Analysis Software

To get the most from your power meter, review your rides using analysis software like TrainingPeaks, TrainingPeaks WKO+, Strava, Today's Plan, Golden Cheetah or Garmin Connect (all available separately). You can verify improvement over time, dissect your races, and enhance your training for better results. These packages will introduce you to new metrics, including:

Functional Threshold Power (FTP) and Critical Power (CP60)

Measures the power you can sustain for 60 minutes. This is used to identify your power training zones and measure the intensity of your rides.

Normalized Power™ (NP) or Weighted Average Power

Measures your average power, but takes bursts of power into account. Bursts of power are more fatiguing than riding at a steady pace. This aids performance assessment for events with short, sharp bursts of power like road races and criteriums.

Variability Index (VI)

Verifies if you rode at a steady pace. A steady pace nets you the best result in a triathlon, GranFondo, or century.

Training Stress Score™ (TSS) or Training Load and a Performance Management Chart

Measure and chart your training load based on each ride’s duration and intensity. This is important if you want to gauge fitness or peak for a target event.

Mean Maximal Power Chart (MMP) or Power Curve

This chart is important if you want to assess your strengths and weaknesses on the bike or see improvement in specific areas like sprinting or time trials.

Analyzing Power Data

Online Articles

The Quarq blog has many articles on power file analysis.

Books

Training and Racing with a Power Meter - Allen and Coggan

The definitive power book. There are some complex topics in the middle; stick with it and read the training advice by discipline, the recap and the sample workouts at the end.

The Power Meter Handbook - Friel

A great introduction to power for new and experienced users. It contains simple explanations of key topics and then moves into telling you how to use power for training and racing.

Cutting Edge Cycling - Allen and Cheung

Chapters 3-6 have excellent advice on training, racing, pacing and performance management. Start with one of the books above and use a power meter and analysis software before reading this one to get the most from it.

Triathlon 2.0: Data Driven Performance Training - Vance

This book combines power meters and the data you get from them with season planning, race-day metrics and post-race and post-season analysis. We thoroughly recommend it for intermediate and experienced users.

All four are available for Kindle and iBooks if you can’t wait to get started.