What is normalised power and how is it used in cycling?

Our commitment to measurement and adequate data-transfer is unmatched, and we strive to give the best power data we can to those who want it. The InfoCrank’s moment-by-moment power data is a great way to get to the bottom of the physiological demands of a particular training session or race, both at the time and post-event.

Sometimes we get asked about normalised power and whether this is a useful metric when racing and training. So what is normalised power and why is it useful?

Normalised power is a metric used in cycling to quantify the intensity of a ride or a training session. It takes into account variations in power output, such as changes in pace, terrain, and wind, and calculates an equivalent constant power output that would produce the same physiological stress. This is useful because the physiological stress on the body is related to the total work done, rather than just the average power output.

Normalised power is calculated by taking the fourth power of the power values recorded during the ride, averaging them over a designated time period (typically 30 seconds), taking the fourth root of that average, and then multiplying by a factor to normalize it to a theoretical constant power output for the same duration. As normalised power accounts for the variations in power output that occur during a ride, it is particularly useful for rides or training sessions that involve intervals, hill climbs, or other changes in intensity.

Cycling normalised power can be used to inform training decisions, such as setting appropriate training intensities or determining recovery needs after a hard training session or race. By using normalised power as a guide, athletes can more effectively target specific physiological systems during training and avoid overtraining or undertraining. Additionally, cycling normalised power can be used to compare the intensity of different rides or races, which can be helpful in evaluating progress and setting goals.

Lacets de Montvernier Infocrank Power Meter for Cycling Set

So, yes, normalised power is a useful metric for anyone serious about improvement as it attempts to more holistically capture the actual workload the body is subjected to. It can inform the optimal volume of future training sessions leading to more improvement more quickly.

However, like any useful metric it depends entirely on the quality of information entering the system, and this is where the InfoCrank is unlike the other brands. Full 256Hz data of both torque and cadence; nothing comes close.

This is why we are such a hit with those who really care about data. The truth is the federations are already using power meters well beyond what is out there commercially and our current focus is now how we bring this game-changing tech to people outside the national federations, whether you ride just at one or two days a weekend or train all week. This is the objective of our new True North App (more to be revealed shortly!).

At Verve, we pride ourselves on our simple and singular commitment to designing and producing the world’s most accurate cycling power meter. We design solely for purpose, not price point, and support some of the world’s best cyclists, both publicly as in the case of British Cycling, Cycling Ireland and the UCI, as well as privately for those athletes or federations who simply want the best and would rather keep the secret to themselves.

Read more: Why cadence matters but not in the way that you think

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