WUWP 50 - RPE vs Power, what's the balance?


It’s a fact that several of the worlds very best Time Trial athletes don’t race with their power meter, and instead rely on rate of perceived exertion (RPE). What exactly is the right balance between these two? How does one get to the level of being able to “feel” you effort almost as accurately as your power meter?

Join me with special guest Nate Dunn of Data Driven Athlete to deep dive on this topic!


Check out this easter egg this morning, Nate was joined by his adorable son!


Here is a link that’s offset directly to the action:


Here is a question that was asked in the LIVE comments:

Do you ever use ERG mode with athletes?

Here is a direct link to the answer in the video:


He guys, great session. Thx for doing these. Just wanted to share my perspective/experience with ERG.

I started my training a few years ago and did most of my indoor training in ERG mode. It made the workouts “easy” to follow because the trainer did all the thinking for me.

Fast forward to today, and I have a new coach who is very experienced. He specifically tells us no ERG mode because part of his training includes control. Controlling power specifically. His efforts have lots of cadence changes with standing and seated efforts and controlling the power is part of the workout. He looks at the std deviation of each effort to measure control. I’ve found that doing workouts without ERG on a rolling terrain in zwift while trying to control the power and hitting specific power numbers is very challenging. It also brings a new mental challenge and I suspect it works more muscles.

So for me, transitioning away from ERG has improved my cycling skills and strength.



Interressting but i think that few workout fit very well for ERG on and other Off. So for me, it really depend of the workout type and goal.


Interesting @EnduranceLab! So you do your workouts with sim mode enabled, but not ERG mode? i.e. the resistance still changes for hills in Zwift ?


Agreed…I think it really depends on the type of workout you have. Certainly if you’re doing different cadence work, or other more “stochastic” type efforts erg mode can be limiting. Often times reducing the mental load of training is a positive thing (as ERG can do), as it could make the difference between completing a workout or bailing all together. My two cents :slight_smile:


That’s right. I have the workout up on a different screen. I ride a Zwift course with my garmin and do the entire workout with the garmin and lap function. I read the other screen for the workout. The workouts are pretty complicated and specific, so I can’t just write simple notes. When I first started doing this, it was super strange making power going down hill. But figured it out over time. I think it’s an “acquired taste”.


Totally agree. Sometimes it’s just nice to focus on putting out the power!