Saturday, March 17, 2012

Training with powermeter

First of all, I had another good day of training. 20min run, 2h bike, 30min run. I did not feel as beaten up on the second run today as I felt last week when I did this little brick workout. I was still really tired but it can only get better and better.
I also need to start think about fueling again because I was starving by the end of the bike ride and what that meant was that I ate a generous serving of pasta, one whole chocolate and halb the bag of Haribo gummy bears afterwards. So not the best meal ever but I was just so tired and hungry.
I went biking alone, I was too lazy to go to town to meet other people and there are still miles and miles lot of roads on my side of town I have not riden yet. Biking here is awesome. Similar to Slovakia and France. So different from MI! Empty roads, smooth surfaces, considerate drivers, dreamy. I need to take some pictures.
I can imagine leaving here. You know what would be awesome, combine German salaries, European countryside and American prices. Utopia.

Anyway, I went to that presentation about why train with powermeter. It was presented by one guy from some kind of Performance evaluation centre here in Hanover. And it was quite interesting. Of course I did not understand every single word he said but I caught most of the presentation.

He started by presenting different kinds of trainings and explained what yields what result. For example, my current bike training (biking only on Sat and Sun) yields almost no results because my fitness increases when I bike but then slowly as the week progresses and I do not do anythig I loose almost all the fitness I build on weekend. So yeah....

He was mostly concentrating on why people should use powermeters and not HR only. He was showing us different power/HR files and explaining how these two variables "behave" in different situations, and why HR can lie.
For example, when one does a training camp and trains quite hard day after day then as fatique increases HR decreases and you cannot get it up. So HR stops being a good performance measure.
The same goes for when is dehydrated or when one rides in heat.

Then he showed us different graphs what HR does when you build your power slowly (also HR increases slwoly and corresponds to the power, making this the best scenario when HR can be used as performance measurement), when you start hard from the beginning and hold it there (HR corresponds to P for the most part but if you start decreasing the power HR falls down way too much), when you start too hard and then lower the power (HR stays too high relative to P).

He also showed graphs abut what happens when you do intervals by power. Basically, not only HR lags behind but your average HR for interval increases with each interval, and therefore using HR for intervals is useless. Unless of course you know exactly how your HR responds to intervals. For example if you know that your HR increases with each intervals by 2 beats, that you cna do intervals in that way that you increase your target HR for next intervals. However, almost noone knows how exaclty her HR responds.
And of course for short intervals, using HR does not make any sense at all.

There were so much info, I think that at the moment I cannot even remember it all.

One another interesting thing he said, which I am still trying to comprehend. Lot of triathletes concenrate on run and swim in winter. Doing this they still train their heart therefore the heart is trainer. However, their biking muscles are not trained. And then when they start biking their legs fitness lag big time behing their their heart fitness. Therefore they usually see HR much lower than they normally would because they just cannot push hard enough. So spring training by HR does not give good results because HR is too low. This is what I am having hard time to comprehend. So HR is too low for your watts or perceived effort? Let's say you want to be at 180 HR, which normally you can reach at let's say 230watts, but now you need to puch 250 watts to get to 180 and so you are actually pushing harder than you should, right?
Am I understanding ti right? Not sure.

He concluded that ideal measures are HR + Power. Power is like action and HR reaction to that action.

I do not remember what other things he said. These are probably the most interesting.

You know I wanted to test that Cervelo S5 but unfortunately they did not have any Cervelos to test ride, only Looks. So I did not, I just admired it looking at it:)

Then the store owner gave me a tour of the store and told me that there are a lot of roadies riding on Sundays at 10am and told me to come. He approched me because apparently all the people there know each other and I was a new face:)


  1. Actually at a training camp as you train a ton and get fatigued your HR will likely be depressed(not go up). I have proof. ;)

    Not being able to get your HR up when first starting to ride is a sign of lack of bike specific strength. I have a lot of athletes (women mostly) who have a hard time getting their HR up to appropriate zones on the bike... so they can't even push 250W at all. That's why their HR won't go up- it doesn't need to b/c their muscles aren't in need of more oxygen- they're not working hard enough.

  2. You might be right, I probaby only confused it. I believe that you have tons of proof from last 2 weeks:)