Author: Peter Glassford

Troubleshoot Popular Power Meters

One of the trade-offs with power is that we must deal with having electronics strapped to bicycles that undergo tremendous forces and extreme conditions (temperature, precipitation, altitude, dirt, sweat and a few other possible bodily fluids …) You wouldn’t expect your iPhone to survive so be ready to deal with some device troubleshooting and do your best to protect your power devices.

Trouble-Shooting for Power Meters

  1. DO NOT take it into bad weather – cold and rain especially, just leave it at home.
  2. If it gets wet dry it out ASAP, take any covers off and put in front of a fan for a few hours.
  3. Calibrate daily – yes daily.
  4. Change the battery
  5. Calibrate again
  6. Calibrate with another device (use a friend’s)
  7. Connect it to the internet and see if there is an update to the firmware.
  8. submit a ticket to the company to have it refurbished (usually not that pricey)

Power Tap Wheels

Power Tap Wheel Links / Support 
https://www.powertap.com/support/faqs/hubs-wheels
 
Manuals for Power Tap Hubs => https://www.powertap.com/support/user-manuals#hubs-wheels
 
Send back to Powertap => 
  1. Call or email PowerTap Customer Service (1-800-246-5975 or support@powertap.com)
  2. Warranty Info https://www.powertap.com/support/warranty

Stages Crank Based Power Meter

1) have you re-zeroed torque and got offset number?
 
2) updated firmware?
 
3) replace battery
 
4) Submit a ticket for repair/refurbish 

2017 Bike Skills Sessions

cx-clinic-in-virginia-august-28-2016-molly

View the entire Smart Athlete Calendar on Frontdesk

Or Email with interest in one of the sessions peterglassford@gmail.com

 

-> more dates pending and by request

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Pre-Rides & Skill Sessions at Race Venues

 

-> Ontario Cup #7 – Provincials Sir Sam – Friday, August, and Saturday, August

Private/Semi-Private Sessions

Available around any of the times/days specified above and below at same venues or by request.

jouko racing - clients

Gravel and MTB Marathon (Leadville) Skill Group Rides

 

-> Collingwood  Guided Hill reps and rock skills – Sunday, June 25th   – 2hrs, all welcome

lap dogs clinic 3

Collingwood Cyclocross Prep Weekly Sessions

 

Testing

Fridays in Collingwood or by request at your home or Trek Store Toronto

Testing can be indoors or outdoors depending on your goals and limiters.

at Active Life Collingwood – Book Now

 

What I Wish Clients knew Before Training with Power

This is an ongoing list as more and more clients train with power, power becomes cheaper and more questions get asked! Please feel free to email me with things I have missed or questions you may have.

Having power doesn’t mean that all other metrics are useless (RPE, Heart Rate, VAM etc.) 

I wrote an article for MyFitnessPal about using both HR and Power (and any other metric/info you can use … including your brain!)

Power can be wrong, misleading, depressing, not available, frustrating … be prepared to take a breath and carry on like you would at a race–or like you would have before power. 

I have been there. Pushing really hard, thinking everything was going well then a glance down at Mr. (or Mrs.) power meter makes me want to curl up in the ditch and phone home for a pickup and some hot tea.

Focus on doing the work, recovering well and using the data you have to move forward. While the power meter ‘doesn’t lie’ it very well can be set-up wrong, miscalibrated or, more importantly, your perception of what you SHOULD be doing is off. I talk about the idea of setting realistic FTP or thresholds in this Consummate Athlete Podcast episode. 

Capture- paul dashboard hr and power and tss

Don’t forget you still need to steer around the Trees (or jump pot-holes)

Too often clients forget the technical, tactical, mental, preparational and the multitude of other factors that influence a race. Your CP20 or best 20-minute power is not your race results and often the people with the best power tests are not the best on the race course (also your cp20 is not your threshold / FTP). Use power as one aspect of your preparation.

Power doesn’t always go up in tests or workouts. You still can complete a workout if power isn’t what you think it should be.

You can learn about setting and updating heart rate and power threshold in this article.

Steve Neal and I discuss power testing and nerves in this Consummate Athlete Podcast Episode as well.

Testing in the field or with a coach can be helpful to understand what zones or power levels you should expect to ride at. Read more about testing

Generally, avoid riding your power meter in rain/cold … think of it like an iPhone w. no case 

This is less of an issue as the devices get better BUT I would still avoid riding through rivers where possible. Same goes for temperatures below freezing. Some power meters are easier to do this with but it may also mean riding a winter bike outside and leaving your ‘power meter bike’ on the indoor trainer.

Buy extra batteries now and start a routine to charge your devices to avoid ‘losing’ them mid-workout or when traveling. 

Learn to calibrate and do it every day to avoid misreadings.

Want to learn more about your new power meter and training with power?

Book a phone consult to discuss all your questions – Easy to schedule with Front-Desk 

4 Videos to help you with indoor rollers

It is the season to ride indoors … a lot!

Here are 4 videos to help you master rollers and work on Bike SKills in the winter. A winter riding rollers will help you do more volume, enhance your pedal stroke, build balance, integrate yourself with your bike. The key is learning how to apply pressure to your seat, pedals and hands to make the bike move under you and maintain balance. Have fun!

Any problems shoot me an email (peterglassford at gmail .com) (can include photos or videos of your setup and even you riding if need help / troubleshoot)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lC98HimakE]

Dismount Indoor Rollers (with style) – Ep83 – Bike Skills Project …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lC98HimakE
Dec 29, 2012 – Uploaded by Peter Glassford

Looking at different ways to get off of your bike while riding on rollers . See 


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTNOnFI6rV4]

Getting Going on Rollers – Ep71 – Bike Skills Project – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTNOnFI6rV4
Dec 17, 2012 – Uploaded by Peter Glassford

 


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNsejaeLs9Q]

Falling off Rollers – Ep72 – Bike Skills Project – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNsejaeLs9Q
Dec 18, 2012 – Uploaded by Peter Glassford

 


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9mFZMEzn7I]

Roller Setup Tweak – Ep73 – Bike Skills Project – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9mFZMEzn7I
Dec 19, 2012 – Uploaded by Peter Glassford

Thanks and please share , like, tweet , email to a friend in need!

 

Get Outside – Why and How to CrossTrain

Check out the latest Newsletter Here – http://eepurl.com/csSBAz  ( subscribe at the top!)

Or subscribe to Smart Athlete Email here ! 

Preview:

Last week we talked about staying inside and optimizing cycling training but for a successful winter you need to combine staying inside for quality workouts with getting outside for fun, skill-based workouts that expose your body to variety.

I discuss getting outside and some options in this video: HERE

You can learn about common issues with low heart rate in the cold HERE

To Train outside the key is to have a few sport options. None of them really need to be done with great skill, although overtime you will become more proficient at these activities. All sports must be gradually taken on however, do not let your cycling fitness mislead you to think your muscles and connective tissue are ready for running.

<Read More on the Smart Athlete Newsletter>

Heart Rate low in cold weather ?

I usually have a couple of clients get frustrated in the fall and winter that their Heart Rate does not go up as high as they think it SHOULD.

 

I put the word SHOULD in capitals because that is always a red-flag in training (and life) when we assume things should be a certain way. It is always worth stepping back and asking if there are reasons it SHOULD NOT be that way, or whether you need to be maxing out your heart rate every day, especially in the fall/winter when races are further away. Remember that most workouts have a range for power, heart rate or other metrics and being at the top of the range does not earn bonus points, large trophies or strava kudos.
   *check out the book ‘the myth of stress’ for more on this 

 

A first consideration when Heart Rate is low relative to the expected is that a low heart rate with poor performance is to be taken seriously and countered with some very intensity exercise (ie. under 100 bpm) and/or complete time off with only relaxing yoga and other rejuvenating activities. This expected value is usually based on one or both of how we are feeling (RPE) or power (Watts). If you are feeling pretty good for a cold ride outside (you won’t feel as amped as sunny day) and/or your power is in the expected range then a low heart rate is not an issue. Care should be taken not to drive the heart rate higher in the range and risk riding too hard, even pushing watts out of the endurance range. This can ironically result in heart rate depression due to overtraining.

If you are not over-training or tired than you are set to learn more about training in cold weather and troubleshooting some more. You are likely familiar with Heart Rate going higher during warm/hot weather. You may also have seen a higher Heart Rate while at altitude. So enviroment can make your heart have to work harder, or make the heart rate HIGHER. For hot environments this is due to the shifting of blood to vessels at the skin’s surface to cool core temp. This means more blood to more vessels and so more work for the heart to maintain output to working muscles.

  *these situations that challenge the heart can be great training stimuli and should be sought out to increase your fitness.

 

If we consider this shifting of blood to surface and increase in Heart rate and work for the heart in hot conditions than assuming a decrease in work for the heart and more blood in the vessels in cold weather is a pretty safe assumption. So our Heart Rate will be lower when it is cold.

 

There are a few other considerations for cold weather heart rate beyond the physiological reasons above. We may wear more clothes, pedal at lower RPM  and/or just go slower in these situations so heart rate may just be lower because you aren’t putting out the same workload or changing your cadence and, in both cases, decreasing the work the heart has to do.

 

A good way to test and overcome these last few reasons for lower HR is to do a periodic sprint or high cadence drill (like a spinup) to get some more activation and ‘wake body up’. You may even find this helps you stay warmer, and perhaps increase the cooling needs to the heart and normalize your heart rate to your expected range.

How to Train For Cycling Indoors

You may live in a sunny area with no rain or snow or frigid temperatures. But for the rest of us there is a yearly shift in our training patterns as inclement weather pushes us indoors. There are many reasons you might want to include some indoor training into your routine even if you ‘skip’ winter. This article helps you make the most of your indoor time.

Embrace the chance to ride indoors. There are many advantages to the isolation of the pedaling technique in the absence of (much) balance, traffic or wind. I compare the indoor trainer to a batting-cage or punching-bag. It is not the real sport but it lets you work on an element of the game. For cyclists the element of pedaling against resistance is important, why not isolate it?

Don’t ride like you ride outside
If you ‘just sit there’ you will be bored in approximately 59 seconds, the time it takes to make sure your garmin is setup and the James Bond Movie is at the perfect volume. Rather you *MUST* have a purpose for the ride. While I am not a fan of videos and ‘turn your brain off’ suffer videos (more below), whatever tools you use you should have a purpose for relating to your limiters/goals and should be broken into mini-blocks (intervals). The warm-up, main-workout and cooldown are a basic three-part ride. There can be more divisions but knowing you have 20 minutes of ramping up slowly to a goal Heart Rate over 20 minutes, a 20 minute ‘threshold’ interval and then a 20 minute cool-down with some high-RPM and one-leg work will pass the 1 hour much nicer than staring at a 1 hour timer.

More on Structuring Your Ride
There are some workouts that don’t work as well on the indoor trainer but some that are much better. Why not use the indoor trainer for those things you can’t do outside? You can do a long(ish) endurance ride or cross-train for most of your endurance work but intervals are very nice on a trainer because you have a chance to really dial in the intensity and be steady without concern for cars or other riders. Low RPM, High RPM, One-Leg and short but very hard intervals are great on the trainer.

One-Leg (Isolated Leg) and high cadence drills are common on the trainer because they work really well there (and they break up the time/loading). While the pedal stroke aspect is generally good the bigger reason to do the one leg especially is to learn to interact with your bike in varied situations. If you find yourself falling over on the road/trail, failing to unclip, don’t know what ‘outrigger’ or ‘tripod’ means and/or dread clipping in to start a race then you should do a bunch of one-leg this winter.

Take it Easy, Get some Numbers 
Not every ride needs to be long and/or a suffer-festival. Include a couple of  30 minute spins in your week. Do it as a ramp ‘test’. 5 minute stages progressing from 45% FTP up to 70% at end of the 30 minutes. The time goes by fast and you get a mini test of how your HR:Power is progressing. If you don’t suffer everyday you can better work hard and effectively on your limiters a couple times a week without burning out or getting injured. Those hard days should be progressive and be repeatable soon after, if it is so hard you are getting nausea or tasting blood you will be mentally burnt come race season, if not before. save it for race day (note you still work hard just don’t have to be ‘max’ all the time).

Be Cool
Have a big fan. This is important. Use a fan and consider a cold room or garage for your training areas. You likely need a bigger fan. While heat adaptation is a possible intervention for indoor trainer it will definitely make the time FEEL harder and drop your performance (this happens at altitude or in hot environments). It amazes me how many athletes skip the fan but really want their power to increase indoors.

Take a Break
You can get off periodically. Think of how often you coast, soft-pedal, stop to pee, stop for lights, stop for coffee on outdoor-rides. It is ok to stop and do a few strength/mobility motions, go to washroom, refill a bottle, answer the phone. Don’t do it all the time but divide any long-ish rides you do like this and the time goes much quicker and your butt will thank you.

You Don’t Eat an Elephant Whole (or something like that)
The biggest mistake is thinking about the 3 hour workout you have planned. Put your shorts on and get on the bike, starting is the important part.

Use the lap timer not the ride timer. This is a common mistake, the lap timer is important and will make your interval work better. It also prevents you from thinking about the ride as a 2 hour ride. Rather do 15 minute laps broken up by 10 push-ups or coordination drills.

Don’t be so Hard on Yourself
The Trainer is very hard. If you are saying ‘should’ it will make you stressed out. If you have an interval you want to do, ease into it and do what you can on the day. This applies almost always but especially on the trainer where the unrelenting resistance can really clamp down on you quickly if you are a bit fatigue and pushing more than you have on a given day.


Want more great thoughts to make your training better? Have Questions about Training, Nutrition or more awkward questions like Saddle Sores?

Join us on one or all of 3 Nights/Venues = Trek Store Toronto (Tues Dec 6) OR Aurora (Dec 7) OR Barrie (Thurs Dec 8) 2016

A free event! Please bring friends and your questions

Sign up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1289415717746062/

Want it now? BUY IT ON AMAZON OR FIND OUT ABOUT THE BOOK

Diagnosis or Change ?

Clients periodically come to me with a condition or something they feel is outside of themselves. This could be a health condition, bad ‘luck’ in races, low energy, injuries or poor response to training. They think of this one thing (or combination of outside circumstances) as the ultimate reason for their poor results or health. My first response is to ask:

What should we be doing (that we aren’t) that would make you better, regardless of the diagnosis?

Are those daily actions you will need to take once you have your ‘diagnosis’ the same as things you can do right now and see if they make a difference in a couple of months?

Are we delaying positive daily action in favor of chasing a diagnosis?

clinic virginia by Donna wolf 2016 d

Could a skills session help improve results? Meet people? Avoid crashing? Avoid ruining more of your equipment. 

If, for example, you think your problem is your cortisol level and you want it tested … Instead of waiting for the diagnosis, can you start to improve your sleep, diet and have some fun with friends? Avoid intense exercise for a bit. Focus on bringing yourself ‘down’ a bit more often and supply your body with the fuel it needs.

If you are damaging equipment or your body in crashes… It is likely not just bad luck or the fault of your competitors or the organizers. There might be an element of the sport you can work on to get faster and safer out there. Bike Skills training is a thing and it is important for beginner riders right up to the pros. If you can’t bunny hop a cyclocross-barrier, track-stand forever or navigate a pump-track without pedaling, there is some room for practice (it is fun!).

If you are having knee pain… Could you back off the riding for a bit? Start easily into strength training. See a therapist who focuses on movement and who can help you learn movement variety and how to increase your work capacity? Could you check your sleeping and working positions to ensure they aren’t contributing?

If you are low on energy have you checked your sleep, consumption of iron building foods and done a triple check of the sugar and processed foods in your diet? Have your tried upping your calories, including those pesky carbs and seeing if you feel better? Remember more fuel = more work capacity = more fitness.

If you are not reaching your cycling goals have you talked to a coach? (you can do it free here). Have you checked that you are within the ‘norms’ of training? (i.e. stop doing suffer workouts everyday and work on event specific skills/terrain). Sleep more, eat better, enjoy riding.

These things don’t happen overnight but if you dedicate your daily actions to moving a little closer and getting a little better you can get where you want to go.

Work honestly on the basics consistently.


If you are in Toronto on Dec 6, Aurora on Dec 7 or Barrie on Dec 8 we would love to have you join us for the “Saddle, Sore Version 2” Book Launch Party DETAILS HERE


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Latest Consummate Athlete Podcast Episodes

Latest Podcast Episode

 

Tracey Drews on Training for Masters Athletes – http://goo.gl/TGNf1w
Lia Sonnenburg on Hormones and Naturopathy – http://goo.gl/UW2QaL
Jack Sasseville – How to Golf – http://goo.gl/ciL7Fn
Erin Taylor – How to Yoga (and why!) – http://goo.gl/MqTFjm

Show Notes and Download Links at ConsummateAthlete.com 


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