What is the evidence that training with power is superior to . . .



Fday

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training with any other effort/intensity feedback system such as HR, perceived exertion, stopwatch, etc.

I have been asking this on slowtwitch and the best I can ascertain from the replies the so-called evidence to support these devices and this method of training is entirely anecdotal. Thought I would ask here.
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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Fday said:
training with any other effort/intensity feedback system such as HR, perceived exertion, stopwatch, etc.

I have been asking this on slowtwitch and the best I can ascertain from the replies the so-called evidence to support these devices and this method of training is entirely anecdotal. Thought I would ask here.
I can see a combination of power, hr monitoring and percieved exertion being useful - if anything to use as a series of checks/balances to keep a track of your current condition. I could see power monitoring being much better for keeping track of short intervals too, where hr lags, but reading the LCD might be a little difficult when out of the saddle in 53x13 trying to hold over 100rpm for 30 seconds. LOL

A good answer to this would be nice as I'm toying with the idea of getting some power monitoring device towards the end of the year. It was going to be earlier in the year but there was something about someone selling me some cranks for over a grand..... Frank!!! ;)
 

Fday

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swampy1970 said:
I can see a combination of power, hr monitoring and percieved exertion being useful - if anything to use as a series of checks/balances to keep a track of your current condition. I could see power monitoring being much better for keeping track of short intervals too, where hr lags, but reading the LCD might be a little difficult when out of the saddle in 53x13 trying to hold over 100rpm for 30 seconds. LOL

A good answer to this would be nice as I'm toying with the idea of getting some power monitoring device towards the end of the year. It was going to be earlier in the year but there was something about someone selling me some cranks for over a grand..... Frank!!! ;)
I know that lots of arguments are made regarding these being a superior way to train but I don't believe a single shred of evidence exists that it is a superior way to how Merkx trained, which was with motivation, perceived exertion and stop watch, I suspect. But, to listen to the advocates, there can be no question. Hell, there is a whole forum devoted to the topic here.

So, how is the PC'ing going?, not to hijack my own thread
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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Fday said:
I know that lots of arguments are made regarding these being a superior way to train but I don't believe a single shred of evidence exists that it is a superior way to how Merkx trained, which was with motivation, perceived exertion and stop watch, I suspect. But, to listen to the advocates, there can be no question. Hell, there is a whole forum devoted to the topic here.

So, how is the PC'ing going?, not to hijack my own thread
Did Merkx train with Powercranks :confused:
 

Fday

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RChung said:
Which one do you think, the one with 9 of course, which gets us back to the topic of this thread because I suspect the one with 9 also trained with power, since I don't think he trained a lot with PC's. Where is the evidence that "training with power" offers any advantage over training using "traditional" methods.
 

frenchyge

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Fday said:
training with any other effort/intensity feedback system such as HR, perceived exertion, stopwatch, etc.
It's the training that matters, not the feedback. The source of feedback is unimportant, as long as it provides quality feedback. Right now, power is the best source of feedback we have because it's repeatable and objective.

However, merely using power as the source of feedback really describes training by power, rather than training with power.
 

Fday

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frenchyge said:
It's the training that matters, not the feedback. The source of feedback is unimportant, as long as it provides quality feedback. Right now, power is the best source of feedback we have because it's repeatable and objective.

However, merely using power as the source of feedback really describes training by power, rather than training with power.
But, what is the evidence that "power is the best source of feedback"? Is there any real evidence that one kind of feedback is really better than another? Or, is this a case of one generation trying to be different, and, therefore, better, than the previous generation?
 

Steve_B

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Dec 31, 2006
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Fday said:
training with any other effort/intensity feedback system such as HR, perceived exertion, stopwatch, etc.

I have been asking this on slowtwitch and the best I can ascertain from the replies the so-called evidence to support these devices and this method of training is entirely anecdotal. Thought I would ask here.
Can you define "this method of training", please? A power meter does not restrict how you train. It only measures what you do.
 

Steve_B

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Fday said:
But, what is the evidence that "power is the best source of feedback"? Is there any real evidence that one kind of feedback is really better than another?
Well, as someone once put it, imagine going into a weight room and finding no numbers printed on the weights. It's a lot like that, having the weight printed on the side of the weights. It a more precise measurement.

I work as an engineer and I am always trying to get more precise instrumentation within the extent of my budget. It's pretty natural, no? With that precision comes a better ability to track changes in fitness and precisely target certain workout intensities.

Sorry that this is anecdotal but I guess I don't need a study to convince me of the need for precision.
 

Luke Schierts

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Jun 11, 2006
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If you have to ask if training with a power meter is better than any other way, then I,m guessing you have never trained with power. The amount of information you can obtain with a power meter is far greater (and better quality) than any other device. Knowing HR is good, but any HR monitors that I know of will only tell you what your average & max HR were,but not tell you what your HR was at any specific time during the ride. HR & PE arre both highly variable due to many factors. Speed has many variables also, like grade & wind that make using speed unreliable. Power on the other hand is power. 200watts uphill into a 30mph wind is the same as 200watts downhill with the wind. If used properly a power meter will tell you more about your strengths & weakness' in just a few months than several years worth of riding & guessing. And although there is a lot of number crunching & other work that goes along with using a power meter effectively, and a lot of planning on how to best put that information to good use, for some of us that is half the fun of it anyway. And for me there is no greater motivator to ride better, faster & harder than having good objective information to see improvements in my riding.
 

Fday

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Steve_B said:
Well, as someone once put it, imagine going into a weight room and finding no numbers printed on the weights. It's a lot like that, having the weight printed on the side of the weights. It a more precise measurement.

I work as an engineer and I am always trying to get more precise instrumentation within the extent of my budget. It's pretty natural, no? With that precision comes a better ability to track changes in fitness and precisely target certain workout intensities.

Sorry that this is anecdotal but I guess I don't need a study to convince me of the need for precision.
I did not pose the question to find out why you think the method to be advantageous. I understand the arguments. But, is there a single shred of evidence that supports that what "everyone" thinks to be true. People once thought the world was flat or that men couldn't fly or that the 4 minute mile was impossible. What we sometimes think to be true sometimes is not. It always helps to have evidence to support the contention or proof.
 

Fday

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Luke Schierts said:
If you have to ask if training with a power meter is better than any other way, then I,m guessing you have never trained with power. The amount of information you can obtain with a power meter is far greater (and better quality) than any other device. Knowing HR is good, but any HR monitors that I know of will only tell you what your average & max HR were,but not tell you what your HR was at any specific time during the ride. HR & PE arre both highly variable due to many factors. Speed has many variables also, like grade & wind that make using speed unreliable. Power on the other hand is power. 200watts uphill into a 30mph wind is the same as 200watts downhill with the wind. If used properly a power meter will tell you more about your strengths & weakness' in just a few months than several years worth of riding & guessing. And although there is a lot of number crunching & other work that goes along with using a power meter effectively, and a lot of planning on how to best put that information to good use, for some of us that is half the fun of it anyway. And for me there is no greater motivator to ride better, faster & harder than having good objective information to see improvements in my riding.
Your experience is an anecdotal report. I am still waiting for someone to come forward with some evidence that supports the contention that this method of training is superior to all others. I suspect no evidence exists. That doesn't mean it is not true as I suspect no one has ever studied the question. But, if it is ever studied, it is not clear to me it will demonstrate clear superiority.
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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Luke Schierts said:
If you have to ask if training with a power meter is better than any other way, then I,m guessing you have never trained with power. The amount of information you can obtain with a power meter is far greater (and better quality) than any other device. Knowing HR is good, but any HR monitors that I know of will only tell you what your average & max HR were,but not tell you what your HR was at any specific time during the ride. HR & PE arre both highly variable due to many factors. Speed has many variables also, like grade & wind that make using speed unreliable.
The Polar Sports Tester (Vantage XL) that I bought in 1991 recorded data for review on the watch or on a PC. You could also change the sampling invertal - even on a device that old! Most Polar units allow for analysis and their software is some of the better presented on the market that's distributed for free...

Frank (FDay) may not have trained with power but the company that he founded makes these...

srm-pc.jpg


Now, I'm sure that Frank could just jump on the "power meter marketing bandwagon" and tout the benefits of having the SRM units hooked upto his PowerCranks but don't you find it somewhat "odd" that someone who is selling this equipment is asking this particular question? ...and ponder why he's asking this when that piece of gear probably goes for a couple of tires shy of $3000.

Think about that for a minute.....

... speaking of which - I managed my first hour long session at 90rpm on the DeathCranks last night. Never have my hamstrings and calf muscles been on the verge of cramping like they were last night..... more through lack of coordination towards the end of the session than anything else.
 

fergie

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Apr 10, 2004
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I find the power meter really helps with pacing in a training session. Plenty of good research on working on an even pace. Helps me in races to conserve energy in the bunch

It's how you can analyse the data at the end of the day to decide how effective training was. Wattage has been used as the best metric to quantify effort in most research way before Power Meters were developed.

Recent advances include the performance manager which after a years use is the most effective way of quantifying training I have come across.
 

Bikeridindude

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Mar 13, 2006
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Fday said:
training with any other effort/intensity feedback system such as HR, perceived exertion, stopwatch, etc.

I have been asking this on slowtwitch and the best I can ascertain from the replies the so-called evidence to support these devices and this method of training is entirely anecdotal. Thought I would ask here.
That's like asking for evidence of which color is the best. The only evidence you'll find is anecdotal because that's all that exists. It's all personal preference my friend. And no matter what anybody says, yellow is the best!! :D oops, I mean :) :)
 

Steve_B

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Dec 31, 2006
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Fday said:
I did not pose the question to find out why you think the method to be advantageous. I understand the arguments. But, is there a single shred of evidence that supports that what "everyone" thinks to be true. People once thought the world was flat or that men couldn't fly or that the 4 minute mile was impossible. What we sometimes think to be true sometimes is not. It always helps to have evidence to support the contention or proof.
Again, I repeat my first question to you: What is "this method of training"?
 

Fday

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fergie said:
I find the power meter really helps with pacing in a training session. Plenty of good research on working on an even pace. Helps me in races to conserve energy in the bunch
I would be interested in seeing what the data is that says that working on an even pace is superior to the alternative.
It's how you can analyse the data at the end of the day to decide how effective training was. Wattage has been used as the best metric to quantify effort in most research way before Power Meters were developed.
I guess this statement goes, in part, to the question. If it is being used to analyze what you did after the training session "to see how good it was" how does that insure the workout was better than what you would have done without the power meter?
Recent advances include the performance manager which after a years use is the most effective way of quantifying training I have come across.
By "most effective" do you mean most convenient for you? Or, do you have some other definition of "effective" that you are using here.
 

Fday

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Steve_B said:
Again, I repeat my first question to you: What is "this method of training"?
What is the method?. Whatever method that requires using a power meter as opposed ti any other method of measuring intensity. So, you tell me. If you can come up with any "method of training" that requires a power meter that has a demonstrable advantage over other methods that would satisfy my request.
 

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