OK enough is enough my new power meter is on its way. I have ridden and trained with a power meter many times before. I was also on a team a year or 2 back were most of the riders were clones of each other (all about my size) and everyone had a power meter but me. But, its time. At first I really enjoyed the freedom of the bike, just going on feel, and I still do but my training and racing goals have reached a point where without one I am just “spinning my wheels.” Now, power meters and all there funky numbers and terms can be a little daunting, and lots of people get WAY too wrapped up in them.
“what should my TSS be for a recovery week?”
“my norm power was higher than them but they still beat me?”
“felt good but my watts were low on my recovery ride, so that sucked!” Dude it's a RECOVERY RIDE!! Aahhhh! Makes me want to scream. I preach a lot about “feel” and “self awareness” to my clients and friends.
The below passage is from the cadence cycling blog. The bit here really sums up the proper mentality of power meters and how they should be used. Very nice writing!
"Though everyone uses their power meter in a different capacity, what I would really like to see from my athletes is something in between the two extremes. A power meter is a very powerful tool. It can help you make sure that you do the workout correctly, help you pace yourself, give you quantitative data on how you improve, and measure the difficulty of your rides or races. Not to mention, it is a great way to show your coach what is really going on with your training. However, it is important to remember that it is only a tool. Even without the power meter, the power is still there. One of the most important reasons to have a power meter is to fine tune your own sense of perceived exertion. In other words, after a while, you should pretty much know what doing your workouts correctly feels like, with or without the power meter. Below is a list of comments that I would not like to hear from athletes regarding the use of their power meters...
Bad: "My power meter stopped working half way through my ride, so I just rode how I felt"
Should be: "My power meter stopped working half way through my ride, so I tried to do the workout appropriately based on feel"
Bad: "I was in this race and I looked down and saw that I was putting out 700 watts going up the hill. I can't sustain that kind of wattage, so I dropped out"
Should be: "Although I wasn't looking at my power during the race, when I downloaded the file afterwards, I saw that I was putting out 700 watts every time going up the hill. No wonder so many people didn't finish"
Bad: "I felt really good today on my endurance ride, so I went really hard and tried to average the highest wattage I could"
Should be: "I felt really good today on my endurance ride, so I had to use the power meter to hold myself back a bit"
Bad: "I want to be a Cat. 2, and I saw a chart that said that Cat. 2s have an LT power to weight ratio of 4.44 watts/kilo, so I do all my LT intervals at that level"
Should be: "On my last LT test, my power-to-weight ratio was 4.00 watts/kilo. While this is above average for a Cat.3, it is below average for a Cat. 2, so I know that if I upgrade I will need to work on sustained power." "