Monday, February 2, 2009

Everyone's testing!!

As I made the rounds of the Cleveland Bloggers the one theme going around is testing. In preparing myself for coaching athletes I have tested several local athletes as well. The major skill reqired I have learned in testing is the power of observation.

This became crystal clear to me Friday morning when Sean Gilbert observed my 20 minute TT test. This was my first controlled power test (outside of Time Trials) on my TT bike so it was very, very important to me. What I did not expect was that the power data was actually the least useful piece of data we got from the test.

As I pedaled my proverbial ass off for the test I was cognizant of Sean scribbling notes the whole test. I had no idea what he could possibly be so serious about scribbling. I figured he was there to say things like "get that wattage back up".

Although he didnt have to do much yelling as I was really focused the whole test. As always the first 5 were easy and the next 10 were hard. More mentally than physically. And then the last 5 were hard both physically and mentally hard as I started to fatigue, but at least I had the end of the test to look forward to. Drilled it for the last 2 minutes and then the chain kept falling off after the test(I was running a rigged up single ring set-up to do some testing). So trying to cool down and put the chain back on. Silly!!

The power was about 20 watts less than a self done power test in November on my Cannondwhale Six13 road bike so that was right in line. Cadence, HR were both very similar too. That was cool to see. But what really astounded me was Sean's timeline assessment of the test and all of the little things that affected my power and heart rate like posture, pedal stroke and even breathing.

See I like to know I have a lot to work on to be better. That's because the more things I have to work on to get faster means that I have been leaving time on the table. Maybe, maybe not, but its a motivator to me. We also are confident that my position is a great starting spot for 2009 and some of the testing I am doing to optimize my set-up also seems to be going in the right direction. Thanks also to Thom Dominic for his help.

So with ever more accurately defined training zones beingf established its about time to start getting serious with 2009 race preparation. It starts tomorrow at 6am on the Computrainer!!

No comments: