# Coasting and average power

When I’m in a race and coasting downhill, does that affect my average power?
IOW, when I do an IRL ride, my Garmin will not decrease my average power when I stop pedaling. Does the same happen on Zwift?

If you’re racing, why do you care?

Average power is something you’re only going to see after the race is over, unless you’re using a power meter (external to your trainer) and your Garmin head unit to monitor it during the race.

In that case, you already know that zeros are excluded from the average and it doesn’t make any difference how Zwift handles them.

Of course, if you’re doing that? Then it’s also a simple matter to compare the average Zwift records to the average displayed on your Garmin.

If the Garmin average value is higher, then it’s safe to say that Zwift’s average includes zero-values (e.g. coasting) in the calculation.

If the two numbers are basically the same? Then it doesn’t.

I get my power from Zwift and my Tacx Neo; not a Garmin.

I care because I like to compare one workout to the next. Some workouts are not races (e.g., climbing Alpe du Zwift); some are races. If I do an hour workout at one avg power (e.g. 300w), then when I do a race of comparable time, I should be able to do that race around that same avg power. If the race is counting my coasting downhill against avg power, then I should expect my race avg power should be significantly lower (and that’s OK because my actual avg power was more comparable to the hour workout because it was not penalized by the drastic downward pull of riding at 0 power for the coasting downhill time…

I can’t answer your question, but one thing you can do is start the Jungle Circuit and register some watts, immediately do a u-turn and coast for a while down the hill. Stop your workout and check your avg. Just a thought.

Input from the TrainingPeaks Help Center:

By default, most Garmin devices have Non-Zero Averaging turned on. This setting throws out all the zeroes when figuring Average and Normalized power. TrainingPeaks does not throw zeroes out because time spent coasting is resting, and rest allows you to hold a higher average power when you are pedaling.

Training Stress Score (TSS) is a much better metric to use to evaluate the workout than average power.

2 Likes

Hello, everybody:slightly_smiling_face:
I am new over here, just lurking around and goth this to start with you all. I am Drew and bit fitness enthusiastic.