Below you'll find our currently featured blog article, plus links to our entire collection of posts organized into the following categories:
This collection of blog articles addresses topics such as indoor cycle training techniques, correct hydration, how to setup your exercise or stationary bike and biometric information on some of the rides we offer. We even have a thought provoking series of posts that looks at cycling from the perspective of Chinese medicine.
By Gary J. Hawkins
You know when a workout is not likely to go well when the day after Thanksgiving your wife compliments you on how rotund (not a word you hear too often) you look this morning and within ten minutes of starting your workout your heart rate is rapidly climbing out of Zone 3 into Zone 4. Add to this the insult of the fact that you're only doing our Beginners workout “Hola Madrid”. So was the case this morning when I hopped on the trainer for a little after holiday ride.
Now in my defense “Hola Madrid” is more like an Intermediate title than a pure Beginners title. Further, with the busiest time of the year approaching
for Ride Fit I’ve been spending way to long sitting in my office chair at the expense of time in the saddle. At least I had a heart rate monitor on
to observe the carnage, and I know with a little bit of effort my usual conditioning should return.
For this workout I again used a BMC Road Racer SL01 setup on a Kinetic Road Machine Fluid. My chosen gearing for this ride was as shown in the table below.
During the ride I monitored my heart rate and power output levels, and after the ride I uploaded the captured ride data to the GoldenCheetah package. From this I created a graph showing the generated power, my heart rate and cadence. The x-axis is time in minutes. So let’s look at this morning's ride in more detail and see how it panned out:
So this ride consists mainly of Moderate resistance tempo riding with periodic resistance changes and a few sprints. My goal would normally be to keep my heart rate
below the top of Zone 3, which for me corresponds to 142bpm. You can see as early as 10 minutes (#1) into the ride I've exceeded this figure. so I knew the rest of
the workout was going to be more challenging than usual. Even though the recovery period around 16 to 19 minutes does allow my heart rate to fall, it spikes
rapidly as exertion again increases and once I'm back into the sustained effort period between 24 to 29 minutes things are only going to get worse. I break 160bpm
around 26 minutes (#2) and it goes further south from there. 170bpm is broken around 46 minutes (#3) during the high intensity sprint and after that it's a matter of
calling it a day and no longer following the power profile. Now, you can see one of the real positive things about wearing a heart rate monitor. I knew my
body was getting stressed and this allowed me to respond accordingly. Without a heart rate monitor you could easily have pushed on.
Using the analysis functionality available within the GoldenCheetah package, I was also able to derive the following Key Performance Indicators about this virtual ride:
You can get further indication of how poor this ride was by comparing the KPIs today with those from my workout to Spin Around Madrid back in August. This is arguably a more difficult ride but as you can see my generated average peak powers are less (particularly the 60 minute metric) and my average heart rate is 7 beats per minute higher. These numbers are definitely not going in the right direction!
The GoldenCheetah software package is available for free at http://www.goldencheetah.org and provides a rich set
of analysis tools, including a critical power graph, histogram analysis, a best interval finder, and a pedal force versus pedal velocity chart, to name just a few. Further,
it can import and export data to and from a variety of sources.