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Power Meters What zones/power levels?

Chrisw1980Chrisw1980 Posts: 39
Ive heard how good these things are, when using them do you work out your zones as you do with a HR monitor find your max then use percentages or do you need to go for sport testing with fancy bits of kit

Chris

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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    You tend to find out what the max you can do for an hour is then work out your zones based on that.

    There are different methods used to get this magic figure (frequently referred to as Functional Threshold Power (FTP))

    I'm sure there will be a few people along shortly chipping in with their favourite methods...

    I go by 95% of my 20 minute best from a ride or 100% of 1hr best, whichever is higher.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    That's a thought provoking question as I've been ignoring the 'zone' principle without realising it.

    Instead I look at my past data. So for example if I did a 2x20 at 300 300 then next time I go out and try to go 301 301 (for argument sake.) Same with any length of ride, whatever I did last time I try to better it next time. Ok, doesn't always work out like that, but that's the aim.

    Got me thinking now, have I got it wrong, is that too unstructured!

    I suppose my structure comes for doing what Nap' says above, ie. find my ftp then I let wko tell me where I'm going.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    This time of year I'd just be doing long rides in the Lvl 2 (Endurance) HR zone then threshold work using power once maybe twice a week...

    That's what the coach has me doing as I have been rubbish since I broke my leg. Improved FTP and power at endurance HR by 12% in 4 weeks...
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    chrisw12 wrote:
    Instead I look at my past data. So for example if I did a 2x20 at 300 300 then next time I go out and try to go 301 301 (for argument sake.) Same with any length of ride, whatever I did last time I try to better it next time. Ok, doesn't always work out like that, but that's the aim.
    So you've raided your piggy bank, bought a powermeter and now you're using it to simply ride harder, faster or further in each training session or ride than you did in the previous one? :roll:

    Please tell me you're not quite that silly, Chris! :wink:

    Ruth
  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    NapoleonD wrote:
    You tend to find out what the max you can do for an hour is then work out your zones based on that.

    There are different methods used to get this magic figure (frequently referred to as Functional Threshold Power (FTP))

    I'm sure there will be a few people along shortly chipping in with their favourite methods...

    I go by 95% of my 20 minute best from a ride or 100% of 1hr best, whichever is higher.

    Do a 25mile TT - the best 1h is ftp :wink:
    --
    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    Chrisw1980 wrote:
    Ive heard how good these things are, when using them do you work out your zones as you do with a HR monitor find your max then use percentages or do you need to go for sport testing with fancy bits of kit.
    You don't need to go for any sport testing to get the most out of a powermeter, but it does help a great deal if you like analysing data and looking at graphs. If you're seriously interested to know some of the basics of using a powermeter then I suggest you get your hands on a copy of 'Training and Racing with a Powermeter' by Allen and Coggan (Velopress). You can work with power zones in the same way as you might work with HR zones but that is only the tiny tip of the ice-berg of the feedback and analysis you can do.

    Whether all the feedback and analysis is really necessary to achieve your goals or interesting to you as a person is another matter. Since getting a powermeter myself I've more or less concluded what I suspected all along - I don't think it's going to take me up another level. (However, I wouldn't mind being proved wrong next season! :D) However, I work with a good number of riders who get a lot out of using a powermeter.

    Ruth
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    BeaconRuth wrote:
    chrisw12 wrote:
    Instead I look at my past data. So for example if I did a 2x20 at 300 300 then next time I go out and try to go 301 301 (for argument sake.) Same with any length of ride, whatever I did last time I try to better it next time. Ok, doesn't always work out like that, but that's the aim.
    So you've raided your piggy bank, bought a powermeter and now you're using it to simply ride harder, faster or further in each training session or ride than you did in the previous one? :roll:

    Please tell me you're not quite that silly, Chris! :wink:

    Ruth

    Ironic you posting to me just as I'm holding up the trophy you won last year, getting it ready for this years engraving. :lol:
  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    chrisw12 wrote:
    That's a thought provoking question as I've been ignoring the 'zone' principle without realising it.

    Instead I look at my past data. So for example if I did a 2x20 at 300 300 then next time I go out and try to go 301 301 (for argument sake.) Same with any length of ride, whatever I did last time I try to better it next time. Ok, doesn't always work out like that, but that's the aim.

    Got me thinking now, have I got it wrong, is that too unstructured!

    I suppose my structure comes for doing what Nap' says above, ie. find my ftp then I let wko tell me where I'm going.

    The problem with trying to beat your best every time is that it's pretty depressing if you fail. Take that along with the variability of human performance and you are going to fail a lot, so it's going to be tough to stay motivated for any length of time.
    --
    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    chrisw12 wrote:
    Ironic you posting to me just as I'm holding up the trophy you won last year, getting it ready for this years engraving. :lol:
    Well fancy that! I didn't even get to lay my hands on it because I didn't come down for the WCA Luncheon last year. What does it look like? I didn't race let alone win anything in Wales this season so no invite this year. :( I would've done the 25 again but it clashed with the National 25 AFAIR.

    Ruth
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    nmcgann wrote:
    chrisw12 wrote:
    That's a thought provoking question as I've been ignoring the 'zone' principle without realising it.

    Instead I look at my past data. So for example if I did a 2x20 at 300 300 then next time I go out and try to go 301 301 (for argument sake.) Same with any length of ride, whatever I did last time I try to better it next time. Ok, doesn't always work out like that, but that's the aim.

    Got me thinking now, have I got it wrong, is that too unstructured!

    I suppose my structure comes for doing what Nap' says above, ie. find my ftp then I let wko tell me where I'm going.

    The problem with trying to beat your best every time is that it's pretty depressing if you fail. Take that along with the variability of human performance and you are going to fail a lot, so it's going to be tough to stay motivated for any length of time.

    Nah, you just up the drug dose every ride. :lol:
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    BeaconRuth wrote:
    chrisw12 wrote:
    Ironic you posting to me just as I'm holding up the trophy you won last year, getting it ready for this years engraving. :lol:
    Well fancy that! I didn't even get to lay my hands on it because I didn't come down for the WCA Luncheon last year. What does it look like? I didn't race let alone win anything in Wales this season so no invite this year. :( I would've done the 25 again but it clashed with the National 25 AFAIR.

    Ruth

    It clashed with the 10

    No clashes next year, September, same time of year and on the course where the record was broken this year(mens). I think it's going to be a cracker.

    You might want to put that in your diary. :wink:
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    chrisw12 wrote:
    It clashed with the 10
    Oh yes, of course it did.
    No clashes next year, September, same time of year and on the course where the record was broken this year(mens). I think it's going to be a cracker.

    You might want to put that in your diary. :wink:
    You mean on the ski-slope? I rather liked the Usk course and it was a lot closer to my mum's! (You'll never please everyone. :lol: : )

    Ruth
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    BeaconRuth wrote:
    Chrisw1980 wrote:
    Ive heard how good these things are, when using them do you work out your zones as you do with a HR monitor find your max then use percentages or do you need to go for sport testing with fancy bits of kit.
    You don't need to go for any sport testing to get the most out of a powermeter, but it does help a great deal if you like analysing data and looking at graphs. If you're seriously interested to know some of the basics of using a powermeter then I suggest you get your hands on a copy of 'Training and Racing with a Powermeter' by Allen and Coggan (Velopress). You can work with power zones in the same way as you might work with HR zones but that is only the tiny tip of the ice-berg of the feedback and analysis you can do.

    Whether all the feedback and analysis is really necessary to achieve your goals or interesting to you as a person is another matter. Since getting a powermeter myself I've more or less concluded what I suspected all along - I don't think it's going to take me up another level. (However, I wouldn't mind being proved wrong next season! :D) However, I work with a good number of riders who get a lot out of using a powermeter.

    Ruth

    and you've gone and done it and you're still abusing me. :lol::o

    What did you raid, your winnings. :lol:
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    chrisw12 wrote:
    and you've gone and done it and you're still abusing me. :lol::o

    What did you raid, your winnings. :lol:
    Ha ha. I didn't need to raid my piggy bank because cost wasn't the reason I hadn't bought one. I just didn't want one or see the need for it for me personally. I still don't think it's going to make much difference, but if I can use it to find about a second a mile it will get me on a couple of national podiums that I've missed this season. I'm not overly optimistic, but I'm not quite ready to stop trying yet.

    Ruth
  • BeaconRuth wrote:
    chrisw12 wrote:
    and you've gone and done it and you're still abusing me. :lol::o

    What did you raid, your winnings. :lol:
    Ha ha. I didn't need to raid my piggy bank because cost wasn't the reason I hadn't bought one. I just didn't want one or see the need for it for me personally. I still don't think it's going to make much difference, but if I can use it to find about a second a mile it will get me on a couple of national podiums that I've missed this season. I'm not overly optimistic, but I'm not quite ready to stop trying yet.

    Ruth
    For someone of your calibre, and for whom has probably (I hope! :) ) nailed their training pretty well (i.e. know what works to elicit best performances) I would be focussed on using the meter to:

    1. improve your FTP to CdA ratio

    2. inspect your seasonal training trends from the power meter data using the Performance Manager approach (even higher performing/experienced individuals learn things about their seasonal training structure that can be used for great effect in following seasons). At the very least, it can validate your intuitive understanding with a qualitative one.
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