5 minute max power output

I’ve enjoyed writing a few recent posts, – the joys of the turbo, old school cycling e.t.c.. But, I promise this post will be really quite boring. It’s the inevitable post-power-meter-purchase-data-examination-and-speculation. – Something many power meter owners are prone to do, but I’m fairly hopeful I will tire of it all pretty soon. If power meter zones and watt/kg numbers are not quite your thing, I have to warn there may be a more profitable way to spend the next 3 minutes. But, then I guess if you’re already on the internet, you’re not planning on doing anything too productive anyway.


So, if you’ve run out of cuddly cat videos and with suitable apologies in advance, here are some power meter readings, which may be of marginal interest.

  • In September 2013 (when my power meter was first working) I did a few 5 minute all out tests up a hill near Stokenchurch (A40) On one climb, I averaged 445 watts for 5 minutes, and did the climb in 4.54. (19.2mph) – watt/kg 7.3
  • In February, four months later,  I could only average 345 watts, doing the climb in 5.43 (16mph) watt/kg 5.6

In November, Dec and Jan, I’ve done quite a lot of miles. Despite injury in Jan, I still did more miles in Jan than the peak of the hill climb season in  October

So after 3 months of endurance training / rest / bit of sweet spot/  Nov – Jan, my 5 minute peak power has fallen 100 watts.

Because I don’t know much about power meters, that seems an awful lot of top end power to loose. But, on the other hand, I do this test every year, and tend to always take just under 6 minutes for the first test of the season. So compared to previous early season efforts, it’s bang on track.

What does this show?

  • I guess power outputs in February are fairly unimportant in the bigger scheme of things (unless, of course you plant to tackle track hour records)
  • If you just do base endurance, you will become good at base endurance – but, no surprise, your top end racing power, will decline.
  • Stay tuned, who knows when I will next dig in to the power meter archives!

3 thoughts on “5 minute max power output”

  1. Hey Tejvan, ive just bought a power meter myself and also commute up the same A40 hill in Stokenchurch. Im eager to study the numbers that i come up with from the power meter over time. I have to say Im far from a climber so the hill offers a challenge to me, any tips you have for tackling it would be appreciated:) have you measured yourself on the climb recently to see how your numbers have changed since Sept 2013?

    • It’s quite a simple hill, you don’t really need to change gears. If you really go for it, hold back a little for first 1-2 minutes.

      I haven’t tested myself for a while.


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