Rolling with Power

Training starts this weekend and been taking it easy, in preparation for the work I am about to do.  I’ve been spending the time since the Giants Race resting up, working on the house, being a parent, etc.  Things that I won’t be able to do as much after 4-a-week workouts start next week.  (OK, really 6 a week workouts if you count the “homework” we’re supposed to do on our own.)

I’ve also been studying a lot about endurance racing physiology, diet philosophy, and training strategies, as well as making a few investments in equipment.  The main book I have embraced is “Going Long” by Joe Friel, which talks about every aspect of training for an Ironman, with much of it specific to the first-timer like myself.  One of the main thrusts is to train smarter, AND harder.  (but foremost, smarter)

Part of that is pacing and balance of training load, and one large component of that is learning to use a power meter during training and racing.  The power meter lets you measure your cycling performance much closer to the muscular chemistry than Heart Rate does, and is a MUCH better guide than “Relative Perceived Exertion”, otherwise known as “How You Feel”.

Craigslist came through with a PowerTap last week, just in time for my training effort.   Thanks to the all the fitness lost to 3 months of downtime away from cycling I’m almost back at square one.  That means that I’ll be able to track my training and improvements right from the beginning all the way through race day.  (After which I’ll probably be so sick of all this I’ll be ready to hang up the bike forever…)

I picked up a bike trainer as well since there’s a weekly spin workout every Tuesday night for the next forever.  Using a trainer with the power meter is a great combination because otherwise, how do you really know how much of a workout you’re getting in?   Since the resistance of the trainer is so arbitrary and you’re not actually going anywhere, the only thing you have to gauge your performance is heart rate.  Using power zones is a much better way to get exactly the workout you’re looking for, and track the results much more precisely.

So that’s the summary from the last month.  Not too much going on on the triathlon front, just preparing for the impending storm.  Fundraising has completely stalled at 25% but you can expect me to pick that up once things get going again as well.

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