I am thinking about buying ( investing in ) a power meter for training, does anyone have an SRM? They are coming out with a new Ti version but I don't know anyone that has one. Thanks :)
I'm looking at getting one as well and would love to hear which ones are recommended.
In my opinion, of all the gadgets out there, those that measure power may be the most beneficial. The [I]Power Tap[/I] may set you back $1,000 or more, but if you're serious about your training and you got the cash, its definitely worth it.
I have both a Power Tap and SRM (on different bikes).
Read this: [url]http://crackheadfe.blogspot.com/2005/12/training-and-racing-with-power.h...
and then this: [url]http://crackheadfe.blogspot.com/2006/02/book-review-training-and-racing-...
The second one is where I reviewed a new book that came out. Buy the book first; it has reviews of all the current power devices. Better you spend $20 before you get ready to shell out $1,000+.
There are other things I've written about power on my blog. Just search my blog for "power meter."
Has anyone used or seen the new iBike Power Meter. $1000+ isn't ever going to be in my budget and I was wondering if the iBike was good or just junk. Seems like an interesting little machine just from it's marketing material, but you never can tell how things work out in reality.
The iBike is brand spanking new and there really isnt a whole lot out there on it. The only feedback you'relikely to find is initial impressions and a lot of people who have never tried it and are assuming things.
iBike - I looked at it as well - I might be able to convince my wife that it was cost justifiable - but wouldn't be able to do that with a powermeter. The main drawback that I saw with the iBike is that you cannot use it on the trainer. You must be in motion (on the road) for it to function. So, it would be of no use during the off-season and early base training.
Read to your heart's content about the iBike on the forum here: [url]http://cruciblefitness.com[/url] or here: [url]http://www.slowtwitch.com[/url] (you will need to do a search).
The main drawback pointed out is that you need to calibrate it frequently based on the weight of the rider and all the other stuff on your bike (including bottles, tires, etc.). Also, it CANNOT be used indoors on a trainer. So if you live in the North like me, it is useless.
P.S. I still LOVE my SRM, and have increased my FTP (functional threshold power) by 15% since last fall by using it in conjunction with my coach's training guidance.
I do not understand that for the purposes of training (getting and setting into a given effort) that HR is not as good or better a measure. Yes, to see your progress, you woul dwant to measure power at a given hr. But just going out and maintaining a hr of zone 4 or whatever should get the job done for you.
The difference is that HR varies with other factors -- heat, hydration, etc.
Besides, all the hot pros and smart dudes have the expensive Power Taps on their bikes. Only the best.
[QUOTE=kyillee]The difference is that HR varies with other factors -- heat, hydration, etc.[/QUOTE]
Right. Which is what should be taken into account for your training, not ignored.
In your post you asked why HR is not as good or a better measure. That is why. Power is more reliable in terms of how your body is actually doing than HR is. Measuring just HR doesn't give the same information. Yes, you need to take the other factors into account, but if you really want a great measurement right now power looks like it might be it. You can't always know "oh, it's 10 degrees warmer out today so I should train at a HR 5 bpm higher". With power, you know what interval to train in for a particular workout at any temperature, etc. There is more information in that than you can get from HR and taking other variables into account.
[QUOTE=Learn]I do not understand that for the purposes of training (getting and setting into a given effort) that HR is not as good or better a measure. Yes, to see your progress, you woul dwant to measure power at a given hr. But just going out and maintaining a hr of zone 4 or whatever should get the job done for you.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=kyillee]In your post you asked why HR is not as good or a better measure. That is why. Power is more reliable in terms of how your body is actually doing than HR is. Measuring just HR doesn't give the same information. Yes, you need to take the other factors into account, but if you really want a great measurement right now power looks like it might be it. You can't always know "oh, it's 10 degrees warmer out today so I should train at a HR 5 bpm higher". With power, you know what interval to train in for a particular workout at any temperature, etc. There is more information in that than you can get from HR and taking other variables into account.[/QUOTE]
It depends on your training philosophy and what you mean to be training. If you train in heart rate zones, with specificity to those zones, it doesn't really matter how much power you are producing (or at what pace you are running) other than as a measurement of progress.
Example: you train for three hours in zone two. The purpose of this training is to boost your body's ability to metabolize fat. Each time you do this workout, you can track your progress by measuring an increase in pace/speed/watts produced.
USing the power trainer on the bike is similar to training for pace when you run - I'm don't see a scientific explanation of WHY you should train at a certain wattage, etc. I don't believe it's like weight lifting where you gradually progress what you are pushing because the training of your muscles for endurance events is secondary to the training of your cardiovascular/respiratory systems.
Training by HR is a method. But HR is too variable, as Kyillee has already pointed out. But if it's all you got, then you go with it. Example: yesterday I could generated my FT (Functional Threshold) watts at an HR that is in my Z3 range, when in fact, it should be in Z4. Does that mean I should have forced my HR up? NO. It means I am VERY fit right now (I'm tapering for an Ironman). My HR to me now is just "interesting" information.
Watts measure the pure effort (which the meters then convert to kilojoules as a measure of calories burned) that you have expended, independent of wind, temperature, terrain, or any particular conditions of your body. This does not mean that there might not be days where it "feels" harder to generate the same watts. But if today my average watts were 180 and I was tired and my HR was up, and 2 days ago my average watts were 180 and I was well rested and my HR was low, I did the EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF WORK BOTH DAYS. Using the power meter, a coach can then specify that the athlete do "X" amount of work in a workout, regardless of what the HR is while producing that amount of work.
Learn--you are confusing training methods with training TOOLS. Whether you train by HR, by pace, or power, the objective of the training is always to raise your lactate threshold, or whatever you like to call it.
So truly if you want to get all scientific about how to know when your LT has gotten higher, then you would draw blood from yourself during and after your workouts and observe the values (Lance Armstrong did hit LT tests, using a power meter, but they also drew blood from him at the end of the test).
But most of us would rather use some sort of approximating tool to determine where our LT is, be it our HR, our pace, RPE, power, what have you. If you are fortunate enough to train under controlled conditions, any of these tools can be sufficient.
The ability to generate watts on the bike is a function of your CV system; but it is also dependent on your ability to apply force to the pedals, which is, in turn, a function of muscular strength. Beginning cyclists are often more limited by the relative weakness of their legs rather than their CV system. If it were just about CV fitness, then you could take any great runner and turn them into a great cyclist quickly. It doesn't work that way.
Learn, if you don't want to use a power meter, then don't. If training by HR on the bike is getting the results you want, then by all means keep doing that
If you are looking for some additional info on using power meters for training (in addition to those references already listed in this thread), then look at Pez Cycling News.
They've got a good 4 part article on power training.
[QUOTE=kona_expat]But most of us would rather use some sort of approximating tool to determine where our LT is, be it our HR, our pace, RPE, power, what have you. [/QUOTE]
My point would be, based on my own studies and what I have been told, that HR ties in most consistently with what your LT (and other thresholds) are and is the most accurate method of determining how hard you are working (yes, it varies with temprature, recovery, etc - because that also indicates how hard you are working) and what kind of fuel your body is using and what kind of muscles your body is using.
The science on this is changing a lot. Witness this article in the NYT saying that lactic acid is actually fuel for muscles:
They've got a good 4 part article on power training.[/QUOTE]
That is a good series of articles (just read them) - and a good site.
Under the assumption that you actually have had a VO2max or blood lactate test to determine your hr zones, the power meter seems a helpful tool to encourage you to develop efficient cycling methods (higher watts at same hr) and to measure progress. It's probably also helpful in guaging where you need to be when your heart has sudden circumstantial issues (like just getting out of the water and through T1).
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