Power meter training

Swap notes about technical issues

Moderators: Philip Whiteman, Andy Terry

Post Reply
User avatar
Fred2637
Posts: 32
Joined: 23 Feb 2008 19:03
Real Name:
Location: Kings Heath

Power meter training

Post by Fred2637 » 19 Dec 2016 17:04

Does any Beacon member train with a power meter?

I got a PowerPod last week calibrated it and did a very short ride today.
All the information I received is just to much to understand and was wondering if anyone would help me understand the info and how to use this to my advantage.

Fred
Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.
Dorothy Sarnoff

laurence_cooley
Posts: 961
Joined: 31 Dec 2011 13:48
Real Name:
Location: Harborne

Post by laurence_cooley » 19 Dec 2016 20:20

I found Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Allen and Coggan (relatively) easy to understand. This might be helpful as a simple summary, too: https://roadcyclinguk.com/how-to/six-th ... power.html. The first thing is probably to do an FTP test so that you can set some training zones based on the result. There are then lots of suggested interval sessions that you can find online, e.g.: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/arti ... the-winter.

Yosser
Posts: 307
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 13:33
Real Name: Dave Hughes

Post by Yosser » 19 Dec 2016 21:09

Agreed, Training and Racing with a Power Meter is the acknowledged leader in book term and has become the de facto for training basis. Coggan devised the scale for training based on what he describes as FUNCTIONAL THRESHOLD POWER, FTP. This is simply the power you can sustain for one hr. That is approx a 25m or 40km TT effort. Easy enough concepts to get your head around after a couple of reads.
I feel a Xmas gift request coming on Fred...

User avatar
Fred2637
Posts: 32
Joined: 23 Feb 2008 19:03
Real Name:
Location: Kings Heath

Post by Fred2637 » 27 Dec 2016 02:13

Thank you Laurence and Dave for replying.
I think I can do the FTP test on my Garmin and will look at the links that you suggest.
Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.
Dorothy Sarnoff

slogfester
Posts: 402
Joined: 10 Oct 2009 13:12
Real Name: Barry Evans
Location: Birmingham

Post by slogfester » 12 Jan 2017 00:42

I've had mine for 3 months now and am still trying to decipher FTP, NP, CP, IF, TSS, W' etc etc
Coggan is the defacto authority, but it gets confusing sometimes as others use slightly different metrics expressed in various ways.
And here is one thing that I learnt quickly from the literature. If you do a 20 min FTP test as a proxy for a 60 min FTP, make sure you do the prescribed warm-ups and efforts before the test to minimise any anaerobic component. Otherwise you can get quite an inflated FTP estimate which is going to lead to a lot of pain when training in Zones!
Belt up, we're going for a ride

Yosser
Posts: 307
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 13:33
Real Name: Dave Hughes

Post by Yosser » 13 Jan 2017 15:17

So easy to get bogged down in all the detail here but the advice from Slogfest is noteworthy. Just taking 0.95 x 20 mins Power and calling this the FTP is the way to inflated figs. (Good for ego / boasting, v bad for longer efforts dependant on declared FTP).
Do it properly la Croggan and you wont go far wrong.

User avatar
jdtate101
Posts: 275
Joined: 02 Oct 2011 21:12
Real Name: James Tate
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Post by jdtate101 » 13 Jan 2017 20:43

Not sure that's true....a proper 20mins FTP test is a thing of pure pain and suffering, and not something to be repeated without a strong constitution. Whilst not truly representative of what you can do for an hour it's a very good indication. The stats i've gained from an FTP match very closely to what I can put out on a turbo for 1hr, of course race conditions are completely different, as sprints, coasting, slipstreaming etc.. all take effect.

laurence_cooley
Posts: 961
Joined: 31 Dec 2011 13:48
Real Name:
Location: Harborne

Post by laurence_cooley » 13 Jan 2017 20:56

jdtate101 wrote:Not sure that's true....a proper 20mins FTP test is a thing of pure pain and suffering, and not something to be repeated without a strong constitution. Whilst not truly representative of what you can do for an hour it's a very good indication. The stats i've gained from an FTP match very closely to what I can put out on a turbo for 1hr, of course race conditions are completely different, as sprints, coasting, slipstreaming etc.. all take effect.
I don't think Barry and Dave are saying that a 20-minute test isn't accurate - just that you need to do it properly (i.e. do the proper warm-up and efforts before the 20 minutes start).

Yosser
Posts: 307
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 13:33
Real Name: Dave Hughes

Post by Yosser » 14 Jan 2017 11:59

Precisely Laurence.

GavPass
Posts: 127
Joined: 11 Apr 2016 11:25
Real Name: Gavin Passmore

Post by GavPass » 15 Feb 2017 09:31

Just eyeing up a power meter at the moment. What are the thoughts on FTP on the road vs turbo? and are there any good spots to do an FTP in south brum way?

Yosser
Posts: 307
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 13:33
Real Name: Dave Hughes

Post by Yosser » 15 Feb 2017 10:57

FTP OUTSIDE v TRAINER

Complex and varied Many people find it harder to get high wattage indoors on trainer. Some people use two different FTP's, one for out and one for Turbo. The following has details.

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/arti ... oor-riding

I did my FTP tests outside last year. I picked a 10 m TT course and used that. Then used club 10’s (Warwicks/Beacon) to keep data up to date. Remember to exhaust the anaerobic content of muscles before the 20min test period. I would finish the TT, ignore the first 5 mins of my 10mTT time and take FTP to be the average P for the last 20 mins, less 5%.
I also found that the figs for an actual race TT were higher than for stand alone test. This depends on your mentality. I THINK I am trying as hard as poss when training/ testing but always seem to be able to go harder in a race.

Indoor trainer? - plenty of advice on line.

Almost everyone uses Coggan & Allen as their FTP guide but plenty of minor variations to be found. (Rubber Glove test not just male test of the prostate!)

Note for the vain. If you want your test figures to look good, do test up a long steady hill and (naturally) post on facebook! If you want them to be accurate and therefore useful, use as flat a course as possible.

laurence_cooley
Posts: 961
Joined: 31 Dec 2011 13:48
Real Name:
Location: Harborne

Post by laurence_cooley » 15 Feb 2017 12:26

There was some discussion of good places outdoors in the Sette Facebook group recently: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SetteDo ... match=ZnRw. A few people mentioned this course as the best locally: https://www.strava.com/segments/1398994?filter=overall. I've been using the turbo though, because it eliminates lots of variables that make holding a constant power difficult (wind, traffic, slight changes in terrain).

In general, when I try to do longish intervals at or around threshold on the road, I find that my average power for the interval is usually a bit below the target (usually due to a car pulling out, or a slightly downhill section where it's hard to maintain the power), whereas on the turbo I can get them spot on.

Yosser
Posts: 307
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 13:33
Real Name: Dave Hughes

Post by Yosser » 17 Feb 2017 10:06

laurence_cooley wrote: In general, when I try to do longish intervals at or around threshold on the road, I find that my average power for the interval is usually a bit below the target (usually due to a car pulling out, or a slightly downhill section where it's hard to maintain the power), whereas on the turbo I can get them spot on.
We have all been there when using PM. How may times when you are doing an interval, JUST on target and blowing out of every orifice and then just breaking for a corner drops you down several Watts! However I STILL prefer the road but I do make myself do the indoor trainer.

laurence_cooley
Posts: 961
Joined: 31 Dec 2011 13:48
Real Name:
Location: Harborne

Post by laurence_cooley » 18 Feb 2017 17:50

I was thinking about why my intervals on the road often come in under the target when I was sat on the turbo on Thursday, and I think the issue is when the target is a single value (e.g. 280w) rather than a range. I'll start out riding as close to 280 as I can, then something will cause me to ease off and the average drops to, say, 270. Then I have a choice of either riding the rest of the interval at 280 and the average being below that, or bringing the average back up to 280 by riding above the target. Translated to an FTP test setting, that could mean riding the majority of the 20 minutes at a steady power output, but having an average that is a fair bit lower just because of some outside intervention.

Yosser
Posts: 307
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 13:33
Real Name: Dave Hughes

Post by Yosser » 06 Mar 2017 22:38

All this research and technical talk from Dave means that he never has to leave his " man room", make the tea, do the garden or clean the house. Is there a section in his power meter books that gives him some advice on these things?
Anne

slogfester
Posts: 402
Joined: 10 Oct 2009 13:12
Real Name: Barry Evans
Location: Birmingham

Post by slogfester » 07 Mar 2017 07:15

Gavin, you read my mind! Was wondering where to do a on-road FTP test in the Brum area this summer. My figs are from Australia, where we ride upside down which kills your performance :D
Laurence, if that course is the best there is, no wonder its hard to keep it up! All those ups and downs are no good for steady effort. Thats why DownHere I used this segment:

https://www.strava.com/segments/831925

nice steady 6% where you can flog yourself senseless AND 'enjoy' the sound of sub-tropical birds going tweet tweet at dawn. Ideally you should have a road at c. 3%, but it would need to be very long. I did try on a flat track but couldnt get full power and was bored senseless after 10 mins. I'm not even going to try on a turbo. Would rather have my teeth pulled!

Agreed, Dave. Racing is where the real FTP action is. But I can't find a grade low enough here to compete!

I might try a repeat FTP test next week as its months since I did my first when I got 271 W. Strava currently thinks it should be 302 W. Eek :shock: My excuse for not repeating is illness and that it has been so friggin hot all summer, even at 0500 dawn that I fear I'd cook
Belt up, we're going for a ride

Yosser
Posts: 307
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 13:33
Real Name: Dave Hughes

Post by Yosser » 08 Mar 2017 10:18

I might try a repeat FTP test next week as its months since I did my first when I got 271 W. Strava currently thinks it should be 302 W. Eek :shock: My excuse for not repeating is illness and that it has been so friggin hot all summer, even at 0500 dawn that I fear I'd cook

Good grief, those figures are high. Remind me Not to go for a "little gentle ride" with you Baz, next time you are over. My figs just pushing towards 235!
The racing I use for FTP evaluation are 10 mile TT's so no need to worry about which cat you are.

slogfester
Posts: 402
Joined: 10 Oct 2009 13:12
Real Name: Barry Evans
Location: Birmingham

Re:

Post by slogfester » 03 Oct 2017 18:44

slogfester wrote:
07 Mar 2017 07:15

nice steady 6% where you can flog yourself senseless AND 'enjoy' the sound of sub-tropical birds going tweet tweet at dawn. Ideally you should have a road at c. 3%, but it would need to be very long. I did try on a flat track but couldnt get full power and was bored senseless after 10 mins. I'm not even going to try on a turbo. Would rather have my teeth pulled!
Just re-visiting this post because I had my teeth pulled! My next door neighbour now works for Wattbike, so I had access to one in the garage. Did Coggan's prescribed (ish) warmup on-road and then jumped straight on the wattbike. The good news is that the figs were as expected and pretty much agreed with my 4iiii dual-sided PM, except my L:R balance which averages c. 47:53 on-road, but which wattbike measured at close to 50:50. The bad news is that it was worse than getting my teeth pulled :shock:
I'll hopefully repeat in the sub-tropical forest with exotic birds tweeting soon 8)
Belt up, we're going for a ride

laurence_cooley
Posts: 961
Joined: 31 Dec 2011 13:48
Real Name:
Location: Harborne

Re: Power meter training

Post by laurence_cooley » 04 Oct 2017 10:13

Apparently Wattbikes don't actually measure left and right power separately - they estimate L-R balance based on power applied when the left or right crank is forward of the bottom bracket (the same as a power2max does), so if your 4iiii has sensors on both cranks, then it is probably a better reflection of your actual L-R balance. See http://alex-cycle.blogspot.co.uk/2013/1 ... lance.html.

GavPass
Posts: 127
Joined: 11 Apr 2016 11:25
Real Name: Gavin Passmore

Re: Power meter training

Post by GavPass » 06 Oct 2017 11:58

Interesting read Laurence. I do find that at our level the left/right balance becomes an insignificant measure as most people will own one power meter and will be training based on the output from that over a season and will be able to track changes as they go. Most people will also not make any changes that will support a closer reading, so the often larger expense of a L/R measurement becomes harder to justify.

I'm currently looking at what PM I'll get next year, and at the moment a single sided pedal like the Vector 3 trumps a more expensive L/R crank or more expensive pedal system as I'm likely to gain better data from being able to record more often on more than one bike.

Be interesting to see if anyone actually uses the L/R info they recieve and act upon it? and if anyone has any issues when swapping between more than one system.

laurence_cooley
Posts: 961
Joined: 31 Dec 2011 13:48
Real Name:
Location: Harborne

Re: Power meter training

Post by laurence_cooley » 06 Oct 2017 16:39

In all the reading I've done, the consensus seems to be that L/R balance isn't a particularly helpful metric unless you have a specific issue that you've trying to address (which I think was Barry's case when he bought a PM). It also seems that L/R balance can vary a fair bit between and within rides, so I would prioritise something that measures total power, regardless of whether it can accurately split that into left and right, over a left-only PM such as Stages. Maybe that doesn't matter much at our level either, but it's not like the price differences between left-only and total power options are huge these days, e.g. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/08/pow ... eview.html (although harder to swap between bikes, admittedly).

Yosser
Posts: 307
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 13:33
Real Name: Dave Hughes

Re: Power meter training

Post by Yosser » 08 Oct 2017 23:50

Power meter training.
Gavin; I use Pedals for reading power. I like to be able to swop easily between bikes to make the most of my power meter. I put them on everything including my track bike. They also go on holiday with me. Bung in plastic bag and away they go. I use Powertap P1. Brilliant for multi-bike use and so easy to use. If I were buying now I might go for the Garmin V3, (Not V1 or V2) due to lower weight and more importantly, less depth. (P1's dodgy on steep banked tracks and grounded several times in crits).

Just to pick up on two of the points raised.

Barry, the racing I use to judge my FTP has to be 10 mile TT’s so the ‘suitable ability’ you mention is not an issue. (You’d be fine anyway). These are the actual figures I worked upon for the early part of this season.

May 2nd - Warwicks eve 10. (25:16 time.)

1st Minute
Duration 01:00
Distance 0.444 miles
Max Power 483 watts
Average Power 333 watts
NP 305 watts

1st 5 mins of race
Duration 05:11
Distance 2.261 miles
Max Power 483 watts
Average Power 277 watts
NP 278 watts

Final 20 min (Used for FTP calc)
Duration 20:02
Distance 7.682 miles
Max Power 434 watts
Average Power 229 watts
NP 239 watts

Notice that despite my best efforts to start gently, there is a massive difference in Power figs as the race goes on. The high start power is adrenaline combined with using large portions of your Anaerobic capacity. That’s why Coggan makes you do some hard pre-FTP test work. By including the first few mins of the race, I would have greatly inflated my FTP leading to a whole world of failure when attempting to do subsequent power based intervals.
The above figs gave me; 0.95 x 239 = 227W FTP. Massively down on last year. (I have been working for track based power rather than TT power this year. This also probably explains the 333 Av P for 1st min when supposidly trying to NOT go hard).

Re Balance LR. I use these figs for interest only. There is little evidence that it is of much use although Coggan has some interesting ideas on the subject. He has more info, provided you are a subscriber to Training Peaks. Re leg imbalance; I regularly get 45L:55R figs, (although less often with my new set of P1 pedals), and the figs are almost 50:50 when putting out higher power in intervals. Make of that what you will

xavierdisley
Posts: 20
Joined: 07 Oct 2015 13:27
Real Name:
Location: Bromsgrove

Re: Power meter training

Post by xavierdisley » 25 Oct 2017 06:04

Don't worry about L/R balance too much, both because a few systems don't actually measure it accurately enough and also because unless you're subject to injury or as part of a rehab program there will always be natural imbalance that an artificial attempt to rectify could cause injury later on.

Depending on how many bikes you've got something like a Powertap rear wheel might be an idea (ex rental from Cyclepowermeters is only £225), coupled with a nicer system for the race bike. Personally I use a mixture of crank based and hub based (and some weird cleat based!) PMs.

GavPass
Posts: 127
Joined: 11 Apr 2016 11:25
Real Name: Gavin Passmore

Re: Power meter training

Post by GavPass » 25 Oct 2017 10:40

Think I'm going to start saving my pennies for the pedals.... thanks for the comments all.

I use a Powertap wheel at the moment, but has proven a little tricky when swapping between 3 bikes and a 32 hole open pro isn't the sexiest bit of race kit. It's now on my winter bike, possibly for good. Like the idea of getting some data off the track to see how it compares to power on the road etc.

Yosser
Posts: 307
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 13:33
Real Name: Dave Hughes

Re: Power meter training

Post by Yosser » 25 Oct 2017 18:53

Gavin the most popular reviewer of this sort of kit is DC Rainmaker. He has an excellent reputation for accurate and unbiased opinions of most tech kit around. This is his review of the latest Garmin pedals.

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/08/han ... meter.html#

If I had a criticism of the Powertap P1's it is their reliability. I am on my second pair as the first had bearings go. These new ones have some issues just this week re not activating and then eating batteries and may have to go back. However the company are excellent in after care and with over a year of heavy use (and grounding of the pedals several times in crits) they replaced the "worn bearing pair" with these brand new ones.

The new Garmin V3's are just being ready to ship out so it may be sensible to hold on to see what the early reviews are.

Post Reply