power info for newbie

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by mogse, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. mogse

    mogse New Member

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    calling the experienced ones, help


    I irst got on a road bike 12 months ago,i train just for sprint duathlon races as i'm a runner mainly. my aim is to get down to 20 mins for 14k which works out about average 40kph. after a year i'm down from 28mins to 24mins for 14k on a windy course which works out average 35kph. i'm facinated in this power meter stuff I hear so much about but I don't understand it.
    is the power the amount of force you push down on the pedals?
    I was just wondering if i invest in a power meter how i would use it to my advantage?
    do i just try and aim at keeping an average high power reading, similar to what i do at the moment with my training, i try to keep the speedo at 35kph for the duration but this is hard with winds.

    my other newbie question
    because i'm only interested in very short time trials sprints (14k to20k) what is the best training i should do? the cycling version of fartleks? hill attack reps? at the moment i'm just doing the same course over and over.

    thanks
     
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  2. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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  3. dkrenik

    dkrenik Member

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  4. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

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    Hi

    And if you want to see the day to day goings on of someone who is using a power meter to train you can follow my blog (see signature for link), might give you a giggle! :D

    Cheers.

    PB
     
  5. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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  6. mogse

    mogse New Member

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    thanks for the replies,links and blogs
    i love reading training blogs, i have one too but its not very exciting

    i'm still undersided if to get a power meter, i already use a garmin 305 with cadence meter which gives me some data including my heart rate and average speed.
    my average cadence is always around 66 - 75. probably seems low to you guys that spin at 100+ which doesn't seem to work for me. I feel i produce a better speed and economy at a lower cadence.
    do you think power meter data be able to verify if this is true or not?

    like my running i normaly just train on instinct, be it running or cycling i push myself out of comfort zone most sessions sometime harder than others on days. i have worn a heart rate monitor on the odd cycling sessions, if i spend 1 hour on a hilly undulating course i spend 40 mins at zone 3 to 4 with about 5 mins in zone 5.

    so its down to cost, i can pick up a second hand powertap hub and wheel for about £500 ($850) its alot of money so i have to decide if having data like power for my sessions will really help me improve. i agree i can monitor increase or decrease in improvement.

    the question is will sticking to a power meter training plan reap more benifits than just training on instinct?:confused:
     
  7. robkit

    robkit New Member

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    i think if your only objective is to minimise your time over a 14k time trial then aside from general endurance training most people would recommend intervals. in particular threshold intervals done at the sort of output (heart rate or power) that you can maintain for 20 mins, done in blocks of between 10-20 mins at a time. also so-called vo2max intervals of about 4 mins duration designed to increase your aerobic capacity

    the point is that you can do these with or without a power meter, although a lot of people would recommend the PM because it helps to guage your output during such short efforts.

    there is a whole lot more you can glean from a power meter such as monitoring improvements in your output with watts not time, comparing those with other people, monitoring training load, trying to figure out what sort of changes in training load can maximise your form, etc, etc but in these regards the decicion on whether to get one depends a lot on your personality.

    would you enjoy this level of analytics or would it take the fun out of things for you? if you are making good progress based on current effforts then be weary of "breaking" a run that doesnt need fixing just yet.
     
  8. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I agree with the response above. You will benefit from more organized training, whether it involves a power meter or not. Maybe poke around the Cycling Training forum a bit for some tips to work on (ie, intervals, etc.).

    Just getting a power meter won't make you faster, you'll have to know what you're doing with it and why. Good luck! :)
     
  9. mogse

    mogse New Member

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    I agree intervals like i do with my running is probably the best option , i've not really done any yet. if i can find a power meter cheap i will get one second hand for monitoring what is going on more accurately. what i find cycling and running with a heart rate monitor it can some times feel harder than the bpm is showing and at other times the opposite.
     
  10. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Not really.

    But it will tell you how much power you are producing, which is mostly what matters and is vastly more useful than cadence.

    Just keep pedalling.;)
     
  11. mogse

    mogse New Member

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    well i've taken the plunge and ordered a second hand powertap wired on a mavic pro wheel which i'll stick on my training bike. it comes with the powertap software but i'm not sure yet if it comes with any power training schedules to follow.
    i'm going to stick to intervals to start maybe look at some blogs to get ideas, At least now i should be able to accurately measure improvement. i guess i could measure improvment by looking at how long i hold peak power for in a sessions, average power etc. lets see in a weeks time when it arrives
     
  12. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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  13. mogse

    mogse New Member

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    thanks going to definately get that book to read
     
  14. mogse

    mogse New Member

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    got my powertap SL :D woohooo!!

    did my first training ride on it today, i use a 7k open coast road to train, i ride up then straightback down. the course has has tight bends and traffic so i have to be cautious.

    anyway the stats for the 14k

    first 7k on the way up my time was10.47, avg power 236watts, 24mph avg hr 155 (tail wind) torque 7.5
    1 min rest then turn around
    on the return journey my time was 13.55, avg power 234watts, 18.9mph avg hr 160 (extreme headwind) torque 9.15
    graph said i spent most of the time in the threshold zone which seems correct as my legs were burning.

    there is a massive difference in speed on the return leg but the avg power is almost the same as the first leg
    so i assume the power meter still knows i'm sticking in the same effect on the pedals but not going as fast because of the wind? impressive if thats correct

    i'm also impressed by the poweragent software shows the graph and automatically puts the session into endurance,recovery,race etc... very easy to read. i can see why there is such a fuss over these things. i've only ever used garmin software before on my forerunner 305.
     
  15. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    PowerAgent has gotten better with recent releases, but still pales in comparison to WKO+. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of CyclingPeaks WKO+ Athlete edition: http://www.cyclingpeakssoftware.com/wko/

    You don't need the upload to trainingpeaks subscription or multi rider editions but this software is well worth the hundred bucks to help you get the most out of your power meter. The Performance Manager alone is worth the sales price....

    -Dave
     
  16. mogse

    mogse New Member

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    Thanks Dave
    just downloading the free trial, also got the hunter allen power training book arrive today from the usa, thats my bedtime reading for this weekend.
    yeah the bundled software is normaly quite basi with devices, samething with garmin forerunner software so i use sporttracks http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/ its totaly free and very impressive but mainly for runners like myself.
     
  17. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    If you want any help or ideas you could always try some coaching - that's often the fastest way to get returns on your kit and the improvements that you need. There's several coaches here (on this forum) and i'm just down the road from you!!

    Cheers
    Ric
     
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