Sunday, May 8, 2016

Computrainer Virgin

I don't own a bike trainer. I have rollers and have used those off/on over the last few years but mostly just for skill/balance/cadence work, not real 'training'. I'd been thinking though that I wanted to experience a Computrainer, mostly b/c many of my athletes have them and use them regularly, so I felt like if I had my own experience with it I'd have a better grasp as to how they might manage when using them. It was another wet/soggy day today so I thought it would be a good day to try it out in my friend Nalani's garage.

It took a while to get set up and Nalani helped me do it... warming up and calibrating it. We didn't get it exactly at 2 but got 2.1 a few times and called it close enough. To be honest I don't even know what that means but just throwing that out there in case some of you do?

Nalani worked her way through the settings and eventually the Honu course came up, which was pretty cool. I think the main reason I liked that was because I have ridden the actual course a bunch of times so could envision the different spots based on the inclines/declines.

I was mostly curious about how the wattage would read on the CT vs what I know about power from the road. I pay really close attention to power most of the time (when I'm riding with it) and I feel like I have a decent grasp on what different wattage levels feel like. What I felt from today was that on the flats and descents the power was pretty much what I would have expected for effort (maybe a hair low?), but on the hills it was way low. Like 40-50watts low? I mean there was no way I was climbing out of Kawaihai at 130watts... That's a steep climb! And I didn't have a way to hit lap and see lap avg for different sections of the course. I think on the road, lap avg keeps me mentally engaged in a way that overall avg does not, so after like 2 hours today I was over it and wanting off. But either I was riding slow or the calibration of 2.1 vs 2.0 made the ride longer than it should have been but gah in that last hour all I wanted was to stop dripping with sweat. I'm not exaggerating when I say I kept saturating my towel and every 20min had to sit up and wring it out. It was flat out disgusting.
My thought today was that I'm not sure I'd be a triathlete if I was forced (for whatever reason) to do the bulk of my riding on a trainer. I can see the allure of it for sure (can watch Netflix, is safer, can get a good solid efficient workout in, etc) BUT it removes the joy I feel when riding my bike outside. There wasn't a lot of joy today. It was just a training session. I'm not in a mode this year where I'm sacrificing joy for training purposes. So while I appreciate the experience, tomorrow I'll go back out on the road. :)

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