Sunday, November 8, 2009

Computrainer - Track simulation

It was a Computrainer weekend. The Soloist is still at the shop with the busted derailleur. And I didn't feel like sorting out some training wheels for the TT bike just to go out in the cold wet rain...

Yesterday I did an hour plus L2/L3 ride. At least according to the CT numbers. But really it felt a lot harder. Only 73TSS points for an hour and fifteen minutes. But I could barely walk after..

Today for fun I built a Track simulation 3d course. 200m, flat about the right dimensions....

This was fairly interesting. I did my normal "paced" type ride. I.e. set the CT pacer going with its constant wattage and then just try and stay in its draft. Again this felt harder and for what should have been equivalent to the track, a lot slower. Normally an easy pace spinning around would be about 35-38kph. The CT with about 200w was only getting me about 29-30kph.

I then tried to do the equivalent of a Take-a-lap drill. Normally at the track the group goes around at about 33-35kph and when the coach whistles the front person jumps off the front and rides hard until he catches up to the back of the group. Usually, depending on how fast you go, about 3-4 laps, 50-70 seconds.

When I tried this on the CT I basically failed miserably. Very hard to moderate the power to something I could hold and then just wasn't going fast enough. Even though the starting speed was only 28 I only was able to push and hold about 38 and just never made it all the way around.

So then I changed the drag to 50% AND lowered the pacer wattage to about 125 Watts... So it was only going about 25kph. Even then I was only JUST able to get around and then die...

Not quite sure what this says about the CT.. We know that the power numbers "seem" low. But here what we see is the speed for both power AND Perceived Effort being to low. I have never failed to catch the group in a take-a-lap drill on the track. Here I failed miserably with lower emulated speed and watts and higher perceived efforts.

A very good workout. I just would like to know if I can believe the numbers or should bias them up. Before it was easy to say that perhaps the Ergomo was too high... But here is some empirical, although still somewhat subjective, evidence that the CT "game physics" is not quite right.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

BVC Friday - Back to B

It was back to the B group this week. I had been racing in the A's just to get a longer workout and fill in the numbers a bit. But there where record numbers out on Friday (16A, 20B, 16C, 6N) so they didn't need any extra people up there, especially people who wouldn't be able to keep up and would be getting lapped, repeatedly...

Even in the B's the low CTL and negative TSB meant I was just doing my thing at the back of the bus. Fun racing. But no real change to do much with my present state of fitness.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pez on Warm up

Pez has a good summary of warm up requirements here.

While he is using Cross and running late due to shorter daylight hours etc etc.... One of the studies he references is about tests using a 3km TT.

The results are not astounding but worth repeating:
In summary, any kind of moderate to hard warm-up seems infinitely preferable to no warm-up at all. Therefore, set your departure time and stick to it! Also, do whatever you need to in order to trim and optimize your on-site preparation so that you’re not fiddling away precious time once you arrive.
I know that I always seem to find a million things to do other than getting on the bike and getting warmed up... And typically don't want to fatigue myself and probably then don't do enough Tempo.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Computrainer ERG files

See here for a large number of Computrainer ERG workout files from Velotraining with a writeup here.

He has ERG workout files for many of the common workouts (e.g. L3 2x20 minutes) and then generated customized versions of them based on your FTP. Where FTP is anywhere from 100 watts to 500 watts. Each workout has an appropriate warmup and cool down.

You can also see the workout chart for each.

This is L3 3x20 @ 76-90%.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

JRA - Exploding derailleurs

Bummer, half way across the Golden Ears Bridge, JRA (Just Riding Along) and all of a sudden the rear wheel skids to an abrupt halt. Upon inspection I see the dérailleur hanging from the chain jammed into the spokes of my training wheel! The hanger broke allowing it to get pulled around the cassette. Fortunately neither of the stays OR the wheel seems to have been damaged. I think just replace the dérailleur and chain ...

Friday night I was back at the track for three hard races with the A's... I'm still really out classed there. I should be racing in the B's.. But the A's seemed to need some more riders to fill things in a bit (pack fodder) and where doing longer races than the B's so I stayed with them to get a better workout. Still bloody embarrassing putting in many many laps off the back ...

I did manage to get some points in the first face. It was a Tempo and for some reason the pack let me jump off the front and take the first five laps... I think they where just being kind and knew that it wouldn't really matter HOW many laps I got... And of course they where right, that got my wind up so I was not even able to hang in with them as they sped by.