Monday, November 12, 2007

Just starting with a Powertap...the benefit of your experience?

I'm constantly monitoring a Google Group on Wattage. There was a recent post that had some really good info. I would usually just link over to the page, but it's member based. I've pasted some of the recent posts:

Is there any advice from the folk that are experienced with using a
power meter? Any do's and don'ts? Or is it just a case of collect as
much data as possible and see what needs to be worked on.


I just started training with a power meter myself a month ago. Reading
"THE BOOK - Training and Racing with a Power Meter" by Hunter Allen /
Dr. Andy Coggan, browsing thru all the posts in this group and
clicking thru the cycling peaks website gave me a good start.

Now I'm in the phase of testing and collecting data and after each
session I can't wait to download the data to analyse my ride. The
only downside - for the moment I just got one of my bikes set up with
Ergomo. But I think this problem will be sorted out soon :)



1) Read through all the Power 411 info at
2) Buy the Cycling Peaks WKO+ software -- it is infinitely better than the software that comes with the Power Tap, and well worth the price of 4 race entries.
3) Record and download ALL of your workouts -- they will feed into the "Performance Manager" -- don't worry about it too much at the start, but as you get comfortable with the basics, you'l want to start playing with it more. Having a complete training history is important.

4) Perhaps most important -- never forget that bicycle races are decided by the order of riders at the finish line, not by Functional Threshold Power, or Training Stress Score, or any of the other myriad of numbers that you can pull out of your power meter. Power is an important training tool, but there's a whole lot more to performing well in a bike race than having perfect training. It's easy to get caught up in numbers & loose sight of that basic fact.

Chris Fischer
Ohio State Cycling


I would concur with Rich_SC as far as giving it time to work and being patient with the interval work. My first 2 months I was really just using the PT and WKO+ as a data recorder, getting a feel for what the numbers meant. I then purchased one of Hunter Allen's power-based FTP- building plans from and spent 2006 racing season using that plan and the power meter to "grow" my engine and to help with my weight-loss (from 205 in 2005 to 167 in 2007). I also spent a load of time on this forum and reading T&Rw/PM to learn as much as I could about the wattage levels, TSS, and then the PMC. Then I developed a TSS-based training plan of my own for the 2007 season, and had a very successful season overall.


I would recommend, in approximate order:
1) ride for six weeks just learning the PM - download everything -
learn to ride some segments of your rides keeping the power in a +/-
5-10 Watt range
2) read as much of the previously mentioned sources of information as
3) get WKO+ software
4) test for your FTP, input into WKO+ and then import all of your
prior data
5) train with power
6) race with power
7) did I mention download everything?
8) when you get the hang of training and racing with power, try to
learn even more

oh,,,and try to ween off the HR strap.

Best wishes.

Steve Palladino- training with power since Oct 8, 2002

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