Peak Power and need to train it

Do I really need to bother about Peak Power
I’m a purely recreational cyclist who just wants to get better and be able to get up the hills on our 4/5 hour group rides so I’m not too far behind my lightweight climbing whippet friends when they get to the top. I weigh about 20 kgs more than them and am a natural sprinter and in friendly sprints wipe the floor with them. I’ve never trained it and the only sprinting I do is these efforts.
Are there any benefits I’m missing by ignoring it?


No. The only thing that happens is, that your PP will slip and your TP will increase. You either need to put in a (near) max sprint effort every now and then, or correct the numbers yourself.

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Thanks. I’ll give that a go.

I don’t think your PP is much different than what those “friendly” sprints establish especially since riding outdoors is where you are most likely to generate maximum watts for the few seconds required.

From the FAQs page –
To determine your highest PP more accurately:

  1. Sprint when you are 100% fresh.
  2. Sprint for less than 7s.
  3. Stand while sprinting.
  4. Sprint at high cadences. The higher your peak power, the faster your cadence. The faster you’re able to pedal, the higher your peak power is likely to be. If you’re powerful, don’t be surprised to see your sprint number increase simply by increasing cadence when you attempt peak power efforts.
  5. Sprint at the bottom of a trough. This reduces acceleration which rapidly changes cadence. It is difficult to sustain high force on the pedals when they are accelerating too quickly. (Please test with caution.)

Thanks. I’ve not done any of those recently as I’ve got a bit of problem with one of my knees which I want to clear up first. The last one I did in trough ended up with the bike going really “squirily” and unstable. Not pleasant at the bottom of a long descent.

I know I am wrong in this but I will go ahead anyway. I am not a sprinter and I will never need to sprint. I am a TTer and I rarely ride in group rides where I might want a sprint.

My PP is quite low at ~700 and I am happy with that and dont want to improve it for two reasons.

  1. I am more focused on TP and if one of the 3 values goes up another comes down
  2. MPA will start at a higher point and BTs will be harder to achieve.

There goes - I have bared my soul in public,

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Nothing wrong with that approach and to be honest, I’m in the same boat. My PP is higher than that, but still nowhere near what real sprinters can do, or my true potential, if I would once again set my mind to it.

Actually, Zwift helped me when I did, years back - I’d always try to get the green, if only for a few seconds, and sprint myself upside down while doing so. No longer the case and not only because I no longer am on Zwift, or my advancing age (still going strong at 60)…

However, I do challenge myself by pulling MPA down during a long(er) effort and achieve a BT after 30, 40 minutes or so - that’s not an easy thing to do though. This usually results in higher TP and/or HIE.

If I do not go all out for a sprint at least once a month, my PP will automatically slip and push my TP up to where I don’t want it. So, I either do that, or adjust my signature manually.

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Despite what many people may think, BT’s actually wont become easier or more difficult to achieve based on how high/low the PP parameter is. PP gives an anchor to where MPA will sit when you’re fresh, but it’s depletion is (almost) purely based on TP and HIE.

For example, if we ask an athlete with 20.0 kJ HIE and 250 W TP to do an 8 min effort and his PP is 700, you can see that he would be expected to hold 315 W for 8 min before a BT would be reached:

If we take the same athlete’s HIE and TP and now change PP to 1200 (a huge 500W difference!), that same athlete would now be expected to hold 316 W (0.3% increase in power) for 8 min:


I knew that :joy:

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I wouldnt expect anything else by this point :slight_smile:

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That is a nice simple example @ManofSteele which I replicated and then used that to look at the curve along which I could try a steady effort at various watts above TP and see how long I had to go to get a breakthrough. Very helpful. Thanks

There’s a data field for that TTE/TTR - I have used that on various long efforts. The beauty is, you can set it to 15, 20, 30 minutes, whatever…

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I re-watched Scott’s video on that last night. I might experiment on something like a 6 minute effort.
I have started re-listening to all the podcasts to see what additional knowledge I can glean. I do find it a hard tool to understand, but equally I do like Xert and believe in the model.

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It’s best to use it together with MPA and Power. If you set your TTE target to 6 minutes, MPA will also decline to TP in the same time frame. If you feel good, you can beat the estimated TTE by pushing more Watts than MPA indicates you’re capable of.