Time for another webinar! This one is the first of a 3 part series on the use of power meters. The first is an introduction to training with power. It focuses on why you would want a power meter and prescriptive uses. The good news is that this one is a little shorter than the first 2 webinars. The bad news is that the audio cut out for some of the slides and one slide got skipped altogether. I apologize for that, but here are a few additional notes:
- The Cycle-Ops Power Cal is a new "power meter" based on heart rate. I want to clarify my position on this product. For anyone looking for an accurate power meter, it will not be accurate. It does not measure torque, so all it is really doing is measuring heart rate and correlating heart rate to a given power. There are many factors that give this method a large margin of error, so I would not recommend this product for day to day cycling use. However, I think that there are many possible good uses for this product, especially for athletes looking for a power or TSS for every workout. Those using WKO+ Training Manager (I will get into this in the advanced presentation) know that for TM to be accurate you have to have a TSS for everything. This poses a problem for most of us when we ride a fixed gear bike, mountain bike or anything without a power meter. Many of us may use power meter on our road bikes but not our TT bikes and cross bikes. And how about when we have to send the power meters back for calibration or repair? What do we use when it comes to strength workouts, running and cross training, how to we factor those workouts in? We can get a power meter for every bike, use GPS or a running speed sensor to estimate rTSS, and estimate everything else, or we could get a PowerCal for $100 and simplify everything.
- I do not recommend the Polar Pedal based power meter system because when I saw them they seemed very cheap and flimsy. I don't have much confidence that they will hold up over time in bad weather and after crashes. Only time will tell though.
- My definition of "junk miles": Time on the bike that is non specific riding time. It fatigues you, but has limited training value (kind of like time spent standing around). Often, junk miles are rides that are too hard to be a recovery or endurance ride but too easy and non-specific to be any kind of interval training.
- The slide for intervals without a power meter was totally skipped. Basically, when we do intervals without a power meter we do them based on PE, HR and/or pace. HR and PE can be faulty measures of exertion because they have a delayed response and they are greatly affected by heat, hydration and fatigue and they are difficult to compare from person to person. And there are many other things that determine speed/pace unless you are riding in a perfectly controlled environment such as on an indoor trainer or an indoor track.
- The audio got cut off on the example of the rider fading in the endurance ride. I think that it is pretty self explanatory, but it is a clear example of a rider fading. I put this up as an example of something that you may not notice if you didn't have a power meter. It's hard to know what exactly the problem was. The rider might not have eaten enough, they might have overheated, their muscles might have gotten really fatigued, or they might just be a bit out of shape. The important part is that we ask those questions.
Enjoy, and as always, please let me know if you have any questions!