So here is a quick update of some equipment I have recently purchased. I’ll try to give you my reasons for the purchase and results of having them and their effect on my training.
The first and most expensive purchase recently was a power meter.
4iiii’s power meter
After reviewing a few brands and comparing cost I settled on the 4iiii’s, single sided (non drive side) power meter. The un-boxing:
OK so first why did I invest in a power meter? Simply to assist in monitoring my effort more accurately than I have in the past. Using training peaks, the fatigue, fitness & form variables are more accurate recorded from the data collected using a power meter verse relying on heart rate alone. I also looked at my coaching deficiencies and decided that if I am going to coach athletes using power, I need to intimately know how to use the data for myself.
How I ended up choosing the 4iiii’s? Well mainly cost but also on the recommendation of the trusted guys at my local bike shop, who are a lot more knowledgable in these things than I am. I looked at pedal, crank and wheel based meters and found the amount of data available on the different brands and types overwhelming and generally biased toward the brand they were reviewing (very hard to find independent reviews and data). So after discussing my requirements with V1 Cyclery, we settled on the 4iiii’s left-sided power meter. Why single sided, basically cost again, but also because I believe (when not injured) I am a pretty balanced athlete, this is reflected by my running data gathered in Garmin Connect, I am very rarely more than 0.5% out of balance.
This power meter I have used to complement my training to heart rate. Where 99% of my training was done to heart rate zones in the past, I have found some anomalies in my effort by relying on that data only. Since having power I have found I can smooth the effort by referring to both power & heart rate!
I have had the power meter for a few months now and still haven’t done a formal FTP test (when I do no doubt I’ll blog about it) but have allowed training peaks and Garmin Connect to organically set my power zones based on my training efforts. Obviously this has resulted in some strange data, but it has settled pretty quick & I’m happy with the current zones (which will be revised once I do a formal FTP)!
For more useful information about power meters and training to them here is a couple of links that I have found useful in helping me make the decision to train to power:
Is a power meter required for every triathlete, absolutely not! But it is a very useful tool now that I am 5 (or more years) into my endurance training journey and find that monitoring the stress and fatigue on my body accurately is very important. The power meter satisfies my requirement perfectly.
Garmin Edge 500 bike computer
This was a purchase made for one very simple reason, trying to see the numbers on my watch (Garmin 920xt) was annoying! So the Edge 500 was a cost-effective solution! The following are my unboxing images:
I have this setup on my head steam and With the backlight on can clearly see my numbers in all conditions! I don’t use many of the bells and whistles of this device, but really I don’t need to as I use the data collected on my 920xt Garmin watch. What this device does for me is allow me to race and train in the right zones! To be honest I don’t ever actually use the data from the Edge 510, it is solely used to display my data.
Knowing my number allowed me to race in Cairns Ironman staring at the power numbers and controlling my effort, allowing me to bank my best bike split of the 4 Ironman I have complete. Also leading to one of my best marathons off the bike, so it gave me a double win in Cairns.
Road ID wrist band
This is a cool wrist band that has a few contract details engraved on a small plate. You get 6 lines of text. the first two are for your details, the next 3 are for your emergency contact and the bottom line is for your personal message or anything else you may need in an emergency.
I probably didn’t particularly need this item, however it was on special through a local club and I thought why not. Who don’t I need this, because I very rarely train without my wallet & or phone in the back pocket of my jersey or in my running shorts. That said this cool little band conveys a lot on information in a very convenient location if I am ever in an accident.
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Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!