Training plans for one
So after only riding 1/2 the year in 2013 due to work and travel I'd actually like to accomplish some of my goals this year. I want to focus on my track riding because that is where I have the most fun. I remember talking to Carleton last year about training plans and actually looked a few up. However I'd like to know what I can do alone and how I track that progress. Having a training plan is a great thing, but how do I measure or track progress? Without a coach its hard (if not impossible) to track hard data like flying laps, 1k times, etc.... so how would I go about doing this? I've thought of strava, but that is next to useless within the confines of a .3KM track, the GPS is simply not accurate enough to give any good information.
Or am I going about this all wrong? should I be recording other things and let the hard data come in competitions? but I feel like I should have some concrete data...
Is there a cycling computer that will time over distance? so you could see what your time is over X km?
PS: Carleton sorry if this is a complete rehash...
great to hear you're back into track :D.
I'm not going to comment on what training you can do on your own - that is hashed over in all sorts of threads, and a lot of folk can give you better advice anyway. But basically, at first, any training is good training. my personal recommendation is to do a lot of reading (stickies on this forum, articles online, magazines etc), and create your own plan. Make it reasonable, and stick to it.
All cycling computers i've come across give you time and distance. Many don't record in tight enough increments for track, but a few will record at second intervals, so go for one of those (i believe garmins do, and i'm sure there will be others - do some googling). There will be a little lag if you're going on speed and not power, but it gives a good indication until you fork out for a power meter. You can get an idea of what is going on, and since you'll be looking at the same data parameters over time, its comparable, and thus gives you a measure of progress.
if you want 'harder' data - find a buddy to go through to the track with you when you want to get a milestone. they can time your efforts like any coach would do. times week to week are noisy data - the trends (over a longer time period) are more useful. (Equally, trends over your 'milestone' data. everyone has bad days).
A Garmin with autolap on will do reasonable lap times/speed for basic training. Turn on 1 sec recording so it does not cut the corners and a speed sensor helps with leveling out the instant speed. It seems to fire within 5 meters, usually +-2 which is not so bad on larger tracks. This and some other computers also do auto laps on distance which you need indoors.
That said a simple stop watch is probably enough, put it on the bars and click it or have someone help on the infield.
Someone was working on a smartphone timer that would use the camera to detect passing a line on the track but I have not heard of that one for a while.
Does your track not have some kind of timing system? Granted it will only give you per-lap and not odd distances like 200m (unless you track is exactly 200m haha).
a power meter will give you some data if you are concerned about tracking improvement. I also run a magnet speedometer on the track (GPS is pointless, I turn it off). Its not DEADLY accurate but gives an idea of top speeds and distances. Its a good way to track pursuit efforts. They are also like $20 these days.
Of course competing in events is a good way to track progress. Knowing your time of every lap you do in training doesn't help much, just like a power meter doesn't make you faster. Its using that data to track your strengths and weaknesses over time so you can train smarter. The data itself is just a bunch of numbers ;)
I don't use any kind of computer. I find that too much data can be distracting and sometimes discouraging. When I want a barometer reading I ask someone to time me.
I believe that data can be encouraging, especially if the trends are moving in the desired direction.
At a bare minium, a basic cyclocomputer that shows speed will help. Think Cateye Strata. Sprinters will pay attention to the Max Speed recorded and enduros will look at real time speeds to measure how they are doing. But the mind is your recording device. Not so scientific. But, for $25, it's better than nothing.
The next level (which I highly recommend, if it is within your budget) is to get a computer that tracks speed and cadence then allows you to download the data for analysis later. THIS is where the self coaching can take place.
If you learn how to section off the data you can review analyze it and make conclusions, then adjust accordingly.
What was my max speed for my flying 200?
What were my max speeds for my multiple flying 100 efforts on different gears?
What was my max cadence?
What were my average cadences of my 1K, 2K, and 3K splits?
What were my average speeds of my 1K, 2K, and 3K splits?
What was my finishing speed?
Then, if you are an enduro, you can add heart rate data to the mix.
You can get a Garmin 510 for $329. I'm not exactly sure what's in the box. I have a Garmin 500 that I use when I'm not using the SRM. You'll want a system that supports SEPARATE speed and cadence sensors because your rear wheel will move based on gear changes, so you'll want speed on your front wheel. Bontrager makes separate ANT+ speed and cadence sensors. That's what I use.
I've been experimenting with Wahoo Fitness system lately and using an old iPhone 4 as my "head unit".
There are several ways to do this. I watched Steve Hill use a $10 cyclocomputer as well as a stopwatch taped to his aerobars as his computer system. So, whatever works, works.
The bigger questions to ask are, "What data do I need to collect? How do I interpret it? What adjustments should I make based on these interpretations?
Oh, and data from a GPS satellite is totally useless for track. Disable the GPS and use bike mounted sensors.
I should qualify my Luddite-looking remark above by stating clearly that that's what works for me, and perhaps me alone. In a former life as a roadie I was obsessed with gadgets and data, and at that time that meant a cycle computer and a heart rate monitor (I'm old). When I started up again on the track, I found the data depressing as a beginner (too slow), so I ditched the gadgets. From my perspective, this made it easier to focus on properly bringing maximum intensity and my best form to the efforts. Basically (and some may jump on me for saying this), I go by 'feel', and I for me the lack of numbers and flashing lights makes it easier to focus on just how I feel. Also, at the track I can gauge myself against my training partners.
Bottom line, this is not an exact science, and I do it for fun. And data is not fun for me. Carleton is a different sort...
^this is not abnormal. I know some purist roadies that I ride with that won't even use a speedo/odometer, they say it takes away from the riding. They also get very pissed if you pull out a phone to check a map, because getting lost is some how part of it :)
I also know a lot of guys who collect power, speed, heart rate, download it all, and do NOTHING with it.
Everything Carleton said about computers is pretty accurate-
if you are just getting started its probably a little more data then you need... in the beginning you are mostly just riding a lot and you are going to improve.
I have been very successful in track training with nothing more than a Knog Speedometer (i like them because they are easy to move around) and a stopwatch.
I mount the stopwatch on my Aero Bar extensions and self time my efforts. I do any effort longer than a flying 200m in aero bars- so i self time all those, and flying 100/200's get timed by someone in the infield. I watch the speedo for Top Speed on each effort and reset before the next go.
Most of the other data- Max cadence, average cadence, average speed can be calculated based on times with a Gear Chart..
Keep things simple..
the one aspect of some extra data that could be interesting would be tracking your Chronic and Acute Fatigue via the TRIMPS protocol using heart rate on a program like Golden Cheetah.. still. this is fairly advanced for most people..
as for a program:
Joe Friels Cyclist Training Bible is a great place to start. If you follow the Criterium Program you wont really need to make any major modifications to the program until you get to the Build Sections.. and that just adjusting to track workouts.. that program got me to sub 1:10 kilo/sub 12" 200m.. i would however look elsewhere for weight lifting guidance.. Friel is no lifting coach
Good source of training information - Up! Up! Up! ? Up! Up! Up! An introduction to track sprint cycling
@Baby Puke- just tape over the screen... ;) I am the opposite and record everything! As a self coached rider I find it invaluable by being able to review every ride and reorganise my training according to my metrics.
I am collecting and uploading a lot of data to trainingpeaks. I started with the FTP test and have been using a computrainer with the Joe Friel book. Learning the equipment and routines is consuming a lot of time but helps me content in the endless snow storm.
TP is good
i like the calendar aspect- and the built in annual planner. If you find you don't need that stuff and don't want to pay for Training Peaks- check out Golden Cheetah, it's free and actually has more advanced data analysis
Thanks for the great info!
Originally Posted by Quinn8it
I am collecting way more data than I can utilize at this point but I after losing a big chunk when updated software I realized I use it a lot more than I thought.
By the way, I just learned that the Garmin Edge 500 is still available and it's $200. But, I think you'll have to buy separate speed and cadence sensors on top of that.
With a fixed gear bike you can get cadence from speed so I just use speed. putting the sensor on the front wheel eliminates the hassle of changing the sensor with each gear change. GPS actually works ok for steady efforts but gets erratic when sprinting.
Also look for powertap LYC little yellow computer or some of the polar watches for a computer that records speed and is downloadable. Check the recording interval on the polar watches as some are limited to 3-5 seconds. Both of these have proprietary sensors.
Bontrager has some reasonable Ant+ speed sensors.
+1 on the Bontrager ant+ front wheel speed sensor!
has anyone tried one of the Bontrager Node head units? Looks like it could be a good track option with no GPS and the ability the read ant+ accessories including power meters-
but I can't get much info on it- especially how it connects to your computer for downloading..
it looks like the Node is not downloadable.. which seems crazy for a computer that displays power data..
While this is entirely possible, this is very impractical for regular data analysis. You'd have to remember the gear you were using (I change gears several times during a workout), then run the numbers through Excel to calculate and recreate the .CSV (or whatever) file.
Originally Posted by slindell
Also, GPS sucks for short efforts. Have you ever seen the rendering of GPS data from the track? If the GPS signal cuts out, it assumes that you teleported across the track...and records shortest distance speed accordingly.
When last I checked, the Bontrager head units did not allow for downloading of the data.
I just ordered the Wahoo Cadence, and HRM so I'm hoping those will help a little. My track bike is currently computerless and its been nice not worrying about any of that nonsense I've had on the road bike. That being said, I feel like data is more important on the track because so many variable are constrained. Its a great test bed, and could be a great way to see my improvement, if I could figure out how to measure it.
Thanks for the tips everyone! Now if only the SDVA would throw down on a nice RFID timing system *swoon*
Glad I saw this thread. Ordering a Sigma as soon as I have the expendable income.
On the subject of training...
Right now I'm using a Trek SL road bike. If I go over to our mellowdrome here, what gear(s) should I be focusing on? Or is there any point?
For instance today I did 1k's for rounds and just used the gear that felt "fastest". Other than that I've just been doing roadwork and recording times.
Shooting from the hip here. Does anyone have any links to basic training plans or even framework for one?
Not to hijack your thread TS.
DanAVL - more sprint focussed but the link I posted above has some sample plans - 10 - Sample Programs ? Up! Up! Up! An introduction to track sprint cycling
Thanks Dalai! Very helpful link! It's reassuring that some of the plans are quite similar to what I've been doing. Not a complete idiot, awesome.