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Women's Power?
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Hi, Ladies...

I started using a *real* power meter on my bike this last winter. Sadly, my garmin and power meter have communication issues so power data collection drops on outdoor rides unless I tape my garmin closer to the pedals. But, on indoor rides I get full data.

I read the main forum and guys (I assume) are posting about their goal to 300 watts and getting to 350 watts and stuff like that. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here going, hmmm.... is my 155 watts wimpy? Admittedly, the boys are usually faster than me (assume equal training). But what are you bad-ass power numbers? I need a goal and a goal of 300 is totally unrealistic.

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Born a swimmer, borrowed a bike, laced up some runners, and the rest just fell into place for a solid MOP life.
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Re: Women's Power? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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W/kg is a better metric than straight watts.

Check out this chart to see where you are.

https://cyclingtips.com/...good-are-these-guys/
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Re: Women's Power? [edbikebabe] [ In reply to ]
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edbikebabe wrote:
W/kg is a better metric than straight watts.

Check out this chart to see where you are.

https://cyclingtips.com/...good-are-these-guys/

Ah ha! This is what I needed to know! I have that metric, but nobody seems to talk about it (or I'm not paying attention).

So... according to the chart, I suck. Or I'm fat. Or both?

155 lbs (I'm heavy by 10... ugh) = 70.3 kg.

155 watts / 70.3 = 2.20

But if I lost that 10 pounds, I'd still suck at 2.36 w/kg. So, yes, need to lose the 10 pounds (after April 15th).

New goal. 3.0 w/kg. So, at goal weight of 145 I would need to get to 197 watts. Hmmm. Let me see what I can do in 45 days with this to see how realistic that kind of jump is. Seems like it would be a couple of seasons away.

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Born a swimmer, borrowed a bike, laced up some runners, and the rest just fell into place for a solid MOP life.
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Re: Women's Power? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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I've found that TrainerRoad and the plans there are very good for advancing power on the bike.

"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
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Re: Women's Power? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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When I first started, my FTP was 99 watts. A lot of it was that I had no bike fitness at all (I'm the kind of person whose fitness is never general, it's always sport specific) and some of it was that I had no clue how to pace or how to select gearing or cadence. My most recent FTP is 165 and I'm currently sitting at around 151lbs so not too different to you. We can work on the <weight >watts together :D
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Re: Women's Power? [Scheherazade] [ In reply to ]
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OMG true story: when I got my trainer (Kurt Kinetic) and started using TrainerRoad a few years back I thought the app was buggy because it wouldn't do the spin down (where you pedal up to 20mph and let it coast). Then, after a few months it suddenly worked. The app was fine. I just couldn't get it up to 20mph so it would spin down. It was pretty embarrassing.

I've always been more of a long ride rider with back to back centuries, 7 day bike rides, etc. On those the focus is to conserve power so you can last a long time (they weren't races anyway). So, switching to cranking up my power has been only a couple of years new for me. I've come a long way, but my effort has been pretty aimless until about a year ago. The addition of the power meter has been fascinating.

I wish we had a ST challenge for power or w/kg or something. I guess there is all those social apps out there, but I've never gotten into them...

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Born a swimmer, borrowed a bike, laced up some runners, and the rest just fell into place for a solid MOP life.
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Re: Women's Power? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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SLOgoing wrote:
I wish we had a ST challenge for power or w/kg or something. I guess there is all those social apps out there, but I've never gotten into them...

I do that often with one of the ST guys who is local -- we often challenge each other to raise our power thresholds! I don't think you could persuade me to post it here publicly, but maybe offline somewhere we can connect. I do a LOT of watts-based intervals and am steadily improving.

I am also not near my favorite race weight yet. My coach says watts/kg is ultimately less important than watts/drag, though, and your new bike fit should help with that. Apparently thanks to Slowman and the FIST crew, I have "negative drag," haha. Keep the power to the pedals ... you'll get there.
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Re: Women's Power? [Gee] [ In reply to ]
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It seems like there could be a challenge that lets you post your incremental changes without posting your actual power or w/kg.

Anyway, I'm doing my own challenge since none of my friends are into Tri. Except for you all. First one to 175 wins a free subscription to ST. Or is it 2.7. Anyway, I'll figure something out.

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Born a swimmer, borrowed a bike, laced up some runners, and the rest just fell into place for a solid MOP life.
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Re: Women's Power? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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If I may ask a tangential question...

I'm also terrible on the bike (like always at the bottom of my AG) but I really can't justify the expense of a power meter or a Wahoo Kickr (what I REALLY want) right now. I only paid $700 for my bike, for pete's sake. Have any of you had any success using a cadence/speed sensor for a while? $200 for a computer + sensors makes better sense to me right now until I can afford some decent upgrades. Right now I have nothing, so I'm judging my workouts on how much I sweat and my speed as reported by my Garmin when I finally do get outside. I am thinking ANY kind of baseline reading would give me something to improve upon. Thank you!

http://mediocremultisport.blogspot.com
My life goal is to improve my race times so much I'm featured on MarathonInvestigation.com.
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Re: Women's Power? [Midtown Miles] [ In reply to ]
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My biking was pretty terrible, so I decided a few months ago that I wanted to improve. I was shocked at how expensive all the bike computers/power meters were. I spent $70 CAN on a Lezyne cadence censor and it works great through my laptop with TrainerRoad and my second-hand fluid trainer. I sometimes wonder about the accuracy of the watts in the program, so I'm focusing on the improvement of the watts, rather than the FTP number itself (if that makes any sense).
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Re: Women's Power? [Midtown Miles] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, I used a speed and cadence sensor + trainer road virtual power (is your trainer one of the ones they have a power curve for?) for about 3 months before getting a PM.

SimplyAmy makes a good point: don't focus on the actual number but rather on improving the number. With a s/c sensor you'll have to be consistent about things like tire pressure, number of times you tightened the skewer etc - the TR guys have a pretty good guide to what you'd need to do and are good at answering questions on the main forum.
Last edited by: Scheherazade: Mar 28, 17 7:50
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Re: Women's Power? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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Keep in mind as well that power meters are not all calibrated to the same universal standard. Company X does their thing, company Y does theres. You buy one and follow simple instructions, but without extra work with calibrated weights, your power would likely read differently as measured by the X meter vs the Y meter. I'm this person - (pre surgery) I was training in a studio with my meters (Stages or Quarq depending on the bike or year) and their CompuTrainers - my power was different by 15 W across all them.

Therefore, even though I know there are stronger riders than me and I would like a higher number myself, I pretty much dismiss the specifics of what anyone says as apples and oranges.

To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.
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Re: Women's Power? [Gee] [ In reply to ]
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I'm up for a secret/off-ST challenge.

I ignore pure watts and do w/kg for tracking. I do a 20 min max test albeit irregularly and rely on the chart edbikebabe posted to keep me on the straight and narrow.

And +1 to Tsunami's point. It varies a lot by meter -- the CompuTrainer and my Garmin pedals are usually 12-15 watts apart.
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Re: Women's Power? [SimplyAmy] [ In reply to ]
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Ooooh, I hadn't even thought about looping in Trainer Road. I believe my fluid trainer is compatible.

Yes, I don't care about the numbers so much as having a baseline, any baseline, to start from and improve upon.

Thanks for the suggestions, ladies, I do appreciate it. And it's reassuring to know some of you have already worked through this problem.

http://mediocremultisport.blogspot.com
My life goal is to improve my race times so much I'm featured on MarathonInvestigation.com.
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Re: Women's Power? [Midtown Miles] [ In reply to ]
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I've actually never had a power meter, just can't justify paying that crazy amount of money for it. I do my turbo workouts based on perceived effort, easy/mod/hard/self-destruct. On the turbo, I get the sense of what each effort level should feel like and then I just try to replicate the same effort outside. Doesn't always work because of traffic but so far so good. I'm using a second hand turbo that I paid less than $100 for and I've been using it for 2-3 years. I would love to have a KICKR but, that is a crazy amount of money!!
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Re: Women's Power? [Midtown Miles] [ In reply to ]
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I bit the bullet and ordered a Garmin Edge 25 with cadence and speed sensors this weekend. I used my REI dividend and a 20% coupon to save a few bucks. Still cheaper than $1,000 for a power meter. =)

http://mediocremultisport.blogspot.com
My life goal is to improve my race times so much I'm featured on MarathonInvestigation.com.
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Re: Women's Power? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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Most of the guys stating they have a 300 watt ftp are full of it.....
BTW your garmin should not me dropping your power just because you go outside.
Even if you are doing your entire ride under powerlines
What meter are you using and what head unit?

2015 Felt B12
2009 Ridley Noah
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Re: Women's Power? [gymrat] [ In reply to ]
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gymrat wrote:
Most of the guys stating they have a 300 watt ftp are full of it.....

BTW your garmin should not me dropping your power just because you go outside.
Even if you are doing your entire ride under powerlines
What meter are you using and what head unit?


Garmin 920XT and Stages. It is a known issue.... :-( Can't put watch anywhere except the wrist, and even there I guess my wrist gets in the way! Oh well. When I win the lotto.........

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...r_dropouts_P5507965/

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...Connection_P5892444/

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Born a swimmer, borrowed a bike, laced up some runners, and the rest just fell into place for a solid MOP life.
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Re: Women's Power? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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ahh
got it.....
Well if you do win the lotto or bonus check at work I highly recommend Powertap hubs and Joule Computer...
Pretty much bulletproof

2015 Felt B12
2009 Ridley Noah
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Re: Women's Power? [gymrat] [ In reply to ]
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So, Pete, you going to throw in with the Womens for a power challenge? :)
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Re: Women's Power? [Midtown Miles] [ In reply to ]
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Midtown Miles wrote:

Right now I have nothing, so I'm judging my workouts on how much I sweat and my speed as reported by my Garmin when I finally do get outside. I am thinking ANY kind of baseline reading would give me something to improve upon. Thank you!

This is my 4th year in a row training for full IM distance. I have always ridden bikes for fun - but only been racing for these four years. I bought PowerTap pedals this year and am riding with them (inside and out). I have had unexpectedly good race results over the last two years (Kona both years - 5th in my AG at Kona last year) and am just beginning now to play with with these pedals can do. I am hoping they will give me enough feedback that I can gain a little more speed as I move into the top of my age group and the speedy youngsters move up behind me. I am "looking for pennies" at this point - and hope power will help me find them.

A couple of things...
1.Power is just one more data set. I like that it tells me how hard I am working but it is only one way of figuring that out.
2. I love that I can get independent R/L readings - I wanted the pedals so I can see how hard each of my legs is working. A small imbalance is normal - but my 60/40 split needs correction (and the continual power readouts allow me to correct the imbalance).
3. I don't plan to race with power. It's too much information for a race. What I do plan to do is to connect the 'feeling' of the power output with my perceived exertion and HR.
4. As a reference, my goal is to to race at 170-180w. I 'ride easy' at 120w and once hit 715w climbing a 20% grade (or that was a data glitch).

All that said, there are many different ways of assessing your effort and progress. The strongest one being HR. If you train in the right zone and get realtime feedback from your HR monitor then you know you are making progress. The power/speed is just an outcome of that hard work.

I would not spend your dollars on power. Save up for good bike and wheel set instead. It will make a significant difference in your speed- and will make riding so much more fun.

(and I really want a Kick'r too)
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