By now most of us have heard how beneficial a power meter can be while training outdoors because it allows you to track your output in relation to your body’s exertion (when used in conjunction with a heart rate monitor). As prices have fallen in recent years, and power meters themselves have become both more accurate and more consistent, it has become a common training tool for many cyclists.
But what happens when you’re forced indoors? Is a power meter still useful for training? It absolutely is, but the power meter’s role changes when you’re riding indoors to take on more important tasks. On this week’s episode of the Tech Podcast, tech editor Dan Cavallari and editorial director Ben Delaney discuss the expanded role of the power meter as it’s used for riding indoors.
Of course, you can still track your power and integrate your data into your training. That part doesn’t change. But when you start riding in virtual environments such as Zwift, the power meter becomes important for other reasons — most notably, calibrating the game. In other words, Zwift relies on your power number — along with your body weight and FTP — to ensure you’re provided with the most accurate in-game experience.
Within Zwift, you can essentially do three kinds of rides: fun rides, training rides, and races. The power meter takes on a different role in each of these scenarios. Cavallari and Delaney discuss each one, and how you should prepare yourself and your equipment to effectively take part in these types of rides.