Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Power, Racing & Dining on the Boat.

There was a time, back in the day, when I almost wouldn't even ride if my power meter wasn't charged. I used to be super structured about everything. I suppose I'm still very structured but in a different way. When I lived in Iowa I rode alone more, except for Tuesday night training rides and racing, of course. So, having something to measure your activity becomes more important. But living in Tucson I tend to do group rides more. There are tons of group rides and you can get whatever you want just by picking the right group ride.

About 6-7 years ago I started to become disenchanted by training with power. Now before everyone goes all bat-shit cray-cray on me consider this; sometimes we get way too distracted by data. "Analysis paralysis" is the term I've heard used. And it's true. In many cases I see people who can lay down some mega 20 minute power numbers get out-smarted all the time. In fact, sometimes I wonder if some people are more interested in saving off a big 20 minute power file than actually winning the race.

In the past few years of not training with power, I think my 20 minute power is probably down by 5% but my 2 minute power is significantly better. I am also much more tactical because I am not worried about how hard or easy I'm going and instead just worry about executing the best tactics; attacking at the right time, bridging, etc.

Now, with all of the above aside, when I ordered my new Trek Madone I had it equipped with an SRM power crank from the factory. I paired that with a Garmin 510. And I have to say, I am having a lot of fun with the new technology. I'm late to the party, so everyone probably already knows this stuff but the Garmin connects via Bluetooth to my Android Smartphone, which sends my files to GarminConnect, which posts them and also sync's with Strava - I wasn't even on Strava until 2 weeks ago. All very cool! I'm also surprised to see and analyze some of the data.

I raced the North End Classic last weekend in Yuma. I'm going about as good as I ever have right now, but I always like to start the season with a "W", so I decided to do the 55+ masters race. It was a small field - only about 12-15 I think. From the starting whistle, Lionel Space went out semi-hard and I went with him. Actually we weren't going very hard at all, so I was surprised to look back and find that we were alone. I sat in for a lap and then attacked across the start/finish line where there was a small hill. That was the race. I lapped the field twice. I should have stuck around at least for the 35+ race. But I had a good 30 minute TT effort and decided to call it a day and head to San Diego.

Speaking of power files - My 20 minute normalized power for the race was 390w and average heart rate 172. It was a 10 turn course - half was uphill, the other half was down. With all of the twists and turns and UPS and downs, it's not the type of course that lends itself to a good 20 minute power indicator. Back in the day my 20 minute power was 430ish (not necessarily pro for a 185lb guy) but not bad for a guy who gets monthly solicitations from AARP.

Today (Tuesday) I rode 4+ hours up the coast to Carlsbad and back. Pictured above is my new rig. The San Diego bay is in the background and the skyline is downtown San Diego.

When I am here without Kyria I rarely dine out. Sometimes I will take a short video and text it to her. Here is one that I sent Sunday night from the boat. She arrives on Thursday. We have some friends (from Yuma actually) coming over to spend the weekend with us. We're taking a day cruise to The Coronado Islands, Mexico.

1 comment:

  1. I hear you on the Power Meter. I like the data, but do find that I hold myself back more than I used to pre-meter. And the boat.. wow. I've said I will never buy a boat, which stands for Bring On Another Thousand, but yours is worth reconsidering my stance. Keep going strong Lou.. see you around. Kyle in Tucson