The main idea behind using cycling training tools is to dial in your training to optimize your performance as it relates to your goals and objectives. Easy enough, right? Yet, the market is saturated with countless training aids including trainers, cycling software, DVD’s, CompuTrainers, nutrition, supplements, compression, and the list goes on. Which ones do you need? Which ones will deliver the biggest bang for the buck? While each cyclist has their personal preference, following are the top 3 training aids we find most helpful.
Why train with power? It’s all about “balancing how much work you do with your body’s response.” It’s the best way to measure work and intensity, as in, Power (watts) = Torque (how hard you pedal) x Cadence (how fast you pedal). “Doing too much work means injury and overtraining risk. Too little means you’re not getting the maximum benefits you want. When power is measured your training becomes that much more effective.” At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’ve found the benefits of training with power include
•Establishing your baseline fitness
•Accurately measuring even the smallest fitness gains
•Quantifying intensity, duration and frequency – instead of guessing
•Prevention of overtraining
•Accurately measuring energy use for nutrition planning
•Proper pacing for time trials
Sounds great! And it is! In the recent past, training with power was outside of the price range for most cyclist. However, times have changed and power meters are much more affordable. Our most popular are Stages Power Meters beginning at $1000. Stages Power meter is the lightest, smallest, most technologically advanced unit available today. Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter offered at $2000 and is a bit more sophisticated. A third favorite is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter.
Heart Rate Training
Heart rate training has been viewed in many ways over the years, from very precise to not so precise. Now, a growing number of coaches and exercise physiologists support the use of heart rates as an important part of biological feedback, as heart rates are a direct reflection of what is happening internally. The post, The Variables and Trends of Heart Rate Training, walks you through the steps of learning your “threshold” heart rate range, setting up heart rate training zones, and identifying the daily variables that affect heart rate. A heart rate monitor can be a great bio feedback tool and also help you to monitor your fitness, prevent overtraining, and take your performance to the next level.
Many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids. The main thing about nutrition is that regardless of how you get your calories in on the bike is one thing, but making sure you actually do it – is critical! No one wishes for a bonk! Read up on some recent posts we’ve shared on nutrition to see which options are best for you.
- On Bike Nutrition: It’s Different for Girls
- Solving the Bike Nutrition Mystery
- How to Dial in Your Race Day Nutrition Needs
Last but not least, do you need help figuring out which training aid is best for you? We’re happy to help! Visit us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado or ask us on Twitter.