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Understanding Your Power Meter Data (Cycling Tips)

Understanding Your Power Meter Data (Cycling Tips)


hey guys Vegan cyclist, I want to talk
about understanding your data from your power meter I’ve had a lot of questions
about this people asking me my experience with this but so we’ll break
it down into three different topics one how to set up your data on your garmin
properly so that you’re able to get the most out of your power meter to
understanding what you’re seeing on your garmin and three understanding the
analytics of the data when you check it out after I’d like post-ride iso setting
up your garment I have three different main pages I have a race page and
interval page and a general riding page here’s kind of my layout for a general
ride i have overall time from the start of the ride to the end of the ride I’ve power raw power not three seconds
and I’ll explain why do that later average power for the entire ride time
of day and distance that’s just like my general I have no you know whatever was
going out for a ride I have my interval page we’re all set up into three slices
like this where it’s basically laptime raw power and lap power so i’m able to
go out onto an interval i kinda like work into the interval little bit and
then once I’m say trying to hit I don’t know 300 watts for 10 minutes I’ll get
into that 300 Watts i’ll hit lap and then it sets my time and my power so
that i can use my average power to also kind of smooth out that the data that
I’m receiving because that’s a big part and we’re going to get to it and then my
race page is time power and average power I don’t need to lap it i just need to
know my overall average power for the race so that if I’m way past you know
where I need to be your weigh-in the red eye can see that visually is my average
power at and time because i can look and say okay 20 minutes and 20 minutes and
I’m 340 watts well I’m I’m really close to read right
part two is understanding the data that you’re seeing on your garmin now if you
just got your power meter and you haven’t done any kind of power test so
you don’t know what your ftp is you don’t know what your body is capable of
so the numbers that you’re staring at mean really nothing you just know that
50 watts is super low and a thousand-watt super high but in
between there depending on your weight and your fitness you just don’t know and
also when you first get a power meter you’re not used to being able to apply
power in a really smooth fashion because you’ve never had and a visual input of
your of your energy going into your bike so this is what you expect to see when
you get a power meter is these super clean smooth numbers of 300 Watts 301
302 301 302 99 that’s never going to be how it is you’ll never be able to have power that
smooth just because there’s that’s just not how it works it’s not how you really
apply power it’s going to be jerky now when you first start it’s going to
be super jerky you might range a hundred and fifty watts because you’re just
going to be overcorrecting every time you get this input visually right you’re
going to kind of have this like a lag of you see 300 watts and go well that’s too
high then you back off but you back off way too much then the power shows a
hundred and twenty watts so you’re actually that’s not enough so then you
stomp on it goes 401 21 and 455 and 271 you’re just like what is going on i can
I can’t hold it is just all over the place and then when it’s all over the
place to blow up and the common answer is well put it to three second average
or 10 second average and it will smooth out the power all three second power
average or 10 second power average is doing is taking your plot points and
then averaging those plot points so say here’s your raw power data bam-bam-bam
instead of getting these numbers every single time you know every second you
get these numbers every single second and for me especially during intervals it’s too laggy I need to know right away
what my power is doing so i can make these little micro adjustments to to my
energy into the bike to make sure that I stay as close to the the prescribed
power as possible and if your plot points are all over the place averaging the three of them isn’t really
going to do a whole lot to make it super-smooth she just need no look it’s
going to be chaotic first you’ll get better at it I promise took me about a
year her to really smooth out my power you
know readings within like 30 watts but it’s still super normal to have this
huge sway between that was like a practical way to understand what you’re
seeing and applying this knowledge is like during an interval let’s take for
instance my 20-minute effort where I did 350 watts I knew I wanted to do 350 watts for 20
minutes so i set my power meter up my garment like this i have time my lap
time I have my raw power and I have my average power lat average lat power so I
work up into about 350 watts I hit lap so now I started and now my average
power is going to make adjustments much slower than my raw power so I can kind of use both a boat both
visuals to make those adjustments to make sure I’m staying with my range but
so if I’m shooting for 350 watts for 20 minutes i’m gonna give myself 30 to 50 watt window on my raw power so
i’m going to more use that as I want to make sure that I don’t go to 400 watts I definitely don’t want to be up that
higher like 370 I definitely don’t wanna be like 320 i’m gonna try to gauge my
power sort of ping-pong my my power between that little window and then pay
attention to my average power to see if it’s dropping or rising more than I
wanted to now you got to remember that in your
average power the adjustments that are going to be happening on average power
going to come fast and often in the beginning of the effort but very slow
and not so often towards the end of the effort so say you wanted to hit 350
watts and at the last 18 minutes in I met 340 watts I’m smoke i’m not going to be able to
make up 10 watts in two minutes not gonna happen right there’s just way
too many data points going into that average that a few more is going to make
that big of a difference you got to try to make sure you stay as
close to your average as you is you can you can kind of negative split a little
bit that’s kind of getting into something else so just make small little
adjustments add a little power or take a little bit
of power off that’s gonna take that’s going to take time to try to get
used to but you will see your data being all over the place is totally normal it’s ok use average power or use your
lap average power to maybe kind of have more of a an easier gauge of where
you’re at use raw or three second doesn’t really
matter of finding it makes a huge difference but just try to make sure
that you don’t overcorrect a whole lot and just get better at turning those
pedals at a smooth rate that’s ok chapter 3 last thing analyzing your data
post after the ride when you get home and you plug it into whatever program
software that you’re going to use to analyze this could be training peaks
which is like your top in top shelf unit just gives you a lot to dwell over if
you don’t have a serious program like training program not really that serious
into it which is overkill like seriously basic strava is a fine is
pretty good but so when I get done with a ride what I’m looking at is my average
power for the whole ride trying to make sure that i stayed in some kind of good
zone right like an endurance zone or whatever tempos on whatever my kind of
goal was I look at my intervals by had any kind of bracket those you know look
at what I you know what i was doing for those if I was shooting for say 320
wants for 10 minutes you know how close was I to that how was
I doing in that and also look at the chart of the graph to see was I pretty
smooth this is what I hope to see during
interval sometimes this is what I see and that’s not good that’s not efficient
so then I can kind of maybe analyze what was going on during that and try to
smooth out my power training peaks and some really cool like your top 5 seconds
10 seconds twenty second type stuff those are fun to look at did not really
very helpful but it helps you create goals that are manageable that you can
cut try to achieve later on so if you could say hey normal try to better my
22nd power that’s really cool too now you’ve got to have your zones so
check out one of these videos get your zones that’s what’s gonna make these numbers
moon anything you without having your zones mapped a
power meter is useless but so when you have your zones map you can also look at
your time in your zones and see how efficient you were did you spend one
hour and zone one on a one hour ride ok let’s not you know it’s definitely a
recovery ride so if that wasn’t what was planned like you can look back at that
and really analyze what you didn’t didn’t do also this is what’s so amazing
about power you can look years behind so if you just gotta power meter what you
can really look forward to is all the data that you’re going to gain because
looking back last year and knowing where I was at certain points of the year
based on certain train i can expect certain things and so I that’s huge for
me to be able to know where I’m going if I’m on track and just make these micro
adjustments to my program to try to say okay I’m getting close to what the best
I’ve ever done again this year i had 30 and 50 watts for 20 minutes that was my goal and that wasn’t a
pie-in-the-sky goal that was a goal based on the last three years of power
data that I’ve had because you could see a trending chart and that that was
achievable now if I said 400 watts like yeah
they’ve been really cool but it’s just not in the cards with the way my powers
been trending up it’s not there now I got also know that my powers not just
going to keep going up its going to level off a little bit and the games are
going to be you know marginal but a power meter is going to be able to give
you so much amazing stuff if you don’t have a parameter get a power meter
they’re amazing I hope this has helped you have any other questions about power
meters let me know thanks so much guys Vegan cyclist yeah

10 thoughts on “Understanding Your Power Meter Data (Cycling Tips)

  1. I just got a power meter, should i try to find free training plans (if there's any)online, or should a pay for coaching?

  2. Hi @The Vegan Cyclist
    i'm really struggling to keep in that small window. It would drop to 290-310 due to less wind and then i would want to go up to 350 asap, spinning hard, i suddenly see 380-420 on my wahoo screen. And these surges are DEADLY, Any tips on this problem? I don't have 20min climbs in flanders i do this flat.

  3. Is the power in zwift that's based on the speed of your back wheel and what trainer you have accurate?

  4. Hey man you mention your pages and I liked it, but it was so short do you have a video explaining your pages and some ideas for good pages on the bolt?

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