A Kick(r) up my Ass!

As you probably have noticed, I haven’t been very good at updating my blog other than the weekly stats report. It has been a combination of settling into a schedule, lack of motivation and a total loss of creative spark. Basically, either too busy, too tired or too… bored?

Well the good news is that has changed a bit this week, and the main impetus for that has been my new toy – the Wahoo Kickr!

Having decided that I am going to get serious about training, I decided that I needed to get a serious indoor bike trainer and after researching online and a quick straw poll of friends, was tempted by a new Kickr. I checked and found them at 32% discount in the Black Friday sales, so closed my eyes and gritted my teeth as typed in my card details and hit order.

Wahoo Kickr
My shiny new Kickr and my rather dirty bike!

I was all excited when it arrived, although somewhat apprehensive if I could get my totally technophobe brain around a very technical bit of kit. However, I need not have worried as I had it plugged in and set up within 30 minutes, which truly is amazing. It actually took me longer to get the oil stains out the carpet from the bike chain I carelessly allowed to drag on the floor as I tried to attach my bike into the stand (in case you’re interested, neat washing up liquid and a wet cloth removed the marks, although I now have white soap stains instead of black oil stains).

The Kickr is totally interconnected with your phone, and you download an App to control it. I haven’t explored everything yet, but I am told to get the most out of it is best to pair with 3rd party apps like Zwift or Sufferfest etc. Maybe more of that at the weekend as it looks like crappy weather and most likely do my 3.5hr long ride indoors

What I absolutely love about it, other than its simplicity, is all the stats and information I can get, including power, cadence, top 5%, average this and that etc etc… all too much for me to really comprehend right now. One mistake I did make was forgetting to calibrate it properly, and my first spin had me producing power of under 100w, which horrified me, however after a word to the wise from my coach, I calibrated properly and managed a much better but still pathetic mark of about 150w. (which rose to 170w “best 20 minutes” during yesterday’s intervals 🙂 ). I am planning to try to measure my FTP soon…

Ha, don’t I sound knowledgeable, measure my FTP!! OK, so I will be honest, I thought FTP stood for File Transfer Protocol, something I learnt about while running my web company. But now I know different, it stands for Functional Threshold Power, (although Fcuking Thigh Pain maybe a better explanation), and is an accurate way to measure how “bike fit” you are. I have only just started to learn about power, before it was something I was vaguely aware of, but I had ignored as being too “advanced” for an old back of the packer like me. I am sure half the readers of this blog already know what it is, and the other half don’t care, so I won’t go into details, but it will always give a constant and accurate reading that isn’t affected by elevation, weather, tiredness etc. I am told most decent cyclists will be around 300 or over, I believe mine to be under 200, which is terrible but does come with the good news that it should be easy to improve from.

Interestingly enough my coach recently blogged a very intellectual piece abut why training to power isn’t the best for most people. I won’t argue with him as he is most definitely more experienced and better qualified to give that type of information, however I have only used it to give me a guideline of what level I am training at and to try to help me maintain effort. For me to have a simple constant to measure myself by, to not have to worry if I am in the right gear, at the right level of resistance or the right cadence and have a guide number to try and reach and maintain is a god send, it inspires me to keep trying when I see myself slacking off and has not only given me several really fun hard workouts, but I can’t wait to do it all again.

Now that is something worth writing about!

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I love writing my blog and sharing this crazy journey to the World Championships, and I love to see all the visitors coming by to check it out. But I would love it even more if you would leave a comment or a like, link to a post, follow me or drop me a line directly to let me how I am doing or what you would like to see here.

I look forward to hearing from you soon 🙂

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