Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Here we talk about all things cycling - training, wattage, group rides, bike rallies, triathlons, weather, coaching, coaches, nutrition, ponderings, musings, and equipment! If you have a topic or a question, send us a note and we'll try to answer for you!
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Coach Wharton
14:43

Looking at the PerfPro Dashboard, Part Two.

PerfPro Shows Watts, Goal and FTP

Okay - when we left off at the last posting, we were learning that for John Cyclist, 107% of 150 watts equaled 161 watts. So, if the CompuTrainer is giving you a LOAD or TARGET of 161 watts, well, you need to GENERATE WATTS at, or near, 161 watts. 

Now, if looking at numbers just isn't your thing, well, you're in luck, because Drew Hartman, the developer of PerfPro, has made it even easier to understand just what you need to focus on. Take a look...

A Full PerfPro Lap Dashboard
Here's a dashboard from a recent ride. Take a look. There is a LOT of STUFF going on!!!! But if you look on the LEFT side, you'll see "LOAD", which is the Power pushing AGAINST you, and you'll see "WATTS", which is the Power you're pushing back. LOAD or TARGET Wattage will never change color. BUT... "WATTS" can and will. Furthermore, if you look FURTHER DOWN, you'll see a HORIZONTAL BAR that is the SAME COLOR as the "WATTS" value. Do you see the Copper colors? 

PerfPro's Horizontal Bar is another way to display WATTS.
WATTS are displayed on the dashboard in both NUMERICAL and BAR CHART FORM. Depending on how far ABOVE or BELOW you are in terms of RANGE or PROXIMITY to the goal wattage, it will change colors. For kicks and giggles, here's an image of the range itself. 

PerfPro Cadence and Wattage Bar Colors and Ranges

So if it's GREEN, you're close enough to the goal. If it's COPPER, you're a little too hot, and if it's YELLOW, you need to pick up your effort a bit. BUT HERE'S A LITTLE SECRET...

IF YOU ARE TRAINING AND THE WORKOUT IS JUST BASED ON LOAD, WELL, THE POWER WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF! IN OTHER WORDS - JUST PEDAL AT BETWEEN 17 and 25 mph, and the WATTS will MORE OR LESS equal the LOAD. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO THINK. YOU JUST HAVE TO PEDAL. 

PerfPro Horizontal WATTS bar in Copper or ORANGE.

Now - there's a little bit more to look at here, so bear with me. Do you see a small triangle on this image? That's the LOAD or GOAL wattage, identified by the pipper. 

PerfPro has a Pipper to symbolize LOAD or GOAL

As LOAD changes, the pipper will also move around. When the Horizontal bar is GREEN, it's right on top of the pipper. So as you go through your intervals, watch your power bar as it fluctuates near the pipper. As you become a better cyclist, your ability to hold wattage, and "STAY GREEN", will improve!

Average Watts per Interval is HERE.

Continuing down the list. THIS is something you should look at, because it displays the cumulative average power PER LAP or INTERVAL. In this example, the rider is generating 189 watts, but her LAP or INTERVAL average, is 175 watts. This HAPPENS to be 119% of FTP, which you can see in WHITE at the bottom. Furthermore, if you look to the right, you'll see...

PerfPro also shows average wattage per lap as at % of FTP.

SO... Going back to the countdown timer, if we look at the GOAL in terms of % of FTP.... 

PerfPro clock and timer

Well, in this case, the rider's AVERAGE POWER per LAP or INTERVAL, is about 3% above their goal. As a result, the HORIZONTAL BAR is COPPER colored, which means that they're a LITTLE HOT, and the CompuTrainer will be doing stuff behind the scenes to help the rider keep their wattage closer to the target. 

OH yeah - remember RRC? Well, when you calibrated... it saved the information, and it's presented, HERE.

In PerfPro if RRC: is GREEN, then it is GOOD!

Finally, take a look at this workout profile. It shows the workout, and the intervals as they rise and fall. LOAD or GOAL wattage will rise and fall for you, based on percentage of FTP, and it will be based on YOUR FTP. 

PerfPro Workout Profile
As the red line moves from left to right, your LOAD will increase and decrease, and you'll need to generate an equal number of WATTS, in order to achieve the training effect. 

That's about it for now - all you really need to remember is that MOST of the time, you just need to pedal. The CompuTrainer and your Coaches will do the rest. You'll be challenged like you wouldn't believe, but you'll also be able to literally watch your fitness improve in real-time, and you'll get the feedback you need to continue your improvement. When we revisit PerfPro, we'll talk about some of the other dashboard screens, and how you can use them to check on your results, progress, and reasses your goals as you raise your ability to pedal faster, pedal harder, and pedal longer than ever before!

Watts per Kilogram! 

-Coach Wharton

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Coach Wharton
18:09

Prepping for the Paluxy Pedal! Hilly Terrain and How to Conquer "THE WALL!"

Paluxy Pedal 66 Mile Route 2014
This month at Cycling Center Dallas, we will be focusing exclusively on helping our cyclists prepare for the Hills and Dales of the potluck seat pedal, which will be held October 4, down in Glen Rose, Texas. The route has changed somewhat in the last few years, as the Somervell County Sheriff will no longer allow the route to cross US Highway 67. In order to accommodate the riders and continue to take advantage of the great terrain out there, they have given us a great course with lots of rollers in the first half, and then a magnificent, challenging false flat climb back towards the town. Both the 65 milers and the middle distance cyclists, will also get to experience the challenge known as quote the wall". While the wall is billed as the steepest quarter mile in North Texas, it is a great opportunity for us at Cycling Center Dallas to help all of you prepare through our specialized training protocols.
 
Looking at the profile in a more detailed method, we agreed that the majority of the climbs were in the two minute range of duration. Furthermore, with the long false flat in the middle of the route, we have incorporated several longer duration threshold intervals to help our riders better prepare for the constant load that will be placed on them as they climb out on US Highway 147. Here are some examples of the training profiles.
Intervals to Help Conquer the Paluxy Pedal Rally
In this example, you can see that we have focused on multiple two minute intervals with two minute recoveries, and each interval in a set of four increases in intensity. These intervals will mimic the energy demands that can be required in the first 25 to 30 miles of the 65 mile route. We will also be challenging our clients by switching from what I call fixed gear mode, to course mode. In course mode, through PerfPro studio, we can set a slope, and the wattage goal is then independent of the cyclists power output. In other words, the cyclist has a goal, but the cyclist is required to achieve that goal through finding the right combination of gear, cadence, speed, and intensity. Cadence is compromised and it takes a fine touch to achieve the wattage goal for the interval.
Here, after a good warm-up, the riders are subjected to multiple one minute intervals, with intensities that are descending, and climbing. When we look at wattage training files from real world rides, the rides are often very stochastic in nature, but they tend to look almost like a cutlery set. There are steak knives, butter knives, and knives with serrated edges or flat tops, almost like a butcher knife. Coach Noel has built this workout to help cyclists become more savvy in their application of power, and also their ability to recover.
In this example, our coaches looked at the final quarter of the rally, and came up with some intervals that are both threshold and anaerobic or supra-aerobic in nature. The recoveries are a little bit longer, and the intensities are deceiving, because the duration in which the riders are working right at above their threshold, will have them tapping into their final energy reserves. Attempting this workout in the course mode is the ultimate challenge, and we urge you to sign up today so that you can witness the gains and learn the concepts of knowledge and power for yourself.
Now - here is the secret to "The Wall"! 

  1. STAY WIDE - FIRST TO THE RIGHT, and THEN, IF YOU CAN, GO LEFT! The route is slightly longer, but it's also a bit less steep. This is a good rule of thumb for any steep climb with turns - stay wide... it's worth the extra 10 feet or so.
  2. SHIFT IN TO AN EASIER GEAR EARLY!!! If you don't, all sorts of things can happen, including dropped chains, the inability to shift at all, broken chains, rubbing, just stuff you don't want to deal with. So shift with your left hand early, and use EVERY GEAR in your rear cassette. 
  3. PEDAL TO THE TERRAIN. Sometimes pedaling requires that you grind. Sometimes you can spin, and some times it's in between. FEEL the hill, and SHIFT to meet the slope.
  4. Stand when you have to, but when you DO stand, COMMIT to the CLIMB. Standing is more powerful, but it's also more taxing on your body. If you get out of the saddle, keep your chest out, your chin up, and your cadence steady.
  5. When seated, try to keep the front wheel lighter through less pressure. Less pressure gives you the ability to put MORE pressure on the rear wheel. You don't want to 'wheelie' up the climb, but just try to keep the gravity on the back end of the bike. 
  6. As mentioned earlier - focus on good form. Keep your back flat, your chest out, your chin up and looking at the Event Horizon, and keep your shoulders relaxed. You will NOT climb this at an epic pace. It's a grind. Watch the video for more pointers. 
  7. SMILE! Seriously - it releases better hormones and energy, and lowers your anxiety. 
  8. IF you have to dismount, make SURE you CLIP OUT EARLY, and GET YOUR BUTT between the SADDLE and the STEM. Bend the knee that is still clipped in, and land on your free leg's heel. That SHOULD translate to a safe dismount, but remember, a bicycle is most stable when it's moving, and that critical moment when you're balancing off of one pedal only can be hazardous. That said, if you train at Cycling Center Dallas ----- you SHOULD be able to climb it ALL THE WAY!!!

 
The Paluxy pedal is one of the best rallies of the year. It occurs at a time when the heat of summer has finally passed, and fall is in the air. Glen Rose is a beautiful little town, with some great restaurants, and the hospitality down there just cannot be beat. Fossil rim wildlife preserve is famous for its preservation efforts, and there are plenty of hotels where you can stay, and make a weekend of this great event. So join us at Cycling Center Dallas as we train for the terrain in Somervell County. You can sign up for the rally through this link, and you can register with us by clicking here.



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