Training without a power meter

eeksll
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Training without a power meter

Postby eeksll » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:09 pm

g-boaf wrote:
eeksll wrote:...
The reason I am interested is, I am currently doing some long intervals on a turbo trainer 3/4 x 10min, 2x15min , 2x20min and although I am holding the same "virtual power" or same cadence on same gear for all the intervals. I feel like the first 5 mins is harder than the last 5 mins of each interval (something like that anyway).


....

Now, on your observation that the first 5 minutes is harder than the last 5 minutes, that tells me that you've not warmed up properly. What sort of warm up are you doing?

If you wanted, try something like this:

Warm up: 50-85% over 8 minutes
Easy: 40% over 4 minutes
Active: 85% over 30 minutes (cadence 80-85rpm)
Easy: 40% over 8 minutes
Active: 85% over 30 minutes (cadence 80-85rpm)
Warm down: 40% over 8 minutes

That's a pretty good workout, you'd do maybe two of them a week. They don't feel super difficult at first, but near the end you'll start to notice it. Do a three or four weeks of those and see how it goes.


this is a off shoot of this thread.

Warm up is 10 - 15min. I don't think its warm up issues as it happens in the second interval as well. I should clarify its not "easy" but I expected it to get harder.

I haven't done any FTP tests yet as I am still trying to sort out some technical issues with trainer/app and I am also doubting the trainer is consistent across the entire interval.

What should a 2x20min interval session feel like? the following is my data for a training session I did today. I sort of expect the interval to get harder but the HR graph is pretty much how it felt long and consistent. I am not sure my legs have the strength to go up to the next gear and maintain it ...

How to know when to increase ? just try it and if I blow up, go back down?

160bpm is pretty low for me, i can easily maintain 170-175 for running over an hour if not higher. I don't really have much cycling data of this sort as up until recently riding has just been about riding, not training.

note: the power comes from a virtual power calculation from Elite app, not a real powermeter.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby Derny Driver » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:25 pm

Yeah ... I cant help with any of this. Trying to simulate power workouts without a powermeter.
If I was training for a race or event and didnt have a powermeter or a coach, I would sort out a program involving gradually increasing distance and intensity, with a short taper. I would use a turbo trainer only if it was raining. Never in all my life could I imagine doing an hour an a half on any stationary bike. I could manage 40 minutes at the very most and thats double what an Olympian told me was the maximum he ever did on a trainer.
What event are you training for?

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:06 pm

I've never trained with a power metre but I do analyze my Strava segments = how long I can hold a speed for at what BBM and cadence. :idea: I know my threshold but can hold above it for extended periods before dying in the arse. :lol:

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby trailgumby » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:46 pm

My HR numbers and power outputs are always lower on the trainer, despite the purchase of an industrial fan early this year that will blow anything loose in the garage into next week. It has improved matters but has still not got me all the way there yet.

Sufferfest videos are the only thing that will keep me on the trainer - I have successfully done 2hr sessions (with a couple of short breaks to re-tighten the clamp). Otherwise, half an hour is my maximum before the suffering does my head in. :lol:

Not sure why it is. Perhaps it's because I coast less so the "on" efforts are less recovered. More likely it's all in my head: no cars trying to kill me to provide a distraction from the suffering.

Before getting a PM I trained quite successfully with HR. Intervals were set at a % of LTHR, and were never shorter than 5 minutes, which were less affected by heart rate lag.

My recommendation is if you are going to train with HR, use a HR based program. You won't be able to use a power based program to best effect unless you have a power meter. HR moves around way too much to be a useful substitute.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby g-boaf » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:56 pm

foo on patrol wrote:I've never trained with a power metre but I do analyze my Strava segments = how long I can hold a speed for at what BBM and cadence. :idea: I know my threshold but can hold above it for extended periods before dying in the arse. :lol:

Foo


But how do you factor in weather events? We all know Strava is about waiting for favourable weather conditions, riding slowly to the start of the segment and then gunning it, right? ;)

Unless your segment is a 10km or more climb. Then it really matters. But those are all held by people with names like Nibali, etc. Us mere mortals don't have a chance against them. :oops: Riding those sorts of long climbs is probably some of the best training you can do as well.

I'm doing just what Trailgumby used to do - using only HR. I'm not even doing any training, just doing local rides of 80km or so. I'm riding pretty quickly.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby tcdev » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:28 pm

Disclaimer: complete novice here but no-one else seems to have addressed one particular question.

What should 2x20 @FTP feel like? It should hurt, basically. It's not called the "infamous 2x20" for nothing. IIUC conventional wisdom says you should (can't) do more than two of these sessions per week.

Again, novice here, but I've attempted 2x15 @FTP and after the 1st interval, I wasn't sure I could complete the 2nd. But I did manage it - just. Not looking forward to attempting that again. ;)
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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby eeksll » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:38 am

Derny Driver wrote:What event are you training for?


short answer ... nothing specific, at least not yet. I like this sort of training against the numbers :shock:

For the time being I am training to get faster and fitter than I currently am. So aiming to increase that FTP number and I'll see where that takes me.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby g-boaf » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:31 am

tcdev wrote:Disclaimer: complete novice here but no-one else seems to have addressed one particular question.

What should 2x20 @FTP feel like? It should hurt, basically. It's not called the "infamous 2x20" for nothing. IIUC conventional wisdom says you should (can't) do more than two of these sessions per week.

Again, novice here, but I've attempted 2x15 @FTP and after the 1st interval, I wasn't sure I could complete the 2nd. But I did manage it - just. Not looking forward to attempting that again. ;)


2x20 at 100% will feel very hard.

You could also do things like 5x5 at 110%, even a 3x10 at 110%. Those are both extremely hard. You might manage just half of the 3x10...

Better to do workouts you can manage. You have to complete them at least.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:20 am

An old graphic of mine - this shows HR response from 2x20-min efforts at threshold power level and 7 x 4-min API efforts at a power to elicit VO2max. Note that VO2max can be elicited over a large range of power, so saying "VO2max power" is a little bit unhelpful.

Image

The main thing to note is the cardiac drift (gradual rise in HR) that occurs when riding at near or above threshold levels and also the lag time of HR response to commencing an effort. Indeed in the above, the effort commences pretty much as soon as the HR chart looks to be rising from it's base level yet doesn't reach "threshold HR" for at least 2-min in the first effort and a little more quickly in the second.

If doing these sorts of efforts without a power meter and you see HR reaching "threshold HR" level quickly, it means you have gone way too hard too quickly.

With the shorter harder efforts, see how little time is actually spent with HR at the level as defined by HR. Yet the power demand was quite high.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:51 am

Training well without a power meter is most certainly possible to do, the fundamental principles of training don't change just because someone does or does not use a power meter.

Not using one does mean there is a little more uncertainty in some aspects of managing training loads and tracking changes in performance but they are not insurmountable by any means. Of course there are various things one can do with power data that are much more difficult or expensive or time consuming or less precise to do without but again, the fundamentals don't change.

As far as on the bike monitoring of intensity (just one application of data), there is no strong evidence to suggest that intervals managed with power are necessarily more effective than when done via other means of managing exertion level. You might learn more quickly to execute them better but that's just an experience thing.

One can use HR for general aerobic riding and interval efforts up to threshold power, provided you understand the nature of HR response (cardiac drift and the lag in response to changes in effort), or simply use perceived exertion.

Harder efforts beyond threshold level, such as VO2max stuff, are out of scope for HR and are a little trickier but no more or less than learning how to pace a pursuit effort well. As long as you get enough time at the right level, that's all that really matters.

Beyond VO2max then the efforts are just hard and HR / RPE really doesn't come into it and looking at a power meter doesn't either. Just go hard for the (short) time you are meant to and recovery appropriately before the next blast.

Managing intensity of effort while riding is something I call a "low-fi" application in that it's not something you need a precision instrument for in order to perform effectively*. IOW one can reasonably perform all relevant efforts without a power meter. What is difficult without power measurement is monitoring the trend in capabilities.

One thing that experienced power meter users develop is a fine tuning of their sense of perceived exertion.

It reminds me of a "Pithy Power Proverb" by Charles Howe:
Power calibrates PE, PE modulates power.


* there are some that are using clever data analysis techniques to monitor in real time things like anaerobic work capacity and they are interesting and a bit of motivating fun but the reality is there is no evidence to suggest this is providing a better training stimulus than without.

Where such methodologies come into their own is when seeking to optimise very specific use of such capacities, e.g. analysis of team pursuit, length of turns on the front, rider order etc. This is more of a "high fi" application for which power data is perfect (but requires the right approach - I'm not convinced some of the methods being promoted are really as physiologically valid as people make them out to be).

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby eeksll » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:40 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:...

Image

link doesn't work.

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:If doing these sorts of efforts without a power meter and you see HR reaching "threshold HR" level quickly, it means you have gone way too hard too quickly.


so that means i am going too hard? Which makes the session not very hard :P

the average of each of the 2, 20 min virtual power figures are 259 and 256.

so if I take that average as my FTP, then I can aim at a virtual power figure of 271 on a 20 minute test (or if I try the 2x8 minute at 286). Ill give that a go tomorrow but assumes the virtual power graph on the app is accurate etc.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:07 am

eeksll wrote:link doesn't work.

What link?
There is an image I posted that appears on my screen OK.

eeksll wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:If doing these sorts of efforts without a power meter and you see HR reaching "threshold HR" level quickly, it means you have gone way too hard too quickly.


so that means i am going too hard? Which makes the session not very hard :P

Well if HR rises fast and is held steady thereafter, it's most likely the power output was very high to begin with and then power output will be declining as HR is held steady (it's sort of the corollary scenario of cardiac drift).

Now whether that means the training stimulus is not as good as a better paced effort is somewhat debatable. It would be if the pacing was particularly awful or at least it might not be providing as good a stimulus to the energy systems you are most interested in improving.

As to rating of perceived exertion, such an effort will still feel hard, if anything the PE will be more consistent than a well paced effort where the PE in the opening minutes feels ridiculously easy, then gradually gets more difficult as the interval progresses and rises to a plateau which you then maintain.

But aside from the training stimulus, also think of it in terms of learning how to pace well for say a TT. Such an effort would be slower than a well paced one (that's just physics). It's the #1 mistake made in time trials - starting too hard and holding the high power for too long.

eeksll wrote:the average of each of the 2, 20 min virtual power figures are 259 and 256.

so if I take that average as my FTP, then I can aim at a virtual power figure of 271 on a 20 minute test (or if I try the 2x8 minute at 286). Ill give that a go tomorrow but assumes the virtual power graph on the app is accurate etc.

Well a couple of issues:
i. not everyone experiences the same ratio of a short range power capability to FTP. The shorter the duration, the greater the individual variance in the ratio of that mean maximal power to FTP.

ii. it will also depend on the reliability and repeatability of your virtual power measurement at different power levels and under different conditions.

I think if I was using wheel speed on a trainer as a guide or as an input to a virtual power calculation, I'd consider the numbers to be of low resolution and to treat them as a way to be around about the right level of effort (which is what matters most) and rely on PE to self adjust after a few minutes rather than as an indicator of small changes in power from session to session (or even effort to effort).

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby g-boaf » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:25 am

eeksll wrote:the average of each of the 2, 20 min virtual power figures are 259 and 256.

so if I take that average as my FTP, then I can aim at a virtual power figure of 271 on a 20 minute test (or if I try the 2x8 minute at 286). Ill give that a go tomorrow but assumes the virtual power graph on the app is accurate etc.


Don't aim for any particular power figures. That is aiming for failure.

Just go by feel. Don't go out too hard to start with, or you'll be in trouble for the last 5 minutes of the test. And make sure you rest properly ahead of the test. You might be surprised what you can do.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby eeksll » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:30 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Well if HR rises fast and is held steady thereafter, it's most likely the power output was very high to begin with and then power output will be declining as HR is held steady (it's sort of the corollary scenario of cardiac drift).


So I was staying in 1 gear and aiming for a cadence of just below 90. Not really any point in looking at the power figures they fluctuate a bit too much to use as a pacing tool in this scenario.

Given that and your comment above, can I then assume that means the trainer resistance levels dropped over the session?

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I think if I was using wheel speed on a trainer as a guide or as an input to a virtual power calculation, I'd consider the numbers to be of low resolution and to treat them as a way to be around about the right level of effort (which is what matters most) and rely on PE to self adjust after a few minutes rather than as an indicator of small changes in power from session to session (or even effort to effort).


Ignoring the power bit, if the goal is to ride a consistent effort level across the interval, wouldn't using the wheel speed on a trainer be an ideal value to maintain a consistent effort level.

g-boaf wrote:Don't aim for any particular power figures. That is aiming for failure.

Just go by feel. Don't go out too hard to start with, or you'll be in trouble for the last 5 minutes of the test. And make sure you rest properly ahead of the test. You might be surprised what you can do.


Unfortunately going by feel requires experience. I am trying to use the numbers as a pacing tool, at least initially.

As an addition to that, I am assuming in a FTP test, the idea is to maintain a flat power level, but since its maximal, the perceived effort will increase towards the end.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby g-boaf » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:45 am

eeksll wrote:Unfortunately going by feel requires experience. I am trying to use the numbers as a pacing tool, at least initially.

As an addition to that, I am assuming in a FTP test, the idea is to maintain a flat power level, but since its maximal, the perceived effort will increase towards the end.


By feel means going at a pace for first 10 minutes that feels easy enough that you aren't getting dead legs or breathing super, super hard. And then after than you start gradually winding it up.

The idea in such a test is never to maintain a flat power level because you cannot know that this flat power level is actually what you can achieve. You can say I'm going to aim for 290w over 20 minutes and so you go out at 290w right off the mark and try to achieve it. But you might die at 13 minutes.

That's not going to work, and worse, you put in all that effort and don't get a valid number back from it.

You can try doing some 2x18 intervals at fixed power levels and then look at RPE (rate of perceived exertion) to guide what you might be able to do over a single 20 minute effort, but as the others have said, without real power measurement it is all fairly hit and miss. And in a single 20 minute effort, you should be able to push yourself much more.
Last edited by g-boaf on Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:50 am

g-boaf wrote:
eeksll wrote:Unfortunately going by feel requires experience. I am trying to use the numbers as a pacing tool, at least initially.

As an addition to that, I am assuming in a FTP test, the idea is to maintain a flat power level, but since its maximal, the perceived effort will increase towards the end.


By feel means going at a pace for first 10 minutes that feels easy enough that you aren't getting dead legs or breathing super, super hard. And then after than you start gradually winding it up.

The idea in such a test is never to maintain a flat power level because you cannot know that this flat power level is actually what you can achieve. You can say I'm going to aim for 290w over 20 minutes and so you go out at 290w right off the mark and try to achieve. But you might die at 13 minutes.

That's not going to work, and worse, you put in all that effort and don't get a valid number back from it.

All is not lost.

One can still use mean maximal power values from various durations as input into a power-duration model such as critical power to ascertain a decent estimate of FTP.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby g-boaf » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:56 am

Hmm, yeah - that would work too.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:08 am

eeksll wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Well if HR rises fast and is held steady thereafter, it's most likely the power output was very high to begin with and then power output will be declining as HR is held steady (it's sort of the corollary scenario of cardiac drift).


So I was staying in 1 gear and aiming for a cadence of just below 90. Not really any point in looking at the power figures they fluctuate a bit too much to use as a pacing tool in this scenario.

Given that and your comment above, can I then assume that means the trainer resistance levels dropped over the session?

Trainers of various types change resistance over time but the manner of that change varies depending on the unit. For some the power demand at same wheel speed (or cadence in same gear) drops as the unit warms up, some do that for a bit then stabilise, while some actually increase resistance as they warm up.

I'd say if you are riding close to threshold for a good 20-minutes or more but you see that HR remains flat for the majority of the time, there is a fair chance your actual power is dropping while the wheel speed is staying the same.

eeksll wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:I think if I was using wheel speed on a trainer as a guide or as an input to a virtual power calculation, I'd consider the numbers to be of low resolution and to treat them as a way to be around about the right level of effort (which is what matters most) and rely on PE to self adjust after a few minutes rather than as an indicator of small changes in power from session to session (or even effort to effort).


Ignoring the power bit, if the goal is to ride a consistent effort level across the interval, wouldn't using the wheel speed on a trainer be an ideal value to maintain a consistent effort level.

Unfortunately going by feel requires experience. I am trying to use the numbers as a pacing tool, at least initially.

The feedback tools at your disposal are perceived exertion, HR and trainer wheel speed, the latter being the same as using cadence in same gear but perhaps cadence has slightly lower resolution (not many bike computers report fractional cadence rpm values but they do report fractional wheel speed km/h values).

While maintaining a consistent power level is useful, it's not critical, so don't over think it - it's about doing the right amount of training at the right level, not at a precise number or precise % of a power value.

So using your wheel speed (or cadence in same gear) is fine, perhaps gradually lift through an interval if you notice the flat HR line phenomenon is something that typically happens with constant wheel speed. Either way they will be good training efforts and it's the big picture that matters.

eeksll wrote:As an addition to that, I am assuming in a FTP test, the idea is to maintain a flat power level, but since its maximal, the perceived effort will increase towards the end.

Yes, in general PE will rise during a well paced effort, similar to the way HR will also rise.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:14 am

g-boaf wrote:Hmm, yeah - that would work too.

If you have say a couple of test data points generated by a power estimate from your trainer, then here's how they could be used to estimate FTP that I wrote elsewhere recently:

Another similar but simpler example is using your best power from dedicated power tests conducted within a week or so of each other as inputs into Monod & Scherrer's Critical Power model. The resulting CP value will be a very good estimate of FTP.

You need two values - one shorter range (3-6 min) and another longer range (20-30-min).

Then CP = [(Power long test x Duration long test) - (Power short test x Duration short test)] / (Duration long test - Duration short test)

e.g. say you have 4-min max of 300W and 24 min max of 250W:

CP = [(250 x 24) - (300 x 4)] / (24 - 4)

= (6000 - 1200) / 20

= 4800 / 20

= 240W


That said, using a 13-min test value would be problematic for this simplified 2 data point version as you really need something longer as one input and something shorter for the other. The middle duration value would be fine for use in a linear fit model.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby g-boaf » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:34 am

Thanks Alex - I'm not using a power meter at the moment myself (I've got one, but it isn't working properly) so for my own needs I'll probably have to do some workarounds to estimate my own power until I get it fixed.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:35 pm

An item I wrote a long time back now, but still relevant....
www.bikeradar.com/fitness/article/train ... ing-19175/

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby eeksll » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:47 pm

bit of an update, I did try the FTP test. After spending too much time trying to get the elite app to connect to the sensor ( and couldnt). So just looked at previous ride and picked a cadence which correlated to 5% higher than the average power of the 20 min session. This was approx 92 rpm.

Looking at the data after the "test" I averaged 92 or more for the first 6 minutes then gradually dropped the average to 91 but the 15th minute mark. Where I blew up.

Found it quite hard to just watch cadence or speed and stick to it, they fluctuate massively. If i keep going down this route I think I'll need to work on some sort of running average.

Also the cadence data isn't that great as 0.5rpm which doesn't register would make a massive difference to the actual power output.

On to plan B ....

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:06 am

eeksll wrote:bit of an update, I did try the FTP test. After spending too much time trying to get the elite app to connect to the sensor ( and couldnt). So just looked at previous ride and picked a cadence which correlated to 5% higher than the average power of the 20 min session. This was approx 92 rpm.

Looking at the data after the "test" I averaged 92 or more for the first 6 minutes then gradually dropped the average to 91 but the 15th minute mark. Where I blew up.

Found it quite hard to just watch cadence or speed and stick to it, they fluctuate massively. If i keep going down this route I think I'll need to work on some sort of running average.

Also the cadence data isn't that great as 0.5rpm which doesn't register would make a massive difference to the actual power output.

On to plan B ....

A 5% increase in power is a big jump, depending on relative fitness levels between each effort.

In this sort of performance testing it's better to start out a bit conservatively for the initial minutes allow the body to reach near-homoeostasis and then as the effort progresses and you feel you are managing the load OK, lift it a bit and reevaluate after a few minutes. Rinse and repeat until you think you are on the cliff's edge.

If you are approaching the back end of the test duration and are managing a load that's somewhat higher than you started with, then simply extend the test by a few minutes and use that data rather than the initial few minutes.

Cadence and speed shouldn't be changing all that much during a steady state indoor trainer effort. Are you sure the device is reporting correctly? In any case, think about a rolling average to help smooth out the data a little. Keep in mind power will fluctuate more than speed and cadence does.

General note:
Of course all performance testing comes with risk - so be careful especially if you have any health conditions, current or recent illness, a smoker, history of cardiac issues, obesity or are older and/or have not trained for a long time. In these cases it's probably best not to test, at least not until it's clear you are healthy and fit to do so, which for some may require the advice of a medical professional.

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby eeksll » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:54 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Cadence and speed shouldn't be changing all that much during a steady state indoor trainer effort. Are you sure the device is reporting correctly? In any case, think about a rolling average to help smooth out the data a little. Keep in mind power will fluctuate more than speed and cadence does.


just using the ant sensors paired to my garmin. By "fluctuate" i mean staying on or around that 92 rpm mark +/- 1 rpm. As I noticed that even that is huge jump in the virtual power.

I tried to use speed as well, 27.6 was my target speed, but even that jumps around a bit as well.

Wonder if I work on PE I can maintain pace a bit more consistently, Ill see if I can get some rolling average happening. Giving up with the phone :evil:

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Re: Training without a power meter

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:40 am

eeksll wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Cadence and speed shouldn't be changing all that much during a steady state indoor trainer effort. Are you sure the device is reporting correctly? In any case, think about a rolling average to help smooth out the data a little. Keep in mind power will fluctuate more than speed and cadence does.


just using the ant sensors paired to my garmin. By "fluctuate" i mean staying on or around that 92 rpm mark +/- 1 rpm. As I noticed that even that is huge jump in the virtual power.

I tried to use speed as well, 27.6 was my target speed, but even that jumps around a bit as well.

Wonder if I work on PE I can maintain pace a bit more consistently, Ill see if I can get some rolling average happening. Giving up with the phone :evil:


Keep in mind that what matters is doing enough work at the right levels, not the precise power value from moment to moment.

Focus on whether the average power over the course of your effort was within the targeted range, and don't be concerned with the momentary fluctuations.

IOW don't get caught in the trap of playing a game of "chasing your power meter tail". Just keep the effort going and it's just as likely the reported value will return to the mean of its own accord. Even if it seems to be persistently reporting power as higher or lower than you are after, it should not require you to do anything other than make quite subtle changes to your effort level. Of course you also need to layer on the overall PE sensation to determine whether the overall level is about right, too easy or too hard for that given interval.

Actual power output is naturally stochastic and real power measurement will be even more variable than virtual power measurement (there are various reasons for that I won't go into now). It's the biggest thing most first time power meter users realise on their initial rides using a PM.

This is all about learning to train WITH power rather than BY power. The latter is what people used to using heart rate monitors tend to do. So whilst this thread is about training without a power meter, it can still be about ways of training well and training smart that have been garnered over the years by those who have had the benefit of such tools.

The trick has been to filter out the piles of nonsense out there on the interwebs as there are also plenty of people using power meters that make mistakes, misinterpret or misplace the importance of some things yet are way over confident in their assessments.

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