Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cat 2 performance

I have been rollering away for several days now. Every time I do it, things get better and so I decided it was time for a power test. I calibrated my Ergomo and went at it for 20 minutes straight. Then, according to the power graphs developed by Dr. Coggan -Dr. Power himself- I went about to find out my status.

I topped out at 4.30 W/kg or solidly in the "Very Good" or Cat 2 range (which runs from 4.09 to 4.80). There is some overlap in the Coggan categories but 4.3 is well outside the Cat 3 range so that is reassuring. The lower bound of "Excellent" or Cat 1 is at 4.65. In another version of the graph -one with no overlaps- "Very Good" runs from 4.25 to 4.71.

When I first started riding in 1989, I got a Cat 4 license. Back then, Cat 4 was the lowest category. (They have since added a Cat 5 group). Near the "end" of my first cycling infatuation I graduated to Cat 3. In 1995 I took a break from cycling and it wasn't until 2008 that I re-applied for a license. My goal was to get a workout in while I waited around for Alistair.

Since I was driving Alistair to races every weekend, I wanted something to do instead of standing around for 2 hours. So I applied for a license and petitioned that they give me a Cat 4 (so as to avoid the dangerous inexperience of Cat 5) which they did. I probably could have asked for a Cat 3, but I decided to play it safe. I did a few races in 2008 as a Cat 4, but then my road bike frame broke and I did not race at all in 2009.

I think I can do even better than I did today -I could certainly lose a few pounds if nothing else- and I may be able to get my power-to-weight to the top of the Cat 2 category. Not that I intend to upgrade my license or anything, but it is nice to know that my fitness is up there.

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