Saturday, July 8, 2017

Post Ride Data Analysis...the cruel truth!

If you want to get fit fast..the best way to do it is to measure and learn from your ride..whether it be a race or a training ride.  (There is no better post ride data than post race data because you're giving maximum effort- at least I hope so).

I use the Garmin Edge 510 cycling computer to capture all of my data.  I love my Garmin Edge 510.  It's been replaced by the newer 520.  It's small and accurate and I can easily switch it from bike to bike. Here is the data it collects:b
  • Elevation Profile
  • Temperature Profile
  • Heart Rate (HR) Profile (paired via ANT+ to a Garmin HR Chest Monitor)
  • Power Profile (paired via ANT+ to a Cycle Ops Power Hub)
  • GPS Profile (shows your route via Google Maps)
  • Distance
  • Speed
  • Training Stress Score (TSS)
  • Intensity Factor (IF)
  • Normalized Power (NP)
  • 1s, 5s, 1 min, 5 min and 20 min maximum sustained average Power
  • Cadence
In addition to capturing all of the data, Garmin Connect will graph all of the data.  Here's a graph of Power (watts) vs. Heart Rate for a 45 mile ride I did this a.m. 

 This is a C+ group ride of 20+ riders so a lot of stop and go and waiting.  Yes, I know, a C+ ride.  It's a little embarrassing when I used to ride with the A/B guys.  Because it was only a C+ ride, my HR hardly reached my Threshold HR of 175 bpm...which is a good thing.  My average HR for the ride was 135 bpm which is just what I wanted for a first ride back...relatively easy where I could hold a conversation the entire ride.  When you can't hold a steady conversation, like a bunch of riders I noticed on today's ride, you're definitely riding in your upper Threshold or VO2 max range.  This was the first ride back on my road bike in 5 yrs.  I'm just glad I didn't bonk on the ride.  I was out there for close to 4 hrs. in mid 80F heat.

Normalized Power for the 45 mile ride was 140w which is well below my old Threshold Power of 275w.  I used to ride with the A/B groups with that power.  I'm not sure I'll ever see that FTP number again (275w), at least in my lifetime..ha.  But, I'm 7 yrs. older than when I achieved that max FTP of 275w.  More importantly was that my Watts/Kg (w/kg) was 3.7 which is Category (Cat) 3 racing power...which aint too shabby for a 50+ yr. old.  If I had to do an FTP test today, I'll bet I'd have a hard time sustaining an average 180-200w.  With my current weight of 165 lbs. that's a 2.66 w/kg which is in the "untrained" racing category range.  That means if I entered a Cat 5 race, I'd most likely be dropped in the race- early.  That's ok though, my racing days are over.  Plus, my power will build with training through the Summer and Fall.  I'll have a good Winter training on my indoor Computrainer.  A good goal for me would be to have an FTP of 225-240w same time next year, while maintaining my current weight.  That's smack in the middle of the Cat 4 range.  I'd be ok with that.  With that power, I'd be able to hang with most B group rides in my area.  My A group ride days are over..and that's ok too.  After all, most of the A group rides were nothing more than an all out "who's the strongest rider" ride.

If you don't use or have a good bike computer, like a Garmin Edge 510, buy one.  Yes, they are a bit pricey ($300) but it's a vital piece of riding equipment.  The Garmin Edge 510 has been discontinued and supplanted by the Garmin Edge 520.  The metric the 520 gives you that the 510 didn't was/is time in Zone.  That is really a good metric to analyze post-ride.  Who knows, maybe Santa will drop off the newer 520 this Christmas.

Power ON!  Coach Rob

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