Have You Been Relying on the Wrong Power Numbers?

The Physiology of FTP and New Testing Protocols

By Troy Templin

This morning I found an interesting article sent out by Training Peaks written by Kolie Moore about FTP testing and training, You can read it here. Much of it is directed toward coaches, but there is some excellent info in there for anyone training, riding or considering a power meter.

Power meters still have a reputation for being confusing and only for those that consider themselves “Elite.” This can be true but so can everything cycling related. I have been using a power meter on all of my bikes since 2010 and would not consider myself “Elite” and rarely race for a win, usually just for a finish or personal time goal. I use the power meter to track fitness gains but usually lows and have not done the notorious 20-minute power test in maybe four or five years. Even when I would do them, they were rare, and I always felt like it wasn’t an accurate gauge of effort for me.

As I read the article, I finally got to the new FTP tests that Kolie has been implementing with clients. They are very similar to the way I would self-test when I wanted to or happened to feel good. I am not on a training plan and always try to set realistic goals for myself (60 miles a week.) Sometimes that’s easy, and I exceed it, but many times it’s just perfect and all I can do to find the time. I mention only to put my cycling in perspective. Remember a power meter is just a true way to gauge effort no matter the temperature, speed, altitude, distance and terrain and can benefit any cyclist that is willing to try it. As the article says “Power meters help you calibrate your brain” and I’ll add expectations.

For more info on a few of the power meter options on the market click here for a Power Buyer’s Guide.

Not your typical power training, but bike skills are important too.
Not your typical power training, but bike skills are important too.

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