Cycling Intervals Using a Power Meter

March 27, 2016 4:58 pm

Why is it those things that are the least fun, often the most beneficial?  So it is doing intervals, both running and cycling.  For the past couple of years I have avoid them and although I have been able to keep things reasonably fast, I  know that as I get ready to race, I need to go back to speed work.  Running intervals is a much easier thing in terms of measuring your improvement because you are basically looking at pace.  When you bike, speed is no longer a reliable indicator because the terrain and the wind have such a big effect.  This is where a power meter comes in, where you can measure your average power for each interval.

Since we moved the last time I subjected myself to this torture, I have to use a different route than in the past, and nothing here is very flat.  But with a power meter I can still make a comparison.  I also changed my approach.  Instead of doing 4 intervals of 7 minutes, with a 3.5 minute recovery, I changed to do 3 minute intervals, 9 times.  I did a 2 minute recovery between intervals, except to break things up into 3 sets of 3 intervals, I had double recovery between sets.  This is how I did.

Power Intervals

So not up to the peak I reached 3 years ago, I am not in too bad of shape.  As I am now training for a big race, I will plot things to see how they improve.

If I didn’t have a power meter, and plotted speed. the chart would have looked like this.  It would appear that I had lost a lot of conditioning, but the power meter tells me that is not the case.

Intervals-Speed

 

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