indoor cycling training

Training With (virtual) Power – TrainerRoad

I recently finished the Tour of Sufferlandria which worked in conjunction with a pretty cool application called TrainerRoad. Now that I am starting down the road to Ironman Boulder, I wanted to talk about how useful TrainerRoad can be to your indoor cycling training.

The way TrainerRoad works is it uses the Ant stick that can talk to your Ant enabled bike devices. I use it with my Garmin speed/cadence sensor and heart rate strap. It will work with a variety of other Ant enable devices like a power meter if you have one. I don’t have a power meter so that is where TrainerRoad really does its magic. TrainerRoad will use the data it gets from your devices coupled with the type of bike trainer you are using and give you virtual power. Then, you can use one of the workouts in TrainerRoad to find your FTP (functional threshold power) and use that as the basis for all your workouts. It may sound complicated but it is really quite easy.

Now one of the reasons TrainerRoad works so great for training is because power is so much easier to train to instead of HR. Specifically, you can train immediately to power whereas heart rate is a lagging indicator. If you are doing short efforts at prescribed intensity levels, you can see the power output long before you can see the effort reflected in the heart rate data.

PowerHRGraphYou can see above that my HR doesn’t peak until well after I have done my 30 second interval. This was all achieved using TrainerRoad without a power meter. While you are riding TrainerRoad will display what percentage of your FTP you are riding. This way, if you coach tells you what zone to be in, you can easily use TrainerRoad to ride to the correct effort level. You can find information  about training zones just about anywhere. Below is the information I found on Joe Friel’s blog regarding zones.

Zone 1 <55% (active recovery)
Zone 2 56-75% of FTP (endurance)
Zone 3 76-90% of FTP (tempo)
Zone 4 91-105% of FTP (lactate threshold)
Zone 5 106-120% of FTP (VO2max)
Zone 6 121-150% of FTP (anaerobic capacity)
Zone 7 >150% of FTP (neuromuscular power)

TrianerRoad is a very cost effective way to use power if you don’t have a power meter. It costs $10/month or $99/year. They have a variety of workouts as well as amazing integration with Sufferfest workouts. TrainerRoad will make your time spent on a bike trainer more effective then training to rate of perceived exertion alone. If you have to use a trainer, you might as well do it right!

February 2014 Training Summary

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My husband took a fun picture of me in my totally awesome and favorite new Vanderkitten kit.

Now that I am working with a coach I will start doing a monthly summary of my training.  I used to do this a long time ago but since my training became less formal I dropped the habit.

So here we go…

Totals:

Swim: 24,150 yards in 7:29

Run: 68.44 Miles in 11:10

Bike: 234 Miles in 15:51

Total 313.84 miles (ish) in 34:31

I officially started with my Coach, Jen, from One10 Fitness so for the whole month of February I was working with a structured plan.  It was very nice to turn over the decisions to someone else and just follow the plan.  I had one week that kind of went awry but overall I am happy with the month.  I am working towards a trail Half Marathon in late March and the first big race of the year will be L’Etape du California on April 6.  We will be riding the the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California which consists of four 20 mile loops with a difficult local climb called The Rockstore.  When all is said and done we will do 8800ft of climbing over 80+ miles!  Because of this I am trying to ride the loop as much as I can.

Onwards!

 

 

A Cycling Must Have (well actually 2)

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How can that not inspire you to kick your own a$$?!

I have had to use a bike trainer to get my cycling training in for a few years.  I was turned on to a set of training videos a couple of years ago and they have been an absolute blessing (and a curse).  The Sufferfest videos are an amazing set of training videos that use real cycling footage, expertly developed workouts, and amazingly entertaining stories to get you through some pretty gnarly trainer time.  They are pure genius!  Some I love (Hell Hath No Fury, A Very Dark Place, #ISLAGIATT, and There Is No Try) and some I am not a fan of (they are so damn hard!).  If you have to use a bike trainer you must check out these videos.

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My amazing Husband getting it done in our pain cave.

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My turn to work!

This weekend I finally completed the last piece of perfecting my home pain cave for bike training.  I re-enrolled in Trainer Road.  I had used it briefly about 2 years ago but just found all the set up a bit cumbersome. I was space and equipment challenged at that time but now I have a better bike training set up.  The awesome thing about Trainer Road is they translate your speed/cadence/HR data into power in real time.  You can use the software to find your FTP and then all your workouts are based off of that!  There are tons of good workouts to choose from in their library BUT they also integrate with the Sufferfest videos. PERFECTION!

The Trainer Road profile from The Sufferfest's Revolver

The Trainer Road profile from The Sufferfest’s Revolver

Sufferfest and Trainer Road have paired up and this weekend we started the Tour of Sufferlandria.  Along with 2200 other riders we are using the Sufferfest videos and Trainer Road to complete 9 days of suffering  riding together across the world!  It has been epic to say the least.

If you use a bike training to do any in home training I HIGHLY suggest you look at these two products.  Both are very affordable and well worth your time.