Activity types, W’ balance and other updates

3 December, 2020 by David Johnstone

Cycling Analytics now supports activities other than cycling. Cycling Analytics remains focussed on cycling, but many cyclists do exercise other than cycling and it pays to keep track of that too. Cycling Analytics has always supported the data files, but now the activity type is indicated on the calendar and elsewhere.

Most of what’s new here is the ability to see and specify activity types. On the calendar, for example, activities that aren’t cycling have a little icon next to their name. The main change concerning how data is handled is that pace (minutes per kilometre or mile) instead of speed is shown by default for runs. Activities uploaded in the last couple of years or so should already have the correct activity type. Activity type can be changed on the activity page for individual activities or in bulk using the rides table view. The easiest way to fix older activities might be to go to the rides table and search for something like avg_speed < 15 to find activities that aren’t cycling. The rides table can now be searched by entering the activity type. For example, entering running or type == 'running' will show all runs.

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Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

3 December, 2020 by David Johnstone

Rating of perceived exertion, or RPE, is a scientifically validated way of measuring the intensity of activity based on self-reported exertion. There are two widely used scales: 6–20 and 0–10. The 6–20 scale is designed to roughly correspond with heart rate with a resting heart rate of 60BPM and a maximum heart rate of 200BPM.

Cycling Analytics supports both the 6–20 and 0–10 scales. By default, the 6–20 scale is used. The option to change this is in the profile options. It’s best to stick with one scale, but it can be changed and existing RPEs will be displayed using the new scale. How RPEs are translated between scales is shown in the tables below. A 0–100 scale is also available as an option but isn’t recommended for normal use as it’s unecessarily detailed.

For regular users, it’s best to use one scale and never change it. The rest of the details on this page don’t matter.

For coaches, RPEs are shown to your athletes according to their preference. For example, if your account is set to use the 6–20 scale but their account uses the 0–10 scale, a plan you create with an RPE of 15 will display to them as 5.5. It would probably be best if your athletes use the same scale as you. You can see which scale and change it from athlete RPE page which can be found via the “view and adjust RPE settings” button on the coaching page.

For developers, RPEs for API endpoints are specified using a 0–100 scale. This is the same as the 0–10 scale multiplied by 10. A more complicated formula is used to convert to and from the 6–20 scale as the relationship between the numbers is non-linear due to the labels used on the numbers. Internally, RPEs are handled as numbers between 0 and 100 and are displayed to the user with the closest value of their chosen scale.

What follows are tables showing how the scales convert. The tables mean, for example, that 13 (somewhat hard) is equivalent to 42 on a 0–100 scale or 4 on a 1–10 scale.

When using the 6–20 scale:

RPELabel0–100–100
6No exertion00
7Extremely light1

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Power model and other new things

20 January, 2020 by David Johnstone

Cycling Analytics just received a major update.

The biggest new feature is the power model analysis tool. This looks at your power data and estimates how strong you are using the critical power model. This includes an FTP estimate.

Precisely what this shows is a bit complicated. The most important part is the numbers shown underneath. If you’re not interested in any theory, then note that this estimates your FTP, and there’s something underneath that predicts what power you should be able to sustain for any duration longer than a minute or two.

If you are interested in some theory, then according to the critical power model, you can sustain a certain power output indefinitely (critical power, CP) and you also have a certain amount of additional energy that can be used above the critical power (W’). As an equation, the maximum power that can be sustained for a duration is CP + W’ / time. For example, using the numbers in the screenshot, the maximum power that could be sustained for ten minutes is 280 + 17111 / 600 = 309W. There’s something underneath this chart on the power model page so you don’t need to do any maths yourself.

The orange line is the maximum power curve for the selected period, but shown as energy (joules) rather than average… continue reading


Recent updates

29 October, 2018 by David Johnstone

There have been a few noteworthy updates to this site recently.

The histograms chart has been rewritten to be better and more flexible. Most notably, the bucket width can now be modified.

A number of changes have been made to training plans. Intensity, distance and climbing can now be specified for workouts, and when any two of duration, training load and intensity are specified, the other is calculated automatically. If all three are entered, the one entered least recently is changed.

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Upload rides from Zwift

16 October, 2018 by David Johnstone

Here’s a bookmarklet that makes it possible to upload rides directly from Zwift to Cycling Analytics. When run, a button is added to the Zwift interface to upload rides.

The first step is to create an authentication token so that the bookmarklet will have permission to upload rides. Go to the API console and enter the following and hit “enter”:

POST /tokens {permissions: 'create_rides'}

(This token will then be displayed on the apps page and can be deleted there.)

Copy and paste the token here (just the part that looks something like EFS4Ef5wfDC8pmYbmpM3vITbjZY8wDWD) and click “create”:

Zwift to CA


How does your cycling power output compare?

7 June, 2018 by David Johnstone

It’s common to be curious about how your power output or FTP compares with other people, or to wonder what counts as “normal”. This post should answer some of those questions based on data from thousands of people who have used Cycling Analytics.

In this post, we’ll look at what people say their FTP is, and then look at the best efforts that people have actually achieved for a handful of durations. All data is shown for males and females in watts and watts per kilogram. Be prepared to see a lot of charts and tables and numbers.

It’s worth saying a few words about Cycling Analytics users, because they aren’t a perfectly random sampling of cyclists or people overall. The best term that I can think of is that Cycling Analytics users are “serious cyclists”. All the data here comes from people with power meters, and about half of Cycling Analytics users race regularly.

What people say their FTP is

Firstly, let’s look at what people say their FTP is. FTP, or functional threshold power, is nominally the power output that can be sustained for one hour. All the data below and more is shown to Cycling Analytics users in interactive charts on the athlete statistics page, so consider creating an account if this is interesting.

FTP in watts for males

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Ideas, gears, and other things

18 April, 2018 by David Johnstone

There have been a number of updates recently.

There is now an ideas section for submitting new ideas for the site and voting on them. If you have any ideas for new things this site could do, or ideas for how existing features could be improved, feel free to submit them, and also vote on existing ideas that you are interested in. You can “supervote” on your favourite item, which is worth five points instead of the usual one. (You can only have one “supervote” at a time, but you can change which item you’ve “supervoted” for.)

Gear shifting data is now read from FIT files and this can be shown on the main ride chart and on the Gear shifts chart near the bottom of the page. This chart shows the time spent in each gear, and a histogram of cadence for any gear.

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Training plan sequences and zones on charts

12 February, 2018 by David Johnstone

A couple of new features were added to Cycling Analytics today. The main one is the ability to create training plan sequences, which means a sequence of workouts can be saved to the training plan library that can then be added to athlete calendars. This can make creating training plans much simpler when there is repetition.

There are now two tabs in the training plan library. The first is for workouts, which is the only thing that has been in the training plan library until now. The second is for sequences. Sequences can be constructed in the training plan library, or copied from the calendar when the workouts on the calendar also exist in the plan library. For coaches, the calendar that workouts are copied from is the one for the athlete whose calendar they are looking at when they bring up the training plan library.

Once added to the library, sequences are shown at the top of the list of training plans and can be drag-and-dropped onto the calendar, just like workouts. (And there’s an undo button to make life easier if you accidentally add fifty plans starting on the wrong day.)

The training plan library can be exported and imported as a CSV file. This makes it possible to export the library, edit it in Excel, use… continue reading


Power history chart and other updates

10 August, 2017 by David Johnstone

There have been a few noteworthy changes recently beyond the integration of Garmin Connect. In one sentence: The power history chart has been added, laps can now be edited, Garmin Connect users can choose to only have cycling activities imported, and there is an option for the calendar to show plan titles rather than ride titles when they’re linked.

The power history chart shows the best efforts and how they vary over time. By default, it shows the best three five minute efforts (in terms of average power) for each month. It’s quite flexible and isn’t hard to configure to show, for example, the best five efforts of ten minutes for each 60 day period.

It’s now possible to edit laps. This can be done with the “edit ride” page. New laps can be added, unwanted laps can be deleted, and lap times can be adjusted.

There is now an option to only import cycling activities with Garmin Connect. This option is found on the “linked accounts” page. When used, Cycling Analytics ignores FIT files coming from Garmin Connect that are tagged as anything other than cycling, such as running and golf. (Someday, Cycling Analytics will be able to properly handle other activity types.)

Finally, there is a new option for the calendar to always show… continue reading


Garmin Connect

25 July, 2017 by David Johnstone

Cycling Analytics now works with Garmin Connect. Rides uploaded to Garmin Connect are automatically imported to Cycling Analytics when users link their Cycling Analytics accounts with their Garmin Connect accounts. Many Garmin devices are able to automatically import activities to Garmin Connect, making this a very easy way to get rides into Cycling Analytics.

To use this, head over to the Linked Accounts page and click the “Connect” button for Garmin Connect. Once this process is completed, rides will be automatically imported to Cycling Analytics.

Note that the first time a new ride is added to Garmin Connect after linking accounts, this ride and all others from the previous thirty days will be imported into Cycling Analytics. This may result in duplicates, especially if rides were imported from Strava. If so, these can be easily deleted from the rides table.

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This is the blog of Cycling Analytics, a website that exists to help people manage their training and analyse their riding, with a special focus on power data.

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Also, I'm on Twitter as @cyclist_dave.