Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Training with Power, The ibike

Remember this post almost 2 years ago?

Power Meters. What's your opinion?

I was struggling with the idea of sticking with an ibike power meter that had been given to me or go with something more street tested like a PowerTap.

While what I decided was to stick with the ibike:

Mine doesn't look quite like that one.  I have one of the first generation ibike.  Like I was saying, that question and opinions were given nearly 2 years ago.  Since then I have been using the ibike.  Let me rephrase that, I have been riding with the ibike.  I say it like that because I haven't truly trained with power like a lot of racers do.  I don't believe in using power as the only tool, but I have started to really buy into it as a very valuable tool.  I once heard someone at a time trial claim that they didn't know why they did so poorly,  after all he kept his power numbers exactly where they needed to be.  That was someone who was using power as his only tool.

Real recently I went out and bought the Hunter Allen book:

One of the primary reasons I bought it was to get a better understanding on how to use power to train some of the racers I coach.   Especially going into this next off-season I wanted to have a good understanding and control over the proper amount of work needed to prepare for next racing season.

What this book did for me was to open my eyes to the possibilities my own power meter could do.  I understood my power and had a pretty good understanding and grasp of my own levels.  I also had a good understanding about how to train those levels.  What I didn't know was the features that would allow me to do this better.

I just discovered that the ibike has an interval feature.  I simply put my intervals into the computer and send them to my ibike.  When I am ready to perform them I push a button.  It tells me what watts I need to maintain, whether I am high or low, and time remaining of the interval.  Simple.  No worrying about trying to remember the numbers yourself.  The only thing I wish it had was sound (and maybe it does and I haven't figured out how to turn it on yet).  I wish it would have beeped me to tell me when my interval was done.

The book I bought gave me a lot of information about how to analyze the data.  I was excited to try some of this but discovered that the program that comes with the ibike doesn't do a great job at some of the stuff.  It does not do a distribution of power graph.  Also something that surprised me a little was that when I down loaded the data after my interval training today, the data was not separated or even marked where my intervals were.  I know that it is easy for me to see based on the graph so that was not a problem, but I also had a subtrip on this ride.  The first part of my ride was with one of my young junior racers and the second half was my intervals.  So I did a subtrip.  I assumed that when I down loaded the data that the place of the subtrip would have been marked.  It was not.  Once again maybe not a big deal because I could look on my computer and see exactly what time was dedicated to the subtrip and highlight that time.  I guess it is the little things.

Now that I am excited about training with power and I have a huge amount of possibilities with workouts to train different systems I think it is time to upgrade my ibike.  I will probably stick with the ibike but I want a wireless with HR and cadence.  I also would like to upgrade the head unit also to be able to put two profiles on it so I can get a second set up for my TT bike.  But for now the priority is the rear mounted sensors so I can use the trainer function for the upcoming cold months.

If you have any tips or comments about the ibike please feel free to leave them.
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