The Pros and Cons of training with a power meter, it’s going to be really hard finding a con but if there is one, we’ll find it.
The topic of power meters is something that has been discussed over and over again on the internet, one quick google search will show you the countless articles and videos that have been made explaining this training tool. Yet still, you find cyclists who have no idea how to properly train with one and therefore can’t see the benefit of implementing it into their training regiment.
The power meter is a pacing tool, it’s the best way to find out exactly how much work you’re doing on the bike. There’s other ways to get this data, but those other forms are subjective to other variables. Heart Rate for example can fluctuate depending on weather, food, wind etc…Therefore is not an exact way to measure work/power.
Pacing yourself with a heart rate monitor will have your numbers going up and down constantly, therefore not giving you an efficient workout. The power meter is completely unaffected by all those other variables and will consistently give you the exact number of the work you’re doing, independent to wind, weather or food (specifically caffeine).
It’s the perfect tool for those who have limited time on the bike or cyclists who want to train efficiently to have real gains.
So, now that you have a general idea of what a power meter does and what do to, well how do you use it? Once you have the unit installed on your bike, and we’ll talk about the different types of units and installation on another article. You’ll need to sync it to your cycling computer which can be Wahoo, Pioneer, Garmin and other types of GPS computers.
Once synced you’ll have different options on viewing your power output, and if you did that google search we mentioned above you probably think your next step is to perform an FTP test. Actually, it’s not. Training with power has a learning curve there are many functions and settings, if you don’t set them right the first time you’ll end up discouraged with your purchase. It’s best to consult a professional.
We needed help and we wanted to work with someone experienced and not waste anymore time. We consulted with Patrick Sansburry From Pinnacle coaching. Simply put, he has 7 years of power training experience and a proven track record, we’ll talk more about Pat on a later article.
The point we’re trying to make is don’t be shy or embarrassed to consult a coach. You already made the discussion on purchasing a power meter make sure to get your money’s worth.