Back in the Saddle Again & My First Powertap Ride
Well I’m back from the City of Sin and got back on the road this morning. Today was a great ride for several reasons.
First and foremost, it was an absolutely beautiful morning for a ride. Mid 70’s and a nice cool ocean breeze. There’s nothing better than that…
Second, it was my first ride with my new Powertap. I’m planning on spending the next couple of weeks just riding like I would normally and simply taking the time to learn what my current power profile looks like before I worry about integrating power into my training rides. The device, however, is great. The installation was so easy it isn’t even funny…just strap on the computer and you’re ready to go. The computer is able to determine power, speed, cadence, distance and heart rate all in one device (plus your heart rate strap). Simply amazing. I’ve only had a few minutes to look through the data, but I can’t complain. I’m looking forward to using it again.
Third, I learned a little more about the effects of group riding and drafting. During the back portion of my first loop on my ride I came up behind a group that was moving pretty good. I didn’t want to pass them just to have them slam by me two minutes later, so I decided to just sit behind them for a while. Apparently another rider had the same idea, because the two of us sat behind the group of 3 in a pretty solid pace line. The first thing I noticed was that my watts immediately fell by about 33% but my speed actually picked up over my average on the ride so far. I never realized that drafting had such a huge impact. The group started to pick it up a little until we were averaging about 24 mph. I noticed that my heart rate was climbing a bit so I decided to drop off from the group. It’s fun going that fast, but it’s not worth screwing up the purpose of my ride (long endurance ride). If nothing else, this ride showed me why drafting is illegal in most time trial events: it simply wouldn’t be fair if you didn’t. Three riders working as a team could mow down a leader even if that guy beat them out of the water by five minutes.
Finally, today marked the first day of my training using the guidelines set out in The Triathlete’s Training Bible. This book is very thorough and articulates a number of great principles in training. I have other triathlon books that I purchased last year and although these books are based on many of the principles laid out in the Training Bible, the level of detail is nowhere near what Friel’s book goes into. Very good book. Buy it!