The effect of weight in Norseman for «Average Joe»

I wrote about the effect of weight in the Norseman bike course a short while ago. In the comments someone mentioned some like; «sure, now I just got to lose 10 kg and increase my FTP by 50 %». While irony is impossible to read I could sense a bit of it in that sentence. Then it struck me, my number is relevant for about 10 people competing in Norseman. But what about «Average Joe», how does weight affect him? With the BestBikeSplit-analyzing software, I did some calculations.

One of the toughest and most fearless guys I know in triathlon, signing up for Norseman 2013 with the worst possible starting point. He has made unbelievable improvements, and with a cycling time of 7 hours 14 min, he is my rather similar to my average Joe. Photo: Agur Concellon/NXTRI
Eirik Litland had a riding time of 6:52 and also a very fine example of one who would be comparable to my calculations below. Photo: Kai Otto Melau/NXTRI

The difference in bike strength in Norseman is huge. My Average Joe was given the following stats:

  • Weight – 80 kg
  • FTP – 240 watts
  • Bike – road bike with aerobars (average CdA of 0,37)

The estimated bike time with the most likely weather would then be 7:00:00.

If we put on more weight you could see the added time would be as follows

  • 1 kg + 2 min and 8 sec
  • 2 kg + 4 min and 16 sec
  • 10 kg + 21 min and 41sec

In comparison my time penalty of weight was:

  • 1 kg + 1 min and 25 sec
  • 2 kg + 2 min and 51 sec
  • 10 kg + 13 min and 17 sec

In other terms. The negative effect added weight for Average Joe is about 50 % higher compared to an elite athlete. The world has never been fair, right?

If this changes anything regarding my advice to use your money on unpaid time off work in order to train/recover better? I will say no. Staying in your best shape is still the best investment you can do. Choosing weight before aerodynamics? No. Aerodynamic gains are more time-saving in the not so fast triathletes so they have even more to gain than my calculations in the previous post.

Then again, I hope this post put things in perspective. A slightly more precise and relevant perspective 😉

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I am a 33 year old PRO triatlete. My goal is to swim, bike and run as fast as possible, and enjoy the journey. All my adventures and triathlon related stuff is well documented on this blog.

5 kommentarer til “The effect of weight in Norseman for «Average Joe»

  1. Sidenote: what i normally see is that the FTP goes down with the loss off weight. However, overall w/kg @ftp increases because if increased fitness.

    1. Losing weight is not a magic bullet for gaining performance. Average Joe probably has 10 kg extra fat that does not give any performance gain, but looing it without a cost is not easy or a quick fix. With good training and a healthy and balanced nutrition, I believe that most people will reach their close to ideal race weight within a couple of years. Doing it as a 3-month project, however, is nothing I have faith in.

  2. On a more bright side: you do gain more time if you lose more weight as an average Joe. In that case, the world is fair.

    1. That was a better way to see it. While I have to spend a ton of energy, training and money to get small gains the Average Joe has much more potential 😀

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