Monday, April 22, 2013

Misc: 22/04/2013

It's fair to say that all PM users make their own individual journeys in relation to their power measurement devices, and how thy use them - but it seems that there may be some typical patterns that evolve - particularly in relation to self-coached athletes - some common errors that self-coached athletes tend to make - some of which I have myself previously worked my way through.

I've been training with a power meter for a number of years now, and have read and accumulated a large amount of information on the topic. I've put many ideas into practice - with varying rates of success. Keep what works, discard what doesn't - adapt and evolve..

The following is a summarised version of an insightful discussion thread from a well known forum, mixed with some feedback of my own. One post in particular resonated with me, as it touched on some common and key issues that I have experienced - and also frequently come across both on-line and in conversation..

They picked up "The Book" (Training and Racing with a Power Meter), possibly Joe Friel's book, a power meter, and then set about trying to figure this all out. Granted this isn't everyone. A lot of people just slap the power meter on for fun, and never really make an effort. But a lot of analytically minded people, with various career backgrounds and interests, figured they'd give it go. ..

You have intelligent people taking this VERY SERIOUSLY. Now on to art vs. science. So you have these analytical people reading these books, and message board, believing it's all science ... paint by numbers ... and it isn't.
The original contributors never conceived of it that way. They point to the "art" of coaching. But the only common vocabulary is a couple of metrics. They get feedback like "let your TSB go positive for three days", or "I personally don't take rest weeks", or "I find I can maintain 8pts per week ramp rate for a short amount of time". That's all good, but there are a lot of mixed messages. Again, to the eager newbie consuming all this information, it gets very confusing.

Athletes dig themselves into the biggest hole possible, and quit the sport ... largely driven by advice from these two books, and an online Next Level article. So even though both books mention the "art" of coaching, it is also very easy for the layperson -- especially the analytical minded layperson -- to read these books in a very literal way, and take it as gospel. This isn't Hunter/Andy's problem, but it needs to be aired..

Common key mistakes made after reading "The Book", the Next Level article, and various Peaks Coaching PDFs:
  • Putting too much stock in CTL ramp rates.
  • In reference to point above, chasing CTL to the detriment of workout quality.
  • Letting the CTL ramp rate concept alone dictate how one periodises their training.
  • Too many kitchen sink type workouts. They're really hard.
  • Overall taking the workout selection in "The Book" too literally. Look elsewhere for a broad ideas on workouts, don't hold yourself to the standards set in "The Book" and sample plans.
  • Putting too much stock in TSB values. Pay more attention to how you actually feel. Rest on demand.
  • Don't get too bogged down in testing.
  • Effectively use the time you have available. Always. Moderate the riding intensity accordingly.
  • Be careful with Sweetspot - don't turn the majority of your miles into medium/hard junk that you are not recovering from properly..
  • Don't take the interval 'till exhaustion concept too seriously..

2013 LBL finale - Panda wants a hug Dan.. Followed by: x1 Awesome attack to the finish line..

Did any of the above resonate with you? Garbage in --> Garbage out.. Numbers are really great, but will always work best with a generous pinch of know-thy-self/know-thy athlete..

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