I Now Pedal Watts! -- Log
I've finally got the toy i've been lusting over for a year or more....i've got a PowerTap SL wattage meter! Yay me!!
For those not in the know, it's a rear hub that's hooked up to a computer on your handlebars that tells you exactly how much energy you're putting into the pedals, in watts.
While training with heart rate is pretty good, there are a lot of variables that can affect this. As i've prolly mentioned previously, an example of this is the difference in temperature..
My main training zone is around 160bpm. Riding at this heart rate is relatively easy in the summer, however, keeping it around there in the winter is sometimes hard work... This, and other factors affect what your heartrate is. However, regardless of the temperature, your level of fatigue or wind, or anything else external. Watts are watts. 220 watts is the same in the summer as it is in the winter, and i'm able to push this much all year round, despite how my HR might fluctuate.
So i've had it nearly a week now, and recorded three rides. It gets plugged into your home computer and has got software that gives you a nifty chart, you can view my last three days here:
The first two are my weekend rides, and the third is my MuscleTension intervals from Tuesday.
It's had some weird spikes (no, i haven't hit 3,684kph, or stomped out 54,075 watts!), and they can be edited out of the file, but at the moment there's a bug in the software (and the company was actually very fast to get respond to my email!)
As nice as it would be to be able to sustain 2,500 watts over 30 seconds, i'm pretty sure i can't. (I can sustain 533w tho!) Hopefully this glitch is worked out ASAP, as it's really screwing up my averages....
On Tues it came in really handy to figure out my optimal cadence for the MT intervals at the Observatory.. You can see in the first ones, the power lines are kinda choppy...that's me at ~40rpm (cadence) - when i bump up to 48-52rpm, and my power smooths out considerably. I don't know if i'd have figured that out without this. (Part of the benefit of MT workouts is developing a smooth stroke...at lower cadences i was getting choppy, which is a waste of this type of workout.)
On the ride home, i confirmed something that i suspected for a long time. I've noticed that after doing these types of intervals, it's HARD to get my HR back up to where it's supposed to be on the flats...and while it wouldn't go up, i *felt* that i was still pedaling as hard as i should. Thanks to the PowerTap, i have proof that this is the case!
For the first 35min, i'd average about 160bpm and 200-220w. For most of the ride back into town, i'd sustain the same power output, but closer to 150bpm. You can totally see this on the chart (third one, from the 19th). Pretty cool, huh?
Other than this, i haven't really tried any real tests.. On the first night i had it, i went out and did some hard sprints, i managed to get as high as about 1,100 watts. I think we can put to rest the notion that i'm any type of sprinter...hehehe.. (Sprinters can crest 1,500 watts with relative ease..)
Now, to give you an idea of what these wattage numbers mean....
A 4:30 4km Pursuit would require well over 500w, and apparently Lance Armstrong could sustain 500w for 30 minutes....this was his 'secret weapon'.
As you can see from some of the files, i can hold over 500w for 30 seconds..and after a minute i'm down to 350w.. Of course, this is me just jamming on a group ride, but you can see i've got a *long* way to go to really be competitive.. But, hopefully with this tool, i'll be able to get much closer to that level!
In the meantime, i'll need to find some kind of calculator to determine how many watts i'd need to sustain to achieve a 5:15 4km Pursuit...which is currently in my draftbook for a 2007 Goal. =)
Not too much exciting happening otherwise.. I think i've figured out a good combination of gear for rainy days, will blog on that more in a future entry.. As i've mentioned, i'm back to doing MT workouts, tomorrow i'll be heading out for 6x7min repeats at the Observatory.
Got two great rides in on the weekend, including 3.5hrs on Sunday (you'll note that my power file only has 2hrs, i had it calibrated wrong for the first 1.5hrs, and reset it) - my newish biking buddies Kim and Joe do longer rides on Sunday, and so i'm gonna hook up with them if they don't mind putting up with me. =)
Kim got a wicked flat, anyone else ever hit a nail like this??
haha..that cracks me up.
Here we all are:
And a shot with me of course!
I like how the camera phone makes me look all tanned..hahaha..
In Victoria news, the latest (December) issue of The Victoria Vegan is now online, check it out! It's even got a Sports section, featuring vegan athletes!
As mentioned in the previous entry (and newsletter), we're having a meeting here on Jan 3rd to discuss plant-based nutrition for athletes, and possibly starting an OA chapter in Victoria - send me a note if you're interested in attending!
That's all for now, stay warm and dry out there! =)