Friday, December 5, 2008


I did it. Finally. I got a powertap. An expensive little bugger, but it should lead to way to self coaching.

A coach exists to evaluate your body outside of your body. He or she works to evaluate your fitness and form from an objective point of view. To train correctly means that you have to let your brain separate from your body. It means that you cannot use your body's internal sensors and senses to mark your progress in form and fitness. Some days you feel like superman, until you turn around and face that tailwind you didn't know you had. Some days you feel deathly and manage to win the race. Your internal senses are not finely tuned instruments. They work in the moment and have the basic function to keep your body from harm, not to evaluate your body's fitness.

A hired coach can evaluate your performance with a stopwatch and with a full knowledge of your performance separate from your body. In swimming, my coach knew I could keep a 1:05 time for a 100yd interval, and turned a blind eye and ear to my obvious suffering. Get your 10 seconds of rest and do it again.

With only yourself as a coach, you must have some data. You have to give your brain something of a target. A coach will do this for you. He says, do this 100yds in 1:05. Just Do It. the Nike slogan goes. If it's just you though... to say "just do it" you must know exactly what you can do and what you should do.

On the trainer, I can do that. I know cadence, speed and gearing and can fine tune my effort. I don't need a powertap for that. What I need the powertap for is to ride outside with the same precision that I ride inside. It won't kill my outdoor rides like numbers can do with some people; I'm a numbers person, so data doesn't bug me. It, on the contrary, will make my outdoor rides come alive with purpose, so I know exactly what I am doing and can free my mind to enjoy (or suffer) the sensations of my workout, free of secondguessing.

So, I hand over my CC and bought myself this instrument. Damned expensive; almost half the cost of my bike. And the materialism bothers me. But it's a tool, just like my bike, and it will be worth it if I can rise to the opportunity.