Before we get into how to use a power meter, let?s talk about how to establish a baseline Functional Threshold Power (FTP).
Establishing an FTP:
According to the ?Racing and Training with Power? by Coggan and Allen, a 20 minute all out time trial would determine FTP. From the 20 minute test you multiply your FTP by 95%. For example, if you ride an all out 20 minute time trial and end up averaging 300 watts, taking 95% of that would give you an FTP of 285 watts. Personally, I think a 30 (THIRTY) minute time trial multiplied times 95% would give you a more accurate measure of FTP.
Another option for establishing your FTP would be to ride a 40k Time Trial. Riding this 40k solo would be tough, but in an organized event chasing and being chased by other riders would give you the motivation to generate a true FTP.