February 07, 2008

New climb with a new toy

I have been on the road sooo much in the last few weeks and actually haven't ridden my mountain bike since the rio bravo. Yikes...VQ is getting close but I feel confident about the miles this year. Perhaps taking a new approach with lots of miles on the road will be better than short hills that left me with a knee problem for most of last year... we will see how it works out. I did need to get back on my 29er and needed some climbing too so I set out on a new route up Breckenridge Road with my new toy to log all that data...

The toy... Okay, I have been thinking about it for a long time now and due to my Polar watch battery going dead I have not even used a HR monitor for about four months now. Actually, I have only used my Polar for post-activity review and to keep a training log but never really to integrate it into any workouts. Time to change all that with my NEW TOY ;-)

The Garmin 305

Corby has been telling me to get a GPS for a long time and I know Marius can do all kinds of tricks with his too so with our Italy trip on the loom I found enough justification to drop a few hunnies and get one going. I know its big and bulky looking but I have had it for a little over a week now and I forget it is even there as far as comfort goes...but that is where it stops. I actually use this more than my Polar because of the INSTANT feedback on pace...So cool. Still working out a few things like the extra small digits for the heart rate reading. I sear I am ether going to crash trying to look at it or go blind! Hopefully, I can just adjust a setting somewhere?

So, does it get even better? Well, besides actually sticking to a low HR pace and doing a few workouts around a HR monitor plan (actually using the HR function this time around) just adds to the well developed software that it comes with and you even have access to software online that just plain ROCKS! The polar software is still great for a training log and I will continue to use that but the way that you can slice and dice the data with this is just cool for a enginerd like myself. Add to that the location element of GPS and you its easy to loose time wading through all that amazing output...

Check out the route playback feature....

Here are a few charts from my ride today. Low HR or sub Threshold (160bpm) for me on a climb and you compare how much time you spent in each "zone" climbing, decending, etc.
For example, I rode about 300ft with my Heart Rate at about 152bpm and descended a little over 350ft with my HR at 125bpm.

Heart rate in relation to the elevation gain

How about a pie chart that shows the time you spend climbing vs. flat or decending?

but wait....There IS more. How cool is google earth already? Add to that the ability to map your ride/run to a layout and then race yourself or your buddy over the same course and the fun never stops. Highly motivational and Slater recommend fo sho.

The Breckenridge road was sweet too and I will have to explore a lot more of the roads up thar... Next time it will be the cross bike with bags and maybe a loop to Lake Isabella and Keyesville. Okay, that would be like 100+ miles so maybe not next time but a future trip for sure.

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