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Tracking interval times during ride

Old 04-23-21, 05:14 AM
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Melvang
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Tracking interval times during ride

So, I want to get started in interval training of some fashion. Not trying to race, just to see how far I can take my personal cycling. I know I need to figure my FTP, but I just got my power meter this week. Nothing higher end, just a Stages left side for Shimano 105. Not worried about left/right split, just needs to be consistent enough to see progress.

I am sure I can figure my zones, but how do you actually track interval times? I don't have a dedicated cycling computer, just my phone. Also, I don't own rollers or a trainer of any fashion. So, all tests and training will be outside. I will be getting rollers this year sometime for this winter.

I have a pretty straight and level paved trail that is fairly inactive so I am not to worried about excessive traffic or unnecessary stops. Would it be best to just watch my power meter over a couple weeks worth of rides. Then when into contest just pick a bit higher number for the 20 minute version and try and hold that and gradually increase it until max out? Obviously, at least a few days between these tests to recover and such.

I guess I am mostly looking for a phone app that I can program in intervals for high intensity and recovery periods so I don't have to watch times on a stopwatch. Audio queues for start and end times for intervals through Bluetooth would be an awesome addition as well.
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Old 04-23-21, 07:42 AM
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A Stages Dash is like $75 and would be enough for what you're after.

Way way back I avoided the "bike gps" for a long time going with the phone and mounts. Long term, get the bike gps. You won't regret it.

I simply cannot advise on phone apps for this stuff when I don't believe it is the correct way to go. There's some good ones out there, but it is good software on the wrong hardware. I totally get the whole Quadloc case things and all that. But once you've bungled it and damaged a phone you do regret it.

Life is better with the bike gps. Doesn't have to be fancy. Just do it.

After that, just ride a while and get more data. I don't advise open road tests unless you can really be at peace with the traffic and handle that. Going deep can lead to miscues in bike handling. So be careful. Maybe buy a used fluid trainer to use once in a while and be able to do tests and some intervals. Some intervals just aren't great if the routes where you live don't allow for it.
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Old 04-23-21, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
A Stages Dash is like $75 and would be enough for what you're after.

Way way back I avoided the "bike gps" for a long time going with the phone and mounts. Long term, get the bike gps. You won't regret it.

I simply cannot advise on phone apps for this stuff when I don't believe it is the correct way to go. There's some good ones out there, but it is good software on the wrong hardware. I totally get the whole Quadloc case things and all that. But once you've bungled it and damaged a phone you do regret it.

Life is better with the bike gps. Doesn't have to be fancy. Just do it.

After that, just ride a while and get more data. I don't advise open road tests unless you can really be at peace with the traffic and handle that. Going deep can lead to miscues in bike handling. So be careful. Maybe buy a used fluid trainer to use once in a while and be able to do tests and some intervals. Some intervals just aren't great if the routes where you live don't allow for it.
I have a bike trail that can use for that stuff. I work third shift so pretty quiet at the time I get off work. It is straight and pretty flat. If memory is correct, I can ride 12 miles south and only gain 65 feet of elevation.

I get the worry about damaging the phone, but I do have insurance on it and won't own a smartphone without it. I work in a foundry and keep my phone on me. The last time actually broke my phone (knock on wood) was about 10 years ago.

Realistically I am probably going to get a dedicated gps head unit. Just need to make the phone work until I can save the cash for it. I have a set saving each week plus yearly profit sharing at work for hobby stuff like this.

With trainers, I am going to be getting a set of rollers, but that probably won't be until fall. I won't do a static fluid trainer, and I don't like the frame being locked in place, the rocker boards don't pivot the same.
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Old 04-23-21, 09:33 AM
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DCRainmaker might have some phone app reviews, go to his website and use the search there to see what you get. I trust his insight into lots of products and apps that are exercise based.

Sounds like you're on your way!
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Old 04-23-21, 09:38 AM
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Do you use RWGPS, Strava or other site to look at your ride data? If you know where on your ride you were doing an interval, you can select out that portion of the ride and look at it's data individually.

For RWGPS you click and drag your mouse pointer on the ride profile and watch where on the map that is.

For a trainer, I don't know what to tell you. Note the time since you started.

With a Garmin, you can just push the lap button when you begin and end, then it shows up in the upload. And if you are doing a planned workout, your Garmin will even tell you when to begin and when to end your interval automatically if that works for you.
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Old 04-23-21, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Melvang View Post
So, I want to get started in interval training of some fashion. Not trying to race, just to see how far I can take my personal cycling. I know I need to figure my FTP, but I just got my power meter this week. Nothing higher end, just a Stages left side for Shimano 105. Not worried about left/right split, just needs to be consistent enough to see progress.

I am sure I can figure my zones, but how do you actually track interval times? I don't have a dedicated cycling computer, just my phone. Also, I don't own rollers or a trainer of any fashion. So, all tests and training will be outside. I will be getting rollers this year sometime for this winter.

I have a pretty straight and level paved trail that is fairly inactive so I am not to worried about excessive traffic or unnecessary stops. Would it be best to just watch my power meter over a couple weeks worth of rides. Then when into contest just pick a bit higher number for the 20 minute version and try and hold that and gradually increase it until max out? Obviously, at least a few days between these tests to recover and such.

I guess I am mostly looking for a phone app that I can program in intervals for high intensity and recovery periods so I don't have to watch times on a stopwatch. Audio queues for start and end times for intervals through Bluetooth would be an awesome addition as well.
What were you gonna do with your power meter? Any computer or phone app that uses it surely has a lap functionality to track interval times...

I suggest using the Wahoo fitness app, I did that before buying a Wahoo Elemnt. It is very good as an app.
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Old 04-23-21, 12:56 PM
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Seconding the Wahoo app.
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Old 04-23-21, 01:16 PM
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You're headed into a technological whirlwind. It's a fun ride if you want to take it. This is Method 1. You need instrumentation to collect uploadable information, accounts/subscriptions with web services to collect and evaluate that information, training logs and then training prescriptions and theories and workouts and goals, all building off that original desire to simply time your intervals. I enjoy the ride and get a lot out of it, namely more power, speed, and endurance, but it comes at a price, which is paying attention and planning.

Of course another thing you could do is just ride up a hill or on the flat at some steady hard pace until you feel tired, go easy for a few minutes then repeat the effort until you can't anymore. Then see how your legs feel the next day and think about what you might like to do next. So that's method 2.

Another thing one can do is simply ride hard in hilly terrain a couple times a week, gradually increasing the distance and effort. Ride easy/moderate on some of the other days. Method 3.

Methods 2 and 3 don't require anything beyond a power or heart rate readout device and really not even that, though those devices do improve performance by making training more targeted. I've used all 3 methods, currently a Method 1 rider. They all work, but I'm a bit of a geek.
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