America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Monday, July 30, 2007

Once a pickle, always a pickle (?)

I can't comment from
Nega-Coach chimes in:
"You and what seems like a hundred other people I know buy the power tap and then start training, rather than the other way around. It's not the gadget that makes you stronger, it's the training.
Point taken... but let's make one distinction.. I also pay a coach to tell me how to train, and it's centered around the FT established by the PT. The Powertap does not tell me how to train. It's just a tool to make it possible to follow very precise instructions and record progress. Me with just the PT and no coach would not be much better than me and just a HRM.
That said, there is one thing about your strenth/weakness that is obvious from looking at this power file summary. Do you know what it is?"

No friggin idea. I have many weaknesses, NC.. power output being one of the foremost..


solobreak said...

Let's see if we can get anyone else to chime in. And this was just one file from one session, so maybe it has nothing to do with your strengths, just what you chose to do that day.

Here is a hint - The TT at Bob Beal.

And I checked your blog, last year at this time you got 6th at Wells Ave...

Murat said...

That was the first and only top ten I got at any training race last season. What's your point?

If you are referring to the disparity between the CP2 and CP5, it's irrelevant. Two weeks before at Wells, my CP5 was 330 watts, pretty close to my PR CP5 of 334. In time trials I have the discipline of a chimp. But this year at Bob Beal, I think I will show at least 40 seconds of improvement. Want to bet?

solobreak said...

Yes, that is sort of what I was referring to, although after looking at the Coggan charts, having a CP5 that is 55% of your CP1 is actually pretty "flat" i.e. not a sprinter's bias.

Since the Bob Beal TT is a one way course in a fairly windy area, year over year comparisons don't mean much. I don't like to gamble but I'd almost be willing to bet you a new Power Tapp against a pair of DA STI levers that you won't beat me. But for one thing, I've got 10 years on you and you're supposed to beat me anyway, second, and most important, I know enough to not make bets I can't afford to cover, no matter how much of a sure thing they, and third, since I don't have a power meter, I really don't stand a chance anyway, do I?

Murat said...

Bah! It's clear why you're called Nega Coach. Can I pay you double your fee this month? in cash please?
I am pretty sure I won't beat you in a piss-ant 3 mile tt, but stranger things have happened. I seem to remember doing last year's event full cannibal- not even a skin suit. Maybe I can BUY some time off my result, eh? Let me look at my best CP6 to date.. I'll just peg it at that value for three miles and be all set, right?
Yes, it WILL be an advantage to see the watts during the TT, especially in the first couple of minutes when I'm prone to blowing my wad.
That's the beauty of the PT. Where before I simply had an ON/OFF switch, the PT has taught/forced me to act more like a dimmer switch. Dig?

jtheskier said...

oh man this is getting good!

solobreak said...

OK, at least 40 seconds of improvement? That means a 6:32, which BTW is 7 seconds better than my 2006 time (on my antique TT bike), but 20 seconds slower than my 2005.

I went back to the archives for history:

1995 - 6:41 (2nd)
1992 - 6:57 (pouring rain)
1991 - 7:11 (6th, I think the finish was slightly further up back then, a true 5k rather than the 3 miles it is now).

So sure, I will bet you a 40 oz bottle of Olde English 800 Malt Liquor that you will not break 6:32 this year. If you win, you have to drink it, but it's ok if you stand around a burning barrel with your Union Velo team mates and pass it around. If I win I'm sure my BOB mates will agree to do the same.

solobreak said...

FWIW, at Rehoboth last year, going full TT versus full cannibal was worth 5-6 seconds/kilometer for me, so figure 25-30 seconds total at Bob Beal.

gewilli said...


just do an indexed race... take % of beating you inflicted on the turk last year and find a margin/mark to set the wager on...

And, heck the powertap is like a siren, ya know the greek mythical ones... not the thing on the roof of solobreaks wambulance... they suck you in, blind you with data...

but they can be pretty damn effective for TTs and all that, racing crits and stuff ya might as well cover the power display up, hell the whole thing, cause it ain't prolly gonna do ya any good.

That said in a couple years time the data built up will be much more valuable than a season or two of heart rate work outs... talk about waste of disk space ;)

solobreak said...

Ge, did you ever actually sit down and read the cyclingpeaks webpage or the power faqs?

I find them both interesting because the present excellent facts, arguments, and advice, all stuff that I can agree with. Their conclusions though, smell like marketing. Maybe it's just a difference of opinion... What's the scientific term for reaching a completely different conclusion when presented with the same facts?

gewilli said...

just read that link...

searching for something new...


nothing new...

GeWilli's take on it:
Power don't do shit if you don't train.

If you train, power can make the training much more effective.

Intervals are the best case in point for using power. Too short to do them based on HR, too variable to base it off of speed (unless you have ideal conditions).

But ultimately it comes down to the legs and the time and all that.

Treating it like a black box can be most effective.

Time Trials are by far the best application for the tool.

But i've been saying lately: It don't matter if you are the strongest in the field (pick power numbers) it comes down to more than that to win a race. Positioning, picking the right wheel, attacking at the right moment, not working any harder than needed but just enough to be in the right spot...


i've been riding alot with downtube shifters... certainly they ain't all that bad power definitely is more important a feature on a TT bike than STI...