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What readings for power are best

willhubwillhub Posts: 821
I was expecting the powertap to be like when riding on a computrainer, as in you're putting 350w and can sort of try maintain that, but even when putting 350w and holding that effort, the thing is jumping from 300-350w

What's the best power readings to go off, is it like 3s power and 30s?

And a technical question, should I downgrade my Garmin Edge 705 from 3.3 firmware to 3.1 for us on a Powertap?

Posts

  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Myself and most people I know use 3s average.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    I've moved away from 3s and now use 10s and average power as I think this helps you to keep things more constant.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I've been looking at getting a power meter so I'd be interested to know the answer to that. From what I've read so far the basic idea is to hold a constant wattage, but whenever I look at power traces on Strava they're jumping around all over the place.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    I've been looking at getting a power meter so I'd be interested to know the answer to that. From what I've read so far the basic idea is to hold a constant wattage, but whenever I look at power traces on Strava they're jumping around all over the place.

    When I first got mine I was shocked at how much it jumped around, I then moved to 3s power which was a hell of a lot better, but now my focus will be on 10s power although I do sometimes keep 3s on the screen. But basically either use 3s or 10s because just seeing your power output is beyond useless as it fluctuates too much.
  • BrandonABrandonA Posts: 553
    Before getting my power meter I configured the Garmin Edge to record laps every five miles. Now I have a power meter I like to see average power for a lap along with current power.

    When I am about to start a particular effort, be it a hill climb or specific bit of road I like to ride hard I press the lap button on the Garmin and can then monitor the effort imputing in on that interval.

    I also like to see NP for the full ride.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    3s and 10s as well as overall.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • You get used to it after a while but I find it easier to read the power zones rather than watts when I'm out on the road.
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • willhubwillhub Posts: 821
    My Edge 705 does not appear to have 10s :(

    I did this ride today, I'm guessing it's the norm to struggle with good power when you're slowing down in traffic and stoping. I seemed to be doing between 290-350 when I got on an actual stretch of road , my power output is lower than I expected :(

    https://connect.garmin.com/activity/829177035#
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    If you are on the turbo riding a constant cadence it shouldn't jump around that much however cycling on even a flat road is quite stochastic so its easily possible for your power to jump around by 50 watts or so even if you think you're putting in the same effort.

    I use 3s average power on my Garmin and I've found rather than concentrating on staying in the middle of a particular training zone if I concentrate on not letting my power drop under the lower limit of the zone I get a more constant power delivery.
  • MiddleRingerMiddleRinger Posts: 678
    When I first got mine I was shocked at how much it jumped around, I then moved to 3s power which was a hell of a lot better, but now my focus will be on 10s power although I do sometimes keep 3s on the screen.

    ^ This. Your power on the road will jump around like crazy, although you do get better at holding it more consistently after a while and it's best to aim for a power window rather than a specific exact wattage. I use three second power and average lap power on my Garmin screen.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    I really dont know why you bother with readings from road/race work... leave that for afterwards analysis.
    You should be racing/riding hard, not looking at your stem.
    With turbo training work with Trainer Road I can work with consistent intervals even with power smoothing switched off. In fact it helps with a consistent power/pedal stroke that many on here endlessly blather on about being important...
  • ravenvriderravenvrider Posts: 197
    I realise this is not the same but i train on a wattbike 3 times a week, the power variations even in a controlled environment is very large, now the only time i look at the "live" power is when starting off just so i don't go out too hard, within a few seconds i only focus on the average power for that interval/split or session.
  • willhubwillhub Posts: 821
    I guess I want to look at the power meter because when I'm on the road if I try to from what I've worked out as another poster above says is aim for a lower limit, seem to go faster. I also seem to go up hills faster now as I can eliminate little jumps to 600+ watts that end up grinding you down. I guess maybe the power meter will be good on hills like The Cat & Fiddle as well as Long Hill.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    That is what the likes of durianrider videos are trying to say that when you hit a climb you try to hold it at a constant wattage ignoring your speed so you have constant effort and pace yourself. Does that work in practice?
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    I assume JGSI was referring to racing(!?) because using power on the road is brilliant. I have 3s power at the top of my Garmin 800 and rarely bother looking at speed. It allows me to hammer out consistent efforts in the right zones and is certainly useful during climbs and for pacing on all terrains.

    And in a race situation it's useful if you find yourself on the front or out solo.
  • willhubwillhub Posts: 821
    I must admit, I used to be obsessed with speed, as soon as I got the power meter I forgot about it, I still look at it at the end of a ride, my usual 20 odd mile look I usually do at 20mph, I'm doing about 22mph now with the power meter just by steadying my effort!
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    How do you determine what power you're going to be riding at, endless FTP testing or endless experience?
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Bit of both, I've only done 2 tests in 9 months and the rest is on experience.
  • How do you determine what power you're going to be riding at, endless FTP testing or endless experience?
    Pithy Power Proverb: "Testing is training and training is testing."

    Yes you can do some tests but they are not needed all that frequently provided you do at least some vigorous riding in amongst the training/riding you do, as that will help inform you of progress with your fitness. If you did want to do some regular testing, the every 6-8 weeks is ample frequency.

    Software is also becoming increasingly sophisticated at tracking these things for you as well. Some very interesting things on the horizon in that regard.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Interesting stuff thanks!

    There's a particular local segment I like to use to test my short term power output, which is 2.5 miles at an almost constant 2% which I guess is a good place to test that type of thing.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,216
    General riding - i have 3 second top, 10 second second and NP for longer rides (over 2 hours) in the bottom left corner.

    for racing, its 3 second , 10 second and cadence.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I know without a power meter then estimates for 'calories' or kJ in work done can be wildly inaccurate.

    But can I assume that with a power meter it's going to be a pretty accurate account of the energy expended and calories consumed or is there far more to it than that?

    e.g. On a 30 mile ride yesterday Strava says total work is 1,140kJ (272kCal). But Calories is 1,272, which is like three Morrisons curries, which doesn't seem right for a 30 mile ride!
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 962
    How do you determine what power you're going to be riding at, endless FTP testing or endless experience?

    In answer to the first Q, I use 3s average.

    Regular FTP tests are the ticket.
    Insert bike here:
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