What good is a watt? What is actual work done? Should you be training with a power meter? Read on for Training with Power and how it can be used to maximize your training and your success.

There was a time when the only way to know what the actual work done on your bike was, called for the athlete to be tested in a laboratory setting at a university or sports performance facility on a cycle ergometer. This gave the athlete an idea of where their physiological parameters such as VO2 max and lactate threshold were, but how was the athlete to implement this data into their workouts and training?

For years using heart rate training was considered the gold standard, an athlete would be tested in the laboratory and be given ranges that corresponded to specific energy systems in the body such at aerobic energy system, fast glycolysis or lactate threshold energy system. The athlete then went out and trained according to these ranges and often found they were mostly successful but there was a fundamental flaw to heart rate training and that is the fluctuation in heart rate from interval to interval, day to day or week to week. The workload that was done at 150 beats per minute last week may not reflect the same workload of 150 beats per minute next week or even on the next interval. In fact the heart rate that the athlete tested at in the lab or on a field test may not even reflect a truly accurate heart rate for the test done. […]