Powermeter and HR

I am about to pull the trigger on a powermeter for my gravel bike. I am in the last week of fall foundations and will be moving to the 10 week strength. I have been completing my workouts by HR. When I get a powermeter when would be a good time to do a 20min field test? The powermeter is only going to be on my gravel bike, I also ride a 150mm trail bike, I am assuming its ok to just use HR on the trail bike and focus on the power on my gravel bike?

I am also wondering if it would be more beneficial for me to get a smart trainer vs a powermeter. I have a lot of rolling hills around me so it is sometimes hard to find the roads to keep the same power through the workout.

What is great is you can use both heart rate and power. A power meter is instant feedback while heart rate can lag. But once you start training with power pay attention to your heart rate as well so you know how it responds to certain efforts. It will help your training with and without the power meter.

You should have power on the bike or set up you plan on training on the most. Having it on the gravel bike would be great to give you an idea of your training leading into gravel races, feedback from the events you do and etc. Though when you are in a race you are just going really and not paying attention. But it can be really helpful in the simulation rides. But again just look to have it on the set up where you will spend your most time training and doing efforts. You will always be able to use heart rate and perceived exertion and once you training with power it will help you see how your heart rate reacts to the efforts.

As for when doing the field test I would just do as soon as you get it. If you can do it the last weekend of the fall foundation plan that would be great. Take an off day two days out, openers the day before and then do the 20 minute effort. Either way just have at least a rest day before so you can go in fresh. Ideally before you start any weight training or at least before you start heavy lifting as that will effect your legs.

Thanks @Jake. What is your take on a smarter trainer vs power meter? I currently have a dumb training that gives me power read outs with an inride sensor. Would you recommend the power meter over the smart trainer?

Ideally you could have a powermeter on your bike and that bike you could attach to your trainer. So you would have power indoors and outdoors and the same unit so it would be consistent and accurate.

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That is what I am thinking. I can’t swing a PM and smart trainer right now but I do have my dumb trainer. I think going for PM vs a smart trainer is the better decision. I ride outside and complete the workouts outside as much as a can, after all isn’t that why we ride?!


Just ordered a full quarq crankset and powermeter from excel!!

Next week I have my first week of the adaptation phase. It looks like Thursday I have a rest day next week and lifting on Friday for adaptation. Could I do a test before my gym session that day?
on Sunday I have a 2 hr zone 2 ride. Would I be ok to bang off a 20 min effort during that to get my power numbers?

If those don’t work, any other suggestions?

I would do it on Sunday. Just keep that Saturday to 60 - 90 minutes of zone 2. Then bang out a 20 minute effort on Sundays ride.

Also remember that first week of training is suppose to be super easy and you are just getting use to the weights. Really first day is just going through the motions and exercises. Don’t push it too much on that Friday. Don’t want sore legs.

Saturday I have a 2:30 min session that is mostly zone 2 with 4x8 minute muscle tension intervals.

Just wanted to bump this back up top. Completed 2.5hrs today with 4x8 muscle intervals. Tomorrow I have just 2hrs of zone 2. Kind of lost as to when I should do another field test. Is there anyway for to work backwards from solid zone 2 data? Or should I just hammer 20 mins tomorrow if I’m feeling good and be done with it?

Happy Halloween FasCats! #candywatts