by Hunter Allen

 

 

We often get asked the age-old question: Why should I train with a power meter on my mountain bike?
While the answer is lengthy, the reasons are real!

 

13 responses highlighting the benefits of power training for MTB

  1. Training with a power meter gives you a complete record of your effort
    When training or racing, it’s important to measure your effort from a cardiovascular viewpoint (heart rate), and from a muscular viewpoint (watts).
    With the
    Assioma PRO MX power pedals, you’ll be able to identify areas of interest, intervals of data - hills, sprints, attacks for review by you, your coach or even your teammates! This is especially important in mountain biking as it’s often not easy to monitor every watt while blasting through a single-track, therefore a post-ride analysis can be very enlightening.

     

  2. Add real meaning to your heart rate monitoring
    Heart monitoring alone does not tell you how your actual performance is improving, it just tells you how fast your heart is pumping.
    Heart rate is a “response” to the training dose (watts or power) and while understanding the response is important, using a power meter allows you to gain additional perspective on your intensity.
    Heart Rate monitoring is the “intensity of your intention”, it’s how hard you are trying, which is key when pushing for a peak performance.
    A power meter measures your rate of work (power) and analyzes your efficiency by allowing you to compare heart rate data to power output to your cadence and finally to your economy or speed.

     

  3. Track your fitness changes
    A power meter is a powerful tool to know with certainty if your fitness is improving and when you have reached a peak, not to mention that it helps you avoid overreaching and over training by tracking your TSS and IF levels.
    In mountain biking, your fitness can change from race to race, so understanding the micro-changes is critical to pacing during a long climb, a fast flat or chasing your buddies through single-track.

     

  4. Analyze your race
    With Assioma PRO MX you can easily see when you burned a "match" and if you used too much energy in parts of the race that weren't decisive. Did you make a tactical error in a race, but didn't realize it?
    By looking back on the data, you can replay the race in your head and see exactly what it took to make it up the climb with the leaders or what it took to make the decisive split on the flats. If you got dropped, you can clearly learn how many efforts and at what intensity it took to put you on the limit.

     

  5. Pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses
    Do you struggle when your cadence drops below 50 rpm, and you have to put out high loads of force to get over a tough technical section?
    Are you an elite racer in your 5-minute power, but a sport racer in your 20-minute power? If you must do 105% of your Threshold Power for more than 3 minutes, will you get dropped by your buddies or in a race?
    With a power meter, you can
    analyze your performance and training to find out what your natural talents are.
    By taking the “Power Profile” test developed by Dr. Coggan and myself, you can quantitatively see those talents and then easily see where you need improvement.

     

  6. Improve your interaction with your Coach
    It brings you and your coach closer together!
    By using a power meter on your mountain bike,
    your coach can find out things about you that he or she would not otherwise be able to figure out. Your coach can then better use this data to improve your training plan. Your coach can instantly see what you are doing in races, training rides and make suggestions for further improvements. A power meter doesn't lie!

 

Pedal close-up

 

  1. Achieve your physical potential
    When you train with Assioma PRO MX for MTB XC, gravel and CX, it allows you to concentrate on the workload and provides that extra motivation to improve in your efforts. For example, if you are doing a 5-minute effort to improve your Vo2 Max, and you are watching your average watts drop near the end of the effort, you'll pick it up just another notch in order to achieve your 5-minute wattage goal.
    You will also be able to pick out the best course to do the correct training, so that you will be in the correct training zone for the right amount of time.

     

  2. Test your position and aerodynamics. 
    Yes, even in mountain biking, aerodynamics matter!
    Your body position is the single greatest factor in determining your speed while riding at a specific power output. If you are sitting too high on the bike, riding through the trails, you will be slower than if you are more aero! Why risk the disadvantage of a poor position when you can measure your aerodynamics and discover your fastest position!

     

  3. Pacing of efforts
    It allows you to pace your effort better in all your interval workouts, hill climbs and races.
    When you know your threshold power, you can hold to it like glue in a race or hill climb, so you will know that you went as hard as you could possibly go. Use it in group rides, to know if you are going too hard, and risk getting dropped, or figure out what it will take to win the race.
    Pacing on long distance events is even more important and if you are doing events over 6 hours, you will want to ensure you are pacing yourself well, so you will still be strong at the end of your ride.

     

  4. Mobile Testing Lab
    A power meter allows you to test on a monthly basis, so you can quantitatively see what areas you have improved on and what still needs work. Training is testing, testing is training. Make every training session a peak performance!

     

  5. Enhance your indoor training
    Use your indoor trainer to the fullest extent! Highly focus your intervals in just the exact wattage zone for optimal improvement.
    Your indoor training gains new meaning when you can compare your intensity to on-road efforts.

     

  6. Coordinate your sports nutrition for best performance
    Knowing how much work (in kJ) you do in training allows you to plan your post-exercise meals to the kcal. You will recover faster and be able to train harder sooner.
    You will also be able to plan to reach your ideal physique by eating enough to supplement or maintain your muscle mass.

     

  7. Plan, control and execute your training like the pros
    Train efficiently so that your best fitness peaks at your goal events. Every top cycling performance has been aided by the use of power meter training technology, Mountain bike world champions, Ultra Mountain bike records, Tour de France winners, Hour records, Track records, HPV records.

 

 

Hunter Allen

 

Hunter Allen has FTP online training programs available at FTP Archives - Shop Peaks Coaching Group.
He is the co-author of “Training and Racing with a Power Meter”, “Cutting Edge Cycling” and “Triathlon Training with Power”.
They are available at www.shoppeaks.com.
You can contact Hunter directly at www.PeaksCoachingGroup.com for personal coaching and camps.