To have a power meter or NOT?!

5 Apr

I am a very hands-on learner. I have a hard time reading and applying. I would say I am semi-tech savvy. Or maybe I am not. I can surf the world wide web pretty good. When I first got a heart rate monitor (Polar) I figured it out and used it. I bought the Garmin 310XT in 2009 when the first “waterproof” gps came out. I definitely DO NOT use the Garmin to its full potential. I finally started uploading my data to Garmin Connect about a year ago. Then one day my Garmin wouldn’t connect. Well that is either because my Garmin is too old or my computer is too old!! That was kind of sad because I liked seeing my data.

This year, I decided a power meter would be the best thing for me to get. Maybe the reason being is I am a MUCH better cyclist than I am a runner. Knowing the bounds I need to be in during training and more importantly the Ironman will hopefully make this year the BEST!

So I went for it. I bought a used CycleOps Power Tap and wheel set.

I got it right after our first threshold test. Fail.

I have had it just under 3 months and I barely have any data!!

What is wrong with me!!! This is why:

Dan put my new wheels and paired my Garmin. Everything was all ready to go! NOT! I got it to the gym, started riding, and it did not work. A week later Nik looked at it and he said it was the battery! Of course! I bought the battery. The wrong battery! Another week goes by! Another battery! I have to pair it again. It doesn’t work because there are too many other power meters in the vicinity.

I thought I had it paired. I did a 3 x 10 minute threshold work out! Finally some data. The next threshold test. It didn’t work!! I was like are you shitting me? Can I catch a break??!!

I broke the top off my tube while trying to pump the tire so I took my bike home to change it. I also paired the actual CycleOps computer and Garmin(again). I watched a dozen or so You Tube videos on how to work it.

I somehow messed up the computer and got no data for the 3rd threshold test. WTF?!

I used the CycleOps computer but could never figure out how to get the data off it. I watched my numbers but never got any solid data from it. I FINALLY started wearing my Garmin. I would watch the computer while I was riding but my Garmin would be on to check the data!!!

Here is a little bit of data. The cadence is off but I was more consistent the 2nd time around!!

We start riding outside tomorrow. It will be interesting to see numbers when we are out on the road. I HOPE like hell I can get some data and start analyzing it. I will need some sort of data to try to figure out what my numbers need to be come July.

The point of this whole post is to tell you I am not as tech-savvy as I would like to be. I thought I would be able to put the power meter on and start using. I was sadly mistaken. BUT I am confident in the next 4 months that I will have it down!! WISH ME LUCK!

Do you have a power meter? What do you like or dislike about it?!

9 Responses to “To have a power meter or NOT?!”

  1. Lauren @ Lauren Runs April 6, 2014 at 5:45 AM #

    I just got a power meter (first ride yesterday with it!) and I’d echo that it seems to take a little while to make it work. It’s not quite right yet. But I did like seeing the data! And with mine (crank-based power) to see the left v/s right foot power outputs… I’ve always suspected my right leg is a little lazier!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats April 6, 2014 at 7:34 AM #

      We are leaving in 1 hour for our ride! I guess I better get ready! I am nervous!! I don’t even have my computer mounted on my bike. It usually just sits in my bento box! πŸ™‚ Interesting that yours is crank based! We are going to have to compare stories!!

  2. Change of Pace April 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM #

    Good luck with the power meter, and with the ride outside!
    Kelly just bought a power meter last year (end of season) for outside riding. I think it would confuse me too much!
    I do have one on my trainer though. Even though I don’t track anything anymore, I like to know if I had a stronger ride week to week!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats April 6, 2014 at 3:51 PM #

      Thanks!! Believe me I think that it is confusing for me!! I am hoping to at least get something out of it this year but next year I might be able to take it to the next level!! πŸ™‚
      Does Kelly like his?

      • Change of Pace April 6, 2014 at 7:24 PM #

        He hasn’t used it outside yet! He’s really into mountain biking already this year and isn’t joining the road bike club to race this year, so I’m not sure how much he’ll use it this summer!

  3. erin April 6, 2014 at 6:25 PM #

    Gah! So frustrating! Don’t give up on it… power is the single best way to improve your cycling (besides riding a lot)! I have a Quarq, and it’s been pretty fantastic to see the gains the past five months on the trainer. Can’t wait to ride outside and see how it goes! Hope training is going well!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats April 8, 2014 at 10:11 AM #

      I know. I keep reading about everyone’s power and I get jealous. I feel like I will finally get a grip on it by the end of the year and then next year I can do BIG things!! I also think it is hard to focus on biking when I am swimming and running too!! Just hard to fit it all in but training is coming along!! I hope yours is too!!!

  4. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust April 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM #

    My coach keeps on insisting that I invest in a power meter, but they are so gosh darn expensive. I will probably cave one of these days and make the investment. I have done a FTP test and know my zones, but that doesn’t help me much without using power when I ride. Good luck on getting your power meter working and producing lots of fun data!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats April 8, 2014 at 10:14 AM #

      I can’t believe he is that insistent! You can do it without power. People do it and do fine!! I would try and get a used one if you do end up caving!! πŸ™‚

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