One of the things I wanted to do before the next duathlon (March 9th) is to get some bike training done. I’m pretty happy with how I ran at the last duathlon on Feb 9th but I just didn’t feel confident on the bike at all. Yes granted it was only my third time on the bike, and Bob had to replace the tubes and crank just days before the race so I had every right not to feel 100% with the bike really. So after the last duathlon one thing I said to Bob was that I wanted to get more bike time. Well week one post race and NOTHING. No running, no bike (other than spin) so this week as I have no college I wanted to make more of an effort and get out and get training!
Firstly this meant Bob repairing my garmin watch as I lost one of the pins at the duathlon. Secondly that meant just getting some bike time! It meant just dropping other things and getting OUT and riding that road bike!
So yesterday I did! I was hoping to get out in the warm weather but after 3pm the weather turned a little cloudy and I figured if I didn’t get my ass moving I was NOT going to get a ride at all because the daylight was gonna be short. So I put on my running pants (chilly!), long sleeved running top, cycling shoes, grabbed the bike and headed out the door. As soon as I got on the bike I realized I hadn’t got my chest strap on for my heart rate, but I knew if I didn’t go NOW I wasn’t gonna get a good ride in so I sucked it up and just went.
I’d already changed my garmin to bike, and switched the display to one I set up last weekend showing: miles, time, cadence and heart rate. My goal for the ride was to cycle at a cadence of 80 rpm and get a feel for it. I did an 11.5 mile loop up to Woodranch and back.
I did stop at the end of Woodranch for a drink other than that the only stops were stop signs and the red light at First/Fitzgerald. Nothing more annoying than those cyclists that ignore the damn stop signs and red lights! You use the road so obey the damn traffic laws! On the way back I went all the way up to Sequioa and down Appleton for a full loop 🙂 Call me anal I don’t care. Here is my breakdown from the Garmin 305 with cadence sensor. The cadence sensor is a new purchase for me, I got it the week before the duathlon and it definitely helps BIGTIME to see your cadence as a guide for gears, which is where I definitely need help. I’m used to grinding on a spin bike, which is great for fitness but out on the road it’s a whole other story! Hills on a spin bike are way different to hills on a real bike, on a spin bike if it gets too tough just turn down the resistance… not so easy out in the real world 😉
As you can see from the Avg Cadence I did ok keeping my cadence around 80. For good cycling speed/effort you want to be around 80-100 rpm. As they say “spinning is winning”. Don’t be impressed with the 25 mph at mile 7 it was downhill…. wheeeeeeee! Definitely good to get a nice 45 ish minute bike ride in as a baseline. This is a great starting point to establish where I am at with my cycling. Next time though HEART RATE CHEST STRAP! Doh! That would be a good indicator of how hard I was REALLY working on those hills.
To get more information what I did was input the Garmin data to Strava. I’m new to Strava and incase you don’t know you get similar data with the Garmin but with the added bonus of segments. It’s your total journey broken into bits rather than miles. So for example the climbs broken into each climb, downhills, stop sign to stop sign, light to light etc. It also told me the total elevation climbed was 740 ft.
Each segment has the climb grade on it and each segment is clickable to see data. So clicking fitzgerald -west appleton to first shows the following data:
Average and Max: Time, speed, HR, estimated power, cadence, and elevation gain. It’s a great way to see where you can improve. Looking at the chart on the right you can see where you stack among the other Strava users too. As you can see I’m 293/352! Not great, but I’m competing against ME, so my PR for this segment is 7:35 so that’s my time to beat. It’s like a lot of mini races in one bike ride 😉 Plus for each segment there is a full leaderboard which if you are a Strava Premium Member (I’m not, yet…) you can break into age groups, weight class etc. All those things make a HUGE difference. No point me competing against an 18 yr old guy 😉
From this I can see that the first woman is Edina Fuzesi at 4:59 I can click her profile, see if she’s local, and how much she rides etc, and if I choose I can “follow” her and stalk her activity. I have a few friends on there that I follow and I can also breakdown the leaderboard by friends. If I do that I can see that my friend Mary is fast than me, but I am faster than Bob. Strava seems like a fun tool so far!.
The main thing is that I have a baseline. This ride is probably one I will do a lot (third time along Fitzgerald already this year) so it’s good as a key to see where I need to make time and where I can push harder. It’s also where I can see improvement and that’s what keeps me going!
Do you ride?
Are you on Strava? Follow me