Monday, May 17, 2010

Training Unplugged

I am not a proponent of training with technology.  The day I unstrapped myself from my heart rate monitor and took my power tap off my bike was a day of liberation.  I now return from rides and I do not know what time it is let alone my average watts, speed and cadence.  

I should explain that I worked with a coach for quite some time when I began to race.  I also obsessively uploaded and analyzed by stats to include power, heart race, speed and all the other data.   I believe in periodization and structured training.  But there are ways to gather gauge your performance by simply paying attention to your body and your racing.  Here are a few examples. 

How to Tell When You Are Peaking
You know you are peaking when you assume you have a tailwind but you don't.  Or, you keep flicking your elbow for your wheel man to take his pull and no one is there.  Or, you keep wondering when the neutral roll out is over and the pack will start racing. 

How to Tell When Your Peak is Over
You know your peak is over when you keep looking down to see if your brake pad is rubbing.  You ask team mates to check if your back tire is low.  You keep shifting down but there are no more gears. 

How to Tell When Your are at Threshold
You know you are at threshold when you feel your heart where your tonsils used to be.   You catch yourself trying to breath through your tongue.  Or it feels like you forgot to take your blood pressure medicine that morning. 

How to Tell When You are Over Threshold
You know you are over your threshold when it feel like your heart fell down into your stomach.  Or, even the words you are thinking are slurred.  You feel like your sunglasses suddenly went two shades darker.

How to Tell When You are Over Trained, i.e, Burnt Out
In the Wenatchee TT, you think about work.  In the Wenatchee Crit, you envy the due who loses his chain.  In the Wenatchee Road Race, you ask one of the spectators if they have a gun.

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