“Power Meter Handbook” by Joe Friel Review

Joe Friel is a world renowned coach and author in the cycling and triathlon world. He has penned numerous articles and book such as

  • The Cyclist Training Bible
  • The Triathletes Training Bible
  • Your First Triathlon
  • Going Long
  • Training Past 50

along with many more. His books can be found here. He also has blogs which can be found here and here. Friel holds a Masters Degree in Exercise Science and is also a USA Cycling and Triathlon Coach. He is a founder and past chairman of the  USA Triathlon National Coaching Commission. He is also a founder of Training Peaks

We received Friels’ new book “Power Meter Handbook” at Sports & Exercise Engineering just before our Pre Christmas Training Camp in Maspalomas and put it in the suitcase for some easy reading. An easy reading it was. A sample from the book can be found here and a copy can be purchase from velopress who sent us our copy for review.

Power Meter Handbook by Joe Friel

Power Meter Handbook by Joe Friel

I asked my self why would Friel write such a book. Over the last few year the power meter has become an integral part in the athlete arsenal. The only book that I have read which could enable an athlete use a power meter is “Training and Racing with a Power Meter”. This book written by “Coggan and Hunter” is quite technical and can be daunting for most athletes. It contains numerous scientific references and details the scientific and algorithmic systems that make the power meter work. It also show how to use the power meter but on a very detail way and in detail. However Friel’s cuts through so much of this unnecessary information which the majority of the athletes are not interested in. From speaking to our own athletes and other athletes over the last number of years they all seem to want to put the Power Meter (PM) on the bike and press play. They want to be able to problem solve simple issues and take general care of their PM. This is exactly the information the Friel’s new book gives.

The Book is structured in simple steps

  1. Why use a Power Meter
  2. What is Power
  3. Getting started with your power meter
  4. Power Zones
  5. Riding Intensity
  6. Fitter an Faster
  7. Using you Power Meter for High Performance
  8. Power for Road Races and Time Trialling
  9. Power for Triathlons
  10. Power for Century Rides

Each chapter sets out in simple terms what is need to be done and how it is to be done. One of the good things I found with the book that if you are used to training with Heart Rate then is all you are doing is substituting your Heart Rate information with Power as the primary indicator for your training Stress. Although as described in the book Heart Rate should still not be discounted fully and should should be consulted along with the Power Data. The chapters describes all the information you get from your power meter and how to read it. training intensities and Power Zones are described. Periodization and training structures for power are also discussed. For those individuals who self prescribe their own training using Heart rate at the moment would by all means be in a position to self prescribe training session using power after reading this book.

Illustrations in the book are detailed, described and easily understood. Graphs for analyzing and planing your training prescriptions are describe in simple terms. Friel has also included samples of power profiles and training schedule layouts. All power Zones are also described in detail.

We think that this book is a great addition to the Power Meter market and will advise countless amateurs and potential professional athletes in how to use power as a training tool in their preparations for their Goals. Remember a Goal without a plan is only a wish!

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