Power curve is higher at a longer duration?

I’m relatively new to owning a power meter and training to power. I put in a hard effort on a segment near my house this morning and when I went back to look at my power curve I saw something that seems odd to me. My power at 2:00 is 356 but my power at 2:11 is 376. How is it possible to have a high average power at a longer duration? I guess I always assumed it would have to trend downward.

It would mean for that final 12 seconds of 2:12 you kicked up your power with a sprint, thus getting a higher average.

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Wouldn’t it just move the 2 minutes its basing the curve off of over to include the sprint and increase the 2:00 higher than the 2:11?

Not if you started hard as well. Your power isn’t smooth so you’ll have peaks and valleys. It just depends where those highs and lows fall relative to time. Your first 12 seconds could have been just as powerful as your last 12 seconds, thus offsetting the efforts.

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and now you can go back and fill in that “hole” at 2m knowing you can go harder since you’ve done it for 2:12. great work!

The PR graph follows your highest average power (or NP? whatever) per period of time, not your overall average at a point in time during your ride. Here’s an example from one of my rides last week:

For that ride, my highest average power over any 11-minute period was 113 watts. You can see the highlighted bit in the graph is one interval, plus the last rest interval in the warm-up.

If you push out to 17 minutes the time period can include two full intervals, which pushes the average for that period up to 123.

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It’s pretty common, particularly in workouts with spiky intervals. A recent example for me is Bashful:

You end up with this kind of saw-tooth wave. You can thumb through the All-Rides for bashful and see everyone ends up with something similar. Another example is Williamson… the overall curve is smooth, but you get a fine saw-tooth wave across a wide range, and illustrates that the more varied the intervals to more peaks you will get.

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