Going by the numbers

Triathlon training and cycling training are two of THE toughest sports in the world. They require much time to see improvement and a strong desire to succeed at any level. Our triathlon training and cycling training methodology is very mixed. Our multisport coaches use a variety of training tools ranging from good old fashioned perceived exertion to watts based training. But I wanted to write donw some of my own personal likes and experiences with power training and how I use the SRM.

Personally, I like training with power the most but do some rides occasionally by feel. I don’t know what it is and maybe I am just a numbers guy on some level. Don’t get me wrong as I am not an OCD guy. My bathroom is a mess. But, the numbers don’t lie and do give valuable real time information for training and racing. Training with power is just cool to me. I can see exactly what I am doing at any given time and when you get used to training with power the world of cycling makes more sense. First, I can pace myself better whether it be on a group ride, a race or on intervals. We all have a certain amount of watts we can push for a given time and when you know the numbers then efforts make more sense. Second, here’s an example- I know exactly what I need to push to be the first guy over a big bridge in our local group ride for instance. I also know when I am pulling at a certain wattage how long I can or should stay on the front of the pack on the ride before the going gets too tough. The SRM tells me also my heart rate and using power and heart rate together gives me all the info I need to make smart decisions. Recently my I felt sick thanks to a certain four year old little girl of mine who brought home a cold from summer camp. I saw that my heart rate was 10-15 beats higher at the same wattage from the month before. I knew during the week that I was still sick based on the numbers the SRM provided. I remember one ride when I was rotating at the front and was holding 30-50 watts over my threshold that this was tougher than normal. So I knew that when I got to be the lead guy to take a shorter pull than normal. There’s just no more guessing.
It also helps me make more quality training out of less time as each workout is more specific. I follow a training schedule with each workout telling me the watts I should hold. These power training levels are based on periodic testing and OUCH the tests hurt a lot but the info is worth it. Come race day we can all give a little more than we can in training or testing and depending on the type of race, I can use wattage as a way to dose my efforts. It’s better than blowing up half way in. Been there and done that too many times. Anyway, I love my SRM as I know it is very accurate and just really cool. Besides, all the cool kids have them. Anyway, as always thanks for reading and see you in the water or on the road.

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