Failed Eclipse. Could it be the power meter?

I am on SSBLV and have come upon Eclipse. I knew it would be tough so got a good night of sleep, hydrated and had decent amounts of protein for breakfast. The night before I did one Eclipse 20-min interval to see what I am up against. I thought I can do it.

Then I went for the workout. Something odd happened during the warmup. When the warmup reached 94% of my FTP I got to a really good flow but then did something to my pedaling…not sure what…I maintained the same resistance and cadence but my power dropped a lot. I had to really ramp up the cadence to get back to target power and it felt way more intense than during my trial interval. At the end I could not do more than 1.5 intervals and I crashed out.

This was on a spinning bike in the gym which had a stages lefty power meter. I discarded the workout on TR and was about to leave the gym but then I decided to get on the adjacent spinning bike. I found it was easier to hold sustained 94% FTP on that bike but by that time I was too spent to do Eclipse from the start. I am not sure whether it was easier because I had a few minutes of rest or because the power meter was calibrated differently.

I now wonder whether power meter calibration is a thing that can change during a workout or whether I have a lot of hard work in front of me to pass Eclipse.

Any thoughts?


I’ve done Eclipse a few times. It’s a Sweetspot workout below your FTP so you should be able to get through without any issues. One of the these not hard but not easy either workouts.

Are you doing a zero offset (Calibration) on the power meter after a minute or two? You should be.

BTW you an resume workouts rather than have to restart them.

Only way it’ll feel as hard as that otherwise would be if you’re overtrained or glycogen depleted so I’d go with a power meter issue and have another crack at it ASAP :slight_smile:

If the RPE was a lot harder, it could be cooling, it could be glycogen depletion or it could be power meter issue. Based on your attention to the other stuff, I’d say probably

Nobody has addressed this part of your post. Why do you think you need a lot of protein for breakfast? It will not help you in your workout fueling. Post workout recovery yes, but protein before a workout does little good. You need carbohydrates for fueling. What kind of carbohydrates and the amount will depend on when you eat before your workout, the workout’s intensity and it’s duration.


I should have mentioned in my post above that not power meters agree. So if you do your FTP test at home you’ll get one figure. That figure may or may not be right for the trainer at the gym because the gym bike’s power meter is likely reading differently. You can also get a difference between the gym trainers even though both are running stages. Plus Stages power meters have a reputation of not being that accurate particularly earlier models.

Hi Everybody

So I took some advice from this thread and did a zero calibration of the stages unit before the workout. I had previously tried this, but the calibration failed. After some Googling, I realized the left pedal had to be in the 6 o’clock position for this to work.

The good news is that the calibrated unit cleared the power troughs and brought the workout closer to my endurance limits. I also took note of comments such as from @Nigel_Doyle who said that the workout should be hard but definitely doable. Well, I had to really dig deep to make it.

After running performance analytics I realized why it was harder. I’ve been treating TARGET POWER as a floor more than a middle-of-the-road target. I am not a road cyclist so I have not developed a consistent pedal stroke, which means I have high power volatility - if on top of that I treat target power as a floor - I am actually working at threshhold power for most of the exercise. My FTP is 259, so if Sweet Spot limit is at 94% of FTP, I should have not exceeded 243W much during the exercise. Well, on my third Eclipse 20-min interval, for example, I averaged 246W. This means I spent most of the interval at threshold power limit. Does this explain why I almost fell off the bike after the workout?

Anyway, Eclipse is done. Thanks for all your input. I don’t even want to know what Warlow and Palisade have in store for me…


Next time this happens, jump on a different machine to see if it is the power meter or not.
Put your power smoothing on 10 seconds and you won’t have much fluctuations. As long as the bar by the target power is green, you’re in the right zone.

The bar isn’t green a lot of the time and I am over target power most of that time. I feel I perform better when I stare straight forward rather than watch the digits on the head unit. This means I “play it safe” to make sure I am not below target power when I am not observing the head unit. So the display smoothing won’t help…I think I need to learn the feel of my preferred cadence, which will take time. At the moment I am getting used to regular cadence thresholds. My natural inclination is to work around 70 RPMs and I did my ramp test averaging 53 RPMs. This is not without purpose, as I am training for mountain biking, climbing performance and delivery of torque.

Done, Sir!

@MI-XC, in all honesty I haven’t read up enough on nutrition. All I know is that I am a protein monster, but perhaps I am simplifying the science of it just a bit too much :slight_smile:

Next time I will carb up before the workout and get my protein fix afterwards. Let’s see what happens…

Glad you made it through. Sometimes when I do a sweetspot workout I experiment with cadences e.g. one at 90 rpm, one at 85 and one at 80. Around 85 works best for me. I do do some specific workouts with some intervals around 60 rpm but don’t go more than a few minutes this slow.

Ramp test at 53 rpm. Ouch!! I would need to be standing to go this slow at high resistance levels.

I think you’re going to find sweetspot workouts like Eclipse challenging at low cadences. If you are going to do them at less than the workout instructions recommend for cadence you might want to drop the intensity say 5% especially if you’re doing sweetspot base as this has multiple days all at sweetspot. Your muscles will take a hammering if you do them all slow. Even though I’m a roadie I’ve got a MTB and find you need a broad cadence range say from 50 to 110 so it would pay to train at various cadences.

Hi Nigel

I did Eclips at 78 avg cadence which probably strikes a good balance between my objectives and the reality you’re painting…


Correction: I did the ramp test averaging 63 RPMs…

Cool :slight_smile: