You know that those ‘techy’ riders from your club all use a power meter. You’ve probably considered buying one for a while, but it all seems a bit complicated. The good news is that you don’t need to know it all to get started. Just take your new power meter out for a spin and see how it feels to ride with data.
You don’t need to do the much feared FTP test at your first go. You should actually try and get more familiar with your new training buddy. When you are out on your first ride simply test how 100w feels. How about 200w or 300w? How is your heart rate compared to the watts?
If you ride in a group, try and ride at the front and compare the power numbers to riding in the back. Notice the huge difference that staying on your friend’s wheel makes.
Ride in the headwind with the same watts as riding with a tailwind. Notice the difference in speed, cadence and your gears. If you ride at a more consistent power level, you will save energy and muscle fatigue.
Shift into your biggest gear and go for the breakaway with an all-out sprint (high gear high cadence). See how hard you can go for 5-10 seconds. The best sprinters in the world can probably go above 1500w! (sheesh!)
Look at the training data from your first couple of rides with the power meter. Once you’ve established an idea of what your target power could be, your next step would be to test yourself and find your training zones. But that’s for later.