A good portion of Peloton owners enjoy taking Power Zone classes because they are structured and can be more easily followed (and we love Matt and Denis). The structure of these classes also provides data that we can use to demonstrate consistence performance and improvement over time. The challenge is that most of us don’t really know our training ranges and we get stuck at some point. What do we focus on next? What do we do if we hit a point at which we don’t feel things are getting better? mPaceline can help. In version 2.11, we introduced peak power measures that will help you look at areas of strength and weakness. Areas that you can focus on to continue making progress.
What is Peak Power?
Peak power is the highest average power output captured during a specific duration interval within a workout. Peak power helps you understand the average wattage you are capable of sustaining, giving your fitness and capabilities at various durations. There are several standard durations that most cyclists use to measure peak power. These are 5 second, 1 minute, 5 minute and FTP. We all know our FTP, but until now, the other intervals were not available to us. mPaceline has changed this.
These peak power intervals are specifically identified to drive improvements in your cycling. By measuring your peak power across these durations and focusing on continued improvements, you will perform better. The intervals focus on the following areas:
* 5 seconds (peak neuromuscular power)
* 1 minute (peak anaerobic capacity)
* 5 minutes (peak aerobic power)
* 20 minutes/FTP (threshold power)
You can see your peak power for each duration interval on the Ride Detail screen. Additionally, you can see a Power Curve across additional intervals so that you can get a more detailed picture of your workout performance.
Here you see a workout in mPaceline. If you swipe down to the Duration Power Profile you can see each of the Peak Power Intervals and the associated wattages. mPaceline also calculates your watts/KG if you have entered your weight in your Profile in Settings.
Below Power Profile is the workouts Power Curve. This is simply a curve of peak power across a larger set of intervals. The red plotted line is your Best Peak Power for each interval. This is your best performance across all workouts that you have done on your Peloton. The white dotted line is your FTP.
The Power Curve is an interesting visual, but is more a picture of the type of class that you took. It does shows your performance across intervals, but these could be limited based on the structure of the class. If you took an endurance class, you shouldn’t expect to see high peaks. It’s likely to be a straight line at the power you generally produce in a Zone 4 workout.
That brings us to the next set of Peak Power Graphs added to this latest version of mPaceline. These will provide you some support in driving improvements.
In order to get stronger and continue to improve your cycling abilities, you need to target each of the Peak Power Intervals discussed above and improve them systematically. This means that you will need to focus workouts that are targeted to allow you to achieve new highs in each interval. How do we do this? Well, you need to take classes that focus on these intervals. The 5 second interval can be worked on by taking Interval Training – more specifically, you might want to consider taking HIIT (“High Intensity Interval Training”) or PZ Max (“Power Zone Max Efforts”). These are structured to get you to do all out maximum efforts. These will also help you improve your 1 minute Peak Power. The same goes for the 5 minute and FTP Peak Power. Here you can take Power Zone classes. Look for classes that drive higher zones when working on these. Don’t forget to mix in some endurance classes as well.
So how do we know that we are improving. Well, we need to look at our performances across each of these Peak Power intervals over time. mPaceline has a new set of graphs that can help you do this.
To access these graphs, you will go to Results in mPaceline. Then tap on “Cycling Power Zone Training” and then change the Report Type to “Duration Power Profile”. Once here, you can switch between the Power Targets and Power Curve by changing the Report Field. Both of these graphs are shown below:
mPaceline’s Power Profile graphs can really help you focus on each of your Peak Power Intervals and see how your training is helping to improve them. You can change the Time Frames for the graphs to see improvements over different time periods.
In the Power Targets Graph, you should be looking for increases in the Peak Power for each of the shown duration intervals. So if you are looking at your performance over the past 4 weeks, you should see increases each week assuming that you have been focused on that interval.
In the Power Curve Graph, you want to look for durations in which you have a separation between your best effort and the duration being shown for the time filter. Once you start looking at your graphs, you will clearly see separation in the plotted lines and you will know what you need to work on.
It’s not difficult to improve your Peak Power. It’s easy really. You just need to focus on mixing up the type of classes that you are taking and make sure that you are taking classes that will help you focus on each of the Peak Power Intervals.
The Peloton instructors do a considerable amount of work to setup the classes that you take. The Resistance and Cadence recommendations are set of allow you to get the best possible workout in the class time allotted. Did you ever wonder how well you did as compared to the instructor’s plan? Are you following the resistance guidance? What would my output be if I workout out at the top of the cadence and resistance plans?
mPaceline as added an “Instructor Plan” feature that will show you how you did against the instructors recommendations. Please note that this is not available for all Peloton Classes. Specifically, Power Zone classes do not have a plan set by Resistance or Cadence. These classes are set by Output, so your Instructor Plan is the graph that you created and the zones that you held. You will generally find class plan in the interval based or general theme based classes.
They represent the instructors plan for resistance, cadence and the resulting output. The green shaded section is the graph area between the upper and lower callout ranges cued by the instructor. The blue potted line is your performance in the class. You can tap on the graph options icon at the top of each page and change what is plotted. Below the graph is the toggle to switch between cadence, resistance and output.
The table below the graph share how well you did against adhering to the Instructors Class Plan. Below this are the segments for the class.
Hopefully this will help you see where you are and are not adhering the the plan that was laid out by the Instructor.