Feel v data

I’m excited to ride this week because it’s “feel week.”

Usually I am a bit of a slave to my power meter data. I try to stay within the prescribed range.

But this week my coach told me to put up a timer on my power meter and that’s it. Keep steady pressure on the life pedals. And ignore power.

So that’s fun.

I’ve noticed in racing that you don’t really pay attention to power. Instead heart rate is important so you can keep tabs on your effort.

So getting a feel for power is also important. Because if you’re not checking power on race day, you still need a feel for how you are doing.

In fact, the same goes for heart rate. In my last race, I had an intense first hour, but I didn’t notice it. I didn’t notice it because I track power and heart rate religiously when I am training. Without these two data points, I didn’t really have a good feel for my effort.

But during a race, particularly the first hour it seems, you have a lot more to pay attention to. Strategy, other bikes, getting a feel for conditions. So you aren’t really looking at power or heart rate.

Being able to feel these two things is what this week is about.

Data is good until you can no longer access it.

Crushing gravel

I have a future post in me about “why do sports?” But today I just want to say:

I crushed my gravel race yesterday. Major progress was made.

There are a lot of lessons here.

What you eat matters. I made some simple switches to what I eat during a ride and went from barely finishing a race to sprinting to the finish.

I went to bed the night before the race fearful of the weather. It turned out to be perfect — cool and only slightly wet. I was worried about nothing.

Also I will note that I passed three riders the last 10 miles of the race. That felt really really good.

I am 41 years old. It’s nice to know I still can do “it” — whatever that is. I’m locked in on riding and ready to see how far I can push this.

Also if anyone is reading this and needs tips on how to ride 50 miles in the rain at about 55-60 degrees. First don’t wear leggings, they get wet and heavy. I went jersey, vest, and arm warmers. No hat. And I used gloves with no fingers. It was the perfect riding outfit for that type of weather. It didn’t rain much though.

It’s amazing how much planning has to go into a four hour bike ride.