I have to be honest and admit that last week was pretty much a failure as far as swim, bike and run goes, when an unexpected disruption meant both training volume and focus dropped considerably, as well as causing an increase in bad food and bad habits to creep back into my life. There was good reason for the disruption and I very much hope that that particular issue has now been closed, and I can get back on with the rest of my life.
However it hasn’t been all bad, and one very exciting thing I would like to talk about is my first experience using my recently purchased power meter pedals. Having learnt how useful power measurement is during indoor training, I was eager to try outdoor too, and although my Garmin had given an approximation, I knew it wasn’t taking into consideration the real situation. After lots of research and two years of stupid question on my Tri team group chat, I eventually shelled out the big bucks for a set of Favero Assioma Uno Powermeter Pedals, mainly due to the great reviews and what seemed the very easy fitting required.
I had actually received the pedals a week or so back, but being the total wuss that I am when it comes to anything technical or mechanical, I had put off fitting them to my bike. But a wave of sudden determination persuaded me to unpack the box and see what I could do, and to be honest, it really was very simple. With the help of the instruction pamphlet plus various YouTube videos, I had the new pedals fitted, synced with my Wahoo Elemnt and set up in no time. There was a slight problem caused by forgetting to download and synchronise the app to my iPhone, but other than that I managed everything in my first attempt, and 20 minutes later my pedals were feeding back information! Unfortunately it was already too dark to ride easily so I reluctantly decided to wait until the next day to try my new toy properly !
The wait was well worth it and I really could not have imagined how impactful this little device would be. Initially it took a while to find the data I needed due to the layout being automatically changed on my Elemnt, but once I worked it all out I became fixated on the power reading. The wattage was staring me right in the face, and I could clearly see how low my power output was, which in turn immediately explained why I have always been so damn slow on the bike. It wasn’t so much the individual efforts but the low average power, which I quickly realised was due to a “random/inefficient/do as little as possible” approach to cadence. I had no idea how pathetic my effort had been to date, and I was overcome with the urge to improve. So for first time in my life I started to constantly push, both going up hill(maintaining faster cadence rather than the slow grind I normally do), on the flat (pushing power and cadence) and going down hill(no freewheeling!).
The difference was monumental, the ride felt intense but joyful, and on my return home I realised that my speed jumped without me once looking at it. It was also very obvious that if I could continue in the same vein that my cycling would improve immensely and I would see big gains in speed and stamina – and all of this was a simple reaction to the data I was being fed from my new pedals.
Unfortunately the aforementioned distractions got in the way of anymore riding or running for a week, but I very much hope things will calm down for a while and I can continue to improve both my MAF running and my power focused bike!
EDIT – having taken a few days to post this since originally written, I have been out again riding with the power meter, and the result were as spectacular as the first time, increasing power by a further 5 watts and knocking an additional 2kph off average speed over the same course. Totally knackered after, like I had been on a long mountainous ride when it was in actual fact just a 30km local spin, which clearly tells me that I had put a lot more into it than I normally do – but it was natural, just seeing the wattage gave me the impetus to try harder and push myself further. Loving it!