What do all the acronyms and data mean in virtual cycling?

To enjoy the best virtual cycling experience, it’s important to understand a few of the acronyms and metrics used with the MyWhoosh game. It’s hard for experienced cyclists to understand all the numbers and metrics used for virtual cycling. For newcomers, it can be daunting. This article will help explain virtual cycling jargon and how you can use it to measure and improve your fitness.  


Firstly, the key number is the power you are developing. This is shown in watts. Your smart trainer has a power meter that shows you the power you are producing in watts. In MyWhoosh, this is displayed on the top left of the screen. The number shown is the power you are currently producing. When riding easy, it could be anywhere from 50w to 200w. When going hard, this number can jump up to over 600w, with some pro cyclists hitting numbers over 1000w. 

The speed your avatar travels is directly related to the watts you are producing.   

Watts Per Kilo - W/Kg

You will see and hear about watts per kilo more and more on your journey into virtual cycling. Watts per kilo is the watts you are producing divided by your weight. An example is a 75kg rider producing 225w would equal 3 W/Kg. You can see your W/Kg below your name on the right-hand side of the MyWhoosh heads up display or on the top left-hand side of your screen below your power, heart, and cadence numbers. W/Kg is the great equalizer in both outdoor and virtual cycling. The higher the W/kg, the faster you go. Whilst higher outright watts matter on the flat, it’s on the uphill’s that W/Kg really matter.

Cadence - Rpm

The small crank in the top left of your MyWhoosh screen shows your cadence. Cadence is how fast you are pedalling in revs per minute. Most people pedal at between 80 and 100rpm. The key to cadence is being smooth and consistent. Use your gears to keep your Rpm smooth when going up or downhill.  

Heart Rate - HR

A small heart is in the top left of your MyWhoosh screen, that shows your current HR. Once you have connected your heart rate monitor, your heart rate will appear in this box. Over time you will learn how your heart rate responds during your ride. Remember, everyone’s heart rate is different.  

Calories - kcal

This metric shows you how many calories you have burnt during your ride. Due to MyWhoosh measuring your power, the conversion is very accurate. One kcal is equal to one Calorie or 4.18 Kj.  

During each ride, you can track your kcal burn and add it as exercise numbers in many fitness apps.  

Functional Threshold Power - FTP

FTP is the universal measurement of your fitness as a cyclist. In broad terms, FTP is your best average power you can hold for 1 hour. Going as hard as you can for 1 hour isn’t generally a lot of fun, so there are several ways you can estimate your FTP.  

In the MyWhoosh workout section, under testing, you will find a 20 min test and a ramp test. Both will give you an accurate estimation of your FTP.  

Once estimated, you can use your FTP to complete some great workouts to increase your fitness. You can update your user profile with your FTP, and then all the workouts will adjust to your personal level and the correct training zones to get the best out of the workouts. 

The hidden benefit is bragging to your friends about how high your FTP is. Don’t forget to divide it by your weight to get your FTP in W/Kg.   


TSS and IF – Training Stress Score and Intensity Factor

In workouts and at the end of events, you will see TSS and IF numbers. They are indicators of how hard your ride was. TSS and IF are based on having your FTP correct, so make sure you test regularly.   


TSS calculated off an algorithm to give you points. If you achieve your FTP for 1 hour, you will earn 100 points. IF is how hard the ride was as a percentage of your FTP. Both together give the story of how much fatigue and stress was placed on your body during the ride.  


So, push hard and increase your IF and TSS numbers per week. 

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