Sunday, January 30, 2011

The start of the "come back ...

The Comeback
So you’re planning a comeback.. How will you know when your back?  It’s an interesting question eh..? 
Leaving aside small details, such as “Is a comeback possible? “What will it take?  “How long will it take and will you run out of time in the age performance window you’re in?

So here we will look at the science of comeback and how do you measure “being back”. A nice functional measurement of being back would be to measure the power you can produce at the crank  for a given heart rate, in the “I’m back” state vs. the before accident state. Let’s just consider this statement for a moment. By functional I mean for this element we will ignore factors like In a given position on the bike outside the one I used to get a baseline. The other reality might be that for other reasons, the same exact power might not be possible or might happen a lot later (time and other factors allowing) But this approach is tangible.
Below left I have included some pictures including a power sample of 8 min.46 seconds taken 31st Dec 10. This shows that at a heart rate of 141 (my Level 2) my average power was 244 watts. This split was taken in the middle of a 2 hour endurance ride focusing the training at this level.  So that will form the pre-accident measurement.   

For this approach to have any validity I would need to know that the power measurement was consistent and accurate. My faith in this approach will be based on the SRM power metre. I have one for my training bike and one for my race bike.  My training set was calibrated in November and so should not need re-calibration for the measurement of my progress over the coming months.
Calibration of the SRM power unit should be performed yearly, although I have found that there does not seem to be much change year on year.  My 10 speed set, now with oval rings fitted, have just come back from calibration and a new battery. This is the first time I have had these done since new. After 3 years they were out by 14 watts, reading lower than actual, although they are always consistent and this is the most important point.

So now I have a way to measure loss and incremental gains on the way back... There is of course an upside and a downside to this; as much as this approach covers the facts of power at the crank, the psychology of the comeback is probably the more difficult to measure, manage and control.
So now the beginning of the comeback.. “Roll on”

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