Sunday, 10 January 2010

Passing the time

From Wednesday onwards I have been on the turbo trainer everyday. It does get as boring as hell, its so loud I can't hear the tv, there's only so much they are capable of and feels nothing like being on the road. However they are weather proof!, provide pedalling action and if I bonk I'm within arms reach of the fridge or the sweetie tin. So what do I do for my 1hr 30mins session? Using the heart rate monitor I do a warmup for 10mins not exceeding 140bpm. 30mins in TimeTrial mode not exceeding 160 bpm at a realistic cadence of 80-90. Standing hill climb for as long as possible keeping cadence 'high' and steady usually around 76 for 15mins but recently managed over 80. Then finish off with some intervals 20 seconds as fast possible with 20 secs rest repeated until I die so about 4 or 5 times keeping heart rate above 160 and a warmdown. My max heart rate is a measley 172.

I have been experimenting excessively with my positioning on the bike and seem to have learned a lot. Its difficult out on the road to do this so this has been the ideal opportunity to finally get it sorted. What have I found out? I like to look at the floor alot, no good when Im out on the road and it hurts my neck. Raising and flipping the stem puts me nice and close to the handle bars and further over the bottom bracket and plonks my arse very comfortably into the saddle. The position is way too upright, very unaero and is difficult to tuck to get aero as the bars are too close, tri bars are very comfy. Lowering the stem with it pointing down puts me further back into the saddle, easier to get into drops and get into an aero position, keeps upper body weight forward over the knees to help with pedalling power, tri bars uncomfy as elbows too far away from pads, bum gets uncomfortable and sore quickly. So its set as required depending on activity.

Seatpost height was next to be tested and a good starting position is the good ol' heel down on pedal , leg straight with crank in line with seat tube. I suppose it's a good all rounder position, average push power and not so good pull up power. Seatpost a little lower (1-2cm) and I feel I get more power but not for the full turn of the crank and totally unable to pull up on the pedal. Its a 'good' position for a heavy pedal masher. I then kept on raising the post in small increments up to a point where I would be rocking side to side when pedalling. At this limit it is very easy to get a good pull up stroke and smooth action and higher cadence but the push power disappears before the crank reaches the bottom where the legs overstretch, also I was forced to the front of the saddle. I was aiming for a position where I could pull up easily and get the push power for most of the crank turn. After lots of trial and error I think I have the most efficient position but again the arse takes a pounding. I set the cleat position on the shoe first or the optimum seat height will change. Just need to see what effect this position has when on the road.

Went to the Velodrome on Friday after all. I had the same bike as the one I had the session before the MCC track champs as the saddle was rock solid. Only 4 of us this morning, I have never seen so few at a taster session. No blue slip for me today. I was able to do a lot of pedalling standing up today, due to practise? or bigger gear? I felt good anyway and started to sprint right at the top of the banking where I had intended to do during MCC championships but couldn't. I did a few sprints and was able to catch up to the train the others formed and then recovered and sprinted again. I got told off for doing a school boy error...kicking back to slow down. One of the criteria for the blue slip is NOT to kick back but to use the space above the rider infront to slow down. I guess it was my own fault but the guy leading was a pain as he'd slow down then go a little faster then slow even more when the idea is to keep the pace constant. This led me to going inside of the wheel of the rider infront and not outside :( not good. I do think my track fitness is improving slowly as after a sprint it would take ages to recover but I was able to carry on.

Not surprisingly I have made another purchase. The Muvi camera thingy with sports pack £40 Bargain from Tesco.


  1. I found it helpful to get my bike set up evaluated by a pro at the local bike store. The guy had gone through some training on how to properly evaluate your individual requirements. It made a big difference to my back.

  2. Heh,Yeah I think the few quid would have saved me a lot of time in the long run...about 8 months!!! I enjoy doing things and experimenting myself and generally don't like taking peoples word/hear say. Its just my nature and seems to cost me a fortune. I have heard a hell of a lot of good things about a pro bike setup but I still remain sceptical for no apparent reason

  3. Muvi?
    Ha ha!

    Get me some clips of you sprinting up those bloody hills you left me behind on on that club run - I need some practive

  4. I've been looking at video playback and hills dont look like hills they look like flats :( You cant get an idea of the gradient.