Best investment? Coach/Power Meter/HRM

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by RidwarePhil, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. RidwarePhil

    RidwarePhil New Member

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    Ok - so I am trying to improve my fitness for next year after a fairly average season. I can currently ride 6-8 hours per week and have been getting out on the road 1 or 2 times per week and the rest has been on the turbo.

    I have been using a tacx swing turbo with manual resistance and a low end HRM and bike that just records ride stats rather than profiles over the ride etc.

    I now have some cash after a clearout and unsure what to do with it;) . The options are:

    Better HRM Polar 720i etc that will record profile and max / levels etc
    Better turbo e.g. Tacx Flow with power output
    Or get a coach.

    I cant really afford more than 1 :( so I was wondering what had made the biggest difference to forum members.

    Advice appreciated
     
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  2. ebola

    ebola New Member

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    I'd go for the turbo with power output, I'm looking to do something similar at the minute .. I want to add the opportunity to clock up quality time at home throughout the winter, squeezed in on the days when I miss bike commutes or dont want to extend the rides.
    I've found using all the power-based gym cardio machines very productive.

    I only do large amounts of dedicated outdoor cycling when the weather is good :) (and in that case, the HRM is invaluable)
     
  3. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    Are you really really sure you can't make a little extra effort and buy a powermeter?

    I like none of your options. The Flow won't allow you to do what's most important : analysing your data (outdoor and indoor). I recommend this to someone that's willing to buy a pm shortly later. I know it ain't logical but what can I say.

    The HR monitor, well I donno. I find it's a lot of dow to put on an HR monitor. I donno.

    The coach, without a power meter. Well. Not so great. Imagine when you do have your powermeter, you'll be able to send your files to your coach. Now that's what I call the next level.

    Really find 300 extra bucks, and buy a powertap. Worst case read the thread about iBike and then decide if you're willing to give it a try. Have a chat with Andrew Coggan (acoggan). He's about to find or rule out a bug with np I think.
     
  4. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    there is no option...COACH COACH COACH!!! This forum is sad when ppl recommend a gadget over a coach no matter how good the gadget is a coach is worth 50 times more than a PM.

    Coach first THEN save for a powertap.
     
  5. whoawhoa

    whoawhoa New Member

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    I'd say



    coach if you prefer an iron-clad plan along with some wisdom and experience, and don't want to spend a lot of time thinking about your training.

    or

    budget for a full-on powermeter if you want give the effort to learn a lot about training yourself, experiment, and find out what works best for you.
     
  6. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    I would say, forget the coach. Take 5 days off work and spend 3 days reading the "It's killing me" thread :D and all the great advice given by RapDaddyo and others. Then spend 2 days reading around the forum and following the very useful links to articles to read, (especially links to Andy and Ric) and as WW said, experiment etc. and finally of course, get yourself a top of the range power meter. TYSON;)
     
  7. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    Ok, while I don't pretend to know anything about this, I have trouble with the folks that think a gadget is better than a real life coach.

    If gadgets were all it took, there would be no coaches at all.
     
  8. Pureshot78

    Pureshot78 New Member

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    I have a great coach.. he always understands how i'm feeling during and after my rides, has plenty of time to analyse my ride data with me whenever I want him to and listens to me when I suggest looking into different approaches to training and planning my workouts... Oh yea.. that coach.. is ME :)
     
  9. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    for me, besides actually training and racing.....:)
    1st big performance step was made with assistance of a coach (you need help to develop a training plan that is specific to you and only you).
    2nd was becoming a coach myself.
    3rd was using a power meter (and understanding how to use it).
    4th - will report on that strategy later;)

    Forget the HRM.

    You already have an indoor trainer. Research the power/speed curve of your existing trainer if a PM is really out of the question.
     
  10. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    LOL That's a good one Alex - should stir up the drones in the hive. I think I'll take cover. TYSON;)
     
  11. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    this is probably the last post I wil ever make on this forum...way too many [email protected]^K3RS on this site who think they know it all coz RD and RST told them.

    Its really hard to find a second opinion on this site without being shut down by a few "qualified experts in there own mind" eg. SOT.

    Hope I didn't offend anyone but there are better forums than this. If you showed this thread to 99% of GOOD cyclists in the world they would just laugh out loud.

    Im off to Weightweenies.com got some extremely gifted cyclists on that site and some very good juniors.

    To SOT- Do you really think you could have achieved the same results if you didnt have rapdaddyo coaching you? Would you have improved just as quickly with a HRM alone? Of course you would of. Maybe if you had of got a better coach locally to train you, you could have even better results with dare I say it a HRM:eek:

    I am posting this message to ppl like whoawhoa...take a step back man and see who is advising you. A 60 year old man from japan, a supposedly qualified internet coach Ric Stern who is probably the most narrow minded person I have seen on a forum and some rap daddyo fella.

    GET YOURSELF A COACH PPL!!!

    PS: WTF is wrong with HRM, if you know your body properly a PM doesnt make it any easier when it comes to actually pushing on the pedals. Save your money unless of course you get paid to use one.
     
  12. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    Why? We were asked to list what made the biggest gains. I trained with the aid of an HRM for some time. It did not help improve my performance but a coach and a power meter did. In the end it was really only a distraction from what's important and that's cycling power, knowledge of how to train effectively and executing the plan of course. A HRM is really good for telling you how fast your heart is beating.... unfortunately that doesn't help me ride more powerfully.
     
  13. peterwright

    peterwright New Member

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    Cheerio then :)
     
  14. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    did you get up on the wrong side of bed this morning?

    supposedly? last i checked, i had a first class hons degree in sports science with the highest grading ever at the uni i attended (where i was under the tutelage of people such as Peter Keen, and Dr Louis Passfield), a level 3 coach, and worked with riders in the TdF, and the UK WCPP.

    I've no idea on RD's qualifications, but one thing is for sure, he doesn't half post some informative, and analytical posts. He may not (i really have no idea) have the background in exercise physiology that some of the people here have (e.g., Biker Linz, Andy Coggan, myself, and some others) but he certainly understands a lot as it relates to endurance cycling performance, and offers very informative advice on pacing issues (and other aspects).

    Not sure what your point is, perhaps you just like doing things the same old way?

    Anyway, back to your point, WTF is right with a HRM?

    Ric
     
  15. normZurawski

    normZurawski New Member

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    Getting back on topic...

    If you already have the HRM, no sense in buying another one. IMO, it can be a great tool for finding out more about yourself, and dialing in some of the lower RPE areas. After that, I agree with Alex in that it's not really going to make you ride much better.

    Given that you already have the "intestinal fortitude" to ride on the trainer, I'll assume you're not a beginner. But the my question to you would be, are you beginning intermediate or advanced intermediate? My guess is the former, just based on little more than a guess.

    Before you do anything at all, I think you need to learn about SST - check out the power forums. Spend a good amount of time this winter doing that. Maybe you should buy a book or 2 or 3. My recommendations would be Friel (with caveats) and Coggan and Morris. Learn a little more about yourself before you take any step at all.

    In the meantime, don't spend the money. Put it in a 6 month CD if you need to - whatever. When you're ready to pull the trigger on something, check out the iBike or (as I am doing) hold your breath on the MicroSport PM, with a "mere" price tag of $500. And read this and the power forum to learn any number of things. But this also assumes that your booty is $500.

    Above all, ignore the pissing match in the thread. Not going to help you improve very much at the end of the day.
     
  16. otb4evr

    otb4evr New Member

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    I am shocked that you said this, Tyson.

    What do you think that RDO was doing?

    He was coaching you...

    The only differences were that you were not paying for the service and it was public...

    One of the most critical aspects of coaching is being able to get inside your athlete's head and find out what makes him/her tick. This will enable you to coach them better and help them improve.

    Tell me that Paul doesn't know what makes you tick and how to direct you to help you improve your cycling...

    I think we all have an idea. Because it was public...

    I am not saying this is a bad thing. I just think you are not understanding what was happening...

    Jim
     
  17. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    OP said he will ride indoor trainer a lot so ibike is not an option IMO.:)
     
  18. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    I wonder how a coach can coach a rider without a powermeter and without a hr monitor. What do you guys do?

    Ride 30min it should feel like this. Then 60min it should feel like that.
    Or ride 180min and the average feeling should be like this and that.

    "So? How was your ride last weekend?"
    "Well it was bad. It lasted 4 hours and overall it felt that way."
    "All right then, next ride try to make if feel a little more like that..."
    "So? How was you race?"
    "Well for this time trial, I did 15sec faster than the last time trial."
    "Wow !! Congratulations. You improved by 15sec. That is something !"

    ---------------------------

    The level of knowledge on Cyclingforums is such that one should be able to come up with a nice and simple training program just by reading the posts. In that, I concure with Tyson. In fact, many riders here are smarter than many street coaches. Worse case ask some questions. But if you want to get to the next level, a power meter is the first step in my opinion. Well before a coach. A bike, two wheels and a power meter.

    And what are we doing anyway. Comparing the return on investing 1000$ on a pm versus investing 1000$ on a coach to get a training plan with no hr guidline no power guidline?
     
  19. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Sorry you feel the way you do. But the OP has a limited anount of money, so my advice was for him to get himself a really good PM (I wish I had one). You said I've learrned a lot off RapDaddyo. You never said a truer word. And if you read carefully, I suggested he read all the advice given by RD in the "Killing me thread" I never said listen to the inane things I said in the thread.

    All I know is that RD has taken me from a 130FTP to a 260W FTP in 9 months.
    Maybe as you say I could have done better with a personal (local) coach. Who can say? Then we come back to the question of money. As I don't aspire to becoming a pro I'm more than happy with the status quo.

    At sometime in the future if the OP thinks he's not getting the best advice and even with his power meter and HRM not progressing as he would like, finances permitting, yes, I agree he should look towards finding himself a coach.

    As for flaming Ric and RD who give their time willingly in these forums without any remuneration, I think you were out of order there.

    Finally, if you feel you were a bit strong, then welcome back. No hard feelings. However, if you stick by what you said, then all I can say is ....
    No, I won't say it. I'll leave it to your imagination. TYSON
     
  20. normZurawski

    normZurawski New Member

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    Yes, I...errr...indeed. Well said.

    As an aside, I looked for power-speed curves for trainers but can't find any site that compares them. Any idea where this might be found?
     
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