I have been training with a PM for over 3 years now. The first year was rough and it really acted as no more than an expensive bike computer. I just knew that I wanted the watts to be higher on every ride. Not_ smart. The second year I began to understand how to use the PM on my easy days and my hard days. This past year I have finally come to the point where, through the use of and knowledge gained from the PM, I am able to structure an entire season of training and racing based on wattage and training stress scores. Both of these are independent variables and quite reliable unlike HR data which is quite the dependent variable.
I suggest that my athletes ride with power. As a coach it is the completely objective feedback that the PM provides that allows me to correctly evaluate how things are going with a plan. And it's not just about watts. Thru either the use of TSS (training stress score via cycling peaks) or kJ's you can track your previous efforts as well as forecast future ones with the use of a Performance Manager Chart.
What are they?
A tool which measures the wattage (by way of strain gauges or optical sensors) that is being put into the drive train and which makes you go forward on the bike.Who makes them? Saris/Cycleops-Powertap SRM Ergomo Soon to be released: Quarq
How do I use one?
Roughly speaking this replaces your HR monitor on the bike. With swimming and running you have always done workouts based on time within a certain distance... for e.g. 4x400's holding 1:30 on 2 minutes. Now you can do the same on the bike... easy day ex: 2 hours at 200 watts or less trying to get 70-80 TSS points. Hard day... 30 min WU at 200 watts then 2x20 at 270 watts with a 2 minute break.
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