How important do you find power data from races?

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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

Because I'm at the point now where I feel my race wheel choice (Ambrosio's laced to a PT) really isn't doing me any favours in races.

Thing is, I'm a little addicted to the race data and seeing if I'm progressing and where I'm lacking, etc.

Would love to have a SRM, but just right now not possible so now need to decide do I start running the Reynolds 44/66 tubs I have as race wheels or persist with the PT wheel so I keep getting data.


Thoughts?

ldamelio
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by ldamelio

Just an opinion, so take it for what it's worth. While power data from a road race may be interesting to review, I don't think that it's a great metric of progress. In any road race, the conditions and effort are often dictated to a large extent by non- physiologic factors ( ie team tactics, the other racers, etc). For road and cross, I just race without data. Time trials are a different matter - They are a pure test of physiology (and aerodynamics, but I'll assume one's position is constant in this context). having defined strategy revolving around power output, sticking to it to the extent possible, and analyzing after are more useful. The circumstance that your PT wheels are somewhat heavy and non- aero would also lead me to leave them off on race day.

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Juanmoretime
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by Juanmoretime

I'm not a big fan of the Powertap and I use a Quarq but only on my tt bike. I prefer race training data to know where I'm at and how I should structure my next hard workout. I also like the average power data so I know where to program my alarms to stay in the zone. The advantage knowing my current average power is my race times have been pretty consistent staying in a 30 second window no matter what the conditions.
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Tapeworm
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by Tapeworm

The point of race data is not about tracking progress

It is about assessing strengths and weaknesses and pin-pointing the actual demands of races and tailoring training from this data.

Some may try to use it to say "wow my NP/AP is now XXX!" (I refer to the 7 Deadly Sins of FTP estimation) but that is just a very, very small part of it.

Hence I would say power data for every race except the most important ones.
"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG

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CoachFergie
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by CoachFergie

Tapeworm I think I love you!

I have created an excel chart for races and enter each race of my riders with a Powermeter. Most who race with one have SRM, P2M, Quarg or (uuurrrggggghhhh) Polar and a few have tried to race on the Powertap training wheel and got smacked so I feel your pain. The race data in terms of relative power, percentages of various durations, distribution of power over a race and quadrant analysis is invaluable in coaching riders on how to race better (why do you hire a coach in the first place!!!) and helping to determine what type of preparation is needed for certain events if they are yearly events.
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devinci
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by devinci

I have a SRM, an I dont race with it on road races. I prefer riding my nice bike for these and really like to have no idea of the actual power ouput, it sometimes can trick my mind during the race.

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CoachFergie
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by CoachFergie

Yes, agree the power meter can be a distraction from reading the race and looking for opportunities. Part of coaching riders to race and train with a power meter is teaching them that there is no magic power number. Most of the time the real value comes from crunching the numbers post race for ongoing learning and adding data to the performance manager to ensure they are not digging a hole with their riding.
Hamish Ferguson
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Geoff
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by Geoff

Of course, the principal use of a PowerMeter is in training, but post-race analysis can be very useful, too. The download of a race file is a very harsh critic of your choices. While your 'memory' may be selective, the file doesn't forget and shows every stupid thing you did all day and everywhere you needlessly burned your matches. Learning to make better tactical choices is a useful role of the PowerMeter, too.

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KH1
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by KH1

+1 Geoff - The power meter is indeed the most honest source of data/strategic info you have to audit your performance during and at the end of a race.
I use mine during the race to try (And I do mean try - red mist is a terrible and uncontrollable thing for me most of the time) to stay within myself so I have enough to be there with a chance at the end.
I used to use the PT TP but found myself in a similar situation to you so migrated to a Quarq.
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Tapeworm
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by Tapeworm

It might be a moot point to raise BUT you don't have to look at the display.

I quite often like to tape it up and ride on feel. Once again, the data afterwards will tell me most clearly if this is a bad idea or not.
"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG

overgeared
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by overgeared

i'm with tapeworm... would favour always using a power meter in races to a) diagnose what when wrong (usually we dont win, which means usually at least something went wrong) and to b) understand the demands of racing as an input to really well specified training. even if it means taping over the screen to avoid the distraction.

not sure if i can image a PT wheel that's so bad from a weight or aesthetics perspective that it could be worse than the fitness uplift that might come from training with the data you're collecting.

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CoachFergie
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by CoachFergie

32h Open 4 CD Wheel with GP 4000S compared to 60mm Carbon Rims with Corsa CX Tubs. Huge difference.
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KWalker
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by KWalker

Sell the PT and get a used wired SRM- shouldn't be over $800 on Ebay or Slowtwitch.

I hide my computer in my pocket during racing, but some of the patterns from my bad races illuminated 'what' was popping me and the QA has been really interesting as well.
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CoachFergie
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by CoachFergie

I am trialling a Power 2 Max and have a Quarg lined up to test next.

The wired SRMs are a great option for those looking to get into racing and training with a power meter.

The PT is useful for testing a wide range of riders because it can be swapped from bike to bike easily.
Hamish Ferguson
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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

PT sold.

Choice is now which system to go for.

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