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What Training Gadgets to I need?

Old 02-23-19, 06:15 PM
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What Training Gadgets to I need?

I'm about to start the Time Crunched Training Program. I'm planning to train with a heart rate monitor, I don't have any sort of cycling computer. How much benefit will I get from cadence monitoring? That's the base value that I see in cycling computers, even though the sensors are add-on's that put it in the $200-$300 range. I love to get gadgety but I am on a budget
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Old 02-23-19, 07:37 PM
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A stopwatch, get a stopwatch.

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Old 02-23-19, 07:41 PM
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Cadence has much to do with nothing.

Best gadget? Powermeter. For 200-300 bucks, you can likely find a used powertap or the like. But then you'd probably need a 200 dollar computer, so maybe that's out.

So for now, yeah, a stopwatch will do along with heart rate.
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Old 02-23-19, 09:26 PM
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Pulse Oximeter ~$35.
Every morning measure your resting HR. Notice your SPO2.
If you are elevated, back off.
On Bike / trainer ride till your SPO2 starts dropping. Easiest way to get an AT approximation.

Blood pressure cuff is good.
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Old 02-24-19, 11:45 AM
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The most useful training tool: books - what it means to actually "train" and how to structure your training. I prefer the "Cyclist's Training Bible" by Friel but there are many. I don't know how detailed the "Time Crunched" series gets on the macro training structure, but it's important to understand what "Base" vs "Build" is and why you do them.

Get a Garmin/whatever ASAP - without that the heart rate strap is useless.

Upload the data to Strava/whatever so you can track training stress.

The biggest thing is to be consistent - ride as much as you can, and you'll go far!

Yes power would be great - way better than cadence or HR - but expensive. Save that for later.
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Old 02-24-19, 06:35 PM
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Is it the Carmichael book?

If so I did those plans about 3 times as a total novice rider. It worked, with a caveat. If you arenít already pretty strong as a runner or other carryover sport, your mid range and repeatability will suck.

Thos go around I dedicated to base before a gravel event and some SS work after that. That helped me a lot.

The time crunched stuff is fine but there are drawbacks.

At some point youíll have to invest in some base and SS work.
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Old 02-25-19, 07:51 PM
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I've been a runner for years. I started road biking about 3 years ago. Generally i've been following a running training program and then commuting to work two or three times a week (13 miles each way). I've done a few triathlons and a bunch of half and full marathons. I decided to try to focus on the bike this year and that's what led me to the time crunched program. Well, that and I started a new postion last year that has required a larger portion of my time. I've never actually trained with a heart rate monitor but i've read a lot about it and I support the concept. It seems that running training plans without technology are easier to find. Distance based (i.e. go to the track and run 400M or 800M sprints) and I have a really good feel for what I can handle for whatever distance that way. In cycling i'm a little lost on how to get the best training. I can't just hop over to the track and do 400M sprints, I have to find the right road section that doesn't have lights and that I can loop back on. I'm looking for simplicity and easy training guides that I can integrate into my normal routines and cycling programs seem to want higher tech and more $ investment
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Old 03-06-19, 03:08 PM
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Stopwatch, basically. Any cheap wired computer will give you all the info you need.
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Old 03-06-19, 03:21 PM
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You can train and race well without any electronics at all, just as you probably did at some point as a runner. Perceived exertion is valuable.

The time crunched cyclists has you doing 6 hours a week, with an emphasis on hard efforts, and other high intensity stuff. If you're in the part of Utah where you can climb, you should have no trouble. Some of the workouts have you ramp up to as fast as you can sprint and then hold that power for as many seconds as you can -- fancy electronics here just help you look back at what you did, not get you to do it correctly. Others are more structured intervals with zone targets that will seem harder to achieve, or at least verify, without a powermeter, but there are a lot of coaches who are just fine using heart rate data instead. And again, your internal pacing is valuable and will get better. If you do 5- or 20-minute pieces you may just be able to match them to a hill and see what you can do.

The stopwatch recommendations aren't literal stopwatches like your coach had at the track -- just anything to keep time. You could get the cheapest computer and it'd have it. Maybe if you've already got a watch that takes your heart rate, you won't need to buy a thing.

Finally, to answer your question, I'd skip the cadence. It'll be what it'll be. You'll find your rhythm, just go out and ride as much as you can.
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Old 03-07-19, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ljsense View Post
... Perceived exertion is valuable.

The time crunched cyclists has you doing 6 hours a week, with an emphasis on hard efforts, and other high intensity stuff. If you're in the part of Utah where you can climb, you should have no trouble. Some of the workouts have you ramp up to as fast as you can sprint and then hold that power for as many seconds as you can -- fancy electronics here just help you look back at what you did, not get you to do it correctly. Others are more structured intervals with zone targets that will seem harder to achieve, or at least verify, without a powermeter, but there are a lot of coaches who are just fine using heart rate data instead. And again, your internal pacing is valuable and will get better. If you do 5- or 20-minute pieces you may just be able to match them to a hill and see what you can do.

The stopwatch recommendations aren't literal stopwatches like your coach had at the track -- just anything to keep time. You could get the cheapest computer and it'd have it. Maybe if you've already got a watch that takes your heart rate, you won't need to buy a thing.

Finally, to answer your question, I'd skip the cadence. It'll be what it'll be. You'll find your rhythm, just go out and ride as much as you can.
Your post is right on. I agree very much (that may hurt your creds).
I'm only solidifying my same views over the years. The kids I saw use gadgets are not where the non-gadget kids are. Correlation does not = causation, but in this case I think it does. I think PM/Gadget training is the kiss of death. Do it many years and you will stop racing, and will likely be slower than those in your neighborhood that just road the bike. It is a master and robs the joy from the bike. It "seems" there are short term gain as gadgets are fun, for a while. Then they become task masters and you are the slave. Don't do it.
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Old 03-08-19, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Your post is right on. I agree very much (that may hurt your creds).
I'm only solidifying my same views over the years. The kids I saw use gadgets are not where the non-gadget kids are. Correlation does not = causation, but in this case I think it does. I think PM/Gadget training is the kiss of death. Do it many years and you will stop racing, and will likely be slower than those in your neighborhood that just road the bike. It is a master and robs the joy from the bike. It "seems" there are short term gain as gadgets are fun, for a while. Then they become task masters and you are the slave. Don't do it.
I love my gadgets, but totally know where you are coming from. I nearly threw my bike in the trash midway through a ride a couple of weeks ago because I wasn't hitting my numbers and the whole thing was making me feel bad about myself (and somewhat irrational)... then I realized that I couldn't chuck the bike because then I would be stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, when all I really wanted was to be home. So I got back in the saddle and focused on nothing but getting home as fast as possible. I well exceeded my targets and hit one of my best 60min efforts in a long time, after I stopped looking at that darned computer.
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Old 03-08-19, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by chicagogal View Post
I love my gadgets, but totally know where you are coming from. I nearly threw my bike in the trash midway through a ride a couple of weeks ago because I wasn't hitting my numbers and the whole thing was making me feel bad about myself (and somewhat irrational)... then I realized that I couldn't chuck the bike because then I would be stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, when all I really wanted was to be home. So I got back in the saddle and focused on nothing but getting home as fast as possible. I well exceeded my targets and hit one of my best 60min efforts in a long time, after I stopped looking at that darned computer.
Masking tape over the display can sometimes be the best training aid.
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Old 03-09-19, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Masking tape over the display can sometimes be the best training aid.
Are we agreeing? Just curious.
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Old 04-22-19, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by NyoGoat View Post
I've been a runner for years. I started road biking about 3 years ago. Generally i've been following a running training program and then commuting to work two or three times a week (13 miles each way). I've done a few triathlons and a bunch of half and full marathons. I decided to try to focus on the bike this year and that's what led me to the time crunched program. Well, that and I started a new postion last year that has required a larger portion of my time. I've never actually trained with a heart rate monitor but i've read a lot about it and I support the concept. It seems that running training plans without technology are easier to find. Distance based (i.e. go to the track and run 400M or 800M sprints) and I have a really good feel for what I can handle for whatever distance that way. In cycling i'm a little lost on how to get the best training. I can't just hop over to the track and do 400M sprints, I have to find the right road section that doesn't have lights and that I can loop back on. I'm looking for simplicity and easy training guides that I can integrate into my normal routines and cycling programs seem to want higher tech and more $ investment
Especially if you've been training with heart rate as a runner, I would do what others have said here and start off with RPE and a stopwatch. Experienced athletes are actually really well in-tune with their bodies and often able to hit zoned training without much reliance on the powermeter or heart rate monitor. I believe Taylor Phinney even says he trains on RPE, but rides with a PM and his coach looks at the data later.

In order to translate from distanced based running workouts to cycling timed interval workouts, just back out about how much time your running work would take, I bet it's close to some pretty standard cycling workouts, 5x5', 2x20', etc.
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Old 04-23-19, 07:04 AM
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@NyoGoat - I'd go with a bike computer and a chest strap heart rate monitor. If you already have a running watch like a Garmin Forerunner, just get the chest strap. I'm pretty sure you can find a bike mount for the watch on Amazon.

As Carmichael points out in the book, the time-crunched program prepares you for events shorter than three hours. For longer events, you just need to add some longer training rides in addition to the intervals.

The gadget/no gadget discussion is a perennial argument among cyclists. I rarely ride without power, because my bikes have power meters. The numbers become your master only if you let them. Hitting the numbers is important during a structured workout. If you don't hit them, it's important to know why. The overriding issue, though, is that you still got to ride your bike! RPE is important, but it's heavily influenced by external factors like life stress, illness and such.
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Old 04-23-19, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
..., but rides with a PM and his coach looks at the data later....
This is the primary reason I have seen for a PM.

Coaches are not often direct.
"Do you have a PM?" vs "Get a PM so I can see the data.". Should be followed with information about how it will be shared.
Are they the coach, or are they scouting you. Do they coach your competitors and share information?

At a certain level, and places this is a significant thing. Uploaded power data tells others where you are at and can be used by them to improve your training, or help someone else beat you.
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Old 04-23-19, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
This is the primary reason I have seen for a PM.

Coaches are not often direct.
"Do you have a PM?" vs "Get a PM so I can see the data.". Should be followed with information about how it will be shared.
Are they the coach, or are they scouting you. Do they coach your competitors and share information?

At a certain level, and places this is a significant thing. Uploaded power data tells others where you are at and can be used by them to improve your training, or help someone else beat you.
In the context of the OP, I don't think this is a relevant issue.
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Old 04-24-19, 07:46 AM
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