Train like Wiggins, ditch the power, use the VAM

My Time - Bradley WigginsI’m currently multi-tasking my late night baby feeding with reading “My Time” by Bradley Wiggins and was interested to read the following:

“The data we had been working on for road racing in 2012 was not power output or speed, but VAM. The average VAM for a big climb on the Tour in 2010 was 1,530-1,600: 1,530 on Plateau de Beille, 1600 on l’Alpe d’Huez.”

He then goes on to say:

“VAM is a measurement that has to be treated carefully. It depends on the length and steepness of a climb – a shorter, steeper climb, such as the summit finishes in the 2012 Vuelta, will have a higher VAM, well over 2,000 m/hour – but it depends on wind, heat, altitude and whether you are solo or in a group… On the penultimate day of the Dauphine, on the Col du Joux Plane, we had been climbing at about 1,630 VAM.”

We not be training to win the Tour (well, I’m not anyway) but its good to see that a fairly easily calculated value like VAM can be used to such a great effect while training and getting your head around VAM (and also Relative Power) can be of real interest when using VeloViewer.