Power to the pedals.

I have been working with Coach Adam and Carmichael Training Systems since October 2010 and it's been a great experience. I think the first year was a learning curve for both of us - me adapting to the CTS philosophy and Coach Adam figuring out the best way to keep me under control. (That's still a work in progress ...) Then a transitional year where I was still focusing on Xterra, but getting lured in different directions. And last year, finally buckling down with a specific focus on the endurance mountain biking. I learned a lot last year and made some really awesome strides in both fitness, skill and speed. There was always something missing, though - and i didn't always get the most out of my workout. I was training on RPE and HR - valuable tools, but still limiting the knowledge and specificity of the intervals. Since the start of our time together, Coach Adam has been suggesting a power meter. As the months ticked by and still no power meter, the suggestions became more direct. There always seemed to be a good reason as to why a power meter wasn't on the list - or at least not high on the list. New fs 26er bike in 2011 - my Era. Then my ht 29er Fate in 2012. Have to have a good bike to race on before the numbers really matter right? And then came deciding which bike would become my primary race bike before getting anything. Having never ridden HT or 29er, the Fate was a bit of a leap. But last December, as a complete surprise, Nick got me a powertap wheel for the Fate. (Have I mentioned how awesome Nick is lately? Cause he really is...)

And now I know exactly why Coach Adam kept hinting and pushing for that power meter. Wow. The detail from my workouts and the numbers are just incredible. Instead of guessing and just going all out or sorta all out, I can monitor exactly how hard I am working. If its a long interval, I don't go super hard in the beginning - instead ramping up to the power range I'm supposed to riding in and holding. For the max intervals, I can analyze my spikes and fades after the workout - how long could I hold the attack before faltering. I can do intervals on the same section of road or trail and compare week to week as to how I responded, how my legs handled the workload and when I started to crack. Race simulation type workouts take on a whole new meaning when analyzing the numbers afterwards. It's more then just HR and RPE now - I have real time feedback on the power the correlates to perceived effort and heart rate. Which also helps when I'm riding the Era, without the power. If my HR is 155 and I'm working hard, chances are the watts are also pretty high, just below threshold. It's combining the knowledge of my body with the feedback if the numbers to improve my strength and weaknesses on the bike. All of the information helps me train better - train right. And training right will make my riding better and more fun - and my racing faster!

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