Fat Pete managed to get completely off the leash in December and, frankly, he went nuts. Like really nuts. I figured why fight the Christmas excesses, so instead just embraced Jaffa Cakes for breakfast and the frequent cheese boards. By the time January came around I was glad to be back to good habits and keen to get the weight back down in time for the winter crits and reliability trials. You might not believe it but I did, finally, get sick of cake.
I now have a full year of power data so I was curious to see how the excessive Jaffa Cakes over Christmas had affected watts per kg. As I keep track of my weight I figured I could knock up a chart to see what damage I’d done to W/kg (at FTP for comparison). I have to admit, the results were pretty shocking. I’d pushed myself beyond my 2015 starting point! The FTP figure is fixed, based on a test in late December, so the variations are purely driven by changes in weight.
Since the New Year I’ve been steadily chipping away at the kgs and got back down to about 75 kgs, which is the top end of last season’s race weight range. Not too shabby for this time of year but there is still a little more to come off.
As you can see its far easier to improve your performance by knocking off a few excess kgs (assuming you have them!) than it is to murder yourself with intervals. Particularly once you are beyond the point where you can add 20 watts to FTP in a month. Those were the days!
Obviously though, do both. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing through January and into February.
I decided a few months ago that heart rate wasn’t quite enough to help me structure my training, especially given the limited time I had available. Since then I’ve been looking down the sides of the sofas and under the seats in the VX for loose change. After a favourable grant from the wedding fund, and negotiation of mutually acceptable interest terms, I was good to go! As I was also planning to change from a compact (50/34) to a pro compact (52/36) Stages wasn’t really the cheaper option despite already having the 6800 crankset. Replacement 6800 chain rings, it seems, are priced at pretty much the discounted price most retailers are selling the complete crankset for. Sneaky Shimano, sneaky! Effectively Shimano’s 110 bcd standard is only helpful to them as manufacturers and not us as consumers.
For the money I also wanted a true 360 degree power reading rather than half a reading doubled (This one could run and run…). I did my research and settled on Power 2 Max as the power meter for me. Unfortunately about a month after they discontinued the classic model range and about a week before the Euro took a dive…..
Two and a half weeks later, voila! It arrives. Hurrah! The noQ aero chain rings are likely excessive but just look the outer ring, It’s like an aerodynamic ninja throwing star! A Rotor 3D24 (what was the 3D) crankset completes the package. As I’m running Shimano cranks (and more importantly bottom brackets) on both bikes I can swap the power meter (complete with chainrings) from one bike to the other.
At the moment these are just expensive paperweights until I’ve made sense of this beast. Enter Mr Coggan and the power training bible. It may look heavy going, but it was this or study for my next exam, helpful research based power training, or the regulation of pension schemes and retail investment advice? Tough choice….