Every day is Training day at the moment… Well, aside from Monday, but 6 days a week its going down:
You may have noticed a trend over the last 6 weeks… Yes, here and there I have been dripping in that I have been in amongst one of the biggest training blocks I can remember doing in a long time. Whilst the volume has been big, the quality has also been absolutely a cut above anything I can recall doing over the last 3 years.
When you’re averaging 16 hours a week on the bike, there are three major things you need to make it more palatable and, even feel easy overall:
- The right crew – This is the key and something I have already covered recently in a rant about team work
- A proper plan – Not “This morning I feel like riding up some hills”, but an actual plan structured around your goals and done in a way that doesn’t turn you into a friendless cunt in the process
- The right tools – Yes, I have been on the Stages power meter for 3 weeks now, so clearly I’m an expert and thanks to the internet I can spew forth my massively dubious views on training with a power meter
Its mainly the last 2 points that I want to foam at the mouth about today, as its pretty much all I have been doing recently. Whilst I’m not about to print a retraction on my initial views on Power Meters, I am slowly starting to appreciate their place in the world and on training rides. However, I only arrived at this understanding once my activity was connected to a decent training plan and this is one of my main points.
Imagine being stuck on a desert island with a box of condoms… Alone. Especially dumb if you’re a chick. But, this is what happens if you’re running around with a power meter and either aren’t following some sort of plan and/or you don’t know how to use it properly. In both scenarios you end up fucking yourself ultimately. Its way better to do it planned and with other people:
I’m not saying you need to get a plan and go out like a zombie to ride at a particular zone like a mindless slave – There are some well documented examples where that doesn’t result in much fun happening. Cool if you don’t want to have any friends, but who wants to miss out on sweating with others when you are trying to smash them over on that last interval (so not referring to this morning boys):
I also happen to get a much better result when smashing it with stronger riders, intervals are cunty, but over the last 4 weeks I actually look forward to the hammerfest sessions and I’ve found it almost odd how the miles have just been clocking up almost effortlessly each week.
So, if you have forked out for a Power meter and are riding around looking at the number without a clue what the fuck it means, I suggest you tap into some decent knowledge to work out how to use it, how to structure training to incorporate it and get some decent return on that eye water investment (I’m looking at you SRM users).
Important note – Better yet, get together as a team or group and work out how you can train together using these tools. Ultimately it will lift the whole group and no one ends up the gimp alone doing weird intervals solo down Changi straight. Best to talk to people who know how to sort that action out is my advice (yes, click on the link FFS).
Some other interesting phenomenon I have noticed from being a power user over the last few weeks:
- People are LOCO when it comes to deciding that their power meter is the best. Power tap users in particular foam at the mouth that its the best invention since the US Postal train. SRM users tend to say nothing, mainly as they are too busy paying off the second mortgage they used to pay for it to talk. Garmin users probably haven’t torqued them properly and are therefore relaying erroneous data and the Quarq guys have had their battery go flat again, so are at home. But, all of them will tell you their platform is the BEST.
- There are two types of Power users when it comes to the numbers. The first group gets the data to use in their training. The second group want to get a painfully accurate number so that they can tell everyone else their number in a massively cock waving fashion. This is usually in the form of the following sentence: “I was putting out XX watts back there…” or “Want to know what my maximum was today?”.
- Trying to stay under 100 watts for an easy ride is more difficult than I realised… You have to ride like you’re crippled on the hills and let cycling commuters pass you, which is horrific. Conversely, if you’re told to ride at 300 watts for 20 mins, this is harder than you originally think it sounds
- The Stages has been good so far. By good, I mean it delivers the numbers to my Garmin, is easy to calibrate, hasn’t fucked out and looks subtle on the bike. What more can you ask for really? Its not a big weird hub, doesn’t have alien pods sticking off my pedals or cost more than my frame. Its about as common sense as it gets really.
Watch Power Nazi’s foam at the mouth whilst reading this… Oh, one last thing – Want to fire up a Power cunt, just tell them their device is the most inaccurate or question when it was last properly updated/calibrated/serviced. Enjoy the show as they lose their shit and go into a very in-depth melt down about why theirs is the best and most accurate. Fun.
And remember one thing – Tools are fine, but at the end of the day the most important thing is the people you ride with. So keep your crew safe, dish high fives at the end of a hard session and appreciate the group you roll with (assuming you’ve followed my advice and already exited the cunts of course).