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At What Point Am I Ready For A Power Meter?

While power meters have historically appealed to highly skilled athletes (who typically have some cash), their application is as relevant, if not more so, to athletes at a lower level of experience.

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At what point am I “ready” for a power meter?

Photo: Nils Nilsen

While power meters have historically appealed to highly skilled athletes (who typically have some cash), their application is as relevant, if not more so, to athletes at a lower level of experience. The key is to ensure you understand how to utilize them effectively in your training and racing. I foresee power meters becoming as common as GPS pace in running, which is now the norm for many runners.

Make the data relevant: There is certainly a learning curve that comes with using power in cycling. To gain some specificity in training I would suggest frequent field tests, which provide insight into power you can maintain relative to heart rate and perceived effort. These can act as benchmarks for progression and even help monitor fatigue.

Avoid the pitfalls: Don’t use a power meter as a measure of success or failure, or approach each training set as a chance to better yesterday’s watts. I see many athletes ignore how training feels and become a slave to the numbers.

Used within a smart plan, a power meter is one of the best learning tools—it can help you avoid mistakes and steepen the learning curve. For me, the sooner the better!