Sunday, 23 September 2012
tunnabora test on the trainerroad
The rain was blowing horizontal by the time I'd decided to go for a bike ride this morning. It gave me an excuse to further shake down the winter season bike.
I was out yesterday in comparative sunshine on my blue bike, although I did notice a slight cooling of the air. Today it was time to take out the semi-winterised orange one, which I'd set up a few days ago, but only just added a cadence sensor so that I can measure things properly. At the time my early prep seemed needlessly pessimistic, but what a difference a few days make.
I use that ANT+ protocol for my bike metrics. It's a bit like a very short distance wireless personal area network and I decided to standardise on it about a couple of years ago.
Interestingly, just adding the cadence sensor to the bike means I can also use it as a sort of power meter when it is connected to a PC or Mac. Power meters for bikes are generally quite expensive, but there's a software version that simulates the effect and can be used for a workout.
I'm using something called Trainerroad for this purpose - which is surprisingly good and simple to set up. It uses ANT+ to link the cadence sensor, speedo and a heart rate monitor to the PC and then takes readings. It doesn't even need a readout on the bike, although I do use my Garmin for that.
I can then play various trainerroad turbo trainer tests whilst it sets goals and monitors performance like a regular trainer would do. Its doesn't control the turbo (or rollers) but uses their calculated resistance (virtual power) to set the targets for the workout.
I'm only working through the so-called Intermediate scripts at the moment, which (no doubt for ego reasons) is basically the simplest set of workouts, designed to last over six elapsed weeks. The first time you use it, there's a test to analyse for the maximum personal output sustainable over an hour (Functional Threshold Power), using two 8 minute tests. This then calibrates the other scripts so that they are do-able. If I'm honest, I found the original FTP200 setting too high and had to wind it down a bit.
I've now worked out how to set up the individual session to run at the bottom of the PC screen, with a TV show playing above it (I'm watching Mad Men Series 2 at the moment). At some point I might take some pictures of the set-up, but for now, here's an example of one the outputs from a one hour ride.
To begin with I'm finding it difficult to track to the targeted output levels, although I suppose I'll get better with a bit more practice (& fitness).
Posted by rashbre at 14:19