Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    412

    training and power

    I see a lot of focus on power output these days when people are talking about training but how do you do that on a stationary trainer if you cant afford an expensive new wheel setup thats includes a power tap hub?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Chicken or egg? Moderator
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    4,565
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkenn
    I see a lot of focus on power output these days when people are talking about training but how do you do that on a stationary trainer if you cant afford an expensive new wheel setup thats includes a power tap hub?
    "Level 1" - Have consistent & repeatable method of measuring output on trainer or rollers in any unit e.g. speed, watts, etc. For a trainer setup this may be as simply as a rear wheel mounted standard bicycle computer. If you have a wireless computer already you can try it with the sensor on the back wheel, but if the signal isn't picked up by the computer head then you may have to consider a wired model with a long wire kit option (since some only reach to front fork). These can typically be had very inexpensively. To be repeatable you should assume that you have a consistent setup of tire pressure, adjustment of roller pressure against tire for trainer,etc.

    "Level 2" - Have a method that is capable of measuring power output (watts) that is not only consistent & repeatable but can be compared with benchmarks for your level of ability, which helps in goal setting, although a test protocol to determine your actual ability is more important as a starting point.

    With L1 above, it doesn't really matter what the unit of measure is. Many higher end trainers - and even some rollers - now have a conversion chart available that estimates wattage based on speed. Print out in small format, or maybe extract a key key data points if it's in graphical format, attach to your stem (laminate first?) and presto - you have a method to measure power output, crude as it may seem.

    That being said, even if you can't get a conversion chart, going purely by speed on rollers or trainer can be used almost to the same effect. Speed isn't as useful outdoors as a comparison from day to day because of varying conditions, primarily wind speed and direction which obviously can have a huge effect on numbers. Indoors is an entirely different ballgame though, because other than the simple consistent setup factors I described above, the same speed indicates the same output day after day.

    Developing and conducting your trainer sessions based on different speeds is as valid for training effect as doing it in watts, although it may be trickier to develop a methodology based on % and zones based on speed. The key to remember is that it means nothing in the real world though, or in comparison to anyone else, since the speed numbers you see are specific to your setup only. There may be some correlation to other users of the same trainer, but I wouldn't count on it.

  3. #3
    Rogue Warrior&Anarchist
    Reputation: mike_d_1583's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    244
    Don't forget to hit the gym with some leg presses too and other various workouts.
    mountain biking is not a crime, so quit giving me dirty looks before I bunnyhop your car

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,179
    For the Level 1 training Circlip mentions, Cateye makes a nice computer that has everything you need for $44.99 (speed and pedal RPM using the rear wheel and cranks; perfect for rear wheel trainers). Add your HR monitor, and you'll have a pretty good setup.

    I once plotted out the Krietler roller Speed vs. power data. I remember that the relationship was fairly linear. Training zones as a function of threshold power, is no different really than training zones as a function of threshold speed on the rollers.

    Simply put, you can do a speed threshold test (results in mph) and extrapolate training zones in mph.

    Not sure if trainers have this same linear relationship. This was for the Krietler rollers.


    Another thing I found very valuable with power testing, is what’s called the power profile. Coggan (the guru of power training) divides cycling efforts into four categories
    -Functional Threshold (20 min)
    -VO2max (5 min)
    -Anaerobic Capacity (1 min)
    -Sprint (5 sec)

    You do the tests at the given durations and to get an idea what your strengths and weaknesses are. Once you get your results, you design a training plan focusing on your weaknesses.

    But anyways, before owning a power meter, I simply paid a coach with a computrainer 65 bucks to test me. Better than $1500 for a powertap wheel. My weaknesses at the time was anaerobic capacity, threshold power, and sprint. My VO2max power was real good.

    After getting the test results, I created a training plan focusing on those weaknesses. Using speed on my rollers, I estimated speed training zones for AC and FT, and did lots of 1-2 and 10-20 minute intervals. This training definitely leveled out my profile (and at a higher level overall), with only really AC, still being a weakness.


    Another recommendation is to get the Coggan book. I read the whole thing 3 or 4 times prior to owning a PT. It has a lot of great concepts that every self-coaching cyclist should know. Amazon.com for <$20.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  5. #5
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,386
    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli
    Another recommendation is to get the Coggan book. I read the whole thing 3 or 4 times prior to owning a PT. It has a lot of great concepts that every self-coaching cyclist should know. Amazon.com for <$20.
    This.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike_d_1583
    Don't forget to hit the gym with some leg presses too and other various workouts.
    Not this.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    412
    thanks for all the help guys. I have a garmin 305 with cadence and HR. maybe that is a good start as far as equipment goes.

  7. #7
    Mythical Creature
    Reputation: glenzx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,851
    With Heart Rate based training, get to know your LT and you can base a good range of workouts from it. I trained with HR for 4 years but now rely on power to tell me how much I suck. 3 years of PowerTap based feedback have allowed me to know my FTP really well - and know when I am NOT in good shape (most of the year). The one thing you will hear / see a lot in trms of down-sides to training with HR is the relative inconsistency. For example, when I feel good I can churn out 300 watts at a heart rate just below threshold - but when I am not feeling great, am tired, too hot, overtrained (not an issue anymore) etc... pushing 300 watts sends me into the red after 5-6 minutes. THAT shows how variable HR can be. Power? She is a cold, calculated meanie who always tells it like it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkenn
    thanks for all the help guys. I have a garmin 305 with cadence and HR. maybe that is a good start as far as equipment goes.
    follow me on Twitter!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    373
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkenn
    thanks for all the help guys. I have a garmin 305 with cadence and HR. maybe that is a good start as far as equipment goes.
    What trainer do you have? I also use a Garmin 305 and wrote a little program to convert the speed measurements to power based on the Kurt Kinetic info. Really, really simple.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    412
    i just have a minoura mag trainer.

  10. #10
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,432
    Currently any decent power meter is stupidly expensive.

    In my house I have just about all kinds:
    1 compu-trainer
    2 SRMs (road and MTB)
    3 power taps (two road and one MTB)

    If I could only have one it would be the MTB power tap.

  11. #11
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
    Reputation: used2Bhard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,051

    !

    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    Power? She is a cold, calculated meanie who always tells it like it is.
    I love it Glen! That's one of the best quotes I have heard in while.

    HR is so worthless for me. I know it works great for others, but my HR is apparently too goofy to trust for training purposes.

    Power is the ticket, but as you said Jeff, It's not cheap. Keep your eyes open on e-bay for used PT wheels. I have seen them up for $300. Alot a cheaper than XX or a new frame, and will give greater improvements in the long run.
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •