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Pcad Power Tap Revelations

Old 04-03-08, 05:24 PM
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Pcad Power Tap Revelations

Slowly the value of the PT is seeping through my thick skull. Not that I'm going to read any books (like Training with a Power Meter, collecting dust under my night stand), don't get carried away. But a few observations:

• The last couple of workouts somebody here told me how to analyze my hill intervals with Power Agent.

• I was breaking them out today and looking at the numbers, which were very consistent (my power ramps up and down at precise places on this hill) between intervals. Looking at the time elapsed, I thought back to last April's workouts, and...

• I got faster. Quite a bit faster in fact: 90 seconds on the first interval today than my best time on the same stretch last year (6:48 today vs. 8:27 last year, add 10 seconds for Fudge Factor). Consistent improvement on the other hill stretch I do, but pretty much 1-2 mins faster on 7-10 minute hill repeats. The distances recorded on the PTap intervals were within .05 miles of identical hill repeats, and consistent with my memory of the distance recorded last year, so I'm pretty confident the speed increase is no illusion (my power ramps way up and drops way off at the exact spots I timed myself between in 2007 on both hills).

That's very encouraging for a couple of reasons:

• My uphill TT is still a month away, I hope to get thinner and faster, particularly going uphill

• My best times last year were recorded a week before the event, I still have 4 weeks to train

I did that course last year in 26:39 or so, hoped to break 25 mins. this year, if those numbers hold true, that would appear within reach. We'll see I suppose. You can only go out and go as hard as you can for as long as you can, right? Everything else is Road Nazi hand-wringing. But sub 25 mins on that hill would put me in the top half of the 45+ guys, I was 27th or so out of 39 last year.

One other observation: I felt like crap today to the point where I almost bagged the workout, but I figured 'just do the workout and the PM will tell you how bad you were today'. Surprisingly the numbers were similar (if not slightly better than) as last week's. Without a PM I wouldn't really know.

Fascinating.



Pcad may be living proof that Racing Makes Anyone Faster. Even me. That PTap is a very cool gizmo indeed, and I'm discovering more about it, as I hoped I would. Very happy with the purchase.

Last edited by patentcad; 04-03-08 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 04-03-08, 05:28 PM
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I miss my Powertap. A lot.
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Old 04-03-08, 05:35 PM
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I don't believe any of this. Post a chart.
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Old 04-03-08, 05:43 PM
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I've found that the worse I feel during the workout, the better I did...
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Old 04-03-08, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
I don't believe any of this. Post a chart.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:03 PM
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im gonna stop going to the racing forum, i've been craving for a powertap and looking on ebay while knowing that i simply can't afford it ;<. I don't even need it, im a measly C racer, but whenever i get into anything i have to have all the gadgets and be up to bar with everyone else within reasonable means.

does a powertap really help you tell when you need to recover? because i can never tell anymore, i feel like i can squeeze in an extra day every time i make myself take a rest day.

oh powertap
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Old 04-03-08, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Idioteque View Post
im gonna stop going to the racing forum, i've been craving for a powertap and looking on ebay while knowing that i simply can't afford it ;<. I don't even need it, im a measly C racer, but whenever i get into anything i have to have all the gadgets and be up to bar with everyone else within reasonable means.

does a powertap really help you tell when you need to recover? because i can never tell anymore, i feel like i can squeeze in an extra day every time i make myself take a rest day.

oh powertap
Dude. Who cares?

Get it for the graphs.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:09 PM
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PCad - caution, these last emails don't sound like self-loathing. The Power Tap is causing delusions of improvement - and this of course can only lead to you thinking you are better than you were.

Next thing you know you will be signing up for the TDF.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Dude. Who cares?

Get it for the graphs.
What graphs?
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Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
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Why am I in your signature.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by crtreedude View Post
PCad - caution, these last emails don't sound like self-loathing. The Power Tap is causing delusions of improvement - and this of course can only lead to you thinking you are better than you were.

Next thing you know you will be signing up for the TDF.
Oh, don't worry. Any such delusions will be quickly vaporized by the USCF Experience. Never fails either.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:24 PM
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Old 04-03-08, 07:31 PM
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I have an awesome graph...this was one of my last rides with the Powertap....



Those are in hours, BTW....not minutes. Minutes are so ordinary.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:32 PM
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Another PTap question: Can I race this thing in the pouring rain Saturday without F-ing the whole thing up?
How to Ptaps like the rain (or not)?
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Old 04-03-08, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
The don't have a Self Loathing Parameter on PT. They need it. Mine might not be measurable with existing technology however. It would blow the circuit board. Hey Dr. W., that looks like a ryanf graph.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
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Old 04-03-08, 07:52 PM
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Somebody explain to me how get that Power Agent graph into a screen shot so I can post it here, can't figure that one out. Thanks. I'm on a Mac.
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Old 04-03-08, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Another PTap question: Can I race this thing in the pouring rain Saturday without F-ing the whole thing up?
How to Ptaps like the rain (or not)?
Yeah, I've had mine out in some pretty bad weather this year. During some really heavy rains I have had problems with dropouts, but it does not hurt the PT. I think the dropouts are the water causing problems with the sharkfin picking up the hub. My understanding is that the SL model's hub electronics are located toward the center of the hub compared to the Pro which had more problems with rain....at least that is the word on the street.
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Old 04-03-08, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Somebody explain to me how get that Power Agent graph into a screen shot so I can post it here, can't figure that one out. Thanks. I'm on a Mac.
Macintosh Screen Capture
Besides the standard screen dump, there are other ways to capture the screen.

If you have Mac OSX, it's easy to use the built-in key commands for grabbing a screen.

Press Command (Apple)-Shift-4. The pointer turns into a bull's eye.
Select the area of the screen you wish to capture. The screen is captured and saved as a PDF file called Picture 1 on your hard drive.
If you hold down the Control key in addition to the Command (Apple)-Shirt-4 while clicking the bull's eye, the image is stored on the clipboard.
If you have Mac OSX, you can also use the Grab Utility. This allows you to capture windows that are open.

Open Grab (located in Applications/Utility).
Choose Capture > Timed Screen.
When the Timed Screen Grab dialog opens, click Start Timer.
Click the menu you want to capture and keep the mouse button pressed until the Timer Screen Grab dialog closes and the picture appears.
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Old 04-03-08, 08:08 PM
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I've got the Screenshot Plus widget. It's pretty easy to select an image and save it to the desktop.

http://www.columbia.edu/~slc2111/
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Old 04-03-08, 08:36 PM
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My Powertap USB cradle arrived today and I enjoyed my first download of PTap data. Nothing like re-living a workout via charts, graphs, and numbers.

Anyway, how useful is the WKO+ software? TSS and IF calcs are nice as are the scattershot plots of cadence/power. What benefit do I get over simply inputting these formulas into Excel/making Excel construct the graphs?
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Old 04-03-08, 08:46 PM
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Here's that first hill interval today, closest thing to a CTS FTP type interval I have.



I think 310 watts for 7 minutes translates into an FTP of 260-270 or so. Just a guess.
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Old 04-03-08, 08:50 PM
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I finally goad into posting this and still have precious little understanding what it is.
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Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
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Old 04-03-08, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
I finally goad into posting this and still have precious little understanding what it is.
Here's the understanding I'm getting after a few months with this gizmo: it is the ONLY way to accurately and objectively quantify training performance on a bicycle, and that's invaluable for a number of rather obvious reasons. It's amazing to be able to track your every critical ride variable: power, torque, speed, cadence, HR, etc. - and have it graphed minute by minute and mile by mile for a multi-hour ride or workout with the ability to go in and micro analyze every interval like the graph I've posted above. That's an incredibly powerful training tool, and I'm starting to grasp why it's so popular.

Once you start to see the information it makes available to you it does start to suck you in a bit. I thought it might de-motivate me when I saw how pathetic my power numbers were compared to other racers; but I'm starting to realize how much it might help me get better...
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Old 04-03-08, 08:59 PM
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Here's the whole ride: see the hill repeats between mins 40 and 100? It really is amazing:



By the way, forgot to put that HR strap on this morning, that's why the HR line is flatlined.
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Old 04-03-08, 09:13 PM
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You might want to remove your name, unless you don't care.
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