Primer on Power

admin Bike Skills, Events, Racing

Photo Credit: Rahul Thomas

Photo Credit: Rahul Thomas

For the longest time, I kept telling myself: “I don’t train, I just ride my bike for fun”. After twiddling along for a while, I realized, if I’m out there riding my bike everyday, rubbing up against my limits and then pushing them, then I am training. And if I’m vesting time in a hobby, why not see how good can I get?

For 4 years, I used to train based on avg. speed or duration on fixed routes and later with a heart rate monitor. Improvement was slow coming with lots of shots in the dark. I’ve been training with a powermeter for a year now and it’s been a real eye-opener. My powermeter has helped me take the guesswork out of my training. It tells me when I’m doing a workout wrong. It tells me when I’m not training hard enough; when I’m training too hard.

Why train based on power?

Power data is the most objective metric of how hard you are going in training. Heart rate monitoring (HRM) is good, but doesn’t capture the whole picture. Your HRM tells you how your heart is reacting to a certain effort, whereas a powermeter measures the effort. Measuring the effort objectively allows you to zero in on the variables that are affecting your performance, like lack of rest, stress, nutrition, etc.

A powermeter allows you to be effective with the little training time you have because you are accurately targeting the physiological systems that matter to improving your performance — be it in a time-trial, a crit, a road race, or dropping a minute off your PB on Nandi!

A powermeter coupled with a trainer reduces the risk that training at high intensity on India’s roads poses. I do my hardest (and shortest) rides on a trainer and a powermeter makes sure I’m staying honest.

There’s so much more to training with power, so make sure you join us at BumsOnTheSaddle for the live webinar with Hunter Allen and Tim Cusick — the Guru’s of training with Power!