Spare the rod, spoil the child

For a couple of years I have watched various internet forums and personal blogs rant and rave about powermeters.  For various reasons, a couple of years ago I decided I wanted/needed a powermeter.  Those reasons ranged from I want to be one of the cool kids with bling, to I’m a total geek and to be able to know all this cool information at my disposal during and after rides, and finally I felt that all these people can’t be wrong, this tool has to open some doors.After bellying up to the bar and buying an SRM, and exactly 3 rides using it – I finally hear Jimi – to quote Sidney Deane

Look man, Your can listen to Jimi but you can’t hear him. There’s a difference man. Just because your listening to him doesn’t mean you’re hearing him.

What do I mean?  Last night I did a Spinervals DVD (14.0 Totally Time Trial).  The main set of this workout consists of 4×15 minutes @ 2 minutes rest at your 40k effort.  As I posted earlier this week, I estimate my FTP to be about 297 watts.  So I planned to aim for an even 300 watt average, trying to have no more then +- 5 watts variation in what I saw on the powermeter display.  Reps #1, 2, and 3 went great.  Averaged 300 watts more or less on the head, and kept my variation pretty small.  RPE and HR were right were I expected them to be.

Along comes rep number four.  The first 5 minutes goes as expected, then my PE slowly started to creep up.  OK I think, I’m going to just keep doing this and these last 10 minutes are gonna fly by.  A couple minutes go by, HR is still where it should be for this type of effort, PE is telling me the engine room is at full tilt, and the PM is proudly displaying 270 watts.  "HOLY BUCKETS" I said to myself, and slowly dragged myself backup to 300 watts.  Minimal increase in HR, PE exertion goes up, but guess what?  Only doing the work I need to, despite what my legs are saying. 

I get it.