A Guide to Power Training Cycling

I consider power training cycling to be the best method of training. You might think that is a big claim, but I will explain why in this article.

I will show you why power training cycling is the most effective way to train, and how to use a power meter such as the PowerTap correctly.

You might be wondering why power meters are praised so much, and why you would want to get one if you already have a heart rate monitor.

The reason you need a power meter for training, is because a lot of different factors affect your heart rate, so it isn’t the most reliable method to train from.

This makes maintaining a steady effort during time trialling or training nearly impossible.

Heart rate isn’t the only thing affected by lots of different factors, perceived exertion can be affected quite a bit, since it entirely depends on your mental state at the time. This is why new bikes are always so much easier to ride fast.

Power training cycling removes these other factors.

Here is a situation where power training cycling is so great is when you start to cycle up hill, and want to keep your effort the same.

If you went off heart rate, it would be quite hard to keep the same effort, since your heart rate will vary quite a bit during the climb.

If you had a power meter, you would take note of your power output before reaching the climb, and then you would simply have to change gear and cadence accordingly to maintain your power output. That is the main reason power training cycling is great, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it, meanwhile you will be improving constantly!

The next section on power training cycling is about how to monitor and track your progress.

If you want to start power cycling training after buying your power meter, you need to measure what is know as your “Functional Threshold Power” (FTP). It is simply the power you are capable of producing for 60 minutes.

By periodically measuring your functional threshold power, you will be able to see yourself progress, which is excellent for motivation. You will also gain an advantage over your competitors who don’t do power training cycling.

Here is what you need to do to find out your FTP:

You can do this on a turbo trainer, but if you don’t have one, or hate indoor training, there is no reason you couldn’t do power training cycling on the road. You will only need a route where you wont have to stop very often.

First warm up with 15-20 minutes of easy spinning, then go as hard as you can for 60 minutes. Your average power output for those 60 minutes is your FTP.

This means you can pace yourself correctly during time trials and training, and you will be able to see yourself progress. That is why power training cycling is so effective.

Hauptbahnof – Navigating A German Train Station

A Hauptbahnof is a cavernous German train station. Rail travel is popular in Germany. Many passengers will be rushing through the doors. Here are some tips on navigating through the station to your comfortable train seat.

Deutsche Bahn is the German National Railway that not only manages 30,000 daily trains, but also 5,700 train stations. Here are the steps:

  • Purchase your Fahrkarte, or train ticket. Your choice is the ticket office or a kiosk. Ticket offices advise you on various train travel options. Kiosks are good for short trips. In either case you must decide on first or second class train tickets. First is roughly double the price of second;
  • Bring your luggage. Large racks above the train seats hold plenty of luggage;
  • Check the train time. Large screens are in the front of the station with cities, train times, and tracks; Deutsche Bahn precision enables several trains to arrive and depart each track per hour. If your train time or track number is not on the screen, you are likely early. Germans arrive close to departure, confident the train is on time and knowing the likely departure track. Eventually, your train and track will appear;
  • Go to your track. If you are early, the Hauptbahnof offers café’s, Bäckerei, newsstands, and other shopping. When arriving at your track platform, check your train ticket for a number and a capitalized A through E. Number 1 is first class and number 2 is second class. All card boldly displays either number. The capitalized A-E is the Wagenstananziegler, or car locator. You will see A, B, C… painted on the platform a car length apart. Queue-up by the letter on your train ticket. This way you will not be dragging your luggage through multiple cars. Deutsche Bahn will stop the train so each car precisely lines with each letter;
  • Hoist your luggage on the rack; make sure your train ticket is available when the conductor makes the rounds, (there is often a clip on for ticket in front of you); and relax.

Depending on the Deutsche Bahn train, you will be flying through the countryside at incredible speeds on a cushioned ride. While the scenery will be interesting, the soft rumble below may lull you into sleep. I used to worry about sleeping through a stop. Today’s smart phones provide a variety of alarms. Regular announcements describe the next stop. Lean back in your comfortable seat and enjoy the ride.