How knowing the power output help us?


New Member
Sep 1, 2012
I read cyclists talking about power output in watt. By knowing the figures, how does it help us to cycle better or more efficiently?
When we ride (or run or swim or row or cross-country ski), the only thing we can directly control is our intensity of effort. We are fortunate as cyclists to have a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment that can directly and precisely measure our intensity of effort (power meter). Availability of intensity of effort (power) means we can measure it and manage it, for training or racing purposes. Among other things, we can plan and execute a ride at a specific intensity of effort or a mix of intensities of effort for specific durations.
Besides what RapDaddyo listed, I like my power meter because it easy for me to measure my progress and this increases my motivation and general enjoyment of the sport.
Power measurement, quite simply, tells us the truth about the work we are doing on a bike. It enables us to record how hard we are pedalling, every moment, for the whole or parts of a ride, and over the course of an entire season. It removes guesswork from our training and busts the multitude of training myths that pervade the world of cycling.

Training (and racing) with power provides:
· Objectivity and insight into all factors of cycling performance
· The best means to establish current fitness and track performance changes (know the impact of your training)
· Improved understanding of the demands of target events
· A great means to ensure we train specifically to meet race/event demands
· The best tool for quantifying intensity of effort (the most important factor in training)
· An excellent method to measure, plan and manage training loads and to achieve peak performance when we want it
· A way to ensure the most effective use of your limited training time
· Accountability for both the athlete and their coach, enhancing the coach-athlete relationship
· Additional motivation for training
· A tremendous tool for assessing and improving other key elements of performance, such as aerodynamics, pacing and dietary/nutritional requirements.

[SIZE=11.0pt]Using power measurement effectively requires knowledge of how to make the most of these great tools. [/SIZE]