outdoor FTP is 15%ish higher vs (280vs310ish) - always used to leave FTP alone in TR but that’s more difficult with TR PA, Either you end up with outside rides have an IF over 1 but can complete the workouts or relaistic outdoor FTP but not being able to comlete


If you’re getting that big a variance in work capacity I would look into adjusting your setup. Get more cooling going so that you can pull your FTP up a bit more. Or you just have inconsistent power measurements between the two setups.


I’m surprised no one has mentioned virtual power potentially skewing the results (unless I missed it!)

I’m on a Kurt Kinetic and don’t have a power meter yet, so I take my FTP with a massive grain of salt anytime I test (… which I find very creative excuses to avoid…).

@Nate_Pearson, out of curiosity, would you let us know the split between folks with power meters vs. those relying on virtual power?


There is no VirutalPower data in that table. As you mention, that would skew the results.


Wouldn’t it be dreadful to be average AND over-reporting? You could be on the Alan Partridge Cycling Team…


3.09 w/kg apparently this is just slightly over average. Goal for the spring is 250 watts which puts me just over 3.5. That would make me slightly less average :slight_smile: . Time will tell if I get there or beat it, but I will train as hard as I can and see what happens.


Have you thought about adding the inRide sensor to your KK. They are not extremely expensive and when I tested mine it was in line with my power meter.

1 Like