Data

Posted by on Feb 7, 2006 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Saturday I had a nice ride through the valley on my road bike. I got just over 3 hours of saddle time. I met up with Chris and KC for a couple of those hours. The weather was decent although toward the evening the temps started to drop. This coming week the forcast calls for clear skies, but cold temps.

I have been thinking about different ways to gather ride data. There are power meters, HR monitors, speedometers, altimeters and odometers. The question is, what is the very best data to record? What computers are out there that do what? Is storing data at all just hype and overkill? Currently I keep a fairly basic training log. Miles (road bike only), HR data, calories, distance and speed. There are certain things that would be very cool to have handy. Such as fastest lap on every race course you’ve ever ridden, or longest climb in a single ride, or most altitude gained over a week long period, or average HR over a year.

Numbers like this could lead to better training, or they could just be interesting to go back and look at 3 years from now. Or 20 years from now. Each year I have a perception of how well I am doing. I look at training hours and race results and how I am feeling. This is a non-scientific approach. I just think to myself something like “well this week you rode for 12 hours, and you are feeling good, last week you placed 3rd in the XC race, you are having a good year so far…” I’d like to get more precise than that. What I mean is, I’d like to have data from years past, compare the numbers with what I am currently doing and track my fitness level/progress.

What kind of numbers do you record? Does it seem to benefit in the long run? What numbers have proven more useful than others? Do you keep numbers? Divulge your secrets!

4 Comments

  1. Dave Harris
    February 7, 2006

    Great question Adam. It may be awhile yet, but sooner or later I’ll post some of my training ideas. There’s too much to say to put it all here…but I’ll say this much right now: power is the ultimate metric if its performance you are concerned with. I use TSS as the primary metric (look at the training links on my blog), it is invaluable. Steep learning curve though.

    Elevation would be nice to have too, but in the end its more of a “gee whiz” metric. The Egomo power meter is suitable for MTB and comes with a built in altimeter, as does the Polar, but the Polar has many other problems.

    I use power taps on MTBs and Road bikes. They’ve all served me well for 1000’s of miles.

    That’ll do for now!

  2. Jason
    February 7, 2006

    I’ve been using the Free version of TrainngPeaks.com to track milage, hours etc. Some really cool features to track. Last year I used a HR monitor all off season, but found it annoying during events and outside rides. Inside it rocked ’cause it help me stay in the right zones on the trainer (where it’s easy to wonder off and do nothing) but then it broke. I’m too cheap to buy another so this year I’ve been going just with PE (perceived effort) and comaring that to effort on the road/trail/race. So far I feel just as strong as last year. Which means I’ll be rocking it with some sweet mid-pack finishes again this year (HA!)

    So I guess for me it’s Hours/Miles just for the heck of it/and comments on body feel & effort that I track. I sometimes track calories and food to get on track.

    Good topic.

  3. Anonymous
    February 7, 2006

    I keep a ton of numbers. Hours/miles/svg.speeed/max speed/avg. hr/max hr/calories/amount of climbing. I used to have a handlebar full of crap but i started to use the Garmin Forerunner and i cut it down to just that and a HR monitor. Soon, I’m goingto buy the garmin edge with HR and just use that. I also think the edge lets you plug in compare numbers from previous courses after you download everything to your comp. with thier training center software.

  4. mp3
    February 7, 2006

    Now that I have a power tap there’s plenty of data but I don’t have much time to decipher it but it helps Lynda W, my coach, much more than just data from a regular cycling computer or HR monitor. One of these days I’ll understand all the info posted on Dave H’s site.

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