Cracking technical session this morning with low winters sun on the Pitfichie trails. We had looked to continue round to Cairn William but ice was still present higher up, which although was ridable, didn’t make for an effective coaching environment. So working up Green Hill, the session focused on developing technical climbing skills, the low temps having nicely bound the terrain giving great traction. This is always a hard climb though as you need good stamina to survive to the top, as well as your core weight shift skills. Naturally we also worked on technical descending, as what goes up must come down…..
Met up with Simon, one of my riders, this weekend to work through calibration of his different power meters. Simon has three power meters all on different bikes, 2 No. Stages (Ultegra & 105) and a Quarq (SRAM Red). The session was not to look at the absolute powers from Simon, but instead to determine offsets between the power meters for when training/racing on the different power meters. Its accepted that for most situations the difference would not be noteworthy, but the results were useful to correct for, when doing very controlled training sessions and racing.
My Wahoo KickR was used as the control device, as it can hold you at constant power adjusting in real time for variations in cadence and pedal torque. The testing was performed in as controlled conditions as possible, including that all devices were temperature stabilised and calibrated, same recording head units, and the same range of power and cadences were used for each of the power meter tests.
It was expected that the two Stages would read similar to each other with the Quarq at a different offset to them both. All of the power meters were expected to differ from the control KickR. The outcomes however were surprising….The Quarq, Stages 105 and KickR were all with +/- 2 watts. However the Stages Ultegra read about 8 watts lower.
Without going into detailed review of the products themselves (plenty online!), the surprise and the key point to take from the testing was that the power meters from the same manufacturer (Stages), using identical calibration protocols, produced different measurable results. The other power meters all from different manufacturers experienced minimal offset. As stated above the offsets are not significant for general power zone training, but were worth correcting for to get the best out of the (expensive) equipment and to optimise training and racing.
February and March is a great time to get away from the winter weather and head for warmer climates to give your training a boost. A number of VC riders are currently following their training plans abroad including locations of Tenerife, Majorca and California. If you’re thinking of heading abroad and want specific coaching support, learning when to rest as well as how to train, get in touch and make the best possible use your time away.
Great news that organisation of our local King of the Mountains Sportive has this year has been taken over from Deeside Thistle CC to be run by local event organising company, Fire Trail Events. Bringing a professional edge to the event, three routes are available including 25 miles, 100 Km and 100 miles so there is a distance for everyone. If you are considering entering and want specific coaching support, get in touch for a tailored plan with inside knowledge of the course demands. Be at your best and conquer the toughest!