I’ve been training with power now for the last year and a bit, and I must say I’ve found it pretty useful. Training with heart rate is all very well, but it tends not to reflect performance in a consistant manner if you’re a bit tired or its windy. Power on the other hand gives you an instant read-out of you output every second of every ride that is comparable with other rides irrespective of how I felt or whether it was windy or not.
In order to get the most out of power training, I need to make sure I train at the right levels, which means testing. There are two values that are most significant: lower lactate threshld and upper (or anaerobic) threshold.
The anaerobic one is easy to determine – ride as hard as you can up the longest hill you can find for 30mins, and read off your average watts. The lower one is a bit more complicated and involves measuring blood lactate at different steady state wattage values until a shift is seen in the line graph. For me, this is at 175 watts, which is OK for my weight.
So, am I fit? Well, I think so. I’m at a good point to be at in the middle of the winter, with values not too far off my peak in the middle of the summer. Lets see where I am at the end of the winter.