Hey, I’m curious how people use their power meters to hit a target output.
I have an issue with 3s power averaging causing me to bounce around my target power. My current plan is to put 1s power on the screen next to 3s power. What do you do?
Here’s what’s been happening:
Let’s say I’m just starting an interval. I’m currently pedaling at 60 rpm (one revolution per second) and for sake of easy calculations, 100W. Ideally, what I would do is jump straight to my target power, let’s say 1,000W. (No Pav doesn’t have me doing that! It makes the math easier.)
I can increase the power to my legs pretty fast, probably within one revolution. Let’s say I’ve timed this perfectly to a hill so that my rpm stays the same. After one revolution (one second), my 1s power is 1,000W. But my 3s power is 400W.
I get worried. My interval is only 30 seconds and it’s saying I’m not even close to my target power! I decide to pour on fuel and do 1s at 1,300W. I’m 2s into my interval and now my 3s power is 800W.
Gosh that must be right! I keep on at 1,300W for 1s. Now my 3s power is 1,200W.
Oops! Overshot by kind of a lot. Now I need to ride under my target to bring the average down. Maybe say 700W for 1s. After 1s at 700W, my 3s power is now 1,100W.
Shoot it’s still coming down. Okay, another 1s at 700W. Now my 3s power is 900W.
Well that’s closer! Okay let’s see if I can guess what 1,000W feels like. What was I doing before? Well, I first put down what I thought was 1,000W (and it was!) but it said 400W. I can’t do that math in my head, who knows what it should have been. Then I did something greater than 1,000W (actually 1,300W) and it said it was 1,200 W. Okay… maybe split the difference?
While I’ve been thinking 2s has passed and my 3s power is now 700W. AGHHHH! I try to split the difference and end up at 1,200W.
And the cycle repeats- high, low, high, low, and my interval looks like crap.
I’m seriously contemplating programming my own data fields to fix this issue. I think it would be nice to see a 3s power that doesn’t include data from the previous interval at the beginning, as well as the “instantaneous” power (averaged over the last revolution). Of course, I don’t know if the Garmin API would let me do that, but maybe it’s worth a shot.
What do you think?