Monthly Archives: January 2014

Goals and Targets

Goals and Targets

In this post I want to talk about the goals I have for the Haute Route and the targets I think I need to hit in order to achieve those goals.

Ususally my goal when taking part in the Etape, or Grand Raid, has been to make it to the finish. That hasn't give me a good target to aim at and as a result my training has been a little haphazard. This time I want to make sure I have some clear goals and to understand what performance levels I think I'll need to achieve those goals.

My first aim is to finish. I want to make sure I get that finishers medal! However I want to do better than just drag myself to the end each day just in front of the broom wagon. So I've set myself the target of finishing inside the top 2/3. If there are 600 people taking part I need to finish 400 or above.

What does that mean? How fast do I need to be in order to achieve that goal? I decided to look at the results from 2012 (as that most closely resembles the route for 2014). From that I looked at a number of the climbs, including ones at the start of a day, at the end of a day and for the ITT. I did some analysis on the times taken for the 2/3 finisher against the total ascent for the climb. From that you can work out the VAM (average rate of ascent/hour). VAM has a direct correlation to w/kg. That gives me a target w/kg and, given where I think my weight will be, a target power output.

The ascent figures and average gradients were taken from so there may well be some innaccuracy on the actual figures but it should be good enough to give me an idea. Where the values look totally wrong I have ignored them. I do realise that this is a very rough approximation and if anyone has any better way of figuring this out then I'm all ears.

Here are the results (using 368th as the 2/3 postion):

Day 3
Col de la Madeleine (first climb of the day)
Time: 2:06:23
VAM: 733
w/kg: 2.78

Alpe D'Huez (last climb of the day)
Time: 1:40:15
VAM: 641
w/kg: 2.28

Day 4 (ITT)
Alpe D'Huez
Time: 1:14:32
VAM: 863
w/kg: 3.07

Day 5
Col D'Izoard (first climb of the day)
Time: 1:40:10
VAM: 684
w/kg: 2.66

Day 6
Col de Vars (first climb of the day)
Time: 1:30:49
VAM: 734
w/kg: 2.86

Cime de la Bonnette (second climb of the day)
Time: 2:12:32
VAM: 720
w/kg: 2.71

I can now start to see some targets. Power output of 2.3 – 2.8 w/kg needs to be done for 3 x 1.5 – 2hr blocks each day. Assuming the ITT is done just sub threshold then my threshold power will need to be about 3.2 – 3.3 w/kg. So I'm setting my targets as follows:
Upper endurance level (repeatable for 3x2hr blocks in a day): 2.5 w/kg
Tempo (1×1.5hr block once a nomal day): 2.9 w/kg
Threshold (just below this in one single effort): 3.2 w/kg

This also fits with a lot of power models which suggest that endurance is 55% – 75% of FTP, Tempo is 85% – 90% of FTP.

My target weight is 65kg. So my target wattage is going to be.
Upper Endurance – 162w
Tempo – 190w
Threshold – 210w

The power meter arrives next week. Time to start measuring and focussing my training.