4 Ways power measurement makes you better, by Coach Joe Beer.
You can test, test and test
Power measurement means you get your own lab to track fitness gains. Assessment of “absorption” of training (see Eric Harr's Ramp Test in the full article here
), are certain shoes really faster, or how feeding intake affects power production on long bike or run sessions.
You get work done, not your ego protected
In an era full of metrics its useful to keep things simple but effective. Using power identifies exactly how much work you are actually doing. From intervals to Ironman bike splits, over-geared strength work to run surges – quoting watts starts to make sense and move away from the always understated personal effort level “oh it was steady”.
- You can pace-judge that perfect race
No one wants to admit they went too hard on the bike or ran out of T2 thinking they were Daniela Ryf or Jan Frodeno. Bottom line: you can't just push harder, you have to trim wasted watts from your bike drag, your run technique, or both. Measuring watts gives you an input that your kit and technique must forge into the best output (speed).
- You get meaningful tests of your tolerance (and minerals)
The focus for some sessions is to see exactly what you can do. From a 20-minute highest power bike time trial to an 8-minute all out run. You can use power to test your engine, then prescribe zones and paces. Watts are the true currency of talking proper science of training.