Still somewhat new to TR and structured training and I’m looking at one of my upcoming workouts and wondered: how well should I be able to hold a power target to the number?
I know that fluctuation is expected and it’s not realistic to be able to hit a specific number for a duration without going over or under, but I look at the endurance sections of something like Kennedy
The watt fluctuation you are seeing in those endurance sections are, IMO, more about engagement than performance. If you did those stretches with only a consistent wattage, it would be pretty dull. Breaking them up makes the intervals “shorter”.
Fluctuation matters much less in endurance since it is a bigger target zone. Don’t sweat some minor variation. Our bodies aren’t that precise, as Amber used to say.
That workout was probably programmed years ago (who knows), but the fluctuations in those endurance are actually designed to give you that message, not to be taken literally. Just meander around that value, maybe +/- 10 watts. You will not be able to hold +/- 3 watts, especially on rollers. And since you are on rollers (awesome), it is likely you won’t feel overly compelled to hold that number so much that you switch to ERG mode (mistake). ERG mode has its place, but you do not need ERG mode for an endurance section of a workout that fluctuates 3 watts because you have to hold those 3 watts.
Hopefully this won’t start a distracting debate, but I would argue you don’t need to hold a number that precisely ever, even when it’s not endurance. So then why is it programmed that way? Because it is software, you have to give some discrete value.
Yeah, I would just look at the high and low numbers of that entire block and try to stay somewhere within that, plus or minus 5 or so watts. Also, I’d set my smoothing to 10 seconds so that I’m not distracted by the constant up and down of the watts I see on screen.
ERG is a little bit of a pain on some trainers not letting you fluctuate enough but if you’re using rollers you’ve no problem there @cschmitz . I do my work outs on resistance mode which allows substantial fluctuations but touchwood it hasn’t triggered a fail survey lately. There was certainly more than +/- 3w at time on my last workout.
Looking at your setup (rollers, Rally power meter), you’re actually doing a great job at staying within the power targets!
Unlike most smart trainers, you don’t have ERG Mode and are relying on resistance; needing to change gears as you typically would while riding outdoors. Soooo, if your power is fluctuating on any workout, then that’s totally normal
Dittoing @Power13, Our bodies aren’t that precise, as Amber used to say.
Nice, thanks for all of the replies everyone I figured the fluctuation range was ok, but it’s great to hear it for sure.
@Caro.Gomez-Villafane I’m using Action Mag Rollers from Minouta (link is to the resistance unit, I actually can’t find the link for the specific model I have on their site, but the image on the resistance unit is the one I have). They’re “dumb” rollers in the sense that there’s no resistance feedback and they don’t rock or anything, but they get the job done :). I have the resistance unit installed, but I don’t use it at the moment b/c I’m not topping out on my gears on my road bike.
Looks pretty smooth but when you zoom in power is actually fluctuating from 206 to 236! Even with erg mode there are continuous adjustments. I could probably see less movement if I used the Kickr’s powermeter but I prefer to keep my power consistent with what I see on the road. There may be more variation when riding at a lower cadence as well. I personally didn’t feel the variation in power, it basically all felt the same.
It is with the Suito. I’ve not come across anyone yet that says that ERG runs smoothly on a Suito. I believe ERG does run smoother on other trainers and your statement is true there I think, so I delimited it to, a little bit a little bit of a pain on some trainers, rather than a broad statement about ERG on all trainers. But your right even the best trainers will have some fluctuation
I always do outdoor workouts within a power range. Choose a road / terrain that best suits the workout demands and do your best. Exact power values is just a feature of trainers needing a value for ERG. It’s not critical, and as others say, your body won’t care.
Exactly. Some people (I’m looking at you, Zwift forum) don’t seem able or willing to grasp that it’s physically (and logically) not possible for you to ride, say, a 10 minute threshold interval in Erg mode more smoothly than riding it in resistance mode if you focus on riding as smoothly as you are able.
Think about it. It’s literally impossible unless the trainer is controlling YOU!