Until recently I have not got into using a power meter to train. Mostly because even the most reasonable ones are crazy expensive (probably the cheapest is the Stages model, which comes in at around $800), and for that kind of money I'm more inclined to go with a new wheelset, for example.
2014 Season Overview").
At The Cycling Gym, however, it's all about the power. (And the heart rate. And the SM02.) And the annoying thing about the data is it's stark, honest and unforgiving. The up-side is, you really can see your progress, assuming you actually do progress. Additionally, there is lots of analysis out there that will tell you exactly where your fitness lies relative to the people you might want to beat in a race.
The one I found most interesting was Andy Coggan's analysis of the power profiles of riders at various levels, from untrained to world-class.
My training FTP (Functional Threshold Power) currently sits at 298 watts, based on my most recent ramp test at The Cycling Gym. Which is kinda cool because it was 272w the first test in early December. At my current weight of 76 kg that puts my FTP Watts per kilo (power to weight ratio) at 3.92, or the level of a Cat 3 racer. (Which frankly seems kinda hopeful to me.) Anyway, this just sets me thinking about what my PWR might be if I were a bit lighter, and how much weight I can lose before I get complaints from my Very Significant Other (I figure 2 or 3 kg, no problem). I was riding at around 72 kg last season, but anything south of that is probably not realistic or healthy. (And not a pretty sight.) Besides, for now it's a bitter cold bastard of a winter and I'm happy to have a bit of insulation.
Steve figures if I can get my FTP to 330 or so I'm good, though that may take a while.
330W FTP at 73 kg... PWR of 4.5w/kg? Those are practically WORLD DOMINATION NUMBERS!
Or anyway maybe enough to not get blown out the back of OCUP M3 races.
I'd take that.