Training with Power

News & Results

08/21/2003| 0 comments
by Dean Golich

Training with Power

Guide to training with power.

most out of their workouts when presented with time constraints.


When considering power ranges for maximal efforts, PowerIntervals, or sprint, we can once again start with data from the CTS Field Test. If the average power was 330 watts from the field test, we can then use this power as a starting point or initial prescription for Maximum Intervals.   We have to incorporate race data to determine the work time the athlete needs to accumulate in order to get an adaptation. Then we use this work time to determine the number of intervals needed. As a coach, you then calculate what way the VO 2 Max system is going to be stressed. Is your goal to drive more lactate production or increased lactate tolerance?   Your choice then determines whether you prescribe full recovery between intervals or shorter recovery times. Regardless of the interval prescription, the intensity is always max and always compared to other like intervals.   There are cases when you compare different training intervals but this is not the norm.   For example, consider an athlete who averages 330 watts for six intervals of 3min max and 3min recovery. Later in the season, that same athlete had the same average power for a workout of six intervals of 3min max, but with only 1min recovery. The average power was the same, even though the amount of rest between intervals was reduced by 66%. Obviously this is a positive improvement, and with some constructive analysis, this information can lead to a better understanding of the training load imposed.   However, overall, it is always better to compare intervals and maximal efforts to like efforts and recoveries.


In the maximal VO2 system, once the overall work time is generated, the coach needs to monitor the fatigue rate.   Again, normally the drop off is severe and obvious when the correct power or effort is completed for the duration of the workout.


Training with HR alone will help you improve, but if you want to get the most out of your training, using a power meter is a more accurate and precise training tool.


Dean Golich is an Elite coach with Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) and coaches Olympic Silver Medallist and World Champion Mari Holden and World Champion mountain biker Alison Dunlap, among others.  To learn more about CTS and to order coaching visit the CTS Web site .


Want more training advice? Check out our training section and buy training-related books in our bookstore.


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