Training with a power meter - noob question

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jeroenDG
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:23 pm

by jeroenDG

I finally started training with a powermeter but it turned out to be far from easy.

My main problem is staying within the power zones prescribed by my training program. It is incredibly hard to keep my effort constant (I am talking about 30-40W variations). Only when training on my rollers I am able to keep the variations within 5-10W but there it is relatively easy since I just need to keep my cadence more or less steady . So... how do other people do this? Is it something I learn with time?

by Weenie


boots2000
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:28 pm

by boots2000

It does take some time. You just need to "own" the numbers.
If you are trying to hold 200- you need to stay close to that. Not 270. Not 150.
Ease up on climbs. Keep pedaling on descents where it allows for steady power.

Most riders who never use power spike way hard at bottom of every rise and coast over the other side.

Don't be afraid to shift often.

jeroenDG wrote:I finally started training with a powermeter but it turned out to be far from easy.

My main problem is staying within the power zones prescribed by my training program. It is incredibly hard to keep my effort constant (I am talking about 30-40W variations). Only when training on my rollers I am able to keep the variations within 5-10W but there it is relatively easy since I just need to keep my cadence more or less steady . So... how do other people do this? Is it something I learn with time?

mr4fox
Posts: 252
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 2:01 pm

by mr4fox

If you mean while outside on the road then what you're experiencing is pretty normal.

Training intervals on stretches or road/climbs that don't involve lots of sudden gear changes/cadence changes/accelerations are easiest to keep power accurate on. So steady grades and flat roads....
Unless you're trying to train accelerations etc.

But if your target for a long ride is 240w for example then expect it to go up and down but try to keep it as close as possible.


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alastairb
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:36 pm

by alastairb

Welcome; your trainer is your new best friend. By a large fan and a Netflix subscription.

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kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

Turn on 10-30s averaging on your head unit

cdncyclist
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 am

by cdncyclist

alastairb wrote:Welcome; your trainer is your new best friend. By a large fan and a Netflix subscription.

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Can you provide data that the training benefit is superior when there is less variance from a given power target?

To the OP, if your target is 240 and you range mostly from 220-260 (your 30-40W variance) most would consider this normal. I typically use 3s smoothing.

Zone-based training gives a range which often spans 40W or more - for the most part it isn't too hard to keep to a 'zone'. Saying this I echo the comments of others that external variables can impact your ability to stay near a target, so planning the structured part of your workout on a road you can complete it is useful.

jeffy
Posts: 1242
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:51 pm

by jeffy

for some reason i dont have an issue with this (excuse the humblebrag) and i found longer that 1 sec annoying.

much more important is to have a "Av Lap Power" and/or "Lap NP" data field, and pay more attention to that,

joec
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:20 pm

by joec

a lot of bigger guys have trouble with this,

you'll get better at it, but as said try the averaging, personally I keep it on 3 or 10 sec averaging, you should be able to keep with in about 10w then. also its hard to keep it even on the road, as inclines you'll need to push harder to get over the ridge etc, but you'll often find your backing off a bit on the down hill so it generally counters.

Ulver
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 11:55 pm

by Ulver

jeffy wrote:for some reason i dont have an issue with this (excuse the humblebrag) and i found longer that 1 sec annoying.

much more important is to have a "Av Lap Power" and/or "Lap NP" data field, and pay more attention to that,


Why would you do that for training though? I can see the potential benefit if you were pacing a TT or something.

You would get a very different training effect by doing half an interval at say 100 watts and half at 300 watts compared to a full interval at 200 but the average power would be the same. Am I missing something?

glam2deaf
Posts: 599
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:36 am

by glam2deaf

^My interval screen has both current and interval average on it for power + cadence. Average is where you want to be, but you need current to know you're in the right place.

topflightpro
Posts: 793
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:35 am

by topflightpro

Yeah, you're probably never going to be able to hold a number perfectly, but as others said, shoot for a range. I try to keep it pretty small, though, like +-10w. So, for a 200w effort, 190-210 is the range I am targeting.

jmaccyd
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:12 pm

by jmaccyd

Lots of good advice here. I agree must riders go WAY to hard on inclines and then coast over the top and down. I set my Garmin to show my PZ as a number rather than a power figure to try and keep it at Z2-3 on my longer rides. IAlso having your average power set on the Garmin is useful, especially for multiple intervals using the lap button, just to make sure you don't ease up. I tend to do my intervals (i.e. non tempo/sweet spot/distance) work on the trainer where I can really do the quality work without traffic and terrain getting in the way.

PinaF8
Posts: 162
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by PinaF8

Exactly what the other poster said Netflix, fan and TrainerRoad. They have a very good training plan and it will get you to your desired goals or more if you desire.
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jeffy
Posts: 1242
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:51 pm

by jeffy

Ulver wrote:
jeffy wrote:for some reason i dont have an issue with this (excuse the humblebrag) and i found longer that 1 sec annoying.

much more important is to have a "Av Lap Power" and/or "Lap NP" data field, and pay more attention to that,


Why would you do that for training though? I can see the potential benefit if you were pacing a TT or something.

You would get a very different training effect by doing half an interval at say 100 watts and half at 300 watts compared to a full interval at 200 but the average power would be the same. Am I missing something?


you press LAP button every interval (beginning and end), and for longer rides and especially if there are occasional junctions or downhills. say a 3hr 30 ride. Warm up for 15 minutes, hit lap, hold "Av Lap" / "Lap NP" at top of zone 2 for three hours, hit lap, cool down for 15 minutes.

by Weenie


mhoffman
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:45 pm

by mhoffman

Also, make sure your computer is displaying 3s Power; helps smooth out crazy power spikes and fluxuations

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