Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Using A Power Meter: Power Curve.

In my effort to combat the effects of arthritis I had managed to overcome the knee pain hurdle by slowly increasing my cycling distance and intensity. I also had a cortisone injection !

Having made some good gains cycling outdoors I could see myself losing this initial fitness during the winter so bought a turbo trainer and joined Trainer Road. Full details of this are HERE.

The decision to buy a power meter was made easier with the introduction of the Stages Power Meter, why ? Price. I did consider the Powertap G3 hub, but the hassle of having to get it built into my wheel put me off, it would have meant a week of missed training with me driving to our NOT LOCAL bike shop.

So now I've used power for training, what next.

The other thing Trainer Road does with my data is that it builds up a power curve. It uses the power I am able to produce over given time periods.

It builds a graph with this data. All the above data has been gathered during my training sessions which have been Sweetspot Intermediate Base 1. I won't show you the program, you'll have to join Trainer Road.

I also use Strava, and the premium version will also build a power curve for you. I upload my Trainer Road workouts to Strava but I can also include my outdoor rides.

Today I went out and did a 30 second all out sprint, and then a 5 minute paced effort, they were both on uphill Strava segments.


You can see three of my attempts on this segment. Position 3 and 2 were last year when I had started building my strength outdoors. In October I beat my September result by pushing the lap button and trying to beat my previous speed.
I achieved my fastest time yesterday by pushing the lap button and simply looking at the Watts I was producing. Time and speed were not an issue, I knew it would be 5 or so minutes and what wattage I hoped to produce.

Overall on the segment this gave me a pretty good result.

I did well, segment wise and I also gleaned valuable power information. I actually paced the 5 minute effort, based on recent efforts so that I didn't blow up halfway into the 5 minutes.

I now know that I should be able to maintain 267 watts over 5 minutes.

The Strava curve also gives you Watts/Kg.

Now for comparison. My 4 w/Kg would make me CAT4. The pro riders are pushing out 6-7 w/Kg !

So to stand a chance I would have to increase my 5 minute power from 267 watts to 462 watts !!

After my training is done I'm going to be doing an FTP test, more about that later.

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