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


In one fell swoop I’ve moved from 3.1w/kg to 3.7w/kg, by using garmin vectors as opposed to a seemingly low reading Tacx Bushido trainer. I did Huffaker last night and found and 30 - 40 W difference between the vectors and the trainer during the intervals!!! But they read very similar during the recovery valleys. I’m finally ahead of the curve :muscle: :grin:


What is considered a failed workout? 1. Not able to complete the workout based on time i.e. 1hr VO2 Max and stop at the 45 min mark. or 2. Can not maintain pwr tgts within +/- 5 watts or 3. You complete the workout based on time but you had to lower the intensity. Please shed some light on this…thanks


Defining failed workouts will be tricky, particularly for people that have differing abilities between steady state and V02max efforts. At my current FTP I can comfortably complete my Sweet Spot and Threshold workouts, but I have to turn down the V02max workouts a little in order to complete it successfully. So would all my workouts need to be removed from the dataset? Or does each individual workout contribute to the dataset (so failed ones are removed but successful ones stay in)?

Most of all I’m really just interested how the dataset can be used to help make us faster - which I’m sure remains the overall objective.


Ive heard Coach Chad on the podcast (i think) say that if you hit the workout at least 90% in TSS then you can consider that a good attempt.

Things ok to do, backpedaling during intervals for 20 seconds, especially long ones, but also VO2 max intervals to a lesser extent, skipping short intervals to extend rest periods a little when doing repeated short intervals like Spanish Needle, or turning down the intensity.

I try to do them in that order if possible.

Theres also cutting short a session if you are on an off day. Theres no harm in failing a workout every now and then. In these cases to make myself feel better about it i do something like Taku to make up some TSS while keeping it easy.

Keep in mind this is all stuff ive taken from the podcast and may not exactly be what Chad or the guys mean.


Lots of things and some are still being decided. I don’t want to say too much until everything is nailed down.


I’d like to revisit the OP:

I was looking at the study done of the German Olympic 4000m track team which @chad mentioned briefly on the podcast. The paper gives data of the riders’ physiological factors.

What I found to be super interesting is the top 2 riders who logged the fastest times on the team:

Rider 1:
Time: best (4:18)
Aerobic capacity: best
Power: 2nd best (551w)
VO2peak: worst
Lactate peak: worst

Rider 2:
Time: 2nd best (4:19)
Aerobic capacity: worst
Power: best (557w)
VO2peak: 2nd best
Lactate peak: best

As the study states:

It is interesting to notice that these two riders deliver their performance in two distinctive, different ways: whereas rider 1 presents high aerobic capacity with 5.1 W·kg at IaT and only limited anaerobic mobilization when compared with his teammates, rider 2 is capable of considerable anaerobic mobilization, represented by his peak lactate of 21.3 mmol·L. although his aerobic capacity is only team-average.

So if we compare ONLY FTP, it would be a very poor guide to how fast any of us are. Perhaps a more suitable headline would be “How fit are the average TR users?”.


Fair enough thanks and I’m VERY satisfied with TR!


I used my Elite trainer for 6 months with a FTP of max 343.
Then I bought a 4iii powermeter and found it was 316.


I always find this chart so fascinating.

FTP: I’m at the low end of Very Good (Cat 2).
5 min power: I’m at the high end of Good (Cat 3)
1 min power: I’m mid Fair (Cat 5)
5s power: Untrained

There’s a reason I don’t win any final sprints!


Spooky, mines saying 344 at the moment, and I’d been assuming it was ~300, so I’d take 316! :grinning:


@Nate I’d be interested to see data on:

  1. what percentage of users have actually performed at their tested or self appointed FTP for 60 minutes or longer?

  2. What is the average percentage of FTP at which users have performed for 60 minutes?

  3. what is the average duration at which the majority of users have performed at their FTP?

Not sure if you can pull this data. I was thinking using users personal records it might be possible.


Power Profiling – Coogan/TP

(/) Distinctly upsloping plot (again, esp. between 1 min and 5 min, but also somewhat between 5 min and functional threshold power): the classical time-trialist pattern, i.e., weak in neuromuscular power and anaerobic capacity, but with a relatively high aerobic power and especially a high lactate threshold. While such athletes may improve their performance by working on their weaknesses, this may not necessarily be true if it results in a decline in their strength, which is sustainable power.

Gotta attack from 10k out. :wink:


I’m not sure what you are getting at here? I was under the impression that cyclists could hold FTP for somewhere between 30-70 mins. 60 mins is towards the long end of that so seems somewhat arbitrary to focus on that duration.


Our PRs are in a micro service and can’t be pulled against this, but I’d bet you dollars to donuts the answer to #1 is probably close to zero. Unless they are doing a 40k TT that takes exactly an hour there’s very rarely a standalone all out hour effort in cycling.


Haha, you got it!


Hmm, looking at those graphs something doesn’t add up, because from reading these forums it’s pretty clear that at least 90% of users are at 4W/kg?


@markryd in the first graph posted – The Bell curve of cylists - how fast are the average TR users?

under “other insights” it states roughly 7% of all TR users are at or above 4 watt/kg.


I believe it was a joke


ha ha, I missed the “from reading these forums” part…


The old way of thinking about FTP was simply hour power. The newer/revised definitions have more specifically defined it as the 30-70ish minute quasi steady state. A lot of people still think of FTP as hour power though, so now we’ve got a bit of a mixed bag, where some people are using one definition, and others another.