Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hunter Allen interviewed.

An interesting interview with Hunter Allen over at BikeRadar...

In response the ever popular what are the benefits to a power meter question:

Top three, then...

Number one is the planning. I can actually plan my training around the response I want to get; this is called the dose and response system. Pacing is also a very, very big part. On-the-bike pacing in an event is very important, whether that’s a time trial, a criterium, a road race or even a breakaway. We often lose sight of the fact that this sport really is a sport of pacing. So we’ve got pre, during and then the post side, the actual analysis side; figuring out what the data means – did I improve, and how much can I handle?

And some more generic info:

Has coaching changed because of the use of power meters?

Now, I have a very clear understanding of what needs to be done to elicit a certain response. Before, if we wanted to improve your ability to go hard for a short period of time and recover quickly, we knew to do short intervals. Now, there are wattage numbers that we are trying to hit, a goal effort. It’s changed the prescription side of the coaching.

I actually think this is the primary benefit of training with a power meter. It allows you to optimize your time on the bike:

Does volume still count for what it did before the popularity of the power meter?

That has changed. There are a lot of these old myths that have been propagated throughout the years – base training for two months, riding really slow, or whatever. Those things work well for pros, but are just silly for the rest of us. If you’ve got eight to 10 hours a week to train, you can’t afford to ride slow. It does mean that you’ve got to keep a higher level of fitness throughout the season and take more of these smaller rest periods.

And finally a bone for us data analysis nerds:

What's the biggest mistake you see people make when training with a power meter?

They don’t value the cumulative power of all of the data. It gives you your training stress and tells you how much you can handle over three months, four months, six months... It allows you to look at it in that periodic type of way. What you really need to understand is how it all builds together. It can tell you your chronic training load [what you do every day], but you have to account for that. If you just ride, collect information and look at it in the performance manger chart in our WK0 software it can tell you a whole lot about what you can handle.

I have been trying for years to get Hunter to put this into a one-pager (well two pages double sided, and we can use a small font). Then I could print it out and put it into my track bag to hand out to people.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

BVC Friday Night racing - A/B

Friday night racing was a little slow ... as in number of people showing up.. I guess there must have been something else happening in Vancouver that night..

Jeremy split the B group in half... Half raced with the A's and the rest with the C's...

So it certainly wasn't a slow night on the track. I was up in the A/B group which was setting a nice pace in all three races. Mostly I was just hanging onto the back for as long as I could then pulling up and waiting for them to come around again :-(

Long night too. 35 Lap Tempo, 4x10 Progressive Points and finished with a 5x10 Points!

Yesterday it was rain, so back onto the Computrainer for my weekly dose of 6x1m L6 and 4x30s L7 intervals..

Today I did my ever favorite Anmore Tour. Not terribly fast but still hard enough. Slightly abridged version today. Usually I head out to the Burrard Thermal Plant, nice ride down and back up, usually with no traffic. Unfortunately the Thermal Plant is deemed to be a high risk target so they have closed the road for the duration of the Olympics.

CTL finally back over 70 as of today... only one week later than last year.

Now if I could just get weight down. I went from 161lbs at the end of last season to 171lbs in about a month. Still around 168lbs.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Computrainer workout - 8x1m L6, 5x30s L7

Killer two hour workout on the Computrainer today.

I'm trying to increase my anaerobic capacity (L6). Which for me is 330 watts to about 410 watts. For many of the local races (Atomic course, Armstrong, Snake, Westside) the climbs require (for my weight, 72-74kg plus bike) about 350 watts for between one and three minutes.

These are painful intervals to practice, but the only way to get better at them is to do them. During the summer I use Heritage. But I just can't seem to get going and pushing L6 if it is cold. So back to the Computrainer. My favourite 2k loop course, push up the mini hills at L6, just about exactly 1:05, then 3 minutes rest. Repeat. Managed eight, Pavg watts between 340 and 390 for all of them.

Then some longer rest, with some short neuromuscular power 20-30 second intervals. Generally 450-500 Pavg watts.

As a bonus, with the reasonably hard workout I did yesterday (some tempo and threshold hill climbs on Westwood), racing on Friday, managed to get total TSS for the week up to match (exactly) the same as last week, 548... which got CTL up to 68...!!!

Just not sure I'll be able to walk tomorrow :-(

Friday, February 5, 2010

BVC Friday NIght racing - 3rd and 2nd

Only two races tonight. On the new lower gears... 86".

We did a 35 lap scratch and a 40 lap Point-a-Lap.

In the Scratch race stayed at the back for about the first 25 or so laps... With under 4 laps to go Adam Barlev got a very nice jump out of the back straight. close to a half lap gag... I managed to follow at a distance also getting a gap, just not as good. Managed to close a bit but started to loose steam with one lap to go. Marcel van der Veen caught me about then so I moved up track and let him go by. Still had a good gap so cruised to an easy 3rd.

The Point-a-Lap was fun. Good pace. Dave Kosick put out a big effort and got the first four laps. About lap 12 Adam Barlev got a nice jump and cruised a half a lap out for 17 laps... Jeremy finally announcing he had a lock on first.. So he moved up... I was expecting that and had saved myself and stayed in a good position, so immediately jumped out and got my own half lap. Cruised that to the end of the race, 11 laps. Final results Adam first, my second and Dave for third. Good results for Team Escape Velocity / BVC BOD (and also EV BOD for Adam and me...)

Both races where reasonably fast. Average speed just under 45kph. And in both races I managed a nice jump off the front hitting 55-57kph and following with a nice pull. One of 10 laps, 3 minutes, at 330 PAvg watts. The other four laps PAvg 441 watts. Both hitting over 800 watts on the jump. And both with cadences hitting just under 140 RPM.

These are quite high for me on the track. But it does confirm that the limiter at those speeds (> 55kph) is not leg speed but torque (i.e. power) to push the pedals against the wind. I'll need to try and get into a final sprint following someone fast and see if I can get up to something close to 60kph (aka about 145RPM). I've hit 60 in the big gears following a fast sprint to the finish (A group.) That was only 130RPM. But it would be144RPM to hit 60kph... Same power. So can I get there?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

BVC Structured Workout

To hopefully reduce the number of accidents we are instituting gear restrictions for the Friday racing at the track. Looks like 86" or 50x15 or 48x15 depending on tire size etc.

The lower gears are problematical. To get ready I put on a 50x15, which with my 700x19c tubular is supposed to be 86.6" and rolls out at 86.2". Last Saturday night I was out and did tempo and threshold work. Including some "motorpacing", Rob Muldur took me around for 5 laps about about 48-49kph. Managed to hang on..

But felt totally beat up the next day. The lighter pressure on the pedals is making me put more weight on the seat and that in turn makes for a much bumpy ride, especially through the turns. And that in turn made for sore muscles in more than the usual places. So did only a recovery ride on Sunday and then two days off.

Tonight it was back for the Wednesday structured workout. We did some tempo paceline work. Bit tough, still trying to keep control on the bike with the higher leg speed. Then finished off with a hard threshold workout. Dave Gerths paceline of pain. We did 30 minutes at about 44-45kph. I was doing 5 lap pulls, trying to stay above 45.

Again, sore the next day. Mainly from high cadence and bouncing around.