The old wisdom is you can only improve something you can measure. I had the opportunity to measure myself at the HULA ergometer lab last year. I got lot of fancy charts on lactates and CO2 levels, but the main recommendation was that I should be riding more light endurance training (under 135bpm) instead of constant Strava segment induced intervals.
The three key metrics were the following:
- Aerobic threshold (AeT) 130W 127bpm
- Anaerobic threshold (AnT/LT) 210W 170bpm
- VO2max 292W
Essentially the key take-away was that I can ride little over 200W for extended periods without worry as AnT translates to FTP pretty well. I was bit disappointed in the numbers, but it is good to know the baseline. Knowing you are going too easy or hard is important especially on longer hills or doing time trials. I don’t do much of either so it is more a question of pacing myself in right training zones.
I bought the power training bible so that I could make some sense from the numbers I’m getting from my power meter. I haven’t really had a chance to read it all yet, but I have a feeling that I should be investing in Strava Premium or Training Peaks membership. Most of the performance metrics are something you will need some technical solution to calculate. On the other hand I don’t ride all that seriously so off-season gym membership could serve me better.