Do you need a power meter?

I am asked this question all the time by age groupers on Twitter and via the email.  NO is the short answer.

I prefer athletes who don’t have a power meter when they start training with me because I have found that the biggest problem is they are very data focused and really struggle when I put on their program 100km time trial.  They don’t know what to do or what effort to do this at.  They struggle to train on feel.
It is easy for me to say 4x 5min at 270w with 2min easy spin.  The problem with this is that depending on how you feel in that session keep in mind stress levels (emotional, physical and chemical), whether, motivation, etc, etc will depend if 270w is too much or not enough or it could be just right.  There are too many veritable.
However if I was to say 4x 5min at MAX effort with 2min easy spin, that effort to you for the 5 minutes should feel the same every time despite the watts you are pumping out. You learn to train by feel.  This is the biggest thing I try and tech athletes I work with.  EVERYTHING you do in training and in racing MUST be on feel.
I am not against power meters at all, I do like them however, I don’t train to them nor do I coach to them for the most part.  I do like to sometimes go back and analyze the data from them and they can change future training sessions however I keep going back to train on feel and let feedback from the athlete shape the next training block.
I can see benefits of having a power meter if you are a pro triathlete or wanting to make the jump to becoming a pro.  Personally I would save the money and put that into the “bucket list” race you have always wanted to do.
Tim Egge


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