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Email from Dr. Coggan, analysis of my power data using WKO+ 4.

Friday, July 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I had a fairly rough Monday this week. Although my hard 85 kilometer morning ride definitely helped improve my mood, by early afternoon I was buried in work and, for at least the hundredth time this month, wondering why I ever decided on IT as a career.

The phone was ringing off the hook, and I had numerous calls to return. Automated text messages announcing various network problems screamed for attention. And the email… the relentless onslaught of new email. For every message I managed to clear, I’d hear 3 or 4 chimes announcing the arrival of new ones.

So, fresh from a particularly irritating phone call, I glanced over to see if any of the new email arrivals were critical. Among the usual work-related emails and a couple more offers to provide JSF with “…amazing ad revenue with the highest CPM rates on the Internet!”, one email immediately caught my eye. The email’s subject read, “Your power as seen through WKO4 model”, and the sender was “Coggan, Andrew”.


Dr. Coggan, as you may know, is the co-author of “Training and Racing with a Power Meter” (my full review of his book can be found here). He is also the co-creator of TrainingPeaks WKO+ desktop analysis software, which is the undisputed Gold standard for post-ride power data analysis.

My dour mood was instantly lifted as I read the unsolicited email. Dr. Coggan’s book and other writings have had quite an impact on me, my training and my strength as a cyclist, so I was surprised and honored to learn that he sometimes reads my blog.

Andrew even took the time to run my power data personal records (which can be found here) through the soon-to-be-released TrainingPeaks WKO+ 4 modeling software. Here’s the chart, followed by a few words from Andrew, a bit of explanation and several resources for additional reading.

My power data as seen using the upcoming Training Peaks WKO+ 4 model.

My power data as seen using the upcoming Training Peaks WKO+ 4 model.


In the above chart the blue dots represent my actual power data points, and the solid blue line represents my predicted power curve using the WKO+ 4 modeling software.

Pmax is my maximum peak power. The software predicted 1,026 watts, +/- 62 watts. My actual peak is 1,034 watts, so that’s spot-on.

FRC is an innovative new metric that is unique to WKO+ 4, and something I’m very interested in learning more about. “FRC” stands for “Functional Reserve Capacity”, and is defined as follows: “The total amount of work that can be done during continuous exercise above FTP before fatigue occurs. Units are KJ or J/kg.

FTP is “Functional Threshold Power”, and is the maximum power an athlete can maintain for one solid hour. The software predicted my FTP as 281, +/- 6 watts. Once again, that’s pretty much dead-on to the results of my last FTP test, which was 288 watts.

Dr. Coggan had this to say about my chart:

I can’t say that the results are particularly insightful, but it would at least seem to confirm your FTP setting. Also, you clearly have the phenotype of a TTer (although you’d already deduced that from the original power profiling table.)

With regards to the Time Trialer (TTer) phenotype comment, Andrew is referring to a blog I published this past Saturday, “Juxtaposition of my cycling and swimming using power data“, in which I performed an analysis of my power data.

Phenotype is an objective classification based on a quantitative analysis of power-duration data. Possible phenotypes include, “time trialer”, “sprinter”, “all-rounder” and “persuiter”.

In a follow-up email, Dr. Coggan was kind enough to provide a couple of slideshows that go into quite a bit of detail about his upcoming WKO+ 4 model. You can check out those slideshows (pptx format) here:

The New Power-Duration Model in WKO4: Webinar 3
The New Power-Duration Model in WKO4: Webinar 4

Andrew also sent along a couple of notes with the slideshows:

  • I used the bolded, red font in the tables in webinar 3 to denote which values were significantly different from the WKO4 model results.
  • The reason the model ‘misses’ early on when applied to running or speed skating is (I believe) because of the significant acceleration that occurs in those sports (such that average speed over shorter distances underestimates the athlete’s actual effort).

I’d to thank Dr. Coggan for his book, Training and Racing with a Power Meter (which is always on my nightstand), his emails, taking the time to analyze my power data with the WKO4 software and for answering my many questions.

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