Power analysis well beyond ftp with inscyd – bikeradar data recovery training online

The INSCYD service is not available consumer-direct, but only through coaches or universities. As a rider, this strikes me as a good thing, because I don’t like to wade through spreadsheets; I just want to be told which intervals to do and when

INSCYD also delivers a detailed report for eight training zones, with a wattage target and upper and lower limits for each. As a longtime TrainingPeaks user and an editor who has been writing about power training for two decades now, some of the zones looked very familiar to me: recovery, base, ‘medio’ (which I would call tempo), anaerobic threshold (which I would call FTP or just threshold). But some were new to me, such as FATmax, aerobic maximum, high anaerobic and lactate shuttling.

One key difference from a system based on FTP percentages is how INSCYD looks at supra-threshold efforts — where sprinters diverge substantially from time trialists or climbers.


Relatedly, The Sufferfest recently launched its 4DP program that test four types of efforts — neuromuscular, anaerobic capacity, maximal aerobic power, and FTP — to gauge not only a rider’s threshold power but other physiological systems above threshold.

However, there are some actionable pieces to be gleaned, such as determining target wattages for over-under threshold intervals based on lactate accumulation and combustion rates. Or INSCYD can create a virtual athlete with projections based on tweaking various metrics, giving coach and rider targets to shoot for. In terms of lactate concentrations, the measurements and differences can look pretty small, but Weber says the results can be huge. "0.2mmol sounds so miniscule, but if you can do two more minutes until exhaustion, even at the same threshold – or you get 13w more output at threshold – that is a huge gain," Weber said.

"The big advantage that it gives us is insight in glycolytic capacity or VLamax, which normal field or lab testing does not. Glycolytic capacity is a key factor in athlete’s performance, besides VO2max and/or anaerobic threshold," Heijboer said. "We always perform a VO2max test in the winter in the lab and we find that predicted VO2max values by INSCYD are very similar to what we measured."

"By executing a four-phase test — which is very easy to do and preferred by riders over a 6x6min or 20min all-out protocol — we can analyze a rider’s profile and then decide which direction training should go. Or, we have a rider who performs very well and we want to know what his profile is at that time, so that we can go in the same direction for future events." INSCYD‘s calculated training zones, and comparisons to TrainingPeaks and the 20-minute FTP test

Threshold power is a popular term for good reason. It can be measured or approximated relatively easily. When viewed along with weight, it’s a great indicator for cycling success. And ordinary riders like you and I can effectively base our training from it and use it to measure our improvement (or lack thereof).

All that to say, as a rider, I believe that the INSCYD model is valid and interesting, but I am not sure how I would change my training with it. Or, more to the point, how Overton would change the training plans that I sometimes buy from him. I understand that the INSCYD supra-threshold power analysis is more sophisticated than some systems, but for me, just doing high-power intervals and tracking progress or lack thereof works.

I should note, however, that one thing I did learn was my ideal lactate combustion rate ( 220w). I have long been familiar with the concept off over/under intervals — and recovery periods between intervals — but I have understood the ‘under’ to be a lesser load but still a training stress, while recovery I thought of as just going as easy as possible to take a break.

While familiar with the idea of ‘flushing’ out efforts, I guess I never thought (or have forgotten!) about generating a certain amount of watts to combust or burn through lactate. So, I may pay more attention to pedaling in that 220w range after hard efforts in training.

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