Coach Conversations: Allen Lim on Power Training Basics
The ability to train with a powermeter has completely changed the language of cycling. It provides us with a lot of vocabulary, which can make training with power seem more complicated than it is. There’s really only a few key terms you need to know:
- What is power? It’s the rate of energy you are producing in a given timeframe.
- Power is the most accurate way to understand your exercise intensity.
- Intensity is historically difficult to measure. Heart Rate is an outcome, while power measures the actual cause of intensity – also known as stimulus.
- Work is an important term when we think about power output. Work defines how much energy is being used and is frequently measured as a kilojoule or calorie.
- The best equation to calculate work is Intensity x duration = work.
- Remember this simple equation for power: torque (amount of force about a lever) x angular velocity (how fast something is spinning).
Dr. Allen Lim is a sports physiologist, cycling coach, and a founder of Skratch Labs, a manufacturer of performance hydration mixes and the world's first active nourishment company. Beginning his coaching career with Jonathan Vaughters' TIAA-CREF cycling development team, Lim developed a method of testing for biological markers of performance enhancing drugs that led to cycling's Biological Passport. Lim was director of sport science for Garmin and RadioShack cycling teams and is the only American scientist to have worked and cooked for teams at the Tour de France. Lim has worked with dozens of top American cyclists to improve their performance and nutrition.