Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Powercranks training update

I’ve been riding these more and more, and no longer on the trainer. Nowadays, all the PC work is happening outdoors and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s a challenge and makes even the easy recovery rides interesting because while I’m pedaling lightly, I’m still training my muscle memory to fire the fibers in proper sequence, and I no longer have issues with the pedal stroke while on PCs. Now it’s all about building up stamina to go long distance on them.

The most recent PC workout was on Tuesday, when I did one 40-minutes set at tempo, averaging about 210 watts at HR of 159 (my zone 3 tops out at 162). The first five and the last 10 minutes were the hardest. For the first five minutes, my hip-flexors were telling me to go “F” myself due to some residual soreness, but then the muscles got used to the motion and that wasn’t an issue at all. I went through the first 30 minutes without any issues whatsoever, but as I crawled closer and closer to the 40-minute mark, I did hit a few dead spots and heard the familiar clunk. This only happened three or four times over the last 10 minutes, but it was still a sign of fatigue, which signals two things. First, more time on PCs is needed to build up stamina. Second, and most obvious, when I get tired, the pedal stroke gets sloppy.

The greatest benefit I feel I’m already getting from riding on PCs is my climbing feels much more comfortable. I’m not making a claim that I’m all of a sudden flying uphill. Given that I’m still in base, no serious hill training has yet taken place, but I am saying that my biomechanics are working better. I’m having a much easier time relaxing most of my upper body and just pedaling from the core. I’m very curious to see what will happen once I get to the build phase and actually start doing hill repeats on PCs. 

[Originally published on]