I've had my kids around a lot the last few weeks - enough that it's hard to get out for rides. So I've been spending far more time on the trainer than usual. One very cool thing is that Kurt Kinetic publishes the equation for the power curve for it's trainers. For my road machine, it is:
P = (5.244820) * S + (0.01968) * S^3
P= power S= speed
Combine that with a new computer with a rear wheel speed sensor, and I can figure out peak and average power outputs easily from the Garmin Connect page. If I can figure out how to get the raw data into a spreadsheet, then I'll be able to plot out power outputs throughout the workout - neat. I seem to end up doing at least one interval workout on the trainer each week, so I should be able to start seeing improvements, too.
I have no way of verifying the accuracy of that curve with my specific unit, but folks who have powermeters report that they get consistent results on their Kurt Kinetics.
On my last workout, I was maintaining almost 700 watts for a series of 30 second intervals. I was feeling pretty good about that until I remembered that pros put out double that on their sprints. And they weigh a lot less. Guess that's why my sprint on the road tops out around 30 mph, while their speeds get a lot higher.
Moral of the story? i spend too much time thinking about this stuff. The other moral is if your computer has a rear wheel sensor you can easily start training with power this winter as more training time is inside.
PS: FWIW, I like the Sufferfest training videos that are formatted for my iPod touch (ok, and for the iPhone, too). My favorite so far is the Downward Spiral.