In a previous post we talked specifically about the reasons why “non-outdoor riders” would want to train with power. There needs to be incentive for all populations, and thus our focus on those that donâ€™t ride outside was appropriate as a starting point. However, we canâ€™t forget about how powerful (pun intended) this training is for those of us who do ride outside.
Whether it is mountain biking, road cycling, or even touring, power can be the gateway to a new experience on two wheels. Youâ€™ll be able to “hang with the faster group”, climb the hills you used to walk, or climb with speed where you used to get dropped, or just feel fresh throughout a touring ride while your companions are “suffering”.
Letâ€™s define power just a little more precisely. It is not simply the amount of “work” you are doing. That is a different measurement. Sure many people say “I worked hard today in class”. You are also admonished by instructors to “Work it!”. In fact, the entire industry uses the term “work out” to refer to exercise. However, when it comes to Power, in terms of work, it is the RATE of performing that work; how fast you do it.
The easiest example is walking up a set of steps. If you walk up the steps, or run up the steps, itâ€™s the same amount of work. However, running will require a different amount of power. To perform the same work faster, requires more Power. Hence, to make a bike go faster, you need more power. The same concept applies to climbing. The same hill will require the same “work” for a given individual, but if they climb it faster, it will require more power.