Oct 3, 2006

Training with Power

Ok, a few days ago I said I would talk a little bit more about the 24 Hours of Adrenalin Solo event in Canmore next summer. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, a few weeks ago I paid for a spot as a Solo competitor in this classic mountain bike endurance event. Around the time I signed up I mentioned the almost silly amount of riding you need to do, in order to do well at the event - approx 300kms of racing and over 28,000 feet of elevation gain in a 24 hour period. Why do it, because right now I have the time to train hard (mainly at night when everyone is asleep) and I wanted to improve my riding ability by doing something bigger than I normally do in the way of trg. With that in mind I looked around for the most readily accessible and hardest thing I could find on two wheels that Doreen and the boys could also attend. Mainly though, I wanted to compete in something outrageous just by myself, that way any shortcomings in my results would simply belong to me.

Maybe this is just an attempt to relive a bit of the extremeness I relished when I was younger - or maybe I just bit off more than I can chew. Only time will tell. There is a motto which I am fond of "Deeds not Words", wonder if I will be out-deeded next year? ;-)

The 5 man team 24 Hours I did this year with my pal Shawn's team was a blast; a great bunch of guys and with the limited amount of trg I had done (comparative to what I am going to put myself through now) it worked out perfectly. I highly recommend the 5 man format, it is something you will always remember. But, after the Bow80 race I realized I needed to step-up and see what I could really do - or not. Before I signed up for the Solo event, I spent quite a lot of time studying what was available, the pro's and con's and suitability and then some serious soul searching while wondering if I had the parts to do it. And that gets me to today.

After realizing what I had so casually got myself involved with I decided to "get all scientific on it" and do some things I have never done before in regards to cycling - train, really, hard. The science part was simple, do what other successful riders are doing. That led me to the Computrainer and two pieces of software CyclingPeaks which does analysis in various ways (very smart) and TrainingPeaks essentially a planning and monitoring tool (I got the Coach edition in order to set myself up for the endurance stuff and also set Doreen up with a plan to run her 2 half-marathons next year). I am already seeing the benefits of this synergistic combination. Each one does what it is supposed to; motivate, analyze, trend, plan, adjust and many other things but most importantly they keep you honest. I setup for an annual training plan of 800 hours, I'm in to week two and I can see how tough this is going to be but I like it. I like it because it make me realize that I'm a bit of a softy right now as compared to where I need to be. Anyway...

This is a good example of what I am looking at in TrainingPeaks. The annual training plan shows the macro-view of what I will be facing - if you click on the image and take a closer look you can see how the buildup works, uhhhmmmm those 21 hour weeks are going to hurt! But its all customized to help me perform in the two "A" races and one "B" race I have planned. Within the ATP, each week is clickable and shows the specific type of workouts I need to do in a weeks time; I simply allocate the workout to a particular day and determine the amount of time I can commit to that workout, keeping in mind I need to meet certain timeline goals. The weekly view you see here is pretty light compared to what I will be facing in a few months. Of course within each weekly calendar I can click on a day and see the details of the specific workouts. There's way more to it than that but you can go to the software developer's website to see more.

Using CyclingPeaks there are so many tools that can demonstrate where you are at in regards to power training, and physiologically where you body is at. I'm just going to show two charts that I exported, the others I will save until more trended data is available to better discuss their advantages. The first one image is my heart rate distribution over a 28 day set, and the second image is my mean maximal power curve. Cool.

Well, that's enough geek-i-ness for now. All the blogging in the world won't make me any better on the bike - good thing I have a two hour ride tonight. Must keep repeating, deeds, deeds, deeds, deeds... ;-)


Gear said...

Hey cool stuff on TrainingPeaks and WKO+.. Nice to see you getting motivation with the tools. Good luck with your training!
-Gear Fisher (trainingpeaks co-founder)

Shaun Taylor said...

Hey Gear,

Nice of you to drop by, you must have dug pretty deep into the web to find my site. ;-)

With a full month in and my CTS sitting at 22 I am really liking Performance Manager Chart - a lot!

Anyway... if you ever need an endorsement, you can point anyone who has mild reservations about the synergistic effect of the trg tools, in my direction and I would be happy to provide a bravo. Send them to: staylor@attglobal.net

Best regards,