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vesteroid 12-02-12 12:15 PM

data vs thought
I participate on a wine forum pretty regularly. Oddly enough there is an active bike section there as well (a running thread so to speak). Now most of these guys are in the fitter category, but all of them are professionals and none of them seem to look down on those less fit.

In conversations with them recently I realized something. Most of those guys train with power, and use the analysis aspect more than I see here on this forum.

I also use training peaks, where I not only track all my workouts (running, biking, and hotel gym workouts) but I also have a withings scale and it sends my weight daily to TP.

I have been doing this almost a year now.

It is amazing to me to see the obvious correlation between my weight and my training. When I look at the charts over a year, its CLEAR to see where my weight started going down, and my training started going up. I can also see the reverse of that. A few months ago, I slacked off...and sure enough I gained about 7 lbs. About 3 weeks ago, i got serious again and went back to 5-6 days a week, and sure enough my weight peaked the week after I started, and then trended down.

I can see periods where I traveled a lot, and blew off training, and can clearly see how my weight either went up a pound or two, or stayed the same. Then I can see the week after a hard training week, where it always started back down.

My point is I dont think over that time, I really varied my diet all that much, but what seems to be more constant to me is that the more I work out, the more I lose.

Graphing data really opened my eyes, and i thought it may help one of you.

I can also say its often surprised me how little I had done in a period...if you had asked me, I would have said I exercised more, but when i went back and looked at it on a month by month basis, I was always wrong.

TrojanHorse 12-02-12 01:21 PM

So what are you tracking... miles? Hours? Watts? Days per week?

I haven't splurged on a power meter yet although I came close last month to picking up some nice wheels on fleabay, but then I got worried about having to send in possibly out of cal hubs for cal, and that's expensive.

For me the answer is pretty straight forward - when I ride 4+ times a week, I get faster and stronger and lose weight more consistently (I reckon I have 30 to go to get into ideal range... for me). If I don't, I hold steady.

Oh, and when did you get a power meter? Was it part of your DI2 purchase? Are you out of the dog house yet? :)

vesteroid 12-02-12 03:42 PM

lol I got my power wheel set back in june I think. Yes more or less out of the dog house.

I track everything. I can see how long I ride / run, I can see what day, i can see average HR, all types of power data (riding only) I even track if I am traveling and use the hotel gym.

It takes me the same time to upload it to training peaks as it does for you on strava...I just like training peaks a bit more as I can record gym workouts, weight, and other metrics (like if you recorded bp or zeo sleep data etc). Heck you can even do your food on there if you want, but thats too much work for me.

All this wasnt really about training with power, it was about keeping training records and tying them to weight loss record, and looking at the graph. Heck you could graph it on excel and see the same thing.

I can even download my trainer files to training peaks.

TrojanHorse 12-02-12 04:05 PM

I think if I had a power meter I'd use training peaks but my logging is restricted to garmin & strava these days. So I get a good summary of my miles, hours and elevation climbed. The suffer score bit is interesting (if a bit hokey) in terms of monitoring how much effort you expended and for how long on a given ride. Strava also has that segment aspect, which I REALLY like for testing myself against a known segment.

Do you just use the free version of TP or do you use the premium piece? I assume they charge you for training plans or over-the-web coaching as well?

cplager 12-02-12 04:55 PM


Most people don't have power meters and do just fine. I use a Garmin GPS (without a power meter) to keep track of my rides, but a smart phone, or just entering the route and time by hand afterwards is good enough.

As far as weight loss goes, remember, the simple idea is that if you burn as many calories as you eat, you stay at the same weight. If you bike more and eat the same, you'll probably lose weight. Note that it isn't really that simple because the more you bike, the more you want to eat.

If you are close(ish) to your ideal weight, adding exercise is often sufficient. If it isn't, then it is worth going to talk to somebody about not only how much you are eating, but also what you are are eating. The kicker is that in order to lose weight, you really have to change how you eat. And if you lose the weight you want and switch back to whatever you were doing before, you'll probably put the weight back on. The good news is that if you make several small and manageable changes e.g., stop eating potato chips as your snack and switch to green beans), you'll be more likely to keep it up for, well, forever. And, yes, biking can be a big help here, too.


vesteroid 12-02-12 05:16 PM

not sure where this thread took a power meter turn. I only said I was tracking how much riding I was doing compared to my weight each day and can see a direct correlation to the amount of exercise over a given period and my weight trend.

It was vivid as I had a years worth of data.

You coud take a pencil and a watch and a scale and do the same thing. All I was trying to get at was actually tracking your workouts and weight was an interesting thing.

TrojanHorse 12-02-12 06:02 PM

I wasn't focusing on it, just noticing you tracked it, that's all.

So are you using the freebie TP or the pay to play TP? I just signed up for it, I think I'll give it a whirl.

chefisaac 12-02-12 06:15 PM

you make some great points. Can you share the graph?

I only track miles but I know this: When I travel and blow off riding and eating, I suck when I get back on the bike. I know that if I blow my eating, my performance suffers big time. I know if I over ride, my performance takes a dive too. It's all very interesting for sure.

vesteroid 12-02-12 06:45 PM

I use the paid version, wich I buy a year at a time since its cheap. there are some nice tools for graphing your power and progress there...and I like the paid maps better...but really because I can do all my data in one place, and have some decent analysis tools.

I can plan my workouts in advance and have it email me what I need to do for the day. i like that when i am traveling for work.

of course garmin connect is close but I so far cant track my weight automatically and it doesnt have the power analysis TP does.

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