Monday, 29 December 2014

One month with my Wattbike

So one month ago. My Wattbike arrived. In that month I have completed around 17 hours of training on it. Here is the lowdown of the last month

I have upgraded my #mancave by moving a larger TV out to the garage and creating a motivation board. The board is blackboard paint and as such can be constantly altered.

I bought a smart Blu Ray player to enable me to watch the YouTube playlists I have created like  Motivation 2 I do find that the likes of Eric Thomas do help keep me motivated when I am on my Wattbike.

But enough about the peripheral things which make my sessions enjoyable and keep me focussed. What about the nitty gritty.

The Wattbike. I absolutely love it. It is superb. It is just like riding a bike, I love the fact it even freewheels like a bike. I can't believe I have ridden over 350 miles in a month indoors. And I haven't been bored once. Because of the fact the Wattbike is so consistent, it is really easy to monitor things like power across different sessions and know that it is accurate and repeatable.

The sessions I have been completing have been painful at times but have been getting easier as the month has gone on. Because the sessions I am completing are based on reaching a certain wattage at a certain rpm, I can only assume I am getting fitter as the sessions are becoming easier to complete. At the end of my first session I was a shadow of my former self (from a mere 90 minutes before)  (first Wattbike blogpost) but the last time I completed the same session I found it a bit easier. It really wasn't easy though as can be seen in this Vine, just a bit easier on my heart and lungs.  My legs were still jelly after the 9th rep of 3 minutes.

I have been completing three types of session.

An endurance session where I hold my FTP (functional threshold power) for periods of up to 45 minutes at 90 rpm.

A "threshold" session where I hold a wattage above my FTP for 9 periods of 3 minutes at 90 rpm with a 2 minute rest between reps, where I gulp down oxygen like it is the most important thing in the World.

A strength session where I hold a wattage above for my FTP for 9 periods of 2 minutes at 70 rpm with a 3 minute rest period between reps where my quivering legs get some feeling back.

Even though I have done each session a minimum of 4 times in the last month, I have not found it boring at all.

In fact I am thrilled that in December I completed more miles than I ever have done previously.

I am sure the next month will see my coach schedule another 3 minute test which will mean the wattages I need to reach will most likely increase. This means the sessions will get even harder.

One half of me is looking forward to this but the other half of me is petrified.

I am even starting to get used to being in my new TT position following my bike fit the other month.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, 4 December 2014


Last month I finally moved home. The reason for the move was so I could get a #paincave as having my bikes and turbo stored in the conservatory wasn’t an ideal situation. In the new house however there is a dedicated #paincave in the shape of a garage.

As I was getting a room to store my bikes and train in, it seemed a good idea to upgrade my turbo to a Wattbike. I have decided that a Wattbike will be of huge benefit as it will allow me train more consistently, means the sessions need only last as long as they need to (no traffic, traffic lights or breakdowns to contend with), is safer than riding on the road in winter, means I can train whatever the weather and it means I can monitor my improvements closely.

After moving and waiting patiently for delivery (entirely my fault as Wattbike could have delivered it within three days), my Wattbike finally arrived last Friday. Who says Christmas has to be on the 25th December? My Christmas was on the 28th November. I ripped open the box like a kid on Christmas day (cardboard flying everywhere) to be greeted by my new toy. After an hour of assembly (with the help of the clear instructions), it was their in all its shining glory. My new Wattbike (complete with 10%  off RRP due to being a Triathlon England member). Yes I have heard that people have a love hate relationship with their Wattbike but at that moment, I could not have been happier.

I set my Wattbike up to the same dimensions as #Rinnie, my TT bike. Much to the dismay of my patient wife who helped me take the necessary measurements. It is so easy to replicate, there are just four measurements you need. Bottom bracket to saddle nose (horizontal and vertical) and saddle nose to handlebars (horizontal and vertical). After you have those it is a doddle to dial in your actual riding position. This will be really useful as it means I will be training and racing in the same position.

Fast forward to last night, my first proper session on my Wattbike (after the obligatory playaround which obviously took place over the weekend). Let me set the scene, the #paincave was a balmy 3 degrees, the TV had been set up to play the London 2012 DVD and I had my session from my coach. After completing my 3 minute test last month, my coach worked out my zones and set last night’s session accordingly.
Taking clear photos while pedalling is hard
It sounded quite simple.

·         10 minutes easy pedalling at air resistance 2
·         20 reps of 20s seconds at 110rpm and 40 seconds of easy pedalling at air resistance 2
·         9 reps of 3 mins at 90rpm at air resistance 4 and magnetic resistance 2 followed by 2 mins easy pedalling at the same resistance
·         15 minutes of cool down

By the 6th rep of 3 minutes I noticed steam rising from my body. I was literally steaming. That is a first.

The first 6 reps were comfortably uncomfortable whereas the last 3 reps were just plain disgusting. One of the other athletes who is trained by the same coach, refers to this session as a peeler because you have to peel yourself off the Wattbike at the end. I completely understand that now. When I finished the 9th rep, my legs were jelly and I still had the 15 minute warm down to go. Having completed just one session on my Wattbike, I now understand how people have a love hate relationship with Wattbikes. They hurt but it is through this hurt that we know we are making progress.

My first #wattbikeselfie #broken
Surprisingly my left right pedal balance across the session was a 49/51 split, which I was pleased about. I need to have a look at my pedal shape on my computer at some point but when I remembered to look at it on the display it was definitely not the shape that I thought it would be. More of a figure 8, less of a peanut. That’s something for me to work on over the coming months.

Data overload
Here’s hoping that I make the improvement that I strive to make over the coming months. Thanks to Wattbike for answering all my queries in the run up to completing my order.

Thanks for reading,