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pacing with a power meter

Old 12-23-11, 11:18 AM
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notwist
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pacing with a power meter

any tips on pacing with a power meter (specifically when doing intervals)? i just got a power meter and one of the first things i noticed is how varying wattage is. what are the best data fields to display when doing intervals that would make keeping a steady wattage possible? btw, i currently use a garmin 705
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Old 12-23-11, 11:33 AM
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Set it to 3-sec averaging on the display (some use 10-sec I think), and maybe also show the 30-sec average.
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Old 12-23-11, 11:45 AM
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3 seconds is good. I also display the interval's average.

You get better with practice.
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Old 12-23-11, 12:15 PM
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Don't stare at the display. A glance down every 20 seconds or so, along with some awareness of what your body is doing, is enough to keep on a steady pace. When I used a power meter, I would set it up with 1) Watts (on the big field), 2) average watts, and 3) time (I had a yellow powertap computer).
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Old 12-23-11, 12:51 PM
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I tend not to try to peg a set number. Rather, I shoot for a range.

For example, if my interval calls for holding 250 watts, I try to keep it between 245 and 255. Of course, I do most of my interval training on the trainer, where it is much easier to target a wattage.
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Old 12-23-11, 02:52 PM
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3 second average. pedal.
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Old 12-23-11, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
pedal.
faster
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Old 12-23-11, 08:54 PM
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and do the same 3 sec avg with cadence too.
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Old 12-23-11, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
3 seconds is good. I also display the interval's average.

You get better with practice.

This is key for me. I set one of my screens on my Garmin to show average power for the interval. That way you can leave your other settings alone. Just watch the average number and not the real-time #.
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Old 12-23-11, 10:46 PM
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I watch 3 second power, cadence and interval time. When I first got my PM, I found that my cadence dropped as I tried to keep the power up. I always have a cadence goal and give it priority over power. With practice, my power improved at the cadence goal.
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Old 12-24-11, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
3 seconds is good. I also display the interval's average.

You get better with practice.
I do this. I believe I read about it from you em dee. I try keep the target wattage in mind and then make both the 3 sec. and interval average equal the target. On longer intervals, you can use 30 second average.
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Old 12-24-11, 12:39 PM
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I use 30 second average for long intervals (like 20' intervals), 10 second average for group rides, and 3-5 sec average for anaerobic/vo2 max/sprint intervals.
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Old 12-24-11, 02:28 PM
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It also gets easier over time. Eventually you can tell how hard your working just by rpe.
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Old 12-25-11, 09:17 AM
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For all training intervals, I just try to keep a steady power, while only displaying at the average for that interval.

If you're supposed to be doing 250 W, a few seconds at 280 isn't going to change much, and a few seconds at 350, you'd notice based on RPE.

It's also in your best interest to keep them steady. If you're supposed to do 5 min at 250, for example, you'll feel a lot less tired if you do the whole thing at 250 than if you do half at 200 and half at 300.
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Old 12-25-11, 10:47 AM
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Try and keep inside the range for your zone. For example, if your FTP is 300, the range is usually 280-325 or so. Don't kill yourself trying to keep it 300.0001, just stay in the range. If you go a little high, go a little low to compensate.
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Old 12-25-11, 05:42 PM
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I've tried using the average settings, but found myself overreacting when it when above or below my goal. Instead, I left it on the normal display, and simply practiced. During a prescribed interval I usually glance at it every 30 seconds or so, and for longer intervals (10 min plus) I can normally come with a few watts of my goal.
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Old 12-25-11, 10:04 PM
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if you have a garmin, you can display 3", 30", and lap averages for intervals.
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Old 12-26-11, 05:49 AM
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You could set up a workout on the device which will beep at you if you go above or below a certain wattage (Or speed, or HR or w/e).
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Old 12-26-11, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dnuzzomueller View Post
You could set up a workout on the device which will beep at you if you go above or below a certain wattage (Or speed, or HR or w/e).
horrible idea. there are stories of racers forgetting to turn off the alarm in a race, and when the beeping starts, other racers attacked.
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Old 12-27-11, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I watch 3 second power, cadence and interval time. When I first got my PM, I found that my cadence dropped as I tried to keep the power up. I always have a cadence goal and give it priority over power. With practice, my power improved at the cadence goal.
This is the biggest difference for me when training with HR or power. When I would do a 20 minute interval with HR, if I were dropping out of my zone, I'd go to an easier gear and increase my cadence. This would bring my HR up. When I tried this with a power meter, I found my output actually drops (regardless of what happens with HR). So, with a power meter, I tend to shift in a taller gear when I'm struggling to keep a power target.

So while I try to keep cadence in the range I want, I will sacrifice cadence for power. HR for me is a completely fall-out. It just is what it is.

I know a really good rider that does SST work at 120 rpm. The guy is an animal and can spin like crazy. My pedal stroke just isn't that nice. I'll do Z2 work at 110, but still feel like a hack. After 20 more years of it, I think I'll smooth out a little.
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Old 12-27-11, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
This is the biggest difference for me when training with HR or power. When I would do a 20 minute interval with HR, if I were dropping out of my zone, I'd go to an easier gear and increase my cadence. This would bring my HR up. When I tried this with a power meter, I found my output actually drops (regardless of what happens with HR). So, with a power meter, I tend to shift in a taller gear when I'm struggling to keep a power target.

So while I try to keep cadence in the range I want, I will sacrifice cadence for power. HR for me is a completely fall-out. It just is what it is.

I know a really good rider that does SST work at 120 rpm. The guy is an animal and can spin like crazy. My pedal stroke just isn't that nice. I'll do Z2 work at 110, but still feel like a hack. After 20 more years of it, I think I'll smooth out a little.
Funny, I was thinking of trying out a strategy like this: I'm going to ride an out and back route at SST power, then note my average speed and HR. Then I should be able to ride my FG at the same speed --- since the two bikes are very close in weight and fit, power should be close too. But since I have purposefullygeared the FG lower, I'll have to really spin it. The goal being to get more comfortable at a higher cadence, and raising FTP.
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