Friday, December 21, 2007

Don't get caught up in all the numbers.

above is a shot of a piece of my training ride today.
I think this is a great example of the single most common aspect that rodies and tri geeks alike try to avoid. Fatigue. As you can see from the first major climb in today’s effort, highlighted. 8 minutes or so around 335 avg. wattage. It felt… like you would imagine for December ride 2 days after a hard weight room workout and 3+ hour yesterday, but I still had some juice left for 2 big Chipo like sprints, well... maybe when he was 15 years old. Moving on, a nice steady effort after that with some rolling hills. The last bit of visible data is the same climb. 8 minutes up the steep part of the climb. This time I pushed a bit harder, struggled more and averaged only 309 watts. Why? fatigue. This is a small time example but worth noting. Weather you use a power meter or not. Race with one or not, to be effective come race day you need to know your body and know what it “feels” like. Whether your training for a 45 minute cyclocross race or an Ironman having a totally dialed in feel for your own body and all the different efforts that that you put it through is vital! So use that power meter the right way. Get involved in your training but don’t get too attached to all the data. Don’t just download all the ridicules numbers, norm power, TSS, IF, this, that, the other and ask questions on your favorite forum. these number do provide relevant data but don't get caught up! I see to many people living and by them. Find the one or 2 key things you are working on, note them make adjustments if need be and get ready for tomorrow.

Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cross nats and Options

Amy D. annihilated the competition at Cross nationals this pass weekend. Despite have apro contract commitments next year a very full road season in the legs and a major biff halfway through the race she left them all behind in the U 23 race in Kansas City. Nice work girly!!
Pic Here
And here web site Here.

On the coaching side of things I would like to announce a level of coaching. “Custom Coaching”. A triathlon focused option and roadie focus option. Check out the details in my “Eric’s Coaching Options

rest up everyone spring will be here soon!

Monday, December 10, 2007


OK enough is enough my new power meter is on its way. I have ridden and trained with a power meter many times before. I was also on a team a year or 2 back were most of the riders were clones of each other (all about my size) and everyone had a power meter but me. But, its time. At first I really enjoyed the freedom of the bike, just going on feel, and I still do but my training and racing goals have reached a point where without one I am just “spinning my wheels.” Now, power meters and all there funky numbers and terms can be a little daunting, and lots of people get WAY too wrapped up in them.
“what should my TSS be for a recovery week?”
“my norm power was higher than them but they still beat me?”
“felt good but my watts were low on my recovery ride, so that sucked!” Dude it's a RECOVERY RIDE!! Aahhhh! Makes me want to scream. I preach a lot about “feel” and “self awareness” to my clients and friends.
The below passage is from the cadence cycling blog. The bit here really sums up the proper mentality of power meters and how they should be used. Very nice writing!

"Though everyone uses their power meter in a different capacity, what I would really like to see from my athletes is something in between the two extremes. A power meter is a very powerful tool. It can help you make sure that you do the workout correctly, help you pace yourself, give you quantitative data on how you improve, and measure the difficulty of your rides or races. Not to mention, it is a great way to show your coach what is really going on with your training. However, it is important to remember that it is only a tool. Even without the power meter, the power is still there. One of the most important reasons to have a power meter is to fine tune your own sense of perceived exertion. In other words, after a while, you should pretty much know what doing your workouts correctly feels like, with or without the power meter. Below is a list of comments that I would not like to hear from athletes regarding the use of their power meters...
Bad: "My power meter stopped working half way through my ride, so I just rode how I felt"
Should be: "My power meter stopped working half way through my ride, so I tried to do the workout appropriately based on feel"
Bad: "I was in this race and I looked down and saw that I was putting out 700 watts going up the hill. I can't sustain that kind of wattage, so I dropped out"
Should be: "Although I wasn't looking at my power during the race, when I downloaded the file afterwards, I saw that I was putting out 700 watts every time going up the hill. No wonder so many people didn't finish"
Bad: "I felt really good today on my endurance ride, so I went really hard and tried to average the highest wattage I could"
Should be: "I felt really good today on my endurance ride, so I had to use the power meter to hold myself back a bit"
Bad: "I want to be a Cat. 2, and I saw a chart that said that Cat. 2s have an LT power to weight ratio of 4.44 watts/kilo, so I do all my LT intervals at that level"
Should be: "On my last LT test, my power-to-weight ratio was 4.00 watts/kilo. While this is above average for a Cat.3, it is below average for a Cat. 2, so I know that if I upgrade I will need to work on sustained power." "


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Who ever can tell me what race this is from will get a a free month of coaching. hint, taking in 02, the other person in the pic is not in my race...

I did the local cross race this weekend and it was, Mummm… a cross race. Had a great start, felt good. Made it through the first major technical part with out losing a spot. So running in 4th I was just waiting for a gap to open behind me. But technical area number two had me doing everything to try and not crash and in a split second I went from 4th to maybe 15th, in my granny gear pedaling down hill. Horrible feeling. A started to make my way back still with good legs and a found my self looking straight down at a rider on the ground. “This is not going to be good for momentum.” I thought. I pulled off a nice roll and was back up quickly but now the gap to the 2 leading groups was to big to close. a few more not so graceful trips through the beach and I was in the 18th position where I would finish. Felt good which is nice and it was pretty fun! So there you go. Before the racing I was talking to a friend about how I had done “all 4” types of races this year. Road, Mtb (firecracker 50) Triathlon (Silverman) and now a final Cross race. he said there should a be points series for most “versatile athlete”. “That would be SWEET!” giving us “jack of all trades, master of none” guys something to possibly win!”

I figured I would kick off my training with a bang and I did. Things get down to business Monday. And truth be told there are a few big races up in the air still with the team, but either way things will certainly be interesting. Stay tuned for some training articles and epiphanies. The major focus of my training will be a bit different than last year. My one major physical weakness proved to be a huge burden in the racing out here. So I will work on that, a lot. However, the biggest focus for me will be making my strength even stronger. As my strength isn’t strong enough to really a weapon and I need one, badly.

Happy holidays everyone!