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Training To Power vs Perceived Effort (poll)

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: How primarily do you use a PM in training?
It is a recording device I use to monitor my training and show progress.
35.71%
Watch it during rides to stay at the pre-determined level.
21.43%
Let it run and do nothing with the data except upload it.
3.57%
None used at all.
39.29%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

Training To Power vs Perceived Effort (poll)

Old 05-04-17, 10:19 AM
  #1  
Doge
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Training To Power vs Perceived Effort (poll)

When power come up there is a distinction (I think) of how power meters are used.
Terms like riding WITH power, training with power etc mean different things. For example when my kid was training to increase power - he used the gym. We measured that by the stack of weights and how he sprinted relative to others. When we hear Peter Sagan was training to increase power - I hear he was likely lifting weights, reducing miles and trying to take on Kittle. Others hear he is using a power meter.

In training, I see a distinction where some do not.

1 Do you use a PM primarily used to record.
If you are one of these you do not need to see the numbers for power when riding other than entertainment. You ride, and look at numbers later. The PM is one of the useful tools to tell you your progress.

2 Is a PM used to tell you how to ride
If you use this method you MUST see what your power is and adjust your training appropriately. You have a plan on how many watts you are going to ride and you go ride those watts.
So for example Allen and Coggan's book chapter 9 - Developing a Power-Based training plan. Do you do such a thing. Maybe not his, but you have a plan to train to power.

And while I know this is not a racing forum, there are riders, pro riders that look at their PMs to determine if they should attack, continue to attack etc. There are others, for example we know Wiggins hour record, where the effort is based on speed/time and perceived effort. We know this as UCI does not allow a PM display on track.

Last edited by Doge; 05-04-17 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 05-04-17, 10:21 AM
  #2  
Seattle Forrest
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For me it's a combination, neither option describes how I ride on its own.
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Old 05-04-17, 10:31 AM
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Doge
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
For me it's a combination, neither option describes how I ride on its own.
Do you have a power training plan where you pre-determine what power you will ride to before you get on the bike?
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Old 05-04-17, 10:32 AM
  #4  
PepeM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
For me it's a combination, neither option describes how I ride on its own.
That will probably apply to everyone, but Doge seems to think some people just say 'I'll do 268.00 watts for 60.00 minutes today' and they do exactly that regardless of anything else. Every single time they train. I don't think anyone does that.

I set myself a target, for example working on VO2max. I know, based on the data, what is my power at VO2max (within a certain margin of error, of course) so I go out and ride to that. And by ride to that, I mean to around that. If I am feeling strong, the numbers will be higher (or the intervals longer) and if I am feeling like crap they will be lower. But they will be within a certain range. If I am extremely far off, then it is just not the day so I'll do something else instead. The PM doesn't tell me how to ride, I tell myself how to ride and the PM just helps me make sure I am doing what I think I am doing.

When racing, I hardly ever bother and/or have time to look at it. Maybe if I end up on my own or in a small group for whatever reason, then I might use it for pacing. But even in that situation RPE and the goal I am trying to achieve will always take precedence over what number the screen shows.
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Old 05-04-17, 10:35 AM
  #5  
asgelle
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Clearly a push poll designed to confirm an existing prejudice (e.g., option 1 and 2 are not mutually exclusive).
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Old 05-04-17, 10:38 AM
  #6  
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Training FTP is one of the least demanding uses for a PM. There are some things you can do with a PM you can't do with a HRM but many people (most?) use their PMs like a HRM. If you use a PM the same way that you use a HRM you shouldn't be surprised if the results you get aren't all that different.
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Old 05-04-17, 10:42 AM
  #7  
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The poll answer structure indicates either an ignorance of how well-trained people use power meters or some kind of "point" that's sought to be made by the erroneous responses.

Not only are the answers not mutually exclusive, they don't include some of the more important functions for which a power meter is used.
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Old 05-04-17, 10:47 AM
  #8  
Seattle Forrest
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Do you have a power training plan where you pre-determine what power you will ride to before you get on the bike?
Yep. This weekend I'm doing a long ride from Entiat to Leavenworth on a combination of paved and dirt roads. Probably take 3 to 4 hours. I'm to do the entire ride at 387 w. If I deviate by more than 2 % my coach will beat me within an inch of my life.

Living in a city makes this really difficult. Sometimes it's a 523 watt day, but the light turns red. You know how it goes.
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Old 05-04-17, 10:54 AM
  #9  
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Why not both?

Same thing with weight training. Better fitness and more strength AND quantification of that strength - or control of the training method - aren't mutually exclusive.

You don't see people lifting with unmarked weight and going by feel alone.

Personally speaking I frankly don't have time or inclination for a full blown scientific training regiment. But I am curious about the numbers. Just as before, without PM, some rides I peak at the speed and some rides I didn't care at all.
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Old 05-04-17, 11:01 AM
  #10  
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I've just been using power meter for the last month, and I have to say that was one of the best upgrade on the bike par none. I ended up purchase an extra pm for my spare bike also.

I have a specific training plan for power meter during the week. Also by riding with power meter especially on long climb, I can pick a number, pace my self and know when to burn my matches. Before power meter, I use HR to dictate my pace and most of the time I tend to get pop when the climb is not over yet. I think by riding with PM, it allows you to not let others dictate the pace, and you can pace yourself so much better.
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Old 05-04-17, 11:10 AM
  #11  
indyfabz
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What does "FTP" stand for?
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Old 05-04-17, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
The poll answer structure indicates either an ignorance of how well-trained people use power meters or some kind of "point" that's sought to be made by the erroneous responses.

Not only are the answers not mutually exclusive, they don't include some of the more important functions for which a power meter is used.
This.
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Old 05-04-17, 11:18 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by asiantrick View Post
I've just been using power meter for the last month, and I have to say that was one of the best upgrade on the bike par none.
A thousand times this.
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Old 05-04-17, 11:19 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
What does "FTP" stand for?
File Transfer Protocol.
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Old 05-04-17, 11:45 AM
  #15  
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I answered watch to stay at pre-determined levels. But will qualify that answer.

For Z2 rides I prefer HR. For me it better accomplishes keeping the easy days easy enough. IMO the key to most training programs and the part most of us screw up. It better reflects how much I need or don't need to back off on that particular day.

For anything else I'm all over the PM. Much easier to settle into a 20 or 30 min Sweet Spot effort and not over cook it.
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Old 05-04-17, 12:13 PM
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(Poll is useless without an "all of the above" option)

Combination / All of the Above. When training, I often set the Kickr/Zwift to erg mode intervals and just turn the pedals. This maximizes benefit for limited time, and lets my mind wander w/o focusing on the power numbers themselves.

When doing this, I am usually monitoring HR and considering PE. If I see HR tracking high, but PE is inline, then I may let the HR run and do the interval hard. If PE seems high, and HR confirms, I may scale back the effort for that workout, or even cancel it, depending on if I think it's lack of recovery or proto-sick.

When riding, I tend to use the PM display under two circumstances: I'll use power if I'm rotating on the front to make sure I'm not making a bigger effort than I can affort. I find PE/HR is terribly lagged for that. Once I feel it, or HR comes up, it's usually too late.

Second, I'll use it on long climbs to judge effort against my sustainable for time effort. Racing is always over sustainable, but it lets me see how much over. Do I need to HTFU? Or do I need to back off this and try to chase back on after the climb? Art not science, but the numbers do help.
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Old 05-04-17, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
What does "FTP" stand for?
Fast training program
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Old 05-04-17, 12:29 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by asiantrick View Post
I've just been using power meter for the last month, and I have to say that was one of the best upgrade on the bike par none. I ended up purchase an extra pm for my spare bike also.

I have a specific training plan for power meter during the week. Also by riding with power meter especially on long climb, I can pick a number, pace my self and know when to burn my matches. Before power meter, I use HR to dictate my pace and most of the time I tend to get pop when the climb is not over yet. I think by riding with PM, it allows you to not let others dictate the pace, and you can pace yourself so much better.
That's great when approaching a given climb for training if for instance, you knew how long it took to get to the climb, how rested or not you were, everything about that climb would be repeatable so you could measure progress. But in the case of a road race or fast group ride, the numbers you were reading on the training rides would mean nothing as you approached the same climb. The numbers in that case would be dependent on how long, how hard you had been riding prior to the start of the climb.
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Old 05-04-17, 12:56 PM
  #19  
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For me, it depends on the workout.

If my goal is to hold a certain wattage, zone or effort for a set time, I look at my PM and make my effort match the numbers I need to hit.

If my goal is to go all out for a certain time - say go as hard as I can for 1 min. or 5 min., I don't look at power, I just go as hard as I can for the allotted time.

When racing, I record my data but do not look at power.
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Old 05-04-17, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by whitemax View Post
But in the case of a road race or fast group ride, the numbers you were reading on the training rides would mean nothing as you approached the same climb. The numbers in that case would be dependent on how long, how hard you had been riding prior to the start of the climb.
Very true! Having a pm and knowing how to use it is a big difference.
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Old 05-04-17, 04:11 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
The poll answer structure indicates either an ignorance of how well-trained people use power meters or some kind of "point" that's sought to be made by the erroneous responses.

Not only are the answers not mutually exclusive, they don't include some of the more important functions for which a power meter is used.
The latter is closer. This is a forum and I am interested in discussion and opinions and experiences of others. And I really get bored doing other things and all the same stuff (which is why I'm flying to Portland to buy a different car). Asking precise questions gets precise concise responses - and the thread is over.

I do know some well-trained people and also how they use/don't use power meters. Those non-forum discussions with these people involve many more real questions by both sides.
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Old 05-04-17, 04:15 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by redfooj View Post
...
You don't see people lifting with unmarked weight and going by feel alone.
...
That is exactly how I have seen some training.
Sure, there is some need to know an approximate amount.
The trainer puts weight on, the cyclists lifts.

After - "dude" you just leg pressed 500 pounds!
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