What should my bike computer be telling me?
You may have the latest and greatest of bike computers, but do you know what to pay attention to in order to train and then race by the numbers?
I love data, but I know many athletes who don’t.
The fact is, you will simply not improve unless you give your numbers some attention.
What you focus on improves; Pearson’s law.
For the bike, you have certain parameters/numbers you are in control of.
Speed is not one of them.
I do not coach or train by speed for the bike.
Speed is an outcome you cannot control all the time. So using it to train can be extremely frustrating and ineffective.
Say you have a 5 x 5 minute interval at 20 MPH workout to do; You head out on the bike and hit a headwind of 15-20 MPH and you’re struggling to hit the 20 MPH speed, if you can at all.
Then, you turn around and now have a tailwind, you’re barely breaking a sweat holding the 20 MPH and not getting any benefit from the interval.
How is this effective training? Do you see my point?
So, the parameters we do have control of on the bike are:
–Rate Of perceived Exertion– the feeling of how hard you are working on a scale of 1-10 or 1-20
–Heart Rate– measured with a chest heart rate monitor strap
–Cadence- RPMS- How fast your feet go around the pedal stroke
–Power– Work/Time –
Power is a key component to being the best athlete you can be. The faster you can apply force (in the optimal direction of course), the more powerful and athletic you will be. Strength and Power training will develop your engine.
Nothing gets you faster on the bike than training with power, but that doesn’t mean you won’t improve by using heart rate and cadence if you don’t have power. You can!
These are all within your control and can be trained.
I start with testing and measuring these parameters during a field test. For example, a 20 minute all out effort on the bike; This is a typical threshold test for cyclists.
Then, I create 5 training zones based on your individual results to the tests.
Next, we train the zones in a way that allows you to get the most benefit out of your training and racing, based on the distance of the race you are looking to compete in as your A race (the most important race of the year).
My athletes show up on race day and know how they’re going to do down to the minute, because we train the numbers.
On the computer you should be looking at:
. Real time Heart rate
. Heart Rate average
. Current RPMS
. Lap RPMS
. 3 second power
. Average lap power
. Lap time
LOOK FOR AN UPCOMING ARTICLE ABOUT HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR POWER USING THE BIKE COMPUTER!
Please check out 2 great examples of this.
Michael Caputa interview where he beat his predicted 70.3 race time by 20 seconds. By the way, he also got on the podium!
Also, Richard Gomez (see video) who finished Ironman Florida never once looking at his speed on the bike, only paying attention to his power and his RPMS. He finished with a 12:48 at his 1st time, Ironman performance.
How’s that for specific training leading to the race results you desire!
Happy Training… Are you ready to start training the right way?
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Erinne Guthrie is a USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach since 1999 and Chief Motivating Officer at Full Circle Coaching, LLC since 2010. Creator of the 16 week Triathlon Transformation. She has been training, racing and coaching triathletes since 1997. She is also a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, USMS Master’s Swim Coach, Motivational Speaker, Metabolic Efficiency Specialist, Mom, Mermaid and much much more.
Brilliant article to read, I haven’t got a power meter yet so I’m going off my HR. I’m ready to get back on my bike after my crash (remember)? 6 broken ribs and broken shoulder blade. I’ll wait for you to get back to me before I restart my training. Would it be better for you to have my phone number aswell?
yes you can message me on facebook messenger or instagram with your number so we can connect. Let’s get you back out there!!