JimV, thank you for the excellent links. I am learning more and more every day and Weightweenies is an excellent resource of fast and knowledgeable people
My real question though is how would a PM on the MTB help compared to training using the Virtual Power feature of Trainerroad indoors? Vincent mentions a valid point of specificity of fit and position completing intervals outside but I would probably tend to do most interval stuff indoors where variables are easy to control and the convenience of not getting soaked in the beautiful UK weather for a least a few days a week is high
I am absolutely sold on training by power but can not visualise how the use of a PM outdoors on the MTB would be. Basically, what would I be gaining with a PM that I can't already do using training indoors with Trainerroad's Virtual Power?
for me, my PM is useful for several things, some of which you noted:
- analyzing the race demands
What can you understand that elevation and HR data doesn't tell you? A Garmin for example will tell you how long and demanding a climb is (HR, so long as HR has time to adjust) for example and I guess you know at the time of the race where you are strong compared to the other guys and where you might be lacking slightly. Is it from the point of view of showing the numbers you hit for various durations to better inform interval training?
- would be useful for longer events pacing (im not doing such events though)
- getting to know the actual energy expenditure of long trail rides is useful for post-workout nutrition
How do people tend to do this? Is it literally a case of looking at energy expended in kj per hour? Also links in to...
I do not really work with NP, etc. Sure average power is pretty useless for MTB riding and racing
So that kinds of throws out monitoring IF lap to lap as Cycleops suggests in the link above and also makes monitoring training load over weeks and months tricky I guess. To be honest I don't really pay too much attention to this anyway in Trainerroad with virtual power so I'm not sure if people use this aspect of a PM for MTB outdoors too?
Thank you ever so much for all of the help and comments. I am trying to visualise just how useful a PM would be for the longer races I'm currently doing (and future XCO) and if it adds anything significant I can't already glean from using Virtual Power in Trainerroad and understanding outdoor rides from the usual Garmin data...