The “Watts up with Power?” ride is likely the slowest group ride you’ll find on Zwift, because it focuses on learning the basics of power based training while riding together on Zwift. Each ride is streamed to Zwift LIVE by ODZ on Facebook, and focuses on teaching specific principles of power-based training. For viewers that are unable to attend live, the teaching is made available for all to review afterwards.

Here is the summary for May 17th from ride leader Nate Dunn.

Looking at your ride data can be overwhelming.  Squiggly lines, scatter plots, and power training jargon. For a lot of athletes their first response is to tune out.  Let’s examine a simple system to help you get the most out of your ride data.

Developing Your Own Perspective

Start by asking yourself these questions.

  1. What do you want to see?
  2. What perspective allows you to best see what you’re looking for?

Answers will vary but the basic concept is to develop your own perspective on viewing data that works for you.  Start with simple, then add more data channels as you see fit.

Looking to analyze an interval workout?  Hiding all data channels other than power and HR might be your most effective perspective.  No need to get distracted with every piece of data available when your objective is to determine whether or not you nailed a power target.  So you’ve worked out an effective “perspective” to view your data.  Now what?

File Review System

Here’s a simple system for getting the most out of each of your ride files

  1. Ask yourself, what was the objective of the ride?
  2. What story does the data tell?  Did you succeed or fail at your ride objective?
  3. Were there any external factors that influenced your success or failure?

Reviewing an Interval Workout

Let’s practice that system on a typical 2 X 20 Threshold interval workout

  1. What was the ride objective?
    1. To spend approximately 40m near a threshold intensity.
  2. What story does the data tell?
    1. I was successful at executing each interval as designed.  Pacing was solid with consistent power throughout each interval.
  3. Were there any external factors that influenced my success or failure?
    1. Temperature was cool and comfortable
    2. Early morning ride full of energy
    3. Low stress, relaxing weekend at home in the days prior
    4. Rest week last week had me fresh, motivated, and ready to attack this ride

Developing Your Own Process

Your process might look different but the basic mechanics should be the same.

  1. Develop your own perspective to view your data
  2. Decide what you’re looking for
  3. Use your data to determine the success/failure of your ride objective.
  4. Try to better understand the context of your success/failure by identifying influential external factors
  5. Enjoy the process!  Data is amazing 🙂