BY HALL CYCLE TRAINING, Verve Affiliate Dealer
Young WA Rider Theo Yates is presently racing in Philippines in his first professional race with Continental racing outfit Navitas Satalyst. Navitas Satalyst represent the culmination of a lot of hard work as WA’s first professionally registered racing team. A massive achievement for WA cycling. Verve InfoCrank are one of the proud sponsors of this team. InfoCrank is also a product sold and installed by Hall Cycle Training, for more information please follow this link.
Presented here is Theo’s power file from the 3rd stage of the tour. Theo rides a Verve InfoCrank, one of the new players on the cycling power market, and one of the premium power measuring devices available: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/athlete/workout/2YE2DDPCR6C7ODPUWKZVPO726AIV636VM4R65BY
By following the above link you will be able to view some of the accurate data the unit provides and also a tale of what racing cycling presents through power analysis.
1. Through the first 36 mins of racing the power figures, represented by the pink line, are highly variable. Indicating how the athlete was drafting in a field protected from the resistance of wind by fellow cyclists, while responding to accelerations or even attacking as a break of riders attempted to ride clear. This variable nature of cycle racing recruits muscle contraction in a very intermittent manner, something unique to bike racing in a field of cyclists.
2. At around the 36 min mark Theo attacks and rides across to a group of 2 riders over a huge 5 min effort of close to 390 watts, or 5.6 watts/kg. Thereafter the variability of the power data stabilizes as each rider pulls turns on the front of a 3-man train. Sitting in a 3 man train offers some resistance from the passing air, or wind, however on all sides it’s effect is apparent by just a small movement either way. Thus, the power range is reduced as every rider begins to contribute to an ever increasing workload.
The above two instances outline how cycling can be a very different stimulus for the body to adapt to. The first instance is best replicated by riding in a bunch of riders, or group riding. Riding in a group however will NOT replicate the demands of riding in a break away. As evidenced in the second instance the consistent load placed on the athlete, even when drafting behind 1 or 2 fellow riders, is much more consistent and without respite (this is also evidenced by the increase and stability in Heart Rate- the red line). The second instance requires an increase in HR for the athlete to maintain output, whereas the first does not require as much of a response.
The point of this analogy is that when training you need to train for the specificity of your event. When riding a time trial, a break in a race, or off the front solo your power output and HR response reflect that of the second instance. Interval training and training by oneself, or at least on the front of the group, will facilitate an output and adaptation that replicates the demands of hard riding.
All of Theo’s hard work and determination on this day was thwart by a puncture some kilometers from the finish. Such is elite level bike racing: one can prepare exceptionally yet be let down less than exceptional circumstances. I am sure we will see Theo rise to the occasion again today as he attempts to deliver Ben O’Conner to the base of a 30km climb in good condition for 1-2hrs of threshold pace resistance. All the best to the team!