I am somewhat of a data weenie. Now, probably not as bad as Boyd Johnson, but I do like pouring over my power files and ride data. This interest got me thinking of my ride up Paris Mountain the other day.
There are two ways to go faster up the mountain. 1) increase power and 2) decrease weight. Of course, the more weight you have to pull up the mountain, the more power you will need to do it. The less amount of weight, the less power you need to reach a goal.
Taking the power out of the picture and just looking at time and weight, I came up with my Seconds Per Pound ratio for my personal best time. Basically, at 170 pounds, it took me 4.09 seconds per pound to make it to the top in 11 minutes and 35 seconds.
So, right off the bat, that tells me that by losing 5 pounds, I should be able to turn out the same average power (346 watts in this case) and reach the top in 11 minutes and 15 seconds. Of course, the SPP goes out the window unless I maintain that same power.
What I need to do is build a formula that incorporates 1) weight, 2) power, and 3) time. I can then change the variables to see what would happen if say I lost five pounds and increased my average wattage by 10 watts. Then it is just a matter of finding out how to put that data into practice.
I’m just a tad under 6’2″. I weigh in on average around 170. Sometimes I dip down to 168 and when I’m really fat, I might reach 175. Mostly, I’m between 168 and 172.
It wasn’t always that way. In junior high I was 5’11” and weighed 145. I was a stick! Even in college I was 6’1″ and 155.
I remember one summer working at a camp located on a ridge above Lake Jocassee. I was a cook. One of my fellow cooks was quite the exercise nut. We would do over 150 push ups each night and a number of pull ups. I would then run each day to a water fall near by. Then on the weekends, I would run down to Lake Jocassee and back.
It took me nearly the whole summer to be able to run all the way down and all the way back up. However, I did it. Did I mention I was a cook? Well, by the end of that summer I was a pretty hard 165 pounds. I thought I was a big dude!
What that tells me is that I probably have some weight to give. Before I started riding again in 2006, I had reached 180 pounds. Much of the 170 I now carry is the muscle I have built up in my legs (= where my power comes from). There is one spot I think I definitely have some to give. It’s that hardest spot to lose – my, as Steve Sperry would say, “budda belly.”
So, could a 2010 goal be a five pound weight loss along with some increase in power for the end result of a sub-eleven minute personal best up Paris Mountain? I’ll find out what my new coach has to say about it. Sure is a tempting target!