how do you analyse your training info?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by youngster, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. youngster

    youngster New Member

    Dec 23, 2005
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    Hi all,

    I purchased a powertap and started training with it last week. I was really looking forward to start training at the right powerzones, but now I am wondering how to optimize all the data I can get from my powertap.

    I've gathered some info so far and now I am wondering what to look at. As all of us I want to improve, so what data should I be looking that would indicate what to work on, if I'm improving or not,...
    I wonder if it's possible to compare 2 training sessions together by putting the data on the same graph.
    any other advice?


  2. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2006
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    My only and best advice is that you get the book 'Training and Racing with a Power Meter' by Hunter Allen and Dr. Andrew Coggan. Great reference with all the information to get you started and then some.

    Your question is much too broad-based for me to deal with. It's possible some of the gurus may come to your rescue...
  3. grahamspringett

    grahamspringett New Member

    Feb 26, 2004
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    Do a test to establish a benchmark.
    Work out power zones based on that benchmark.
    Train hard, do lots in tempo/threshold zones.
    Top it off with VO2 max and anaerobic work.
    Read these forums cos there's a ton of helpful stuff.
    Get Training and Racing with a Power Meter
    Get Training Peaks so you can figure out what the book is on about.
    Read these forums again.
    Learn acronyms like FTP, TSS, ATL, TSB so you can drop them into conversations with your cycling mates and leave them flummoxed.
    Train hard.
    Drop everybody.
  4. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

    Apr 28, 2006
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    :) Brilliant summary, loved it! Based on this I'm on the right track, just waiting for the "Drop everybody" bit, seems a way off yet!

    Thanks for the great post.

  5. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

    Oct 24, 2004
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    You're just not hanging out with the right crowd. :D
    If you were to ride with someone like me I am sure you would fulfill that aspect.:)
  6. rob of the og

    rob of the og New Member

    Nov 20, 2003
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    There's trees and forests to look at. Individual intervals (eg, did I start out too fast and fade towards the end?), individual sessions (eg, did I have the capacity to do another interval there, or hold just a little more power across the board?), weekly trends (eg, am I dropping power at the end of a few days' training block, would adding a rest day in somewhere let me train more efficiently?), monthly trends (eg, how is my 20-min power increasing, what's my CTL?), annual trends (eg, where is my form at this time in the pre-season compared to last year, when does that suggest I'm likely to be at my peak?). The data you look at will depend on what you want to find out.

    You could easily compare two individual rides side by side by exporting the data to Excel, but I'd suggest you won't learn much from that. More likely though you want to track improvements in some standard metric over some time period. WKO+ lets you graph your best, say, 20min power over a time period so you can see whether it's increasing. Or you could give different types of ride a different workout reference and plot progress in the chalkboard.
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2006
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    +1 on both these observations as well as graham's succinct summary above.

    In a general sense I look at general training trends (the forest) by keeping an eye on overall training load and freshness. CTL and ATL/TSB make that pretty easy to visualize. Overall FTP progress is another forest sort of thing as a lot of different training routines can help bring up your FTP and it's one of the long term things we try to influence.

    For specifics (the trees) I believe you really have to make a plan that addresses your specific needs. The plan should take into account differing needs throughout the yearly cycle like build vs. race prep. vs. racing, etc. The plan should be tailored to your specific needs so doing some profiling of your strengths and weaknesses relative to the sort of events you'd like to do is important. The plan is a big picture blueprint but expect it to change and evolve in response to your progress, to life's interruptions, your setbacks, etc.

    Yeah, your training plan on a yearly and monthly levels is "forest" as well, but from it you can set specific daily goals in terms of specific workout focus, specific drills, intervals, durations and intensities, etc. Those are the "trees" and when you've identified them you can easily set up your power software to display those things of interest to you. So if your plan calls for a month or two of focused SST/L4 efforts then you'll want to look at things like 20 to 30 minute AP, see how consistently you held power in your first and last intervals of a given session, see if your 20 minute numbers are creeping up over the weeks, see how well you paced individual efforts in graph view, etc.

    If you're in a midwinter base building cycle you'll want to decide what training philosophy you believe in regarding base building. Are you going to do daily five hour LSD rides or hour and a half SST sessions or maybe a couple of 3 hour Tempo/L2+ sessions if your climate allows? Those again are specific training goals that you think about when you review your data post ride. How well did you stick to the daily plan? But during build cycles I'm also very interested in how much TSS I earned per session and how my CTL is progressing. Sure it's a balance between targeting specific systems and building overall training load but again you'll be in a better position to know how to find that balance if you have a training plan.

    Anyway, I agree with Tony and the others, your request is very broad and you've gotta relize the power meter is just a tool. A good tool that accurately tells you what you are currently capable of and tracks exactly what you did while on the bike. But it won't make a training plan for you, it doesn't subscribe to any particular training philosophy and it won't necessarily organize your training or make your time on the bike more fruitful. You need a good plan and you need to choose a training philosophy, with those things the power meter can help keep you on track.

    If you read the book linked above and references like this:
    And you still aren't sure about how to structure your training or how to get the most out of your power meter data then you should really think about hiring a power savvy coach.

    Good luck,