I spent an hour today with my Plan 7 (http://www.plan7coaching.com/) coaches, Dave Harward and Mark Deterline, hooked up to the Computrainer for my first functional power test of the season. I did 2 tests last winter while training at The Bike Shoppe's spin lab but unfortunately didn't test at the end of the season to see if I improved at all. Also, the tests were just used as my guide from training in the spin lab as I wasn't running a power meter on my bike. I'm excited for this test, because I'll be running a new Quarq power meter pretty soon.
To take the most advantage of my time with Plan 7 coaching, a power meter was going to be essential. I've been training with heart rate for the past 3 years but HR is reactionary. Its a function of how hard your body is working whereas power is immediate feedback on how many watts you're actually producing. The test will give me a baseline for my next round of training heading into the new year.
The initial results of the test showed I'm in decent shape, but power numbers can be interpreted in different ways. My weight for example, really diminishes my power out as my power to weight ratio is poor until I can lose some lbs. Hopefully with the Holidays passing I get the sweets out of the way and start to drop weight.
The power meter will also enable me download a more complete picture of my workouts each day and what my races look like afterwards. I'm stoked about the Quarq. It should be installed by the New Year and I'll write a comprehensive review once I have a few rides under my belt.