Using a power meter for training and racing has become more and more affordable, also people are really seeing the benefits of using power to ride with. Whereas we used to use heart rate and speed as a measure of our effort, with power you can now view absolute output the instant you press on the pedals. Heart rate of course still has its place, it's giving information about how your body is reacting to certain efforts, but if you see HR values which are a little lower or higher than normal how do we know if there is an outside factor affecting it?
The beauty of using power alongside HR is we can now see power as an output, so if you normally do a threshold effort at 160 beats per minute and you see power numbers at 300 watts you can then compare that over time and get unrivalled information rather than just using HR. So if you were doing 300 watt intervals over a period of 1 month for example you will probably see the HR values dropping for that given effort if the training you are doing is structured. With that information you know you are gaining fitness, and can change your training zones to reflect the improved performance.
The other big benefit to power is while doing an interval some athletes will ride so hard to bring the HR into the correct zone they are actually riding well beyond the prescribed effort until the HR responds. With power as soon as you step on the pedals you can be riding at the prescribed power output instantly, no guessing involved. This is also very beneficial to TT or Triathlon competitors as pacing can now become very measured to ensure the athlete can maintain a smooth effort throughout the length of the event.
Key points for using power
Most accurate tool we can currently use to measure our efforts
Invaluable information to use with a coach
You are able to see progression in training by viewing numbers
Absolute accuracy for interval training, no guessing
Perfect pacing tool for triathletes and time trialists
Very motivational for training alone
Biggest bang for buck you can make on a bicycle upgrade, you will see bigger improvements if used correctly than buying carbon wheels for example.
View our shop page for purchase options. We also offer a rental program for certain power meters to try before you buy. Prices start at £50 per month, with this you can rent the power meter and at the end of the rental period purchase at a reduced rate if you would like to keep it. Contact me for further details