Thursday, May 20, 2010

Training with power

bike racing: the penultimate guide: Training - the old way and the modern way?
Training - the old way and the modern way?
Power? Who cares? Oh yeah, I do. Well a bit, anyway. If I didn't have an ibike - and let's face it, I do - I would simply use my HR monitor and speedo in conjunction with "perceived effort" and a training diary. But before I had an HRM I just used the speedo. And before I had a speedo (or a "bike computer") I just had perceived effort (as in easy, hard or very hard) and a training diary with estimated distances. And before that I didn't actually ride - or race.

And guess what? Irrespective of the gadgets acquired I still got fitter, and I still won races. Ergo, you don't need this stuff. So save your pennies - you can get by.

But wait, if this is the case then why do so many bike racers use power meters? Are they all just nerdy, trendy data-analysers with too much money? Well, yeah, maybe in some cases. But what power measurement does give you is lots of lovely data to play with, all about narcissistic old you. And that additional data makes targeted improvement simply more likely. Progress can be swifter, especially if you've never seriously trained on a bike before. And you'll be convinced more easily of the relationship between certain specific training techniques and success in different events. Which is to say it takes a bit of guesswork out of things.

So what should you consider in terms of "power training"?