Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Out with RPE - in with the binary.

So I have a coach.

I also have a powertap.

'Rhys, why arent't you using your powertap when you train?'

I had no rebuttle - I should have been using it. I was out of the habit.

Powertaps are great but I have yet to use it in a race scenario- primarily because doing so would be detrimental to my performance. The rim is heavy - and the spacing of the freehub is completely different from most other wheels - which, come that inevitable moment when you have to put your hand up and pull over for a wheel change, means terrible shifting for the remainder of the race.
Until such a day as I have the luxury of an SRM, or indeed some of these new Garmin Vector Pedals, I'll have to make do with the Powertap. I shouldn't complain.

The tenet of the moment is 'stay in zones 1 and 2. To those who don't know - this means go slow. The hard-boiled tough nuts of the Peloton would just say 'keep a pace at which you can still make conversation'. In these hethen days of data analysis however, we need numbers to confirm the intuition of energy expenditure.

Out with RPE - in with the binary.

So, it's the power-test that grounds us for these training rides where we have zones to train to.

The problem with the powertest is that it hurts a lot.
Over the next few months, and indeed during the season I will need to make regular visits to my bedroom, knock back an espresso, lock the door, turn on the fan, open the window, log in to Youtube - press play on Julian Cunnington's psychedelic funk playlist and breathe deep for 20 minutes of intense pain.

Here are some vein mementos from the first such event of this winter.


And thanks to my flatmate Daniel for venturing into my very humid room at 4min30 into the interval to take the photos.