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These days in cycling, you’ve surely heard about power training, but you may not yet have a grasp of what that means.
In today´s market, powermeters like the PM812, can give you a multitude of information about your performance such as average power, instant power, left and right leg efficiency, maximum power, cadence, pedal roundness, etc. But all of that information without some previous research maybe ended up being more information than we can understand to improve our training performance and enjoy cycling more. Get started with these first steps or click on the button below to train with our ambassador Chema Arguedas and his long experience as a personal trainer with powermeter.
One of the most important concepts is first knowing what FTP is. FTP is your highest sustainable power for 60 minutes of effort. By calculating so, you can create which are your power zones. These areas range from Z1 (recovery zone) to Z7 (anaerobic efforts). All levels in between will gradually increase the training level intensity. Most riders tend to train in zones Z2 and Z3 (endurance) to consolidate a training base — Then, they can start training harder in zones 4 to 7 depending on the type of rider.
It is very simple to calculate your FTP. First, you need to warm up for 20 minutes, then cycle for other 30 minutes at your out time-trial-effort. You will have to take the average output power for that time. That will be your FTP. Some experts recommend using a gentle uphill to run your first FTP. These slightly uphill tracks create better control data in the calculations. In order to have good control of your FTP, we recommend to re-test it two times a year. You will see your gain in strength and your new FTP to adjust the new training zones in order to keep seeing improvements in your performance.
Now you have your FTP, it is time to get the LT. The best way to find out is by multiplying for 0.95 the data you have come out with your FTP test. Lactate threshold is when your muscles cannot run on with only oxygen and they are forced to take your glycogen reserves to keep the same level of effort. On practice, It is the time where you start to work out hard. You’ll feel out of breath. As soon as your muscles accumulate lactic acid, they will probably start to burn out, this is because they are not able to flush out all the lactic acid.
Calculate your power zones and training zones is very easy:
We have finally the time-trial test for your FTP and your power zones calculated. But that was the easiest part. Now it is time to start your training plan with power scales. Finding out both the effort and the time of training in each zones can be quite challenging. This is why we recommend speaking with a training coach.
A good training coach will make a detailed plan to accomplish your goals. Specifying your starting point, available time for training, power gain, etc. It is also important which king of cyclist do you want to be, a time trial-athlete, a long-distance one or even a mountain bike or downhill cyclist.
Our ambassador Chema Arguedas can be a good example for training coach, check out his webpage to find out deeper information about training with power-meter in the link below.
Working out with power gives you a very precise idea about your training improvements, therefore you can see which variables are affecting positively and which ones aren’t that good. If we have under control our training zones and our training plan. We can play with other variables like cadence or power/weight ratio. Each one can have a significant impact on our overall performance.
Power/weight is a quite simple concept, the lower weight you are moving on your bike, the less energy you are spending in keeping your bike a certain speed.
Another important aspect when working-out with power is cadence. Cadence translates directly with RPMs. Every rider has a different ideal cadence speed for a different situation. Some riders can keep hard torques at 50-60 RPM. Other have a good aerobic performance to sprint at 120 RPMs making high power output. This is unique for each rider and a good training coach will help you to understand what is your best RPM for each situation.
There are many ways to work out with power-meters. Now that you know the basics, it is time to decide where you want to start and how you want to do it. As always is not about quantity, but the quality of the time you are putting on the training. Training with power is a scientific approach, you can see results quickly and with a training coach you can go further in refine what is the best for you and your performance.