Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | January 12, 2012

Five Reasons to Ride with a Power Meter: #4 – Accurate Performance Measurement

As a cycling coach, this is probably my favorite reason for training and racing with a power meter.  Simply stated, a power meter allows cyclists and multisport athletes to measure specific performance changes over time more accurately than any other method.  For example, if you are trying to increase your functional threshold power (the highest average power a cyclist can maintain for 60 minutes), you can use a power meter to accurately determine your current FTP (this is typically done through a field test such as an all-out, 30-minute time trial or an actual 40K race).  You can then measure your FTP at a later date to see how you are progressing.  If your first field test yields an average power of 250 watts and subsequent tests show an average power of 260 watts, you can be absolutely certain that you have increased your functional threshold power.  That is the great benefit of a power meter.  If you ride for two hours and your average power is 200 watts, you can be sure this is an accurate indication of your work rate on the bike.  Conditions such as terrain, temperature and wind don’t matter.  The actual power you produce is the same as any other two-hour ride resulting in an average power of 200 watts.   

NEXT POST – January 12, 2012

Cycle Log: Intensity Phase Week 2


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