After my struggle with the 4DP full frontal in level mode, I decided to try most of the sufferfest workouts in level mode, mainly just to get used to it. The objective was to understand which level and gearing I should be in, while maintaining optimal (or recommended) cadence and reaching the desired power for each workout.
I am a novice/noob rider, so excuse me if im asking noob level questions or if this has been answered somewhere previously. Also sorry about the long post.
Step 1: Determined the level i should be on per SUF Support Tips: All about Level Mode. With my very low novice level FTP (160 and NM 800) Level 0 or 1 seems to work fine. Experimented with higher levels but power change between gears too high for FTP level workouts.
Step 2: Figure out which gear i should be for each interval target at the Suf. recommended cadence. Output: Consistently failed
i. Low recovery power and cadence target: Not much of an issue. Can be within 10% of the target power while being at recommended cadence.
ii: Steady Power targets close to FTP (just below, at or above FTP): Select a gear which i think will reach the power at the recommended cadence. This is ok most of the time. At first there is surge and then power drops and steadies. This is understandable and power smoothing is doing its thing. Thereafter, with a cadence within 5 rpm’s of recommended, the power keeps fluctuating in a range of 75-100 watts or more. Pedaling is as smooth as I can manage but power keeps jumping all over the place. I dont chase the power but just try to keep pedaling steady. At the end of the interval I have no idea if I have met the requirements of the interval.
iii. Short intervals above FTP (AC/MAP type workouts): These are shorter intervals lasting maybe a min or less. By the time Im in gear and at cadence the interval is over. Massive fail. Now i try to be in the gear and at the cadence before interval starts. Hit and a miss mainly because power surges way above what im supposed to and drops way below in such a range that the purpose of the interval is defeated. Worse is when this type of short surge is in the middle of an FTP type interval. Throws everything off track. Maybe level mode is not suited for this type of interval?
iv. Very short intervals (NM type workouts): These are ok. Since the interval is short, a burst of power seems to meet the target.
I understand level mode inherently will have power fluctuations. What is the range (in %) that i should expect if cadence is within 5 rpm’s and steady pedaling? Eg: Yesterday power was in 120’s at lower end and 230’s at higher end when im trying to be at 160 for a 4.5 min interval. Cadence steady between 93 and 96 rpm. Average power for the target 160W 4:30 min interval is 164W. Power smoothing is on. Tried it with off as well. No use. No, I did not stand at any point in the workout. Here’s a pic of the interval.
Is it my trainer? I use a wahoo kickr core and it is calibrated regularly. The room is air conditioned at the same temperature every time i workout. (is there some way of sharing the workout file/link here?) Here’s a pic of the entire workout.
Any advice on gear selection? Im usually in the small ring in the front as the large ring has a bigger jumps in power between each gear.
Any advice on timing of gear selection and cadence esp. for AC/MAP type workouts?
Thank you in advance!