Guides and tricks

VIDEO - Learn how to use power in the race | Chapter 2


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Second chapter of the series on running and power training. If you did not see the first chapter I recommend you to take a look at it, because in it I explain the basic concepts that, if you do not have them well assimilated, may not allow you to have all the necessary information.

In this second episode I will discuss how and for what 1TP10We can use power running, both in our training and in competition. Here is the video.

There are three aspects that I highlight, which I will detail below.

Training at a given intensity

Heart rate, as a metric, has a very slow reaction time. The rises and falls of heart rate need quite a long time to show with a data the intensity with which we are running.

However, the power is immediate. Suppose you want to do 30-second intervals, then the heart rate is useless because there is no time to go up and down, so we cannot do short intervals with a target of, for example, 160 beats per minute. We would have to use the pace, it is faster but it is not immediate either.

But this is equally applicable to a long run on undulating terrain. If we are not running on completely flat terrain and the goal is to maintain a stable intensity during the 2 hours of running we are doing, any small elevation can cause us to vary too much the intensity we want to apply.

Here is the example I use in the video.

Running and power training

And this is the link to play with the graphics at will.

Intervals on slopes

Let's suppose you have to do hill intervals. At what pace are you going to do them? What is the exact slope of that slope? And I'll say more... is that slope constant, or are there variations? With all those variables, how do you quantify the effort you're putting in to make it repeatable?


Using power as data 1TP10We can repeat the intervals in a given range (e.g. from 360 to 380 watts), even if the slope is not constant.

VIDEO - Learn how to use power in the race | Chapter 2 1Link to training.

Strategy for racing, especially on terrain other than flat terrain

Preparing the strategy you want to do for a short race or even a track race is not much of a mystery. We look for a target pace and monitor the heart rate and, according to that, we run our race.

But what happens if we face a marathon with slopes like the one in Madrid? How do I know that the pace I am following to climb a street is not going to take its toll on me? Do I take advantage of the downhills to increase the pace and recover that time, or is it better to be conservative?

And that's talking about a race on asphalt, but if we think of a trail it is even more complicated, let's say that you would have to run the race almost by intuition.

As you are accumulating power-based workouts 1TP10You will have a power curve where you can look up your records for a given time. So, you simply look up a time similar to what you think you will need to complete the race and see what power you have been able to maintain for that duration. From there you can do your calculations and have a target power that you will podr maintain throughout the race, ensuring you reach the end at full power.

The power will give you an indication of your effort at that precise moment.

Stroke power curve

Training load measurement

An important factor for TSS in TrainingPeaks or other platforms that assess training load.

>> Guide to learning how to use TrainingPeaks

Remember that when recording the training load, TrainingPeaks can use different metrics depending on which is the main metric chosen:

  • hrTSSTraining load according to heart rate: Do we do 20 x 30″ at maximum? We will end up crushed, but as the heart rate does not end up rising (probably at the end and yes, but the beginning hardly adds up), the load will be much lower than the real one.
  • rTSSTraining load according to the pace. We did 10km, but with 800m positive. So our pace has been slow compared to our usual pace zones. The rTSS will only look at that pace, but it does not take into account that we have been running up 10% slopes. Logically the load has been high, but the rTSS will be low because it took us almost two hours to do those 10km.
  • TSSPower data, together with a functional power threshold that we have entered in the application, the training load will always be faithful to the effort we have made. It doesn't matter if we have climbed, descended, done short intervals... Everything is recorded with respect to the power which, let's remember, is an instantaneous metric.

Below you can see the difference in hrTSS, rTSS and TSS in the same training, depending on which is the main metric to be used. As you can see, the final load is very different.


And with this we have completed chapter 2. As you can see power during your workouts can be a very interesting metric, it is not just another number to see on the watch display.

Want to know how you can get this power data? That will come soon in chapter 3.

Don't forget to "Like" the video, subscribe to the channel and/or to Instagram.

And with that... thanks for reading!

Eduardo Mateos

I've been surrounded by electronic devices of all kinds for more than 25 years. Using them, testing them, taking them apart and dissecting them. Long distance triathlete: I swim, run and cycle for a long time. Maybe too much.

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