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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    milan new york
    Posts
    19

    power meter making me feel so stupid!!!

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    I have recently started trying to work with a Power Meter to improve my cycling etc. I bought a great one used from someone I know and trust and/but I just don't understand how to use it?? It jumps all over the place all the time??? Is that right? How can I do a ride and try to stay in zone 2 power if it keeps jumping all over the place all the time??? If someone could explain to me how and why it works ( as if I am a cavewoman haha) I would be very grateful---so no big words or too technical!! I haven't even begun to think about uploading data...maybe I'm just a HR monitor and cadence meter type of gal?
    THanks
    when you come to the fork in the road, take it.
    yogi berra

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,936
    Maybe ask the person you bought it from?
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Socal
    Posts
    130
    Jasmine,

    Welcome to the power meter world When you first start using power the first thing you will notice is that the numbers appear to jump all over, that is one of the differences if you compare it to a device that measures heart rate. Power is shown instantaneously and HR takes some time to reflect any changes in speed, grade and wind. It takes sometime to get used to how quick power changes and how fast is affected by anything you or the terrain do.

    I wouldn't go into to much detail but my recommendation is for you to give it sometime, ride without really trying to stay on any given zone, just ride, see the numbers and you'll start to see a pattern.

    To start understanding how power works, find a hill that is not to steep and has a good steady grade, ride it at zone 3 or pick a number of watts (zone 2 maybe to hard to do on a hill depending on you fitness level), the number will go up or will fall almost immediately when you pedal faster or slower but try stay close to the zone, at the end you should get an average for the climb that will be close to the zone you are trying to do. Cheers

    Deya

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver Metro
    Posts
    834
    Deya has good advice. Also on your head unit, you can change it so it will show 3second average which will help smooth it out. And part of it is pedal stroke,over time as your pedal stroke gets smoother,so will the numbers.

    I got my power tap after being off training for 6 months due to illness,it has taken about 4 months to smooth my numbers out so they stay closed( today I avg 170 watts for 48 miles but while riding it fluctuated but a smooth fluctuation based on wind/paceline vs. A few months ago where different points in pedal stroke created fluctuation) .

    Any questions, ask and I'll try to figure out an answer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver Metro
    Posts
    834
    Also, make sure you recalibrate it every do often.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    98
    Someone on the Wattage group once asked: What is the benefit of trying to keep power (nearly) constant? I never heard a good answer for that one...

    '09 Trek 7.3 FX hybrid / Jett 155mm
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    102
    I have a reply to it. It's been shown that riding isopower (ie; keeping the power constant) is the way to go fastest overall. It doesn't matter if it's a flat course with a headwind or not, hilly or mountainous - isopower enables you to go the fastest you can go. Mind you - it's easier said than done - I couldn't believe how slow you have to go uphill and how much power you need to apply downhill to achieve it.

    Measuring power is fantastic for training - you can measure your workouts & improvements (as well as avoid over-training) and also for racing in terms of metering your effort. If you are bunch racing it's not much use during the race as you can't really look at it - or do anything about it. But it's very useful afterwards to analyze what you did.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Socal
    Posts
    130
    Quote Originally Posted by alimey View Post
    Measuring power is fantastic for training - you can measure your workouts & improvements (as well as avoid over-training) and also for racing in terms of metering your effort. If you are bunch racing it's not much use during the race as you can't really look at it - or do anything about it. But it's very useful afterwards to analyze what you did.
    I agree, is a great way to keep track of your training and you can accurately measure your improvement. Power also allows to really target zones and do some great workouts.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Middle of the mitten
    Posts
    109
    Aim to keep it w/in the range, goal is to have the average watts w/in the range you're after against the duration of your effort. The above post about setting the display to 3 sec rolling for power display is a good one. Also be sure to do the offset before each ride.

    Good overview / primer on power training here
    Training Peaks
    Last edited by SpeedyChix; 01-13-2012 at 07:08 AM. Reason: addl info

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    40
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedyChix View Post
    Good overview / primer on power training here
    Training Peaks
    Thanks, I was just about to ask if anyone had resources on understanding power training.
    Lindsay
    2011 Cannondale CAAD10 WSD 105

    veggie food blog: http://kitchenoperas.com

 

 

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