Cycling is one of the most readily available and doable exercises out there. Riding your bike counts as a workout if you couple it with intensity.

If you are thinking of keeping up with the pros or improving your fitness, you may start training with a power meter. It’s a tool that supports your big leap to become a better, stronger rider, as the following reasons will tell you.

Power Training When Cycling

You know you are dead serious about the activity when you show up for training. Your program may be similar or different from that of other amateur and professional racers depending on your lifestyle. Consult a fitness or an endurance coach if you are keen on becoming an athlete.

In the meantime, you can structure your bike training program by using modern tools and accessories such as the power meter. You can install this gadget on certain parts of your bike, most commonly in the crank arm or pedal.

Which power meter is for you?

  • Single-sided power meter—measures the power output of one leg, usually the left one. Doubling your “production” does not necessarily translate to total power because of imbalance where your left leg may be producing more or less force than your right leg.
  • Combined/dual-sided system—measures the torque from both legs. Some of these power meters have left/right symmetry that may help correct a significant imbalance.
  • Left and right side independent system—measures the power output of each of your right and left leg and thus indicates which leg is stronger or can undergo strengthening.

With this starting information, it’s time to investigate the use of the power meter in this exercise.

1. Measures Your Power

The power meter represents a mechanism to calculate power expended on a given time and measured in watts. This power, put simply, is the product of how hard and fast you pedal. This tool also represents another way to determine your fitness threshold power, which is essential to assess your power zone.

2. Lends Accuracy to Your Training

As noted above, the power meter adds science to your program and reinforces its structure that you may have based on speed, time, and heart rate. Its numbers can lead you to the appropriate workout routines or intensity intervals to increase your power and the like. Setting goals with actual numbers removes any vague ideas about your performance.

3. Maximizes Your Training Time

You become more conscious about your pace with the power meter. That cuts the slack from cruising and directs your precious energy where it should be: training. You can go for slow rides once in a while, but it’s always a great practice to do short, high-intensity intervals to condition your body for any race or event.

4. Lets You Train for a Specific Event

With a looming cycling event, the power meter is the perfect tool to accompany your practice. You can fine-tune your needs based on the course and the meter reading. More importantly, you can predict the outcome accurately and thus put in the necessary work to achieve your desired performance or goal.

5. Gets You Motivated

It’s natural to lose interest after a few weeks of endurance training. What will keep you going are the goals that you’ve set out to do when you first started with your power meter. As you grow into your routine and see yourself improve, you can aim for higher milestones. That’s motivation.

6. Steers You Out of Physical Troubles

Fatigue, strain, and injury are some of the physical risks of the activity. When you have mastered or got the hang of your pace, you can make judgment calls about when to take breaks or ride differently to keep your heart rate and body in check.

Full Circle

If you have been using the power meter, you can track your progress over time and identify areas for improvement. When you have quantifiable numbers, you come up with measurable results.

Indeed, the power meter is your friend whether you are seriously training or simply taking pleasure riding with your bike. Ultimately, you have a program tailor-made for you.

What’s your racing story?