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Power basics

DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,313
I'm returning to racing next year after a few years away. Last Autumn I bought a power meter but a slipped disc in my back meant I had to put plans to start training on hold and since getting back on it this year I've not really used the data for anything other than interest.

What are the basics that I need to use the power data to inform my training ? Is Coggan and Allen still the go to book for getting a handle on this and am I going to need some software to analyse things and if so what is best ? Is there a forum/facebook group or similar somewhere I can join and learn from those who have been using power for a while ? Thanks
[Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,386
    You're a long standing forum contributor here and this is one of the most discussed topics on the TF&H forum - not trying to be difficult, but have you not done a search?
  • wavefrontwavefront Posts: 242
    TRWPM is still a very good book to read and read and read. I'd recommend Golden Cheetah to log all your data. It's slightly painful to use at times but when up and running gives you everything you'll ever need. I use it in conjunction with strava and an excel sheet to plan training in advance to give me an idea of what individual rides I need to hit a target weekly TSS etc. As for forums this one used to be quite good, but you'll know the 'personalities' on here and how hard it can be at times. time triallimg forum is also a wealth of information when the good discussions actually lead somewhere and not into huge arguements. Good luck and welcome to the world of power!
  • Oddly I’ve found that the latest greatest Garmins hooked up to the right sensors are actually pretty good. They give you nice little graphical breakdowns of how you’re training is going including ( crucially for me ) Traing effect breakdowns which give you hostoric relative effort graphics and session to session breakdowns and recommended rest / recovery periods. If you hook it up to something like Strava and pay for Summit perks it’s quite a useful thing to have.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,313
    Imposter wrote:
    You're a long standing forum contributor here and this is one of the most discussed topics on the TF&H forum - not trying to be difficult, but have you not done a search?

    What is the point in searching when we can have a discussion - it is a discussion forum after all.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • Imposter wrote:
    You're a long standing forum contributor here and this is one of the most discussed topics on the TF&H forum - not trying to be difficult, but have you not done a search?

    What is the point in searching when we can have a discussion - it is a discussion forum after all.

    Quite right.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,313
    Anyway don't want to argue with Imposter - it's a point of view - I could have searched . So the Coggan one over the Friel book, Golden Cheetah and have a look at the Time Trialling Forum. I'll do that - don't really want to get into discussions on power more just pick up knowledge from the discussions of others.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    Trainingpeaks, WKO4 and Today's Plan are 3 software options, albeit ones you have to pay for (there is a free version of trainingpeaks with limited functionality ). Even if you don't use their software the WKO4 Facebook group has a lot of useful videos and webinars on how to analyse your files. There's also a WKO4 power users group which is a bit more of a discussion forum.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,386
    Imposter wrote:
    You're a long standing forum contributor here and this is one of the most discussed topics on the TF&H forum - not trying to be difficult, but have you not done a search?

    What is the point in searching when we can have a discussion - it is a discussion forum after all.

    Indeed - but discussions are supposed to be progressive. You said you are only after the basics, which are already well-documented and easy to search for. But anyway...

    ...aside from this forum, then Alex's blog is a good place to start https://wattmatters.blog/
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    I’d keep it simple to start. Get coogans book ‘training and racing with’, work out your ftp and start using power to drive your intervals. Then work out your training loads and how they interact with pmc, it’s worth running a TP subscription for the first year as it’s all presented nicely. Then start doing deep dive analysis once you’ve got the basics up and running.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,313
    Thanks both
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • time trialing forum?
    wavefront wrote:
    TRWPM is still a very good book to read and read and read. I'd recommend Golden Cheetah to log all your data. It's slightly painful to use at times but when up and running gives you everything you'll ever need. I use it in conjunction with strava and an excel sheet to plan training in advance to give me an idea of what individual rides I need to hit a target weekly TSS etc. As for forums this one used to be quite good, but you'll know the 'personalities' on here and how hard it can be at times. time triallimg forum is also a wealth of information when the good discussions actually lead somewhere and not into huge arguements. Good luck and welcome to the world of power!
  • Just throwing in a vote for the bible as I see it as a having more of a focus on fundamentals vs a closed system.
  • time trialing forum?
    wavefront wrote:
    TRWPM is still a very good book to read and read and read. I'd recommend Golden Cheetah to log all your data. It's slightly painful to use at times but when up and running gives you everything you'll ever need. I use it in conjunction with strava and an excel sheet to plan training in advance to give me an idea of what individual rides I need to hit a target weekly TSS etc. As for forums this one used to be quite good, but you'll know the 'personalities' on here and how hard it can be at times. time triallimg forum is also a wealth of information when the good discussions actually lead somewhere and not into huge arguements. Good luck and welcome to the world of power!

    here http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/index.php?

    it's where myself, Alex, and sometimes Andy Coggan hang out!
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • I'm returning to racing next year after a few years away. Last Autumn I bought a power meter but a slipped disc in my back meant I had to put plans to start training on hold and since getting back on it this year I've not really used the data for anything other than interest.

    What are the basics that I need to use the power data to inform my training ? Is Coggan and Allen still the go to book for getting a handle on this and am I going to need some software to analyse things and if so what is best ? Is there a forum/facebook group or similar somewhere I can join and learn from those who have been using power for a while ? Thanks

    sorry to hear you hurt your back, and glad to hear it's now sufficiently healed that you're considering racing again.

    The basics depend, not only on what you may want to analyse, but also on perhaps how analytical you may be, along with your perhaps your knowledge of physiology. I/we (i.e. the coaches at cyclecoach.com) use WKO4 to analyse power but there are things you can analyse, that in our opinion (or perhaps mine?) that aren't overly worth analysisng and you can/could suffer with paralysis by analysis.

    Me, i like to track the PMC data, which provides a short and long term view of your training, along with 'best' power outputs over certain durations, along with rider notes (for how they felt etc). there's an art to understanding/viewing PMC data and thus this also isn't the be all and end all of data.

    Presuming you're just starting out, i'd just ride as you normally do and get a feel for how things roll as you ride. Perhaps, you're riding hard on the flat at 200 W, or maybe 300 W uphill. Get an idea of the numbers as you ride and what it may mean and feel like. How things feel in the first few seconds can feel very different to how they feel after many seconds or a few minutes. You can use the power data to keep your perceieved exertion on target.

    once you've done a few weeks and started to accumulate some km in your legs and time on the bike you can potentially start thinking about adding some structure. (Of course though some people thrive on structure and may want that from the get go).

    Have fun and see how it all goes. post back with more questions!

    Ric
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,313
    Thanks. I've been riding and competing off and on for about 16 years but as far as power goes only ever used it on a Tacx grand excel turbo where I used to use it more as a target just to stop me slacking off as things got harder over a work interval or for a couple of winters where I did do some ftp tests (I was using 95% of 20 minute power) and then using that to set power levels for 2*20 sessions which seemed to be in fashion at the time.

    I'll have a look at the time trialling forum, I've forgotten my log in but I do have an account there from years ago.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • Thanks. I've been riding and competing off and on for about 16 years but as far as power goes only ever used it on a Tacx grand excel turbo where I used to use it more as a target just to stop me slacking off as things got harder over a work interval or for a couple of winters where I did do some ftp tests (I was using 95% of 20 minute power) and then using that to set power levels for 2*20 sessions which seemed to be in fashion at the time.

    I'll have a look at the time trialling forum, I've forgotten my log in but I do have an account there from years ago.

    power on the road is different, the nature of it is more stochastic.
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • it's where myself, Alex, and sometimes Andy Coggan hang out!

    Wait a minute. Are you Ric Stern by any chance?
  • it's where myself, Alex, and sometimes Andy Coggan hang out!

    Wait a minute. Are you Ric Stern by any chance?

    yes i am. why do you ask?
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • yes i am. why do you ask?

    Just that I saw your name was “Ric” and I don’t know many Ric’s and I remembered the name Ric Stern from back in the early 2000’s when I was running performancecentral.net but I’m not sure that was how I knew you. Probably just your coaching presence. Regardless good to hear the name again.
  • yes i am. why do you ask?

    Just that I saw your name was “Ric” and I don’t know many Ric’s and I remembered the name Ric Stern from back in the early 2000’s when I was running performancecentral.net but I’m not sure that was how I knew you. Probably just your coaching presence. Regardless good to hear the name again.

    sorry, i don't immediately recall your website (and it appears i can't access it?). do we know each other? drop me a PM if you want. not been away - just not been on this site for a good while!
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
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