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THE FUCKING POWER METER THREAD

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
nothing says bougie like getting lab testing done for your indoor trainer bike.
It’ll identify the heart rates at which these zones are. So useful for any activity, indoors or not +/- a few beats.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
19,871
4,005
borcester rhymes
Ramp tested again. 242w, up from 212 or whatever a month ago. Feel pretty good about that. Hope I can keep up with those numbers as I enter interval season.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
20,097
5,060
Colorado
Anybody have an old Powertap they don't uae or spare parts from their old/broken one? My buddy had a wire on his split. It's on the part to the right in this picture. It has a y-cable.
IMG_20220419_071456.jpg
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
Well, that's humbling: got a lactate tester and ran my own mini lactate test on my Bike+.



2 mmol/l baseline. Dipped to 1.6 mmol/l @ 100W, my warmup block, but already to 2.3 and then rising further at 120W and beyond. (The 3.6 @ 160W was probably artifact from a poor stick.)

Why this is humbling: Note the heart rates associated with each power. My efficiency was fine by my own standards, and out of my fairly accurate max heart rate of 172 bpm 100W was at 61% MHR, 120W @ 65%, 140W @ 70%, 160W @ 74%. For comparison, my DFA alpha 1 > 0.75 is 74%+ MHR.

So by those usual metrics, or the % power of my estimated FTP (which is pretty consistent via either 20 minute test or ramp test), I should not have been working hard objectively. But the lactate tells the tale, accumulating even from a lower power/HR range!

My takeaway from this is that I apparently need more hours spent at <= 65% MHR, as above that range I'm already above my current LT1! I thought I was taking it easy enough on most of my rides, but apparently not. Thus this purchase of an Edge has already been worthwhile.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
I contacted Edge USA, and their tips were to make sure my hands were very clean, and to use the deepest depth setting on the lancet. So I did these things, and did another ramp test just now. 5 min blocks this time.

Ugly plotting this time via Google Sheets.

I'm still dubious of these lactate readings.



Note very similar power vs heart rate at the time points. 5 minutes seemed enough to stabilize. Lots of seeming noise in first few lactate measurements, and then an apparent plateau, but in the 3-4 mmol/l range!

As far as perceived exertion goes, up to 160W felt easy, 180W felt slightly labored but still mouth closed, 200W was on the border of mouth closed or not, and 220 and 240W felt like solid efforts but sustainable, maybe 6-7/10 at 240?
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
Finally: believable absolute lactate numbers from my Edge. I washed hands with soap before my ride, wiped with an alcohol pad before each stick, wiped off the first blood drop, and tested with an ample second drop.





2 mmol/l @ 150W, 4 mmol/l @ 200W. 140W time in my future.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493


World tour cyclist lactate curve. Note the x-axis units. Craziness.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
Did a mini ramp test to match the protocol of a paper I read.



The good news is that I hit 360W, so am several standard deviations above the data from the people in the paper (302W +/- 14). The bad news is that the low-then-growing-with-power efficiency indicates my aerobic base is weak. More < LT1 time!
 

iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
5,094
2,526
This thread does not deliver....going on for ages and still no pic of someone fucking their powermeter. :disgust1: ;)
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
19,871
4,005
borcester rhymes
Anybody use intervals.icu? I just discovered it and am not sure what to make of it yet.

Seems like I'm on the right track at least:
intervals.png


I'm getting the feeling that my rest weeks are not restful enough...I also suck at structured outdoor training. It's easy when the machine tells you to do it, it's harder when you have to hold 220w in traffic.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
You should do a lactate test... I bet you're doing much of your time well above LT1.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
A non-easy day for once. 10 min warmup, 30 min alternating between 110-110% new lower estimated FTP and 50%, then 5 min cool down.

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Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
D1C16B41-E10D-408C-A2EB-CED2E46A211E.jpeg

CE02670D-CB11-4596-A50C-D048F677ED92.jpeg


Today was test day at The Fast Lab.

Their Computrainer wouldn’t fit the 29” wheel diameter of my commuter so we did a treadmill test instead.

Full RER, VO2, HR, and lactate data to come. But the above from my CGM and watch show that I hit my usual max heart rate, and that I had a glucose bump to 126 mg/dL despite being fasted going into this. (This is normal.)

Glancing at some of the other data with the test lady after it a few things stood out: lactate indeed started to climb slowly at 115 bpm or so a la my own data, but stayed climbing slowly fairly linearly with heart rate.

RER stayed low until the end, and in keeping with this, I maintained high fat oxidation rates until the very end. This is somewhat discordant with the lactate data and I’ll have to figure out an explanation. Maybe the full data when I get those will tell more.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
Got the data from Monday's test today. Here's me all strapped into the gear. Flattering, I know



Warmup lactate was 0.8 mmol/l. Then here's the curve. No real flat part to it, but no exponential shape, either. Not sure what to make of it, honestly.



Super crappy screenshot that she sent of the VO2 and VCO2 vs HR and RER curves. I topped out at about 4.1 L/min VO2 but this was right before I hit RER 1.0—never hit 1.0 during the set despite her having calibrated with outside air right before the test started.



This one is interesting to me, as it shows fat oxidation of near 10 kcal/min maintained pretty steadily +/- noise in the data until quite high of a heart rate/work rate! This is a good thing to have, as it shows at higher but not maximal work rates my fat oxidation isn't shutting down but rather is just kicking along with glucose oxidation being added in on top of that. Maybe that's what the lactate curve is showing.



Anyway, since I'm fat, somewhere between 103-108 kg depending on the week, VO2max is right around 39/ml/min/kg. So I'm no pro athlete but I'm no metabolic syndrome basketcase, either. Also note that testing at 5,830' will mean that I'd be 5-10% higher if tested at sea level.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
My takeaways: -

open up Z2 to < 130 bpm (her suggested 140 bpm cutpoint seems too aggressive per lactate)
- on trail rides don't worry about HR as will always be oxidizing fat, so just let go!
- VO2max is ok for a fat 40 year old radiologist at altitude logging 7-10 hours/week!
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
2EEDDF50-24D8-498E-9835-41E4F5BDAB30.jpeg
561D491D-C2A8-4046-83CF-4E2711AEDE73.jpeg
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Did a full 60 minutes at hard intensity ride. Can’t match what 72% of 1 minute average power from my ramp test would predict: only could hold 89% of that predicted.

the above are lactate readings at 15, 30, 45, and then 60 minutes. They show I paced myself ok, and the high last one shows I put out a good last effort.

But as this is what I can actually put out for 60 minutes it’s truly my 60 minute FTP, the other estimations just being poor estimations. So I’ve plopped that into the system and will use it.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
19,871
4,005
borcester rhymes
the whole concept of FTP and FTP testing is somewhat comical- I wish there were a better way. Your "FTP" is usually based around the 20 minute test, but you can be bad or good at the 20m test and report a higher or lower value than you could do for an hour. You can have a great 20m test then do poorly at the hour test if you're bad at pacing or something like that. There are alternative tests like the ramp (which might overreport if you're a strong rider) and kolay moore seems to have an even more challenging test....all of which is useful for measuring your dick and figuring out your target power zones for training. So its kind of like...just find a test and use it as a benchmark then use the same benchmark against yourself to see if you improve...or go ride for an hour and see how you did.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
80,412
19,762
media blackout
the whole concept of FTP and FTP testing is somewhat comical- I wish there were a better way. Your "FTP" is usually based around the 20 minute test, but you can be bad or good at the 20m test and report a higher or lower value than you could do for an hour. You can have a great 20m test then do poorly at the hour test if you're bad at pacing or something like that. There are alternative tests like the ramp (which might overreport if you're a strong rider) and kolay moore seems to have an even more challenging test....all of which is useful for measuring your dick and figuring out your target power zones for training. So its kind of like...just find a test and use it as a benchmark then use the same benchmark against yourself to see if you improve...or go ride for an hour and see how you did.
i'm kinda back to the point of just monitoring my heart rate, then going by how i feel.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
19,871
4,005
borcester rhymes
i'm kinda back to the point of just monitoring my heart rate, then going by how i feel.
I like having a power meter to know how hard I'm working regardless of wind or road surface or grade, and I think it's important to have a reference point to measure performance against (ie, 20m FTP- am I above that or below, and how far below), but for the casual road rider it's not important. The problem with heartrate is how variable it can be based on other shit...caffeine, morning, stress, heat, etc. I've noticed that my HR might be 10-20bpm lower on the same run in the morning vs. evening.

All that being said, I've read/heard repeatedly that RPE is really the best measure of how hard you're working, but you have to be relatively trained to understand your own RPE
 

Poops McDougal

moving to australia
May 30, 2007
998
962
Central California
I'm constantly trying to balance my desire for data with my need to give less of a shit about unimportant things. I should avoid this thread. I do have a tickr, but I don't really use it any more.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
19,871
4,005
borcester rhymes
I have heard a few times to every once in a while put away your computer and just go ride. I geek out on the data a lot, but I'm also not quite good enough of a rider to let it ruin the fun for me. I don't really care where my HR is unless I'm already worried about it (ie post COVID) nor my power unless I'm trying to focus on a workout, which I still suck at outside. I typically just try and plan a ride on a new route and focus on looking around and seeing what's there to see
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
80,412
19,762
media blackout
I like having a power meter to know how hard I'm working regardless of wind or road surface or grade, and I think it's important to have a reference point to measure performance against (ie, 20m FTP- am I above that or below, and how far below), but for the casual road rider it's not important. The problem with heartrate is how variable it can be based on other shit...caffeine, morning, stress, heat, etc. I've noticed that my HR might be 10-20bpm lower on the same run in the morning vs. evening.

All that being said, I've read/heard repeatedly that RPE is really the best measure of how hard you're working, but you have to be relatively trained to understand your own RPE
i only have a power meter on my trainer. when i'm actually out riding, i go by heart rate, if anything.

i tend to be more into the power aspect of things during the winter months when i spend more time on the trainer, gives another aspect to the riding to help break the monotony of it.
 

Poops McDougal

moving to australia
May 30, 2007
998
962
Central California
I definitely get the utility of all the data-collecting gear, and it definitely appeals to my inner data nerd. I'm just such a nerd about it, that I stress myself out. I tried a whoop strap for awhile, and I literally kept myself up at night stressing about what my sleep data was going to look like.

I have some problems.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
19,871
4,005
borcester rhymes
I definitely get the utility of all the data-collecting gear, and it definitely appeals to my inner data nerd. I'm just such a nerd about it, that I stress myself out. I tried a whoop strap for awhile, and I literally kept myself up at night stressing about what my sleep data was going to look like.

I have some problems.
LOL, too true. I geek out on the data...it appeals to me as a scientist (my profession). I still enjoy riding immensely, but seeing metrics after the fact is pretty neat
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
the whole concept of FTP and FTP testing is somewhat comical- I wish there were a better way. Your "FTP" is usually based around the 20 minute test, but you can be bad or good at the 20m test and report a higher or lower value than you could do for an hour. You can have a great 20m test then do poorly at the hour test if you're bad at pacing or something like that. There are alternative tests like the ramp (which might overreport if you're a strong rider) and kolay moore seems to have an even more challenging test....all of which is useful for measuring your dick and figuring out your target power zones for training. So its kind of like...just find a test and use it as a benchmark then use the same benchmark against yourself to see if you improve...or go ride for an hour and see how you did.
Relevant:


Cliff Notes: 20 minute power does not translate well to longer distances. Dependent on training level, with less trained getting exhausted quicker at estimated "60 minute" power level.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
19,871
4,005
borcester rhymes
Relevant:


Cliff Notes: 20 minute power does not translate well to longer distances. Dependent on training level, with less trained getting exhausted quicker at estimated "60 minute" power level.
I think the logical next step is a multi-level power test, with 5s, 30s 1m, 5m, and 20m. I don't think you need to go beyond that time frame as you start to get into actual race territory and being able to perform the 1hr test would be nigh on impossible. I like what the wahoo program does, where they combine most of these into a single workout, but understanding what this translates to in terms of workouts and on bike performance will be a bit different
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
Well, that's why I performed essentially a 1 hour test myself last night with the lactate levels to see if I was pacing myself well enough. 3.2, 5.1, 5.2, 14.4 mmol/l at 15, 30, 45, 60 min to me indicates that yes, I was pacing myself well (the last super high bit from the last 2-3 minutes of high pace effort, not representative).
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
12,773
9,679
I've never ridden outdoors with a power meter, but I've always ridden with a HRM strap, so I know what I can do based on that. I do enjoy trying to ride to power levels when indoors on the trainer.

But separately, with my shitty reaction to catching covid I like now wearing a smart wearable to track my HR, RHR, HRV, temp, SPO2 etc 24/7 so I can keep an eye on the trends.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
51682953-700E-420A-9663-9615276EB5F4.jpeg


a boring spin chasing low HR but for a minute of letting dat lactate flow. recall this is seated, one hand on the bars due to the cast and all.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
3FBF5DF0-5AF7-4818-841C-122DB19624EC.jpeg


checked lactate after my 120 bpm 60 min spin on Friday. 1.3 mmol/l. Same 1.3 tonight after a 124 bpm 63 min spin. Shall aim for 128 bpm tomorrow night after another ~60 min spin.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
1.4 mmol/l after ~an hour at 128 bpm average last night and 132 bpm average tonight. (Kept HR constant with dropping power last night and kept power constant with rising HR over hour today.)

So still on the flat part of that lactate curve.

Thursday afternoon I’ll do a test at 10W intervals from 100W to maybe 200. Maybe 5 min a step, test off bike with supplies laid out already, hop right back on for next?
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
34,334
5,493
1.4 mmol/l after ~an hour at 128 bpm average last night and 132 bpm average tonight. (Kept HR constant with dropping power last night and kept power constant with rising HR over hour today.)

So still on the flat part of that lactate curve.

Thursday afternoon I’ll do a test at 10W intervals from 100W to maybe 200. Maybe 5 min a step, test off bike with supplies laid out already, hop right back on for next?
Ended up doing 80W-240W, 20W intervals, 5 min on bike, step off to test, back on afterwards.







I have improved my lactate curve significantly since May via a decent amount of low-intensity volume (generally 110-120 bpm). The curve now stays nice and flat through 160W @ 137 bpm before starting to bump up. The 1.6 at 100W was probably artifact.

Between Peloton, DH, trail rides, and my bike commute I've logged just shy of 272 hours in the saddle this year. Today is the 272nd day of 2022.
 
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