Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power meter

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Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power meter

Postby boss » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:01 pm

Hi everyone,

I have recently got a Stages power meter - had it for around a week now. I gotta say, the whole riding with power thing, it's eye opening.

I am hoping to track my progress, but spend a bit of time each week on a bike that doesn't have power. Got my fast bike, and my cx/all weather bike.

Essentially the rides on the cross bike are pretty slow, low intensity, recovery-style rides. 20km each way, 150m elevation one way, 350m elevation the other way.

So these rides aren't intense and won't be racking up massive training load points... we're talking maybe 70-80 a day as long as I'm disciplined and ride easy.

How is this going to affect my fitness/form/fatigue charts?

Thanks all.
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by BNA » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:42 pm

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Re: Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power m

Postby vander » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:42 pm

70-80 a day are pretty big points and therefore will affect your performance management a lot. My advice would probably be to ride the course for a week or so with the powermeter, get some numbers for your average commute and then use those as estimates for your future commutes.
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Re: Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power m

Postby march83 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:34 pm

as vander said, do the commute on your power-equipped bike a few times to get a good estimate and use that. It's not ideal, but it will be very close - i have about 2 years worth of commutes and they are all 170TSS +/- 20TSS so that's like ~+/-10% of variance. over time it won't be so critical, so once you have a decent estimate you can just plug that in for TSS/BikeScore (depending on your software of choice) to keep your performance manager ticking over correctly.

alternatively, cheap powertaps and srms pop up from time to time, if you can handle having a new wheel or crankset and an addition power device.

i can't stand to ride without power these days, so even the track bike has an SRM now...
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Re: Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power m

Postby boss » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:38 pm

Turns out its 50-60 a day. I had underestimated my FTP. Still unsure about it, used a best guess based 8, 15 and 30 minute hard efforts that I've done so far.

Is that still big points though? Strava seemed to indicate that you can recover from under 125-ish within 24 hours.

Is that your interpretation of load or is Strava using a different scale?

About 24 hours – 125 and lower
36-48 hours – 125-250
At least 3 days – 250-400
At least 5 days – 400+


Cheers mate
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Re: Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power m

Postby boss » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:17 pm

march83 wrote:as vander said, do the commute on your power-equipped bike a few times to get a good estimate and use that. It's not ideal, but it will be very close - i have about 2 years worth of commutes and they are all 170TSS +/- 20TSS so that's like ~+/-10% of variance. over time it won't be so critical, so once you have a decent estimate you can just plug that in for TSS/BikeScore (depending on your software of choice) to keep your performance manager ticking over correctly.

alternatively, cheap powertaps and srms pop up from time to time, if you can handle having a new wheel or crankset and an addition power device.

i can't stand to ride without power these days, so even the track bike has an SRM now...


I am already addicted to power so can understand what you're saying. It has changed my mentality towards riding quite dramatically - no longer am I concerned with speed, wind, gradient... all that seems to matter is maintaining the goal wattage I'm after (whether it be hard or easy).

I find power particularly useful on easy rides... makes it easier to ride slow when you're not looking at depressingly slow speed numbers when riding up a hill.

I doubt I'll find a PT for the cross bike second hand, the thing has disc brakes.

I could just get another Stages as we're only talking Rival spec crankarm, but it will be at least a few months before I can shell out for that sort of expenditure.
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Re: Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power m

Postby skull » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:38 pm

What analysis software uou using. I was using wko+ which is nice and easy. However recently went mac. So jumped on to golden cheetah.

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Re: Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power m

Postby pagey » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:48 pm

You can always measure your commute rides using hrTSS measured from a heart rare monitor. It is reasonably close for long low effort rides
cheers
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Re: Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power m

Postby Abby » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:14 pm

Couldn't you just swap the Stages crank arm over between bikes? Would take less than 2 minutes...?? I thought that was one of the big advantages of the Stages - so easy to swap between bikes.......
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Re: Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power m

Postby boss » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:16 pm

I am currently just using Strava but fast discovering the limitations of it, perhaps a little too simple. Maybe it won't be too simple in the long run, but for now I'm kinda keen to nerd out on it all.

So will check out Golden Cheetah. Training Peaks looks interesting but at $20 a month it's probably just a little steep.

hrTSS sounds interesting. Especially given the efforts that I do on my commute bike are super stable, no real exertion. Seems like the way to go, at least in the short term.

Abby wrote:Couldn't you just swap the Stages crank arm over between bikes? Would take less than 2 minutes...?? I thought that was one of the big advantages of the Stages - so easy to swap between bikes.......


I could if the two bikes had the same chainset manufacturer and crankarm length. But they don't, so I can't.

Even if they had the same chainset, I don't think I'd be keen to swap the crankarm every day.

I know it's easier than swapping a set of pedals but still, CBF. Completely ignoring the issues with pulling apart and putting back together stuff repeatedly that is designed to be installed a dozen times in its life... cost out 2 minutes x 300 days a year and I've pretty much paid another Stages off.
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Re: Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power m

Postby Crawf » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:45 pm

Wondered the same thing when I started using power, the info I got was to gather some commuting data with power and use the average values.

Also, I wonder how accurate HRtss is and is it a good accurate/substitute when you dont have power data?
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Re: Training with power when commuter doesn't have a power m

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:53 pm

Crawf wrote:Also, I wonder how accurate HRtss is and is it a good accurate/substitute when you dont have power data?

It depends.

Really though, if you are not going to measure power then an estimate of TSS using previous similar rides, or an IF value based on your knowledge of how hard your other rides are with the power meter and then use duration to estimate a TSS number will probably be just as good.

TSS = IF^2 x hours x 100

e.g. an IF of ~0.7 means ~50 TSS per hour

0.65 ~= 42/hr
0.70 ~= 50/hr
0.75 ~= 55/hour
0.80 ~= 65/hr
0.85 ~= 72/hr
0.90 ~= 80/hr
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