Training with Power

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BurningLegs

Senior Member
It allows me to measure improvement or decline.
 

HarryTheDog

Veteran
Location
Basildon Essex
There are a lot of things power meters are useful for if you are of a competitive bent. One thing I found with training with power meters is you knew when you were being a lazy git, ie you think you are in a 1 hr race you think you are flying along, you look at the power meter and realise you could easily go faster as you are nowhere, near your FTP. Or you get dropped and to get back to the pack you decide to make a effort, you can use the power meter to measure your effort to get back on without blowing up.
Another thing I found was that "peaking isnt a myth" After 3 months of proper training I had a peak and then would continue to decline unless I eased up on training so useful tool.
Now I just use it to monitor my decline really as I stopped racing this year and am oin that declining age I suppose, but still use it doing SCR to sometimes have a "dig" at another rider over a mile etc ( I set a power figure in my head I think I can manage and then try sticking to it) .
Sometimes its just interesting to compare what power you produced to how you felt, sometimes its suprising.
ie I have 3 bikes MTB,CX and Road I average more power typically on the MTB then the CX then the Road as the Road is easier to get up to speed, I try harder on the slower bikes basically.
 
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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Veteran
Location
West Sussex
I've never trained with power so I am genuinely interested. When I was setting out my plans and targets for the coming season, which would have been around now, I would aim to reach peak form around early June next year.
December was about maintaining levels of strength and endurance with one long ride at the weekend and commuting.
January was upping the mileage on the commute by going a longer way round or out in the evenings doing bit and bit with a couple of club mates to open the lungs and get the HR up.
February/March was less miles and now long intervals on a stretch of road once a week where you could race without RABs and TL's for 10 minutes and that would be a set of 4 and 5 minutes between each effort easy pedaling .
April /May was racing at weekends and mostly speed work with long intervals again twice a week and once a week sprint training 3 sets of 5 flat out sprints 30 seconds and 30 second rest with 1 minute between sets. I measured HR every morning but tapered training irrespective of this if I wasn't up for it. A couple of weeks before the National 25 TT I would be tapering off. Then bingo the race you've been training for.
On this basis If I was measuring power then surely it would be meaningless to know what it had been because I would performing at a level that i hadn't achieved in training. If i only raced at what I thought was my FTP then I would be under performing. On the other hand, training and racing at RPE and the inherent pace judgment I had experienced and learned would give me my optimum performance.
 
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T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
One man or womans 6/10 on an RPE scale is not necessesarily anyone elses 6/10, 250W for example is always 250W but where that is on RPE is variable, where both relate to HR is also variable.

The humble Watt is the only training constant if you have a reliable way of measuring it, knowing what it means and adjusting training to are different ballgames
 

Heltor Chasca

Out-Riding the Black Dog
I would love components to measure my power on the bike but for now that’s not within my disposable income budget. I know my power from my smart trainer.

I don’t race. My interest is audax and it would be purely to scratch a fascination itch. I love skimming over my rides and watching my improvements.
 
It stops me hitting trouble with feeding and fatigue. If I know what my power is, and at which cadence I’m making that power, I know where my efficiency is, and how long my carb reserves are likely to last, quite accurately. Riding with power, has made riding long, a lot more of a pleasure, I’ve not hit the bonk once, since I moved to riding with actual power readings, which makes it a whole lot better. Before, I was judging how sweet the cake was by tasting it, now I know how sweet it is by measuring the sugar, added to the mix. It’s far better, the power meter pedals I bought, are without doubt the best money I’ve spent ( other than my bikes ).
 
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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Veteran
Location
West Sussex
One man or womans 6/10 on an RPE scale is not necessesarily anyone elses 6/10, 250W for example is always 250W but where that is on RPE is variable, where both relate to HR is also variable.

The humble Watt is the only training constant if you have a reliable way of measuring it, knowing what it means and adjusting training to are different ballgames
Disagree. Pace judgement is a skill you learn from training and racing, and is a constant. I wouldn't be intimidated by a number on a screen to either increase or decrease my effort just because it said so. But I do accept that there are pros and elite amateurs who do use this tool. However when the adrenaline takes over in a race I would be surprised if they stuck to their number so to speak.
 
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Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Veteran
Location
West Sussex
I've won a few 100 mile TT's in my time and I used to break it down mentally to 4 x 25 mile segments. This involved holding back in the first two segments from the effort produced for a 25 mile TT and then building the effort on the third to a flat out effort as though it was a 25 mile TT on the 4th segment. Knowing wattage practically useless.
 
I've won a few 100 mile TT's in my time and I used to break it down mentally to 4 x 25 mile segments. This involved holding back in the first two segments from the effort produced for a 25 mile TT and then building the effort on the third to a flat out effort as though it was a 25 mile TT on the 4th segment. Knowing wattage practically useless.
Rather than ‘guessing by feel’ power gives you nailed down numbers, it’s far less likely that you’ll screw it up, because your balls swell above your ability.
 
It allows you to target threshold, sweet spot, VO2 max, recovery, endurance etc.
That’s a very good point. I don’t really care too much about zones / VO2 max etc etc blah blah blah. They are what they are, they are a curiosity at best for me, nice to know, but a bit ‘meh’ in the grand scheme of things. What I do find very useful, is the recovery times that are generated, and supplied in glorious technicolour, by my cycle computer, far more accurately with power.
 
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