Garth Fox's Power Page
Garth Fox presented to a full house at Cyclefit last week and used race footage and rider's data to illustrate the pros (no cons) of using power as a training aid.
Below are Garth's ten take homes from The Power Symposium.
You can find out more about Garth and his coaching services at GarthFox.com
Power is truth. Watts don't lie (Lance quote). More watts for a given effort this month than last? You are fitter and stronger and your performance WILL improve. Less power than before? Why? Now you can ask the smart questions of your coach - watts give YOU power.
When you realise that more power means you are now a better cyclist, how motivating is it to get even better again on a familiar climb, on a test, even submaximally (it is not about going hard all the time).
Whether on a 10m TT, the Etape, The Marmotte, an Ironman Bike Leg, good pacing (usually even pacing but sometimes variable) will allow you to 'get everything out' as you cross the line. That is the route to your fastest time.
4. INTERVAL TRAINING.
Is essential if you are to condition specific energy systems and you are a time-crunched executive. Using a power meter you can do these sessions very very precisely which will lead to efficient physiological adaptations.
5. COACH COMMUNICATION.
If you pay a coach to do the heavy lifting for you with regard to training analysis and prescription, then power files allow him/her to understand exactly where your physical condition is at any point. Very powerful. Almost like feeling what you feel.
6. QUANTIFY RACE DEMANDS.
If you are wondering whether or not you can complete the Etape or how fast you can do it, try riding at the required speed on a local hill with a few hundred metres of similar gradient to that which you will encounter in the event. How many watts did you need to maintain? Now you have the answer!
7. HEART RATE AND FEEL DEFINITION.
HR and feel suddenly become very useful and valuable metrics when overlaid onto the certainty that is your power output. For example, 200W feeling harder to maintain today than 2 days ago and heart rate relatively low is telling you somehing very important and should inform your next training session.
8. ALLOWS TRUE TRAINING SPECIFICITY.
Riding with a high power output and a high cadence (time trialling) has an very different physiological impact than high power, low cadence (climbing the Col de la Madeleine). Allows you to train accordingly (specifically).
9. FORGET WEIGHT PENALTIES.
New generation powermeters are light. Even if they were not, my money would be on the powermeter trained athlete with the heavy bike over Weight Weeny Willy who simply rides around with no structure or planned progression to his training load.
10. HERE TO STAY.
The people who make a living out of riding a bike (pros) almost all use one. That should tell you something. Using power as a training tool is here to stay. Don't fight it, embrace it and dial in the best form of your life.