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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:20 pm 
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I have been racing for over 25years and have had a powermeter for a year and a half.
My main reason for using a PM was to better manage fatigue than with just a heart rate monitor, and in that aspect I not have gained any new information. After using performance manager in both WKO+ and Golden Cheetah the correlation as to how I perform and stress balance is not very good. This should not be a surprise because the calculations are based upon two EMA's of work load and the crossover of the EMA's. Essentially all Performance Manager says is, if you have done this much work over a longer time period and a this much work over a shorter period that relationship determines if you are fresh or tired. The problem with that method is that it is based upon an assumption of how quickly a person recovers. I have played around with different length EMA's but that just seems to add to the confusion. Rite now all the PM seems to tell me is a more precise confirmation of what I already knew. Watts are not describing anything about how the body is performing. Watts just more accurately tell how much work was done. I have read most everything I can find from both Hunter Allen and Joe Friel. Most everything else out there seems to be just a rehash there ideas. If anyone has any different ideas I would be interested.

Jim


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Personally I don't really use Performance Manager, so I have no compelling reasons there.


As for everything else, I don't understand what you don't understand about the power meter.

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Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:51 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:11 pm 
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Quote:
Rite now all the PM seems to tell me is a more precise confirmation of what I already knew.

My PM is still new, so I am still having fun with it.
But I agree with you. I remember when I first got a HR monitor, and how I eventually realized it was just assigning a different number to what I already knew. In fact, "what you already know" may actually be more useful (my opinion) because it takes into consideration a lot of things that neither a HR monitor or PM can measure.

So, to me it is all about staying interested, motivated, and having fun. If the technical stuff becomes a burden, just dump it or don't ride with it for a while. I know other riders who have deliberately dumped all their monitors so as to sort of force themselves to be more "attuned" to what their body is constantly telling them.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:14 am 
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Rick wrote:
Quote:
Rite now all the PM seems to tell me is a more precise confirmation of what I already knew.

My PM is still new, so I am still having fun with it.
But I agree with you. I remember when I first got a HR monitor, and how I eventually realized it was just assigning a different number to what I already knew. In fact, "what you already know" may actually be more useful (my opinion) because it takes into consideration a lot of things that neither a HR monitor or PM can measure.

So, to me it is all about staying interested, motivated, and having fun. If the technical stuff becomes a burden, just dump it or don't ride with it for a while. I know other riders who have deliberately dumped all their monitors so as to sort of force themselves to be more "attuned" to what their body is constantly telling them.


I second that. With a heart rate monitor I really got tuned into where I needed to be heartrate wise in order to sustain longer efforts, or hard short efforts, etc., and that was useful information, especially in situations, for example, when I was trying to see how fast I could climb Alpe d'Huez (no racing, just for fun). But at competitive levels a powermeter has become almost indispensable it seems, providing there are doctors, trainers and everyone else analzying everything all the time to determine just when you are getting overtrained, etc. Polar used to have (still do I'm sure) an orthostatic test using the RR function on their highend watches to help sense when you might be becoming "overtrained". But until powermeters came along the "perceived exertion" was very subjective. Powermeters have taken the subjectivity out of that (400 watts isn't just "hard" anymore, it's 400 watts of quantifiable power), and when coupled with heart rate info, blood sampling, and everything else some pretty specific and effective training programs can be obtained. And now that they're beomcing more and more mainstream, we can all have one, albeit at a pretty high price still. But for the vast majority of people, without a team of trainers and doctors analyzing that stuff all the time, I think it becomes more of a super high end bike toy. And god knows we all love bike toys!

How fast did I make it up Alpe d'Huez you ask? 3 days, 4 hours, and 29 minutes... I was cookin' with gas! :D
But I didn't have a powermeter back then either. If I did, I'm sure with proper training I'd have shaved at least a day off that. :beerchug:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:26 am 
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While it can certainly be used as a pacing tool and to signal over-training, that is not the principal purpose of the PowerMeter.

Used to its best advantage, the PowerMeter will allow you to routinely determine your current 'fitness' levels, prepare specific workouts at prescribed wattage and then allow you to execute those workouts in a systematic fashion. You can then record and review those workouts objectively, make adjustments where necessary and advance your training to the next level toward pre-determined, seasonal goals.

What you need is a session with a coach who can help you to maximize your tool. With a bit of guidance, you will be able to eventually design your own programmes, but I think that you will see how useful an objective opinion is when it comes to designing your training programmes.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:59 pm 
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I've been using Cycling Peaks/Training Peaks since 2006. I find it invaluable for completing my workouts consistently and at the prescribed power levels without ever overreaching or overtraining myself. Heart rate doesn't show you how much work you're doing at any given time. You may be starting a climb at 150% of your FTP and your HRM will say you're only at 60% of your MaxHR. You may be soft pedaling after a hard effort at 50% of your FTP and you HRM will say you're at 90% of your MaxHR. If you factor in external variables(temperature, current health, current form, etc.) training with a HRM becomes even more suspect. Clearly not a very good indicator of the work you're actually doing at any given time and the AvgHR at the end of the session doesn't give a good indication of the stress of the workout. The PMC is based on the exact amount of work you actually did - not what you think you did based on how you feel, number of miles, or any other metric. Numerous times I have thought I was riding hard only to look at the PM and see I was not generating the watts I thought I was even though the HR was elevated. I mentally pushed myself to get to the power range I wanted to be training at and completed the workout with no problem. I can only imagine(pre Training Peaks) how many sessions I wasted by going on my perceived exertion level and HR.

I also no longer get sick and can train 4-5 days a week and still have energy to do other things. The FTP still rises each year(* but at a much lower rate than when I first started training with power). I could go on and on about the benefits of the PMC but the books you mention include them all. At least for me, the fact that I know my CTL and TSB before a ride and can determine the TSS number I want to hit for the workout for my current form(without putting myself in a hole) is priceless. This is a bit of an art on the cyclist part because there are many physiological variables between individuals and no system can be expected to give you what you think the PMC should be giving you. All I know is it works very well for me but I've put in the time with it and know it fairly well.

You may be experienced enough and know your body well enough that you can maximize your training potential/session without any training aids. Many of us, including the PRO's can't do that.

Apologize, as a newbie, for the length of this post.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:45 pm 
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GaryD wrote:
I've been using Cycling Peaks/Training Peaks since 2006. I find it invaluable for completing my workouts consistently and at the prescribed power levels without ever overreaching or overtraining myself. Heart rate doesn't show you how much work you're doing at any given time. You may be starting a climb at 150% of your FTP and your HRM will say you're only at 60% of your MaxHR. You may be soft pedaling after a hard effort at 50% of your FTP and you HRM will say you're at 90% of your MaxHR. If you factor in external variables(temperature, current health, current form, etc.) training with a HRM becomes even more suspect. Clearly not a very good indicator of the work you're actually doing at any given time and the AvgHR at the end of the session doesn't give a good indication of the stress of the workout. The PMC is based on the exact amount of work you actually did - not what you think you did based on how you feel, number of miles, or any other metric. Numerous times I have thought I was riding hard only to look at the PM and see I was not generating the watts I thought I was even though the HR was elevated. I mentally pushed myself to get to the power range I wanted to be training at and completed the workout with no problem. I can only imagine(pre Training Peaks) how many sessions I wasted by going on my perceived exertion level and HR.

I also no longer get sick and can train 4-5 days a week and still have energy to do other things. The FTP still rises each year(* but at a much lower rate than when I first started training with power). I could go on and on about the benefits of the PMC but the books you mention include them all. At least for me, the fact that I know my CTL and TSB before a ride and can determine the TSS number I want to hit for the workout for my current form(without putting myself in a hole) is priceless. This is a bit of an art on the cyclist part because there are many physiological variables between individuals and no system can be expected to give you what you think the PMC should be giving you. All I know is it works very well for me but I've put in the time with it and know it fairly well.

You may be experienced enough and know your body well enough that you can maximize your training potential/session without any training aids. Many of us, including the PRO's can't do that.

Apologize, as a newbie, for the length of this post.

Good post GaryD, Powermeters are definitely here to stay for sure. They make the whole concept of "perceived exertion" obsolete. However, it is still an absolute measure of power and you really need both to tell you how your body is adapting to the training over time. Plus, properly monitored, the warning signs of overtraining can be apparent very early on. Fantastic tools for sure.

This is a hypothetical question since there is no doubt that power data is extremely useful for trainers and athletes etc., but if a trainer, coach, or athlete could only have access to ONE measure to be used in a training program... being EITHER heart rate OR Power, which would be the choice? I suspect those with any real physiological background would say heart rate. A guy I know loves his powermeter and yet has no idea what any of it really means. He might say power, but he can't back that up with any sound reasoning except "the pros use it". I sometimes wonder if he ever asks "why?" about anything. He's a marketers dream. It's quite laughable really. If he actually used the data for any real purpose I would cut him some slack, but you know what... if he's happy with that then who am I to question it. I've got a powermeter as well, and I religiously upload every ride and like to see how I did, for my own general info. But I'm kind of a data junky computer geek too. To say I have a regimented training program going on would be, well, quite laughable as well. But it is fun to be able to see the data for sure.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:59 pm 
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No, anyone with a good amount of knowledge about physiology would go power or RPE or pace over HR every time. HR in isolation is useless. The other metrics aren't.

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"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:30 pm 
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GaryD no need to apologize for a long post, I was hoping for thoughtful comments. The main problem I have is that a high negative stress balance is a guarantee of being tired but a high positive stress balance does not always indicate I am fresh. I would agree with everyone's statement that power falls off compared to heart rate in longer intervals and because of that you could need to work harder with power. But if the formula for recovery does not work all you are doing is digging the hole faster and deeper. I think most of us don't have any trouble wanting to go hard, the trick is being recovered enough to do the hard work. So if all I am getting out of the powermeeter is to work harder at the end of an interval, I am not sure the expense is worth it. My new bike this year is BB30 and my Quarq is not so I have the adapters and the chainline is not quite correct. For me it is decision time and I am not sure I get enough out of it to buy another one.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:35 pm 
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For me the discussion has been helpful. The real question is, is LT a static level or does it fluctuate. Has there been any research that shows that at X watts of output the body is at LT regardless of any other variables. I have not seen any research that would make the argument that if LT is 300 watts when fresh at the beginning of a ride that it would also be 300 watts at the end of a 6 hour ride. Watts don't measure LT nor does heart rate, they are both a proxies for a lactate level.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:00 pm 
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JimV wrote:
For me the discussion has been helpful. The real question is, is LT a static level or does it fluctuate. Has there been any research that shows that at X watts of output the body is at LT regardless of any other variables. I have not seen any research that would make the argument that if LT is 300 watts when fresh at the beginning of a ride that it would also be 300 watts at the end of a 6 hour ride. Watts don't measure LT nor does heart rate, they are both a proxies for a lactate level.


You have hit it exactly.
In spite of all we think we know about training, I think we are only scratching the surface. A racer attuned to his own body "already knows" at an intuitive level what he is capable of in various very complex scenarios.
Could he be fooling himself ? Yes. but a rigorous belief in power zones and power profiles could also create false information.

Just my opinion, because I rarely see he front of the peloton anyway. :oops:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Does it really matter if you accumulate lactate quicker at the end of the ride than at the start? LT will fluctuate during a ride, during a week and during a season. Asking questions about what is happening in terms of physiology is interesting and might yield insight that leads to improvement.....but what really matters is improving the power you can put out. Measuring it is a really helpful step along the way.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:19 pm 
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[quote="petromyzon"]Does it really matter if you accumulate lactate quicker at the end of the ride than at the start?

That is the question I think I am asking. If the most efficient spot to train is near LT, and if power output goes down but the body is still at LT, training by a rigid power zone could mean training above LT. That then opens up a whole new question of does it really matter.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:25 pm 
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Rick "You have hit it exactly.
In spite of all we think we know about training, I think we are only scratching the surface. A racer attuned to his own body "already knows" at an intuitive level what he is capable of in various very complex scenarios.
Could he be fooling himself ? Yes. but a rigorous belief in power zones and power profiles could also create false information. "

On today's ride I brought up the subject with my friend who is easily on of the top five riders in Illinois, and he would agree with the idea of after doing it so long you know what it feels like. He has given up training with power a long time ago.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:10 pm 
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Yes, totally agree with the last several posts. For the pros with dedicated coaches and trainers with the ability to analyze everything up the ying yang, then sure... it's more than likely going to yield a better result than the alternative. But for me at least, well... fun stuff to look at but the real beneficiaries are the companies selling these things to the likes of, uh... I suppose... me. :oops:

And in the end... I love to get out and ride and enjoy seeing the data and sometimes like to really "test myself", be it on a climb, or make believe tt, etc. For me, it's admittedly kind of an expensive toy. Unlike an aspiring or professional cyclist however, I will not let it dictate how I am going to ride my ride. I'm too old for that, but never too old to appreciate a new bike, or toy for my bike. Goeff, I know from reading your posts you have a lot experience with SRM for many years now, and I completely understand that this is not really what powermeters were designed for, however... if there's a general market for them outside of the professional cyclists or racers domain, you can bet that SRM and others will do whatever they can to sell them to that market, racers or not. And clearly, that market appears to exist. Let's just not kid ourselves into thinking that getting a powermeter by itself is going to make us better cyclists. But it can't hurt.

To each his own, I guess. I still want the new Campy SRM. :beerchug: Hey, I've worked hard to get where I am in life. I could never afford this stuff when I was younger, now that I can let me be a kid again. Allez Allez! Like they say... youth is wasted on the young.

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Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:10 pm 


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