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

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Fday, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Squint

    Squint New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2003
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Has this thread convinced anyone to buy Powercranks? If so, post here. Don't be shy.
     


  2. rmur17

    rmur17 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    0
    show me some fake data files Frank ... I had an open mind until that charming little episode!
     
  3. Porkyboy

    Porkyboy New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0
    My feeling is that there are many things in life for which there is no evidence that they are superior, nor does there have to be for the use of them to be valid and beneficial to many.

    I've never seen any evidence that using a sharp knife is "better" than using a blunt one but give most people a choice and it's not hard to see what they will go for.

    It would be a boring world indeed if we needed hard evidence for everything before we did it or used it. I've never seen hard evidence (pardon the pun) that sex is enjoyable but hey, who needs evidence? ;)

    PBUK
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    Good to know.

    Which powermeters tend to "wander" during the course of a session?
     
  5. fergie

    fergie Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,924
    Likes Received:
    12
    Where do we start.

    First time I learned of the benefits was attending the 1997 ACF Level 2 Coaching Course where Damien Grundy (AIS MTB Coach) said they used to use heart rate to monitor training. MTB showed a pretty constant heart rate during a race so they did lots of steady state training. When they started using SRM they found the power profile was anything but steady state and changed the way they did their intervals.

    The NZ track cycling team were early adopters of SRM and have reaped the rewards. NZ certainly punch above their weight in the track cycling world. You mentioned the lack of experimenting with Sarah Ulmer. I think they experimented just enough. They were doing testing on the road, in the lab, on the track and in the wind tunnel. Always looked to gain a watt for the supply side and to shave a watt from the demand side through improved aerodynamics. I think there would have been no better way of measuring this than with the SRM. Result was a WR that probably won't be beaten at Beijing and possibly may survive London Olympics.

    I see on ST you are trying to insinuate that power meters are the cause of slower times at Hawaii Ironman. Nice little red herring but this is a race not a time trial. In bike racing riders do their utmost to conserve energy to gain tactical advantage.

    I personally have benefited from my Powertap for my training for the 3000m pursuit. I now know I don't need to do a million miles in training. I am training for a 3000m event not a 300km event. I see the Aussies have learned this as well and got faster on less kms. I can make all my training efforts very specific in terms of power and cadence no matter where I am or what conditions I face.

    Also thanks to TrainingPeaks I now have a very accurate (kudos to Andy Coggan) way of tracking my training load with the performance manager.

    As a coach I notice a huge difference in how well I can prescribe efforts for those who send me power files and those who don't. Last year I was able to cut the training load for my sprint cyclists as I could see the gap between where they were and their peak was getting a little big for my liking and they bounced back with some awesome results.

    So for the time being I will continue powertapping! I can give more examples, post some actual data if you like. Got a hour or twenty:D

    Hamish Ferguson
    Cycling Coach
     
  6. fergie

    fergie Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,924
    Likes Received:
    12
    How many people buy something and don't use it properly?

    Again the red herring of traditional training. There hasn't been a change in how people train. If anything Powermeters have helped people cut the fluff (big gear work, ultra high cadence, one legged efforts, gym work, powercranks, base training) out of their programmes. I hope you are not holding Powermeters accountable for the fast harry's selling power meter based training programmes as if the meter actually pedals the bike for you?

    Learned from the ex British Cycling Coach (self proclaimed SRM snob) that they have pretty much experimented with everything and appear to have come back to a very simple philosophy: pursuiters train best by doing pursuits, sprinters get better from doing sprinting. A large part of this was their use of SRM. They just take it to the next level overlaying SRM data with video footage. How is that for feedback!!! Benefit is they killed it at Track Worlds. Expect them to ramp it up for Beijing and over the next four years leading into Olympics on home turf.

    Guess that is why I have a thriving coaching business teaching people how to make the most of their powermeters and training analysis software. Do you expect people to mount Powercranks and start winning Pro Tour events with no instruction?

    Guess they could read the instructions:p

    Hamish Ferguson
    Cycling Coach
     
  7. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    Here's a few numbers from testing, expressed as VAM ft/per/hour on a 4 mile climb as reported my the Protrainer 5 software/Polar CS600. Start and finishing points the same for each test. I tend to use this particular hill as it's a good mix of 8 to 12% at the bottom half and 16% to the mid 20% for the last half and it's sheltered from the wind. The only real variable is the heat and time of year. The top half provides no shade which is a bitch in 90+F heat and at this time of year there's thousands of flies everywhere.

    June 2007 weight 178lbs, Jan 2008 194lb, April 2008 179lb.

    At 150bpm (approx 12 hour/Deathride pace)
    June 2007 - 2050
    Jan 2008 - 2108
    April 2008 - 2554

    That extra 500 ft-per-hour should either allow me to spend a little more time admiring the scenery, lounging around at lunch or get me back to the beer stall at Turtle Rock park sooner (proceeds going to the local firefighters... so you gotta support them!) :D

    At 175/180bpm (climbing pace on 2 to 3 hour training ride)
    June 2007 - 2310
    Jan 2008 - 2405
    April 2008 - 3035

    I'm still massively down from the numbers I used to get (calculated from known hillclimbs back in the mid to early 1990s) but give it another year or so to shed more weight and increase the power and I'll get there - and probably then some....

    Training has been pretty much the same the past few years due to work. Powercranks purchased in November last year following a few months of the bike following medical shennanigans requiring pain meds - which was responsible for the big increase in weight.

    Don't forget that the bike put on a lb or two courtesy of the uber-cranks.

    The other benefit is that it doesn't take as long to get my 5,000ft of climbing in.

    Now.... convince me that there isn't something to these rather weird cranks.
     
  8. RChung

    RChung New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    1
    Each PM has strengths and weaknesses. The Power Tap may have to be re-zeroed during a ride if the temperature changes radically. The SRM Amateur appears to be less consistent than the SRM Pro and they, too, can be somewhat sensitive to large temperature changes. The Ergomo can vary if one's left-right balance varies with power. The Polar can be sensitive to chain position. The iBike will be off if you change position or interfere with the air pressure port. I haven't examined the Quarq yet.

    The virtue of the PT and the SRM is that you can tell if the ride starts out freezing but a couple of hours later it's hot -- so you know you should re-zero. Knowing whether the others are off is harder.
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    Way too many - I'd hazzard a guess and from what I see with the local club level cyclist and their bike kit and what I see as a network engineer and being constantly nagged by all and sundry for help with their home laptop/desktop/iPod/$3000 camera that less that 50% of people use "things" properly.

    I recall back in the early 90's going to coaching seminars for the British Cycling Federation and noticing the same trait with most of their coaches. They had riders like Boardman using heart rate on the road and power in the lab and on the trainer at home, top nutitional/food science guys given the low down on how best to eat, other coaches and scientists giving presentations on training with data up the yin-yang and yet most of the coaches had a hard time figuring out how to put a heart rate monitor belt on. It was like, WTF! Then there was the gem with Doug Dailey and the "we got riders to tain for 3 hours in the heat with no water to become better prepared for the world champs" which was being held somewhere rather warm.
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    Thanks. Most informative.

    Can you re-zero the PT during a ride without having to stop recording the data - or would you just have to deal with having two data files for that day?
     
  11. fergie

    fergie Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,924
    Likes Received:
    12
    You can re-zero during a ride without stopping the data recording.

    Can't see your point about the BCF. Boardman was Olympic Champ, won World Titles, still holds the 4000m record, won stages in the Tour. Perhaps what appeared to be chaos to the untrained eye was a rather complex system working rather well.

    We sat and listened to Simon Jones talk about his time as British Track Coach and in two days I don't think we even covered the tip of the iceberg on their highly successful programme.
     
  12. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,471
    Likes Received:
    20
    The PT actually auto zeros itself (unless you disable that function) - all you need is a few seconds of coasting and it will do it automatically.

    And you can do it manually as well if you like. Again it takes just a few seconds while coasting or when stopped (feet clipped out if stopped).
     
  13. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, how does someone measure anything psycological and motivational, Frank?
     
  14. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not one post before this, you were congratulating Tyson on his hard-won gains. Then in the next post - minutes later - the above comes from your keyboard. :confused:
     
  15. Fday

    Fday New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,341
    Likes Received:
    0
    sorry, proof and anecdotal evidence are two entirely different things.
     
  16. Fday

    Fday New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,341
    Likes Received:
    0
    The same way you measure anything else. Through a study. That is how they have determined that in most effects there is a 30% "placebo" effect which many would consider to be either a psychological or motivational (or both) (or something else) effect.
     
  17. fergie

    fergie Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,924
    Likes Received:
    12
    Does that also apply to the studies on Powercranks?
     
  18. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    From what I hear, ever since they built the new velodrome at Manchester the coaching for the track squad has been immense but back in the early 90's it was as bad as I said...
     
  19. fergie

    fergie Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,924
    Likes Received:
    12
    Boardman's success in Barcelona opened a lot of doors and from there Peter Keen successfully marketed the track programme to British funding bodies. Simon Jones carried this on and David Brailsford leads the charge today. But the key is how well they spend the money. Other similarly funded programmes fall way short.
     
  20. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    Just curious, but what do you percieve as a placebo effect on a piece of equipment that when you first start using it feels like riding with extremely bad tendonitis after 40 seconds of cycling and after a couple of minutes things just come to a grinding and unceremonious halt.....

    I could see it with some fancy groupset, new frame or "insert electronic device here" but PowerCranks... NAAAAAAAH!
     
Loading...
Loading...