Power meters…. whats the point??

I’ve been using a quark powermeter for the last 2.5 years.  I bought it as a pick me up following knee surgery (I can’t run ‘properly’ anymore so I was in mourning.  (I am still doing Ironman but I just shuffle around the run 🙂 )

I use golden cheetah to put my data into.

I personally think it’s been great and has helped me improve…. but then I swapped the date range on a graph the other day,  and now I am not so sure…..

So… What have I seen?


I like the graph of my aerobic  best efforts.  Ie best 5 minute power (green), 10 minute(dark blue), 20 minutes(light blue) and 60 minutes (red).  The best measure for me is 60 min power.  I find it starts off low in December, climbs in the spring (with a big peaks in 5-20 mins in march when I go to lanza for a week and do some TT / hill timed climb efforts) then rises to some big events in the summer.
I did IM France in June, then had 10 weeks off as I lost mojo.

Great.  I find this motivational.  I look at the current year. And all is good.  Lines trending up make me happy

So I extended the date range the other day, and was a bit surprised.  I see my power building each year, but over the last 2-3 years the peaks are not actually getting any higher 😦


So what’s going on?

  • Is the whole power based training thing not working?
  • Why are my best efforts in each year in lanza in May?
  • Why is one of my 5 best efforts for 60 minute power  done over 2 and a half years ago?
  1. I dont generally do short races or events.  I’ve only ever done 1 straight  40k tt 3 years ago
  2. My training has been based on improving aerobic fitness and sustainable power over 180k.  Lots of long steady rides and 60 min turbo sessions with hard efforts and recoveries
  3. when do I do shorter hard efforts…. Err in lanza.  These are done in competition amongst the people on the camp. I do a 20k rolling tt on a Sunday, and a 10k hill climb on the Wednesday. .

These are.my best efforts for the year.  I can’t get close to them another time… The power of motivation

  1. I don’t like working really hard on the turbo

Actual Races
I only race (so far) in Ironman – thats been the real measure for me over the last 5 years.  Sportives etc are just training rides.
Over the years I have varied / increased the difficulty of races I have done, (IM Germany fast, flat -> IM Wales short sharp hills,  -> IM lanza hills and wind -> IM France 1000m climbs) so it’s difficult to see a trend, but overall my times have fallen 5:37 fastest in 2011 to 5:07 in 2013.

Last year was rubbish, i had 10 weeks off post IM France and still knocked out a 5:07 at IM Barcelona.

Should I expect to see any increases / bests in 60 min power when I generally ride for 5-6 hrs on a Sunday?

So sometimes a graph does not tell the whole story

I love my power meter 🙂

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