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Power/coaching

7molles7molles Posts: 7
Hey guys and gals, this is my first post here prompted by my recent purchase of a Powertap. I am in two minds already about whether I want to stick with it or sell it because I am worried that the amount of analysis it requires will a) be time consuming and b) detract from my enjoyment of training. I've always enjoyed training and perform pretty well (solid cat 2). I bought this as I thought it might help me improve some more and maybe to achieve that on limited time. Do I really need to be looking at getting a coach to help me with this, and if so does that mean becoming billy no mates because I am adhering strictly to a coach's plan?

Posts

  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    I'll give you £400 for it.
  • You don't even know what it is! Anyway, I'll bear your offer in mind if I decide not to keep it and come back and ask for more :wink:
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Try reading this book-

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Training-Racing ... 1934030554

    Just to give you some insight really!

    I wouldn't be without my PT as I have such limited time to train I have to ensure it's as efficient as possible...
  • I read that book. Maybe it will become more intuitive with time but it feels a bit soul-less right now.
  • gavintcgavintc Posts: 3,009
    Nap,

    It is on my wish list - just need to justify it to myself that it is worth the spondoollies. You make an interesting comment that you help it makes for more efficient training. Do you race with it and if so what wheel do you have it built into?

    thanks
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    7molles wrote:
    I read that book. Maybe it will become more intuitive with time but it feels a bit soul-less right now.

    I see where you are coming from. It's also easy to get hung up on the figures too. But used well they are fantastic.

    The best times to use them are for threshold sessions as it means you can really dial it in spot on. Try doing the test to define your zones and power profile then just look at it during threshold sessions. For your other sessions (like just riding!) take the computer so you are recording but forget about what it's telling you and ride on feel.

    Just my 2p.
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    A power meter and a structured plan if it's from a coach or not are completely different things, you don't need one to have the other. I do no structured training at all, I detest it, but I am absolutely require a power meter fixed to my bike - I've not quite got so far as to drop out of a race when then power meter's stopped recording but I've thought about it. And I did convince my wife to build her old TT frame up as a road bike purely so I could use her powertap (and her her 650c powertap) in a race when mine was in the shop getting the bearings replaced.

    A power meter is a record of what you did, and as such is the best thing that will let you track your improvements and potentially identify why you failed in a race.

    e.g. if you got dropped on a 2 minute steep climb and you were doing 95% of your standalone 2 minute climb then chances are that race is absolutely not for you next year or you need to make sure you're off the front before that hill starts or you need to lose a lot of weight or whatever. Or it might say you only managed 70% of your standalone 2 minute power in which case you need to look at why you might have failed to deliver on the power - had you done too much in the previous 5 minutes, 20 minutes what? Or were you perhaps just sick.

    That sort of analysis will help you have a clearer mind of what you're doing wrong - particularly if you get to see team mates or opponents power numbers for rides too. It can be very revealing when you discover you're spending 50% more effort for the same result as someone. You'll know it's not fitness that you need to be working on right now.

    Outside of races of course it will help you measure performance changes which may help motivate you if that's the sort of mentality you have. If you're the sort of person who enjoys the Box Hill or 3LapChallenge BR efforts then a Power Meter helps deal with the huge differences that the weather can bring to these efforts. You get to track those same efforts without having to worry about the weather, otherwise you can convince yourself you've improved when there was none. Or convince that you've dropped when in reality it's purely the weather conditions.

    So you need to seperate out "training with structure" and "using a power meter" they're not really the same thing at all - but it does seem that PM's mostly attract the heavily structured individual and that's why all the materials are around them.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    A powertap hardly requires any analysis at all really. You CAN go overboard and look at every little figure, or just look at the big picture.

    I hardly understand half of what it spits out, but I use it to focus my efforts when I need to and to track progress. That alone has made it worthwhile.

    Don't race with one as I find a race is an organic thing - you either hang in there or you don't! (At least the races I do).

    If you're a Cat 2 you already have some solid skills and fitness going for you. You can use the PT to make yourself better still - or keep you ticking along. Guess it depends what your goals are!
  • Thank you for the interesting feedback. What I'd be keen to hear is how long it took to get used to the power meter, and whether it helped you improve or just get a numerical gauge on where you are/were fitness-wise. The performance management chart looks like a good idea if it works, but I'd rather be at 85%-90% for a longer period of the season than peak for a short period and then for some reason not be able to do so-called target races.
  • fish156fish156 Posts: 496
    NapoleonD wrote:
    I wouldn't be without my PT ....
    +1

    I hardly spend any time "analysing" data. You download the data after each session and there's software available to analyse it. This data can then be used to define targets in your subsequent training sessions.

    I don't race with it as mine is pretty heavy (i.e. the cheaper end of the range) & built into a bomb-proof training wheel. It would be interesting to see data after a race, but you wouldn't use it during. (I'd imagine that they'd be hugely beneficial during a TT?)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    I use mine in races, I ditched my Zipp 808 rear as I'm always using it. I also use it in TTs with a disc wheel cover. I don't really look at it during but the data you download afterwards is great for seeing what went wrong/right and tailoring things to suit...
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    7molles wrote:
    , but I'd rather be at 85%-90% for a longer period of the season than peak for a short period and then for some reason not be able to do so-called target races.

    That will come from what ever training you do, based on your goals. Whether you have a PM or not is not important.

    The PM is a tool to assist in training, it might not make you a better rider, but it will give you better feedback at what works or not
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