Cycling Power Curves: How to Analyze Yours (Ask a Cycling Coach 291) | Summary and Q&A

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January 5, 2021
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TrainerRoad
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Cycling Power Curves: How to Analyze Yours (Ask a Cycling Coach 291)

TL;DR

Power curves are useful tools for tracking progress and comparing performance, but they should not be seen as definitive indicators of a rider's abilities or be the sole focus of training.

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Key Insights

  • ✊ Power curves should not define a rider or limit their training focus.
  • ❓ Rider-course fit is more important than discipline in determining success.
  • ✊ Power curves can be useful for tracking progress and comparing performance over time.
  • ✊ Enduro racing requires repeatability and comprehensive fitness rather than focusing solely on power curves.
  • 🖐️ Technical skills, course knowledge, and race strategy play significant roles in achieving success.
  • ✊ Power curves can help identify strengths and weaknesses to inform training and race planning.
  • 🙈 Power curves should not be seen as static, but as a reflection of what a rider has accomplished rather than what they are capable of.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the purpose of a power curve?

Power curves track PRs over time and provide a way to compare performance from one period to another. They are not definitive indicators of a rider's abilities or training focus.

Q: Can power curves be misleading?

Yes, power curves can be misleading if taken at face value. They should not define a rider or be the sole focus of training, as other factors like repeatability and technical skills are important in racing.

Q: How can power curves be used in different disciplines?

Power curves can provide insights into a rider's strengths and weaknesses, helping them tailor their race strategy. For example, in mountain biking, power curves can highlight a rider's ability to handle short, intense efforts.

Q: How should power curves be interpreted in Enduro racing?

In Enduro racing, where the terrain and course characteristics vary, power curves should be seen as tools rather than absolutes. Comprehensive fitness and repeatability are crucial for success in this discipline.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Power curves can be misleading and should not define a rider or dictate their training focus.

  • Power curves are best used for tracking personal records (PRs) and comparing progress over time.

  • Rider-course fit is more important than discipline in determining success, and power curves can help identify strengths and weaknesses.

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