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Power measurement

lochindaallochindaal Posts: 443
I am just starting a winter gym program mainly focusing on legs and core (I had knee opps last year so want to dedicate some time to it).

I have a Tacx Excel trainer that provides power reading but not a download function. I can see my power during the ride and get max power and average at the end. I can also get a HR graph via my bike computer.

I want to know the best way to test myself on the trainer to monitor progress. My goal is to have a substainable higher power output.

Is some sort of ramp test the best way or an average output over a set ride time?

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  • lochindaal wrote:
    I am just starting a winter gym program mainly focusing on legs and core (I had knee opps last year so want to dedicate some time to it).

    I have a Tacx Excel trainer that provides power reading but not a download function. I can see my power during the ride and get max power and average at the end. I can also get a HR graph via my bike computer.

    I want to know the best way to test myself on the trainer to monitor progress. My goal is to have a substainable higher power output.

    Is some sort of ramp test the best way or an average output over a set ride time?
    Both.
    Do a simulated 10-mile TT and get average power.

    can do Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) test and get the average for the final minute before you crack:
    http://www.cyclecoach.com/index.php?opt ... Itemid=112


    Both are really good indicators of your aerobic fitness. As well you can set some training levels for you training.
  • Thanks Alex

    I looked at your info for the MAP test and just wanted to confirm 2 points

    1) On my turbo I can set a predetermined power level. I would then have to pedal to get to this value but the turbo would automatically control the feedback resistance. Should I use this for the ramp up value or leave it uncontrolled and I have to match the required value by gears, cadence, resistance control myself? Does it matter?

    2) I can't get a download chart of the test. Is the end of the test when I fail to hit the next power level required?

    Thanks again
  • lochindaal wrote:
    Thanks Alex

    I looked at your info for the MAP test and just wanted to confirm 2 points

    1) On my turbo I can set a predetermined power level. I would then have to pedal to get to this value but the turbo would automatically control the feedback resistance. Should I use this for the ramp up value or leave it uncontrolled and I have to match the required value by gears, cadence, resistance control myself? Does it matter?

    2) I can't get a download chart of the test. Is the end of the test when I fail to hit the next power level required?

    Thanks again
    1. You can do either. If your ergo can be programmed to increase the power at the correct rate then that can really help you just to focus on keeping it going and not think as much. If you do program an ergo, then do it so that the steps are in smallest possible increments. e.g. 25W/min protocol done as 5W / 12secs, or 10W / 24 seconds. On my ergo I just ride and control the ramp myself (I don't have programmable on my ergobike).

    2. the test ceases when you can no longer maintain the ramp or sustain the current power level. So you'll need to know how long you managed that level and work out an average from that.

    e.g. if you cracked at 30-sec into the 350W level then MAP is the average of that 30-sec + 30-sec at the previous level of 325W = MAP of 338W
  • Alex

    I did the test, thanks for introducing me to that :-) Amazing how you feel OK and then it starts to break down very quickly.

    My MAP result is 304W which compared with your website examples seems low which I'm not hugely suprised at.

    I can now use the value for training zones but as my intention is to do the Etape again this year I want to finish it a lot stronger than last year. Is there a target value that can be put on the MAP value where I could say "I'm in good shape" for this event or does Power/Weight start coming into account?
  • Usually power expressed as a ratio to body mass is a better physiological indicator of performance potential than absolute power.

    For MAP you express it as a ratio of MAP per kg^2/3.

    I have tables which tell me a rider's relative fitness ranking based on MAP and body mass. I can PM you that if you let me know your mass.

    It's only a guide though.

    The main thing though is to train in such a way that your threshold power and MAP improve.
  • That link to cyclecoach says you shouldn't do the power test if you are over 35 years old!

    Looks like i had better go touring instead of racing! :o
  • That link to cyclecoach says you shouldn't do the power test if you are over 35 years old!

    Looks like i had better go touring instead of racing! :o
    Out of context. This is what it actually says:

    The rider should not undertake the test:

    * If they are over 35 years of age, or are overweight without first seeking approval off a qualified medical practitioner
    * If they are a smoker (or have given up within the last year)
    * If they have been diagnosed with any form of heart disease, or suspect heart or vascular disease
    * If they are hypertensive
    * If they suffer from an airway obstructive disease, such as bronchitis

    If you are in any doubt about the suitability of your rider conducting this, or any other physical exertion test then they should consult with a qualified medical practitioner, such as their family doctor, or a doctor who is treating them for any conditions that they may have. The test pushes the body to the limit do not put the rider at risk. Because of the intensity involved, I would also caution against eating within 2 hours of the test, with most people consuming a high carbohydrate meal ~ 3 hours before the test. In the final 2 hours prior to testing the rider should continue to sip on an energy drink.


    It is sensible and prudent that we provide advice in such a manner that people are aware of the risks involved. Cycling / training hard has a risk of mortality.

    I have conducted MAP tests on many dozens of athletes well past 35, in fact up to 65 years old.
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