About Training With Power

I have trained with heart rate for years. In my experience, it is a relatively simple process:

  • Find your threshold heart rate
  • Use a series of formulas to find your heart rate-based training zones.
  • Develop a heart rate-based training program
  • Strap your heart rate monitor and follow your plan

There is no shortage of information all over the Internet regarding the benefits of training with power, the main reason being it is always accurate and not affected by external factors that may affect heart rate, such as fatigue, lack of sleep, stress and may others.

So, when I got my Power Meter in March 2020, my thinking was that it would be about the same process as with heart rate but using power values instead. So, the process would be:

  • Find your FTP
  • Use a series of formulas to find your power-based training zones.
  • Follow a power-based training program
  • Turn on your power meter and do your training plan

A few sessions later it was evident that there were differences as compared to training with heart rate, such as power readings have huge and fast variations, they are not relatively stable as heart rate ones, and it is tricky to maintain a sustained power value within a zone.

Several times I was able to sustain a certain level of power at what I would consider a matching heart rate zone, for example Power Zone 3 with Heart Rate Zone 3, but there were other times that I was doing the same Power Zone 3 but no matter what I did, my heart rate would stay at lower levels like Heart Rate Zone 2.

The data was showing me that there may not be a direct correlation among power and heart rate or that I was not understanding what that correlation might be.

So further learning was on the horizon, to really get all the benefits of training with a power meter. Little did I knew about how powerful (pun intended) using this tool is and there is a lot of performance feedback you can get with proper data analysis.

The information we share on the Training articles in this site, show what I have learnt from several sources about training with power and applying them in my daily rides.

If you are just starting training with a power meter or want to get a glimpse of what it is all about, check our guide in What I wish I knew when started training with power.

I am by no means a certified trainer, rather a self-coached mountain biker, and all the contents in this site are for informational purposes only.

If you decide to use any of the information in this site, you do it at your own risk and responsibility, and we shall not be held liable of any issues you may experience as a result of.

We are sharing the information sources we have used from known professionals so that you can relate to them and dig deeper into the science of training should you decide to do so.

Remember, before engaging in any exercise/fitness program, get the approval of your physician and assess whether you need the support of a certified coach.

 

References:

Training and Racing With a Power Meter by Allen, Coggan & McGregor

The Mountain Bikers Training Bible By Joe Friel

The Cyclists Training Bible by Joe Friel

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