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Racer Tech Thread

Old 01-01-18, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Ttoc6
So I've more or less taken a short break from the forums over the Xmas break and at the same time a break from the power meter. I came back to some great discussion points

I probably posted this topic because it's tough to stay motivated right now when I'm confined to the trainer and dark days. A week away (even if it is the middle of base season)has probably been good for me.

I think the take away I have here is to stop letting ctl and atl dictate my life in cycling and focus more on tangible metrics. Am I getting stronger? If yes, stay the course. I've had a pretty steep drop off in my metrics but I still feel like I'm as strong or at least close to where I ended last season. Last year I lived and died by these graphs, but since I'm doing more off the bike stuff, it's tough.

Might be worse when I finally get to try xc skiing next week now that there is enough snow!




On the topic of tts, I find my power drop-off on the tt bike is not as severe as I had come to expect reading online. Maybe this is error bars in my 2 pms, but it was nice to know I'm not "losing" as much as I thought I would. Wish it was warm enough to go out and do some real aero testing though!
About the time you were taking a break (Thurs) it became TT practice time. A major part of that practice is learning to feel where you are at and what you got... As I mentioned that varies - for most people, but one way is to go it alone without a HRM or a PM and use speed and the clock. You will note below the PM was on for warm-up and after, kinda to keep things mellow. For the TT part just the speed.
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Old 01-01-18, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge
About the time you were taking a break (Thurs) it became TT practice time. A major part of that practice is learning to feel where you are at and what you got... As I mentioned that varies - for most people, but one way is to go it alone without a HRM or a PM and use speed and the clock. You will note below the PM was on for warm-up and after, kinda to keep things mellow. For the TT part just the speed.
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You actually take the powermeter off, or you're switching bikes?

Seems like a whole lot of unnecessary fussing about if the former!
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Old 01-01-18, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
You actually take the powermeter off, or you're switching bikes?

Seems like a whole lot of unnecessary fussing about if the former!
Off...same bike. No fuss < 1 min. That is a 13 min run @32mph for training where time matters, done by feel. No need to be distracted by HR, or power.
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Old 01-01-18, 03:34 PM
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Why not cover the head unit with a piece of tape so you still have the data?
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Old 01-01-18, 04:12 PM
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I guess that's my opinion too. Change to a screen. Then it gives you at least some cool games to play. You can say I did 32 mph on what feels like ~320W or something like that before you see the data and compare your internal gauge to what's real. Maybe this can help point out some aerodynamic mistake somewhere too.
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Old 01-01-18, 04:17 PM
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I'm distracted by this thread.
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Old 01-01-18, 04:31 PM
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I change my screen to show just power zone I'm in when I'm about to hit my 13th mile (or tss) and any variation of three sixes, and don't change it back til those point are over. Important stuff.
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Old 01-01-18, 04:43 PM
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I got a powermeter implanted in my large intestine. I poop at 500w, which is pretty crazy I guess, but it is a stages butt power meter, and they are known to have power spikes. Replacing the battery is really difficult too. I cover the head unit (pairs to my garmin) while on the throne cuz it's just like too much pressure, sorta the same feeling you get when you have to go really bad at a friend's place but you don't wanna wreck their bathroom but you can't help it so you try to rush and hope they think you were just peeing, but trying to rush makes it worse and it takes what feels like hours and then everyone stares at you when you come out???
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Old 01-01-18, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ttoc6
I guess that's my opinion too. Change to a screen. Then it gives you at least some cool games to play. You can say I did 32 mph on what feels like ~320W or something like that before you see the data and compare your internal gauge to what's real. Maybe this can help point out some aerodynamic mistake somewhere too.
How many internal gages should the rider work on? They could be VO2, lactic acid, HR, hydration, weight, position, equipment, aero stuff, head position, smoothness/line, pedal stroke, power, speed and time. For an event where time is the only thing that matters narrowing focus to the only thing that matters is the baseline for all the other changes to get a lower time.
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Old 01-01-18, 05:12 PM
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That's not a philosophically sound position. For one accustomed to doing that via power clearly power would be the best monitor. Could one experienced go on perceived effort or use another metric? Sure. I have down taped over training to see if I could hit specific numbers. But to assume that because the event is timed then one shouldn't track power really seems to be out on the edge. If you or your kid doesn't like using power that's fine. But to imagine that it is, or will become, some sort of universal thing is a bit silly at this point. Power training is so valuable they're trying to bring cost and functionality to running and crew as well.
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Old 01-01-18, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb
... But to assume that because the event is timed then one shouldn't track power really seems to be out on the edge. If you or your kid doesn't like using power that's fine. But to imagine that it is, or will become, some sort of universal thing is a bit silly at this point.
No such assumption. Not using a PM can be just as valid. There are few posts of how folks train to a power number. I have the book on it, I don't see it posted about. Just having one is nice, but that is not training to it.

This is what I was responding to.
Originally Posted by Ttoc6
Looking for opinions here, has anyone ever given up the power meter for training? Lately I've been looking at the numbers less. I know last year I got too caught up in the ctl / at battle.

Just looking for stories.
Some world tours riders lift, some don't. Some world tour riders do not use power, some do. Some use it in training and not racing. You can pick this up in their interviews. I did install my first PM for my wife over 25 years ago and we tried training to it. It turned out the clock on set routes worked better for us. A PM is not part of our program. Weights are. The clock is.


Originally Posted by gsteinb
... Power training is so valuable ... and crew as well.
For rowing, it is very difficult to know who is faster in the boat. A Concept II tells the coach who is faster on the machine, but the boat with 8 others is different. The one putting out the most oar power may not be the one making the boat go the fastest (with the other 8). As it is difficult to sort out who should be in the boat, it is a valuable tool. I was talking with the Princeton lightweight crew coach and he is quite a cyclist and Strava guy. We got into the power discussion and he relayed the "swagger" of the boat being the more important thing. They had the numbers, but some mixes made the boat go better. He was also really into lactic acid handling.

Last edited by Doge; 01-01-18 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 01-01-18, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge
No such assumption. Not using a PM can be just as valid. There are few posts of how folks train to a power number. I have the book on it, I don't see it posted about. Just having one is nice, but that is not training to it.
If I'm training with structure, I'm training with power. Set a target watt range for given duration. Go. Repeat accordingly. Adjust as needed on the ride or after the ride for future workouts. Hr works, but I prefer power.

I'll use it in races, too, but that's mostly in TTs. Go into the TT with some target power metric, adjust up/down if needed. Might glance at it during a long climb in a race or while in a break, but that''s just to satisfy curiosity.
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Old 01-02-18, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge
Off...same bike. No fuss < 1 min. That is a 13 min run @32mph for training where time matters, done by feel. No need to be distracted by HR, or power.
Why not just take everything off? No power, no HR, no cadence, no speed, no GPS, no metrics at all. After all, nothing matters other than beating everyone else to the line, right?

That ride 'felt' fast. I must be fast!

Seriously, I don't get it, why would you purposely limit/remove data? If you don't want to see it during a ride/effort/race fine, I do that with HR, but to completely remove it from the bike JUST for a certain part of a ride and omit the data is just silly.

Why even bother to look at power during warmup/cooldown if you aren't even comparing it to "effort" power? How do you know it's really warmup/cooldown power? Maybe it's too low? Maybe too high? Couldn't you do the same with HR?

Why do you even own power meters? You're ignoring their data for literally the thing they are intended for.

If they just need a home, DM me, I'll gladly accept donations.
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Old 01-02-18, 09:39 AM
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I tape over the stamps on the weights in the gym so that I do not know how much weight I am lifting. Other members of the gym really hate this.
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Old 01-02-18, 10:25 AM
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Unless I’m misreading what Doge means I’m training and racing to power, as are other accomplished racers here (unless I’m misunderstanding what they’re saying about how they’re using power).
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Old 01-02-18, 10:28 AM
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On training - not racing.

Originally Posted by Hermes
I tape over the stamps on the weights in the gym so that I do not know how much weight I am lifting. Other members of the gym really hate this.
No surprise the gym technique is similar. The workout does not required knowing the weight. The lifter goes to a fatigue level after multiple sets. I asked my kid how many pull-ups he could do know - he didn't know. He straps weights around his waist and does sets. Max gains for him are in the 8-15 reps. Get beyond 15 reps - add more weight. The gym is not the competition. What matters is stressing the body the right amount to get stronger. That right amount is different based on recovery time before and after. Doing this to a number # X reps is similar to a PM.


Originally Posted by ancker
Why not just take everything off? No power, no HR, no cadence, no speed, no GPS, no metrics at all. After all, nothing matters other than beating everyone else to the line, right?

That ride 'felt' fast. I must be fast!
...
Because we are training feel to time. Those things are removed - except time and speed which on set segments directly correlates to time.

As to why have PMs? Several here have answered for motivation etc. One rides to a number for training.

I understand that folks lift to a weight and rep, or train to a PM number. I'm not knocking that. But we don't and are not alone.
Some body builders do it as do some power lifters (lift to fatigue vs reps of a fixed weight). Phinney has a YouTube video on how he TTs to feel being a "Zen like dude". That is racing, he very well may train using a PM, I don't know. I know others that don't and are not public about how they train. Sagan does lots of gym work to feel and fatigue and that is easy to find.
This is not so odd, except to BF think.
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Old 01-02-18, 10:42 AM
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Taylere Phinney, the junior that got to the WPT doing like 7 hours a week, and Peter Sagan, perhaps the most gifted dude to touch a bike ever, might not exactly be the best examples of how to train. Contador improved after he adopted more modern training methods. Skybots stare at their stems and own the peloton. Dumoulin uses his PM in ITTs. Like 95% of pros are training with power. This is not so odd!
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Old 01-02-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ancker
Seriously, I don't get it, why would you purposely limit/remove data? .
he's an empty-nester contrarian looking to keep busy.

you could easily set a data screen with only speed or speed/hr and never have to do anything but push an up/down button, but instead he has this to argue about.

like literally every professional in the sport uses power, but they must all be wrong. Doge is onto the secret, which is strict HRM training that every professional abandoned in favor of power & hr.
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Old 01-02-18, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge

As to why have PMs? Several here have answered for motivation etc. One rides to a number for training.
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Old 01-02-18, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf
he's an empty-nester contrarian looking to keep busy.
...
Don't you wish you were.
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Old 01-02-18, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb
Unless Im misreading what Doge means Im training and racing to power, as are other accomplished racers here (unless Im misunderstanding what theyre saying about how theyre using power).
I think you may be mis-reading / thinking I'm saying training to power is bad. I am only saying it is not the only method. And because someone has a PM, we all know that does not mean they use it to train.

The scope of my comments are about training as that is what was introduced 2-3 pages back.
If you race to power I'd say train to it. Racing to power has a lot to do with the type of race and the support around it. In WT races the passengers in the cars are calculating what the broadcast-ed power from the rider means and what/where the gaps are and what can be done. I'd actually like that banned, but that is OT.

If you don't race to power, then you have the option of how you want to train to get fitter, stronger, faster. It may be training to power, it may be something else. At least for this discussion there are two major methods - for almost all training.

If we all agree that athletes build by stressing the body and rebuilding (I don't know we agree, but that is my premise). Then how rested the athlete is and how much stress they can take / rebuild from are important to getting stronger.

Method 1:
The athlete takes a structured approach and works to a set pre-determined plan of how much work and / power they will do.

Method 2:
The athlete stresses their body based on feel.

Method 1 examples:
Weights 3 sets 10 reps each, 100#.
5 Intervals @ 400W rest etc...

Method 2 examples:
Weights 3 sets 1st set 15 reps, 70#, 2nd set 10 reps 90#, 3rd set ~110# (or close) till failure.
3 Intervals @ sorta hard, 1 @ hard, 3rd athlete blows up and does not finish.

The RESTED athlete has achieved the maximum stress they can take. No number on the plates, or meter is needed.
Depending on fitness, talent and age Method 2 can generate large gains.

When Method 1 is adjusted accordingly based on circumstances, it seems a bit more like method 2 to me.
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Old 01-02-18, 01:39 PM
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But really, your two methods aren't really different.

For weights, you're specifying reps and weights. That's not different from No. 1. It's just a different workout.

For intervals, if set properly, the 400 watt figure should be sort of hard, then really hard, then probably close to not possible near the end. The only difference is in option 2, you increase the chance of blowing up in interval 1 or 2 (cause you went too hard) or not blowing up in interval 3 (because you didn't go hard enough in 1 and 2).

Basically, the difference is you want to bake by guessing how much sugar feels right verses measuring it out.
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Old 01-02-18, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge

Method 2:
The athlete stresses their body based on feel.
I didn't feel great doing my intervals yesterday. Halfway through the first one I was gasping for air and felt like maybe I mixed up the percentage. But since they were at a prescribed percentage of my FTP, I knew I should push through. Made it to the first rest interval, second one felt way better, third one was still tough as expected, but completable. I finished the full workout feeling great and not overly taxed for the effort prescribed.

Had I trained to 'feeling' I would have quit or done way less power than I was capable of. My power meter said I should be able to complete them, I did, hell, maybe I could have done more. But without it, I would have done way less.

I fail to see how being more experienced and/or Taylor Phinney would have let me use 'feel' to attain the same goal of the workout.

I'm not trying to tell you or your kid how to train, that's up to you (and him), but pretending it's some magical secret to train by a completely subjective 'feeling' over a concrete power number is crazy.
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Old 01-02-18, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ancker
I didn't feel great doing my intervals yesterday. Halfway through the first one I was gasping for air and felt like maybe I mixed up the percentage. But since they were at a prescribed percentage of my FTP, I knew I should push through. Made it to the first rest interval, second one felt way better, third one was still tough as expected, but completable. I finished the full workout feeling great and not overly taxed for the effort prescribed...
You completed your training and feel satisfied. Why didn't you feel great to start?
Maybe your body was not rested enough to be stressed and recover well. But you stressed it anyway.

Originally Posted by ancker
... But without it, I would have done way less...
Yes you would have.

Is it a "secret" that stressing yourself when not rested is counterproductive?

On the secret part, many pros are using weights now. In the 70s/80s/90s few were. The lifting techniques have been around a long time and there are many. I've used the SuperSlow, kid uses a Pyramid sets but it is neither secret or new. Both those go to failure. Other methods don't. As indicated I like determining rest, then going to failure. I see it as better.
Rather than writing more pages read here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streng..._and_equipment

Last edited by Doge; 01-02-18 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 01-02-18, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge
You completed your training and feel satisfied. Why didn't you feel great to start?
Maybe your body was not rested enough to be stressed and recover well. But you stressed it anyway.
I didn't feel great to start because I didn't get an adequate warm up after being off the bike for a couple days. You're trying to insinuate that 'feel' is something that is always right. It is not. You're making an assumption about why feel is a certain way. You _guessed_ I was fatigued and stressed myself. You were incorrect. Training by 'feel' is guessing, simple as that.

Some of my best races/efforts happened when it didn't feel right to start.

I felt like there was no way I'd bridge, but I did. I kept going even though it felt like I was going to explode, power said I had some watts to spare. I caught a group ahead and recovered just fine. Feel would have put me back in the chase group.

I felt like my planned power on a particular interval was too high 1/4 of the way through, but I pushed on and completed it. Had I stopped because the feel was wrong, I'd have missed out on the training benefit of doing that interval.
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