Monthly Archives: May 2006

Off to Kona this week: Honu Half Ironman

This Wednesday I’m off to Kona to race the Honu Half Ironman.
The weather in Kona looks like showers, which either means it’s going to suck or it’s going to be godsend. I am a fair weather training/racing person, but you can’t ignore the fact that the humidity and heat of Kona and the lava fields roast you as your race, and cloudy/drizzling conditions make it cooler than if the sun were beating down on you the whole time.
The heat/humidity also strain my bod. I sweat a lot and I have not completely solved a muscle cramping problem at the half ironman distance. In every (3) half ironman I’ve raced until now, I have cramped towards the end of the bike which has wrecked my run. I have upped my salt/electrolyte intake as well as improved my strength so one of these years, I hope to actually complete a half ironman race without cramping.
My training has been very intense leading up to this race. I am in the middle of building for Ironman Austria, and in the last few weeks have done some focus work for Honu. My intensity has risen, and so far I have not shown signs of cramping. I hope it bodes well for this race coming up.
It should be fun. Many SF Bayers are also going so it will be one big party.
And no matter what, there is ALWAYS a great reason to go to Hawaii.

PowerTap WOW

The last few weeks I’ve been riding with a Powertap power meter. What an incredible piece of technology! My training has been taken to a new level!
Previously, I was using a Computrainer and training based on power, as a measure of progress and application of resistance to the cycling motion of pedalling. It was working well, being like weightlifting to cycling. When you enter 200 watts, it will be 200 watts the next time around, just like when you put on a 45 lbs plate, it will still be 45 lbs the next time you try to lift it. It works pretty well as a measure of progress and is very consistent.
Add a Powertap in the mix and then it really adds color to the training. After Computrainer workouts, it brings more depth into rides outside and out of your garage. All you have to do is ride around for a while and then look at the data. It really tells you where you strong points and your weak points are, and espeically where your thresholds are. Amazingly, the data matches up with your wattages that you use with your Computrainer. It’s really incredible that training matches up so closely with what happens when you ride naturally.
So all you do is look at all these graphs. They tell you all this data about how you rode. When you improve, you should see the graphs change slightly. But it does bring out your weak points, and also help you in improving your ride, especially in conserving energy. One thing I try is to go out as hard as I come back. It’s harder than you think. When you go out, you tend to use a lot of energy because you’re fresh. When you come back, you tend to come back weaker because you’ve used up all that energy and you’re slower. But to even that out is really challenging. I’m just now getting the hang of it.
I am looking forward to training with the Powertap more, and perhaps sometime in the future, racing with it.