Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bikes in my garage

I had some time to kill this morning while waiting for the weather to warm up before my ride and decided to catalog the bikes that are currently in my garage.

Steve Bauer Chinook. 
My first racing after getting hooked on triathlon. I paid $150 for it. I've since upgraded most of the parts, including STI shifters. It's now my winter bike. Notice the headlight and taillight for night riding. It still rides great. It's also wired for the Powertap

Cervelo P2 SL - my TT bike. I rode this to a 2:37 bike split at the 2009 Muskoka 70.3. It's been neglected lately. I intend  to rectify that next year. It's wired for the Powertap.

Guru Racelite - my first really decent bike. It has carbon forks, chain-stay, and seat post which gives a really nice ride. I transferred most of the components to my Masi and re-built this using hand-me-down components. This bike did the Ironman France course. It's now Alysha's bike.

Opus Allegro and Masi 3VC - the Opus is Jon's bike. The Masi is my current ride and I love it. It's unbelievably light. Powertaps on both.

Ridley Crossbow - my new cyclocross bike. Haven't ridden it much but intend to race it next year. It will get wired for the Powertap.

Specialized Hardrock - this was Jon's bike when he was 10. It was in a state of disrepair for quite a few years but I recently restored it to do some trail riding this fall.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Underway - Test # 1

So, my winter training program is officially underway. It sort of got underway last week as I had a pretty full training week but officially this week is the start of the program. Today I did some tests on the trainer to determine my power profile. Here is the result:

Weight (kg)
Power Profile

5 sec
1 min
5 min
moderate (Cat 4)

FTP (.95*20')
moderate (Cat 4)

The important numbers from the above table are my Functional Threshold (based on a 20' test) and my current weight in kg. My estimated FTP is 255 watts which is a little bit discouraging as my best 20' interval from just over a month ago yielded an estimated FTP of 276 watts. On the other hand, today's test was done on the trainer and it's not atypical to under-perform on the trainer as compared to outdoors. The important thing is that I now have a benchmark from which to determine my training zones for the next 6 weeks.

My current weight of 75.5 kg tells me I have 5.5 kg to lose in 18 weeks and that's certainly doable. My FTP goal is to reach 300 watts in 18 weeks which, at a current FTP of 255, would suggest I'd need to raise my FTP by 45 watts, a tall order at best. I'd be happy with a 30 watt increase on the trainer which I think would translate to pretty close to 300 watts on an outside test.

Something I've been paying a lot of attention to lately is my position on the bike, for two reasons. One reason is that I've been experiencing chronic pain along my left ITB following long and/or hard rides and I think that a lot of that has to do with my position on the bike. The second reason is similar; during a long and/or hard ride, I experience lower back soreness. Again, I think that this has something to do with bike fit. 

What I discovered today is that the trainer is perfect for making adjustments to bike fit. During my 15 minute warmup, I took the time to focus on areas of tightness or discomfort as I was pedaling. I found that lowering the seat about 10 mm and moving it forward about 20 mm all but eliminated the discomfort and made pedaling seem more natural. Consequently, I was able to complete the 2 hour ride, with some very hard intervals, without any lower back pain. Even better, I experienced no pain along my ITB whatsoever from the session. This is very encouraging. In future, I'll be tweaking the fit on all my bikes using the trainer.