Friday, July 25, 2008

Who doesn't lobby for Powertap?

Training with Power (SRM/Powertap/Polar/etc) is the new Nintendo from the late 80's, the LL Bean backpack with your initials on it from the 90's, and the Facebook/Myspace/favorite social networking site of the 2000' ain't got any social cred at all if you're not using it.

Dang...I have no cred than (nor did I in that last two decades either, shoot).

Peter Cannell's comment on GamJams got me thinking about what is right and wrong and what this means for next year:

"You won't see me doing 3-5 hr "endurance" rides very often, though every now and then they are fine. It's funny actually - I'll do one of those maybe once/month just to make sure I can ride my bike for 5 hrs, and I'm always surprised how easy it feels and how fresh I am at the end!"

No rides over 3 hours?! Wow...that's a smack to the forehead.

I think back to the running days. I used to work with and hang out with some distance guys who were training for the Olympic Trials in the 5,000 meters and they used to preach mileage over everything. We used to sit around and I'd listen to them go back and forth about how they were trying to build up to 130+ miles/week and how if they could get a couple of weeks in at that mileage, their times were going to be fast...130 miles/week...that's something like going out and putting in 400 to 500 miles/week on the road on the bike. Crazy, right?

But maybe for cycling around here (crits, circuit races, the once in a while road race), if we keep on the running association, we can consider ourselves more like "sprinters" or "middle-distance" runners. Take a look at the races I've done so far this year. UMD, Tyson's, Hagerstown were all about an hour long. Hunny Bop was 75 Minutes. These are essentially "sprints". Peter's comments now make a lot more sense. Why go out and ride the bike for 4 to 5 hours or do 100+ mile rides when your race is only going to be at most 30 miles?

Going out and doing these interval workouts may be smarter (and save a lot more time). A 3x20 min at a high intensity probably would be more useful than a 3 hour jaunt around Maryland with the 7am group.

I can't believe I'm convincing myself not to do group rides...

Now does this mean I have to go out and spend $1,000+ on a power measuring system? I hope not. That probably won't go over very well in the le domestique household. Everybody I know that has one swears by them though. Ugh..dang you Peter for making sense.

Someone should write something that counter's Peter's comments so I can go back to feeling good about doing the 7am and 10am rides as the bulk of my training.



Kyle Jones said...

Jesse If you read pete cannells blog like I have he does do group rides on the weekend. He also suffered a bout of burnout in march from what I read. So I guess balance is the key.

Jesse said...

Good to know.

Although I don't know if I can read his blog...I'm too busy trying to follow yours.

Kyle Jones said...

Interesting posts are coming on it, aint there. I am very interested in what is being said to me. Not falling on deaf ears. But from earlier in the season I think you were right.

Bryan Vaughan said...

My advice is to split the difference. I'm going to be doing more structured intervals this off-season and next year. But I'm also going to still ride a lot of miles and do group rides. I need and like the dynamics of group riding too.

I don't know what your plans are for road racing; but if you go to Cat 2 and road race, you're going to want to be able to ride hills and go longer distances. Our guys rode weekly 4 to 5 hour hill rides in Frederick and it was really helpful for all types of riding in my view. Pete is VERY dedicated in riding intervals on the trainer in a way that I have not seen from anyone else ever.

Get a Power meter for your birthday or something!

Jesse said...

I'm with you Bryan...keep up the group rides and add maybe some structure to the mid-week workouts.

Another trip (or two) out to WV (Raw Talent Ranch) may be in the cards too. Those hills (although they made me cry last time) paid off on the return to DC.

KML said...

Hey Jesse,

To keep balance in all of this, and not go broke, maybe ride intervals on Tues. Wed. and Thurs. rest on Fri. or do an hour spin if you race that weekend. Monday is a rest day or lift or yoga or a light spin. Don't pass up a group ride because you always get to check yourself on those sufferfests. And I do believe Pete is right on with the trainer intervals, they are hard as heck to do and even harder if you try to do them at HP but you will notice a difference.

IMO power meters are the crack of cycling and not necessary unless you are a #s person. You know your body and while a computer will spit out some digits to tell you power etc. all you really need to do is listen to how your body feel. Oh and the most important component RECOVERY!! That means a protein shake or mix about half hour after a workout 2 hours max. Now I say all this with little or no 'results' to back it up. But I am a chicken and will readily admit it when things get tough in the mix for me, I bail or rather drift off the pace and out of contention.

BUT you are a rocket on a bike so be patient it will all fall into place!!!

Chickin said...

I love my power meter, but then again I am a numbers person. It has been a huge component of my training this year and I've only begun to scratch the surface with it. I have not even ventured into the software (WKO+ and all that jazz) yet so I'm not even getting the full benefit of mine. Once I get the compatibility issue of the trainingpeaks software and my mac down I hope to take it to a new level.

Jesse said...

I think I have more of the "next guy" speed mindset...go as hard or harder as the guy/gal next to you.

I'd like a power meter of sorts, but I couldn't figure out how to turn off the beeping on my polar heartrate really I probably shouldn't get one.