Definitions

Cycling Tips

Power (power)
Definition:
Power or in English power is a physical quantity of energy per unit time. The unit of power is watts or joules per second.
Explanation:
It’s the most valid and reliable way to measure your performance. It’s the direct output you provide. In addition, it is also the best way to determine the intensity for your body. But never forget to listen to your body, how you feel before, during and after a workout.

Normalized power
Definition:
Average power based on an algorithm that takes into account the fact that you do not provide constant power (the average power) while cycling.
Explanation:
Normalized power is calculated by averaging the variation in power over time intervals. The average power of an interval training would be lower because of the rest between the intervals, the normalized power takes this into account because of the variation in the intervals. This makes it a more accurate way to determine the intensity of a training. A ride with a lot of variation (intervals or height difference) with the same average power as a constant workout is heavier for the body, this is reflected in a higher normalized power.

Intensity Factor (Intensity factor, IF)
Definition:
The intensity factor is a measure of the average intensity of a workout.
Explanation:
The intensity factor is obtained by dividing the normalized power (NP) by the FTP (Functional Threshold Power). The result gives an indication of the heaviness of the workout. This means that a ride on your FTP gives an IF of 1.00. The IF is a simple indication of the intensity of the workout and can prevent you from training too monotonously. Try to avoid always coming home with the same IF.

Training Stress Score (TSS)
Definition:
A score to determine the stress of a workout on the body, which is based on the intensity (intensity factor, IF) and the duration of a ride.
Explanation:
The heavier and longer a ride, the higher the TSS will be. For example: a ride of one hour on your FTP will be a TSS of 100. A very quiet endurance training (IF of 0.50) of two hours can therefore result in the same TSS. It is important not only to look at the TSS, but also to see how it came about (IF, NP and duration). The same TSS does not mean the same training effect!

Kcal (kilocalorie)
Definition:
A unit for energy, just like Joule.
Explanation:
Calories are actually obsolete, but are still the most widely used in the food industry. One calorie equals 4.18 KJ. The mechanical efficiency during cycling is about 20%. That means that you need five times as much energy from food to keep on cycling. With this knowledge it is possible to calculate exactly how much energy you need based on power data (power is after all joules per second).

FTP 
Definition:
Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is the maximum power you can just sustain for an hour.
Explanation:
The FTP is determined by means of an exercise test in a lab or you can get an indication by performing a test yourself (20 minutes test). When you make a maximum effort of 20 minutes and get 5% off that you have a good estimation of your FTP. Physiologically, the FTP corresponds to the point where the production and degradation of lactate are in balance. When the intensity is higher than the FTP, you won’t be able to maintain it for very long. While an intensity just below or on the FTP can be maintained much longer. The FTP can be expressed in both absolute power (watts) and relative power (watts/kg) based on a person’s body weight. The relative power is especially important when going up the mountain.

Training zones
Definition:
A distribution based on power and/or heart rate to determine the degree of intensity.
Explanation:
Power and heart rate zones are based on your FTP or heart rate at your tipping point. The reason why training zones are used is to determine and evaluate the intensity of a workout in order to achieve the intended training effect. Because it is actually impossible to keep your power or heart rate constant, training sessions are based on zones.
ERG mode
Definition:
A setting where the smart-trainer controls your power by adjusting the resistance to your cadence.
Explanation:
The ERG mode is ideal for carrying out specific training sessions. In this mode you can be sure that you are driving the desired power (e.g. a certain percentage of your FTP). If you make sure you keep your cadence constant, the trainer will do the rest!

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