Sunday, November 13, 2011

Loosing my patience

I did my usual long bike ride yesterday and it is driving me nuts. We are working on my aerobic capacity so I am doing bike rides in HR around 150 and we should see that I am able to hold higher speed/power for that HR.
But it is not happening! I have been doing these HR rides for couple months now and I swear there is no improvement. If anything I am just going in the opposite direction.

I did 90min last Wed 11/02 with these stats: Avg HR 147, P 157, avg C 85
This past Wednesday: avg HR 145, P 122. WTF was that?

Last week 3h ride: HR 140, P 131 (it was little strange thus everything is so low)
And then yesterday I did 3h at avg HR 149 and P at 135-140. That's only ~6watts gain for 9 heart beats increase!
I had to switch the screen from average power to max power because I was getting more and more frustrated when I saw the number.

Couple thoughts related to this downward-sloping trend. Last week I did my rides by power and once I hit certain HR I eased up to not increase it. This week I did everything by HR.
Thus conclusion, I can keep higher power for a certain HR when I am going by power and not by HR. It is probably because it takes forever for HR to change quickly thus I soft-pedal for quite long when I want to decrease it. Ok, I need to get more data to validate this theory. 2 weeks are not enough.

I played with things a bit yesterday. I was keeping HR at around 150, and power was 135-140 with cadence 80-82. Then for the last 30min I put bike into bigger gear, thus I had to keep cadence lower to keep HR ~150. My cadence was 76, HR 149 and power 145. My power went up for the same HR. I know there is always a trade-off here- high cadence leads to higher HR because you move your legs faster, lower cadence leads to lower HR but more tired muscles. But I think that cadence in 70s might be little too low.

Also, I realized that my power went up quite a bit for the same HR when I was sitting up. I think that it was around 10 watts higher but I held it only for 30sec or so, so I do not know the precise number. But clearly my current position does not allow me to generate as much power as I could although it might be bit more aerobic. I think that aerodynamics gain does not outweight power loss in this case. So what I did, I lifted my aerobars by 1cm, which will likely allow me to lift saddle height by 1cm and open my knee angle a bit. That should help.
I think that I need to play with it more and try to open my hip angle as well. I do not like how saddles like Adamo makes me sit on my sit bones when aero and thus it closes the hip angle even further. But I cannot shift the weight more forward because that's just too painful for 2+ rides no matter what saddle I use. So it is not saddle's fault, it is a general problem.
Or maybe I can leave the saddle height where it is and then it opens hip angle.
Or I can lift handle bars another 5mm, and lift saddle by 1cm and there is should be gain in both hip and knee angle.
Although I am not really sure how big an impact these 1-1.5cm changes can have.

This also leads me to the conclusion that the bike fit I did 2 weeks ago was a complete waste because the only thing I have not changed since is cleats position.

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