Training with power can be a most wonderful (and truly powerful) way to boost your training. However, only investing a fairly large amount of money into a powermeter won’t do the trick. As with all things data, it’s not only the numbers that matter but the analysis of them.
But let’s take a step back: What are we talking about when we talk about power?
In order to make my training with power as effective as possible, I talked to many seasoned athletes, coaches – and did my research. One book that stood out was Joe Friel’s The Power Handbook published by Velo Press. The book takes you through the entire journey of understanding and training with a power meter.
Power, in its most basic definition, “equals force times velocity.” In this equation, force refers to what you put onto the pedal, while velocity means how fast you are turning them. The unit power is put out is Watts, a unit named after Scottish engineer James Watt – remember those physics classes in high school? Continue reading
If you are thinking about buying a bike computer, here are some things to help you decide how to choose one that will meet your needs.
Why Should I Get a Bike Computer?
The main reason to get a bike computer is so you can view data from your bike rides. By tracking your speed, distance, cadence, heart rate, etc, you can improve your riding performance and bring yourself to the next level of fitness. Or you may just want to know how far you have ridden or how fast you are going. Once you figure out why you want a bike computer, it will help with the selection process. Start by asking yourself:
- What kind of data/information do you want?
- How will you use this information?
- How much are you willing to spend?
- What other functionality is important to you?
My love for bikes and caffeine are one in the same; I don’t think I could live without either. I’ll be brutally honest, I am a caffeine junkie! One of my favorite quotes is “I don’t have a problem with caffeine. I have a problem without it.”
Cycling and coffee always seem to go hand in hand. Photo: paulscho/flickr
Can caffeine benefit cycling performance?
Yes! Yes, it can. There have been numerous studies that show Continue reading
Finding a training plan for an event, cycling, running, triathlon or otherwise can be overwhelming. On one extreme, you’ve got the ones with formulas, zones, baseline tests and complicated calculations to measure progress. I personally go catatonic when I see all that data. On the other extreme, training plans can err on the side of too much flexibility and guesswork, allowing riders to fall short of their goals due to lack of accountability or precise objectives. Too much free love is a bad thing. While some people have great luck sitting at either end of this spectrum, most riders want to land comfortably in the middle. They want a program with defined parameters to stay on task, but allowances for life’s disruptions and personal interpretation. As a coach my goal is to present a plan that can be tweaked to fit the individual… radicalized, softened or executed exactly. Before I delve into the specifics of our Moxie Training Plan, let’s make a few assumptions:
- You have between six and twelve weeks to train for an event.
- You know this basic training tenant: The body is a stress and recovery system. Each week your intensity should increase at least a little bit (for more social riders) and at most a lot (for more competitive riders).
- You consistently follow through on the “recovery” part of that equation with some rest.
- Intensity during workouts can increase in a number of ways: speed, distance, terrain, wind, weather. You can measure your intensity by how hard you are working on a scale of 1-10 OR by using a heart rate monitor or power meter if you’re into numbers.
- Use an actual, paper calendar and pencil to design your program. You can plug it into your phone later, but this creative process and being able to see the big picture on paper is super important.
- Page through the calendar and the months leading up to your event. Look for things like travel, work and family commitments that will disrupt your training. Make tactical accommodations NOW so training is a priority around, over, under, in between and in spite of those events.