Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Preliminary Power Conclusions

After training for 2 weeks with the power meter, I have reached some preliminary conclusions.

1. It is a much better number to focus on than HR. In all of my workouts, my HR has remained roughly consistent during the workout, but my power output has varied. This leads me to believe that before using power, I wasn't working hard enough during my workouts.

2. All numbers must be viewed with the proper perspective. I owe Lou at the Pony Shop for this one. I was a little bummed by my first test with the power meter.: Lou correctly pointed out 2 things: first, it was my first test with the power meter and second, it's not the actual number that matter as much as one's power to weight ratio.

It seems like most cyclists do not disclose their #s to each other. I'm not sure why, but I view this blog as way to pass on anything I have learned. If I learn something that makes me faster, then others might also get faster, no? So, here's full disclosure.

I only held 235 watts for the 20 minute test. While my HR was pegged at 170 for the whole 20 minutes, the power output was all over the place. Every pedal stroke seemed to produce a different number. In fact, my coach has suggested that for the LT threshold intervals I have to do each week, I use the average power as my readout to try to smooth out my output.

My P/W (using kilos) from that test is 3.27. The magic PRO number is said to be 7!

I currently weigh 158 (5 pds. less than last year), or 71.82kg. I normally lose 8 pds. between March and August. Even if my output stayed the same for the rest of the year, by merely shedding the pounds my P/W goes up to 3.45.

The great thing is, my output will not stay the same, it will go up.


chiefhiawatha said...

You'll do a better number next time just because you have a number to shoot for. You get better at testing by doing more testing. You'll be 10w higher I bet next time around.

Chris said...

Not only that, but this early in the season you're limited by how much "burn" your body can handle -- that is, you haven't done that many hard-enough efforts so you can't handle the 20 minutes as well -- mentally and physcially -- as you will later in the season.

I find sharing numbers to be a double-edged sword -- it may be constructive for others, but I feel like it seems like bragging and/or you get the doubters who talk about you behind your back ("no way can he do that"). To me, training is a very private thing, and the only number that counts is your place on race day ...

Matt said...

I've never taken the 20-min test. I usually use a modified conconi test to determine critical power and my hr. zones. I've got a spreadhseet for that if you ever want it.

Richard said...

SOme of us do post our power numbers - you can read mine here