Power Meter Importance
I've got a line on a great deal on a powertap from a local club member, I'm just wondering how important it could be. I'm looking at doing a 100-miler or maybe Trans-Sylvania next season. I plan to do my weekday training (<2 hr rides) indoors using TrainerRoad, so I'd really only need it for my weekend outdoor endurance ride and for pacing during a race. Anyone have a PM they can't live without? Or have one that they think was a waste?
Do you use a garmin and a heart rate monitor now? Do you look at your graphs? Have you calculated LTHR yet? Do you train with heart rate? If you hate the data analysis from a HR monitor a power meter is 1000x worse. If you love it it's 1000x better.
I really love my quarq. I would do it again for sure. How useful a power meter will be for you though is really dependent on you. It's obviously no substitute for training, it's just a training tool or a cool toy.
Keep in mind if you are getting a used powertap you may need to have it serviced. That costs around $350 I think.
I'm not a coach, but I was trained using power back in the early days of power training.
I can say that all of my weekday training was on an indoor training and knowing power was essential. It really doesn't matter for endurance rides - you need to finish the ride - or racing - too many other variables for power to matter much. Power will likely be way up and way down during a race. You can't tell the other guys around you to slow down because you've reached the end of an interval.
So if you are already using power in your weekday rides, then no, you don't need a power meter.
BTW, having properly planned weekday 2 hour rides is much more important than knowing power. This is where a coach can be helpful -- it's a trained fresh set of eyes to check on your plan.
I disagree with this. HR is a pretty worthless metric and I have completely stopped using it. Power, however, is very useful and I regularly analyze it. I do agree that a PM is pretty worthless if you don't analyze the data, though. Especially for road rides, it helps with pacing and determining what your intervals should be.
Originally Posted by litany
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