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Pro numbers

One thing I wish Steve had access to on his ride with CSC is their wattage (Power) output from their SRMs. Every team that I know of has begun using watts as the bottom line evaluator of a riders fitness, in determining what kind of baseline shape they're in, where they need to be for a particular race (say Paris Roubaix or a 3 week tour), and when they are overtrained or should recover.

Power output has gained notoriety in recent years, at least in the US, because of Chris Carmichael's work with Lance, but it's been used for longer than that by specific trainers in Europe (most notably Ceccini and Ferrari).

I believe the real pioneers of power training are the coaches from the Australian Instiutute of Sport (AIS)who were recording and breaking down wattage back in the early 90s for their track riders. Dean Golich and Carmichael (among others) picked up on it in the US and voila, a movement was started. Pros the world over now know more accurately if their training is on target, when it needs to be tweaked, and when they need to back off. It simply takes a lot of the guess work out of the equation.

I use it with the Trax trainer that I got last winter because it's got wattage output built in (the primary reason my lovely wife spent $400 on it for Christmas), as well as all the other numbers used for comparitive purposes (HR, cardence, kilocalories, etc). I think what I most like about training with power is that a) the numbers don't lie and b) it allows one to train more efficiently. You don't waste any time or effort, which is particularly important when you're trying to squeeze 10 hours of weekly training into a busy life of family and work. I'll also be getting a power monitor addition to my Polar HRM monitor that I can put on my road bike in the spring and start getting real world feedback from road training and racing. Being able to chart this stuff graphically on the PC will take out a lot of the guess work, so I'm not wasting my time when I do ride.

Mags, do you use any type or Power monitor for your training? Anyone else? I'm guessing yes, but let us know.