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For Clydes that train with power...

Old 11-20-14, 07:25 PM
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For Clydes that train with power...

I'm looking at all these guides about what to do, and training plans...and this is all stuff meant for people smaller and faster than me. So I wonder:

How are you using power data, and what are your goals? Do you use TrainingPeaks? Just Strava? Something else? Do you have a coach?

It seems kind backwards, getting the tool before knowing what I'm gonna do with it, but I love bike bling and new toys.
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Old 11-21-14, 12:03 AM
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I'm a slacker when it comes to structured training but a power meter is GREAT for intervals and it's also great for modulating your effort up hills. When I'm trying to beat a previous time up a hill, I'll set one page to show average lap power & 3 second power and pick a power number that I think I need to hit to beat my time... works great. Also, since I know what HR will cause me to blow up on a long hill, I can watch my power out put to keep my HR on the boil, so to speak.

You can get on-line coaching from Training Peaks if you have a power meter - maybe you should check that out if you really want an exteral input into your training.
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Old 11-21-14, 02:25 AM
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Well, TrainingPeaks is a hell of a lot cheaper than an online coach, for sure.
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Old 11-21-14, 05:50 AM
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I'm a former Clyde. All those plans and such are not made just for smaller and faster people. If you've already got a power meter, you've got to figure out your own goals, find out where you're at in relation to those goals, and then start working towards those goals. You can do this without a power meter, but the power meter enables you to do it far more efficiently.

If you're not willing to do structured training, a power meter is pretty much just bling. A coach is the best way to do this, but a canned training plan can work too. You just have to start where you are and keep at it. This means riding alone most of the time, and sometimes riding when you don't feel like it, and sometimes doing stuff that just plain isn't fun. That rubs some folks the wrong way, but that's just the way it is.

The satisfaction comes from seeing your progress as you advance towards your goal. You've lost a bunch of weight, so you know what that feels like. And along the way, if you're not careful, you'll become one of those smaller and faster guys.
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Old 11-21-14, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by revchuck
I'm a former Clyde, if you're not careful, you'll become one of those smaller and faster guys.
+1
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Old 11-21-14, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by revchuck
All those plans and such are not made just for smaller and faster people.
+1 Power is power, regardless of source.

Originally Posted by revchuck
If you're not willing to do structured training, a power meter is pretty much just bling. A coach is the best way to do this, but a canned training plan can work too. You just have to start where you are and keep at it. This means riding alone most of the time, and sometimes riding when you don't feel like it, and sometimes doing stuff that just plain isn't fun. That rubs some folks the wrong way, but that's just the way it is.
+1

Maybe you want just bling, and that's fine: it's your money. Also, the plan can be of your own design. There's loads of info online and even in these forums. Although doing it this way makes it difficult to stick with it as you have no accountability. But if you're the type who has loads of self-control, go for it.
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Old 11-21-14, 09:49 AM
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Personally, I find that Strava Premium is about all I need. I'm not a huge fan of doing structured workouts on a trainer, or poring over data for hours after a ride so Training Peaks is overkill for me. Strava provides just enough data, from real-world rides, and allows me to measure and tweak just enough stuff to be both useful and interesting.
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Old 11-21-14, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by revchuck
If you've already got a power meter, you've got to figure out your own goals, find out where you're at in relation to those goals, and then start working towards those goals.
+1
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Old 11-21-14, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by revchuck
If you're not willing to do structured training, a power meter is pretty much just bling. A coach is the best way to do this, but a canned training plan can work too. You just have to start where you are and keep at it. This means riding alone most of the time, and sometimes riding when you don't feel like it, and sometimes doing stuff that just plain isn't fun. That rubs some folks the wrong way, but that's just the way it is.
I got this impression from talking to a couple of local coaches. They gave a clear impression that I wasn't the sort of person they were interested in working with. Also, they were very expensive. A canned program would be fine, and clearly Training Peaks is very popular, so I was going to start there.
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Old 11-24-14, 10:13 AM
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I use TrainerRoad, which is great for structured workouts, and is power based. They even give you power if you don't have a power meter, based on their knowledge of resistance curves of a large database of trainers, although they admit the best calibrated one is the Kurt Kinetic (I have the Road Machine 2.0). The make you do an FTP test first, and then scale the workouts to that value. They have training plans, the most complicated thing is picking one (you should see the flow chart). Either that or you can just pick random work-outs, which is what I do, because most of their training plans include at least one workouts that last 90 minutes a week, and I don't care to go more than an hour on the trainer.

They just released an iOS app as well, which is nice and does most of everything their desktop software does except videos.
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Old 11-25-14, 05:02 PM
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JakiChan, I have no input, just a request. I'm also a clyde and a rec rider that has lost weight and likes to push himself. I don't want to race, but I like the idea of becoming the best cyclist I can be just for my own fitness and weight loss reasons.

So, if you figure out how a rec clyde can best use that thing, please come back and share. I'd love to hear how it worked for your purposes.

Good luck.
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Old 11-25-14, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2
JakiChan, I have no input, just a request. I'm also a clyde and a rec rider that has lost weight and likes to push himself. I don't want to race, but I like the idea of becoming the best cyclist I can be just for my own fitness and weight loss reasons.

So, if you figure out how a rec clyde can best use that thing, please come back and share. I'd love to hear how it worked for your purposes.

Good luck.
It's not that hard: get a coach that understands your goals. That's best. Period.
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Old 11-25-14, 05:59 PM
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I'm entering my third year of training to power, under the continued guidance of a coach.

we run a series of structured workouts designed to increase power output, and target each of those workouts/rides to power targets based on FTP. We also have race specific workouts designed to develop aptitude at certain activities, e.g. sprinting, bit those are adjuncts thrown in during the runup to spring crits. I don't race in earnest, so that's not something that features prominently.

the main thing is to have a regimen with a purpose, whether that's to get stronger, increase endurance, or burn calories; whatever. As mentioned above, power based training lets you monitor precisely and build a highly efficient regimen. I do most of my power training on a stationary for this reason, because it's extremely targeted and efficient.

We do road rides together in the club, but those are mainly for endurance building and deploying what was developed in the studio. Like TrojanHorse said, having power on the road has lots of uses, but I ride with power rarely, since my efforts are either maximal or not. If I have a road goal, e.g. to beat my time on a Strava segment, I push myself as much as possible and hope I was on that day, but my goals are developed in the studio, and if they're met there, the road achievements come as a matter of course.

That's not to say I wouldn't use power on the road, only that I haven't been able to get the kind of PM that works best for me. My Powertap constrains my wheel choices, which I don't like, which is why it goes out rarely, and sees most use on the trainer at home. Were money not an issue, I'd probably go SRM Campy carbon crank meter, but since it is, I'm looking more towards Garmin Vector, which also gives me multi-bike versatility.

Anyway, structured, goal based training is what makes PM usage a powerful tool, and staying on program will net results.
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Old 11-25-14, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
It's not that hard: get a coach that understands your goals. That's best. Period.
I think this is only true if you get a good coach. Most are pretty mediocre in my experience...
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Old 11-25-14, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
I think this is only true if you get a good coach. Most are pretty mediocre in my experience...
Yes, that's the caveat.

Whether most are mediocre, I can't say, though it does stand to reason it's true.
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Old 11-29-14, 08:45 PM
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Hey Jacki- I've been using a quarq elsa power meter along with a coach for the last 8 months and have seen HUGE gains. Granted, I was coming from an unstructured, ride when you feel like it, skip it if you don't kind of training plan. To date I've gone from 221 lb down to 203 lb and dropping. I'm riding more consistently and stronger than ever.

I will agree with most everyone here. If you don't have a structured plan with specific goals a power meter is just a fancy toy. For me, it's not only having the plan, but also having a coach to keep me accountable. My coach sets workouts using Training Peaks and I basically just go ride them. We meet once per month and review how I've done and how I am moving forward.

If you've talked to a couple of coaches that may not have been a good fit for you then do not be discouraged. Keep looking and you will find one. I've onlygot experience with my own, but it's been some of the best money that I've ever spent.
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Old 11-30-14, 03:41 PM
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And I'm fine with a fancy toy. I view the whole bike as a toy and a much better toy to spend money on than other hobbies I have. That being said the few local coaches I talked to were both expensive and uninterested in working with "someone like me". But I'll keep looking.
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Old 11-30-14, 05:18 PM
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Jackichan, I go to San Jose 5 days a week. Were you able to find the coaches in that area? I'm interested in talking to one also
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Old 11-30-14, 05:34 PM
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I haven't found a good option yet. Also, I have no idea what a fair rate is.
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Old 11-30-14, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JakiChan
And I'm fine with a fancy toy. I view the whole bike as a toy and a much better toy to spend money on than other hobbies I have. That being said the few local coaches I talked to were both expensive and uninterested in working with "someone like me". But I'll keep looking.
Do you take that to mean they were racing coaches?
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Old 11-30-14, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
Do you take that to mean they were racing coaches?
They were coaches some guys I know use. These guys are not clydes.
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Old 12-01-14, 08:33 AM
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JakiChan - What are your goals for cycling? There's no requirement to race, but I get the feeling that you wanted something more than just something to look at on the bike.

I started with a coach because I wanted to do better at century riding, and I personally need someone to help keep me accountable. I was planning on using heart rate, but she insisted that I get a power meter. I'm glad she did - it makes things so much easier to quantify. I also got a coach because I was 60 at the time, and don't have the time to go through the screw-up/learn-by-mistake cycle like I might have when I was younger. I got to the point where doing a reasonably fast century was no big thing, and decided to give racing a try, which put me back at the bottom of the steep part of the learning curve, but I'm enjoying it. This is just an illustration as to where it took me. But it does show that there are coaches out there who work with people other than young, skinny racer types, and that training with power is useful for recreational cyclists as well as racers.

For a coach to be useful, you're going to have to be able to clarify your goal(s) to him/her.
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Old 12-01-14, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by revchuck
JakiChan - What are your goals for cycling? There's no requirement to race, but I get the feeling that you wanted something more than just something to look at on the bike.
This is true. (Although, as my cycling wardrobe can attest, I *always* want to look FABULOUS on the bike.)

Basically, I want to be faster/stronger. Spending time on the bike is great for burning calories, and I enjoy it, but I also want to be...I guess...efficient with that time. I want to increase both strength and endurance. For example, having done AIDS/LifeCycle twice now I want to be fast enough where I'm not at the end of the pack, being chased out of every rest stop. A lot of that depends on the work with my physical therapist, addressing specific muscle weaknesses I have, but I also want to spend my on-bike time doing the right thing instead of just riding and having fun. I'm not gonna *not* have fun, but I feel it could be more structured and targeted.
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Old 12-01-14, 11:45 AM
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Jaki, I think my goal is not that far from yours. Over the course of this season I've been having fun, but asking myself where I'm going with it. I came to realize that I want to ride centuries, and not just ride them but complete interesting centuries strong and comfortable. Right now for 2015 I think that means a spring and a fall century, locations to be determined. I think I'll have time goals but that will depend on the events and my level of conditioning at the time.

This goal is challenging enough for me that I think I need a structured program to get there. The Time Crunched Training Program appeals to me, because it will likely be difficult to put more than 8-10 hours per week into training, but that program isn't focused on base building. I've been looking at The Cyclist's Training Bible and Base Building for Cyclists to design a base building program for the winter.

I can't convince myself to go to the expense of getting a power meter or a coach. Those would be great but squeezing the last bit of performance out of my body isn't essential for the goals as I've set them, so I can't justify the expense. I just ordered a heart rate monitor, though, and I've learned how to figure out my zones. Long ago I used to be a runner and I can get into interval workouts, so I'm looking forward to that part of the program, too.

Anyway, good luck with your power meter.
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