Train by numbers: Feeding the Golden Cheetah

I love riding/training with power. It’s not for everyone, you need to love numbers and be a bit of a geek at heart. Other training metrics such as average speed, Strava segments and heart rate are variable and dependent on outside factors, But with wattage you either make it or you don’t. At the end of the day 200 watts is 200 watts.

trwpmNew to power? First click this Cycling Weekly article for the basics then take a look at some Golden Cheetah videos on YouTube. If you’re not put off by that, buy the book Training and Racing with a Powermeter and read it cover to cover. If you STILL want to delve into the world of power, go ahead and pull the trigger!

This year so far I’ve completed a majority of my training on rollers and Zwift, giving me a widespread data bank of power files from my PowerTap G3 hub. Having all my rides logged with power means I can easily track fitness improvements and monitor training load over time.

IMG_1638Ride with power, and train hard – but remember to enjoy the journey!

For me it’s about that continual improvement. I use Golden Cheetah to track my keep tabs on my long term (chronic) and short term (acute) training loads. It gives me a good indicator of how fresh or fatigued I am within a training cycle. Looking over my data shows positive power level trends as both my short and long term training loads increase. Golden Cheetah is not the most user friendly software available but on the plus side it’s free!

goldencheetah2017It takes time to get your head around the many GC graphs and data points.

Like I said, it’s certainly not for everyone! You can very easily get sucked into the black hole of endless data sets, which can drain the fun out of cycling. The trick is not to get bogged down and just keep an eye on the metrics that are important to your particular cycling goals. For me it’s a solid way of tracking real progress. Never forget to just ride for fun every once in a while too!

So however you may be cycling this weekend. Ride hard, ride safe and pedal on!

10 Comments Add yours

  1. bgddyjim says:

    Nice post, man!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bonnev659 says:

    great post, and I noticed training with power on the trainer and road (when my powermeter rims was okay to use for braking) is awesome. but i agree a few folks will be tied up with data when they should just focus on one thing and ride with that one item.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found it good for post analysis of my TT races too, to see where I wasn’t pushing hard enough!


  3. Derek says:

    Always wanted to. But Price point is steeeeep


    1. bonnev659 says:

      I got my first powermeter used from someone i trusted. got it for half the price. so maybe that is an idea for you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My first one was used too, in good condition with not many miles. An older PowerTap SL+ hub. Was a good intro to power training.


        1. bonnev659 says:

          that is what I got SL+ hub and it is still kicking it.. too bad the rim braking surface is shot but i still use it on the trainer now

          Liked by 1 person

  4. PedalWORKS says:

    I haven’t yet splurged on a power meter. However, throughout the winter months, I train on a spinning bike with a power meter. I focus on the power readings rather than my heart rate or other methods, and must admit, prefer to train with it. Now that the weather is improving in these parts, I may consider purchasing a used meter if I can find something suitable.


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