Lunch hour

The Pete Plan blog

A new toy

Posted by thepeteplan on August 14, 2008

Lunchtime – erg training:

As I’m taking a rest day tomorrow before the cross training event on Saturday, I decided that rather than doing a steady distance piece this lunchtime, I would do a hard distance piece. I chose the 6k, and to set out at a pace that would get me a pb if I felt “up for it” through the middle:

6k = 20:29.5 / 1:42.4 / 29

1k splits:
1:40.0 / 31
1:40.6 / 30
1:40.7 / 29
1:49.6 / 27
1:42.7 / 29
1:41.0 / 29

As you can see, at half way I made the decision that today wasn’t the day to put it on the line and push on for the pb. After 1k much slower I did row strongly again in the final 2k though, making it a good solid training session. The first 3k at pace felt pretty good, and gave me extra confidence for the 5k test coming up in 2 weeks time.

Evening – testing the new toy:

I decided to get some SPD pedals and shoes for my road bike. The shoes arrived a couple of days ago, and the pedals today. As I’ve never used proper cycling shoes before I thought I’d try them out on the turbo bike first. After wrecking one spanner trying to get the pedals off there I gave up and put them straight on my outdoor bike instead.

It was a tentative start off continually reminding myself that I needed to unclip a foot if I needed to stop at any point – I had visions of coming to a roundabout and falling over side ways. I stopped at the first roundabout, but after that I managed to stay clipped in for the 7mile ride. After slowly building the speed a little and warming up, it felt great. So much more power with the connection to the pedals, and much easier to ride at speed on the flat and up the hills. Here is the graph of speed and heart rate:

Average speed for the 7 miles was 19.1mph, and that’s pretty good considering I started slowly, never pushed very hard, and my heart rate stayed below 150 for all but the final slope up. Also a good portion of riding well above 20mph in the second half. It would be interesting to try a time trial at this early stage of my cycle training as a baseline – don’t tell anyone, but I might just do that as there is a 10mile TT next week not too far away….

4 Responses to “A new toy”

  1. Iain Mackie said

    Hi Pete,
    Good to see you now have the right clips & shoes for the job. I’m a keen cyclist who uses indoor rowing to get in shape. You’re a class rower who has discovered cycling. I’m following PP08 and have lost 18Kg in 4 months. May I therefore humbly offer some tips as a thank you for your motivational support…
    Keep a high cadence in the small ring for your 1st 2-4 months of cycling training. Reduced lactic, higher long distance tolerance, build uo of the right leg muscles will be the result. Don’t be tempted to use the big ring – believe me it works! Cadence of 90-95 is good. Start your pull at 10 o’clock on each foot’s rotation, NOT at 12 o’clock. You’ll notice a huge difference going up hills and will develop a smooth consistent rhythm. Use ALL the gears to ensure consistent cadence. That’s what they’re there for! Good luck, Iain

  2. thepeteplan said

    Iain,
    Thanks for your comments, and congratulations on losing 18kg in 4months – impressive! The low gear, high cadence approach makes sense the same way we would advise people on the erg to develope a smooth and fast drive on low drag initially to get used to accelerating fast on the drive to catch the flywheel.

    What do you mean by start your pull at 10 o’clock not 12 o’clock though? Are you saying that now my feet are connected to the pedals I can add power with the foot coming up, not just going down?

  3. thepeteplan said

    By the way Iain – I do tend to naturally ride in a lower gear at a high cadence, it feel much more comfortable to me to spin my legs fast, I don’t like turning a big gear much as I don’t like the sluggish feel of a high drag factor on the erg.

  4. Iain Mackie said

    Pete, Yes, you should start the right leg exertion when, for example, your right foot is almost at the top of the recovery, i.e “10 o’clock”. Try it – you’ll understand the difference within seconds, especially on uphill sections. Good luck tomorrow!

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