Trainer Road – training with VirtualPower – first impressions.

So here’s my new cycling toy.

Training with power is known to be the most accurate way of improving your cycling fitness. Unfortunately, power meters are very expensive so unless you are a serious athlete or have plenty of disposable income, they are out of reach.

However, Trainer Road have calibrated lots of Turbo Trainers for power output curve, so essentially you can, for £10 a month, train with power. Or at least VirtualPower.

Luckily my Trek comes with ANT+ standard wireless sensors so all I needed to buy was an ANT+ USB Stick, this one by Garmin.

I was going to go down the road of buying a Wahoo ANT+ dongle for my iPhone – initially for Cyclemeter, but TrainerRoad do not yet have an iPhone app. so Garmin it is.

Training kit:

  • Bike.
  • Tacx Sirius turbo trainer on setting 2.
  • Bontrager ANT+ sensors for speed, cadence and heart rate.
  • Garmin USB stick
  • Trainer Road software
  • Trainer Road subscription (£10 per month)
  • Towel!

The recommended starting point is the ‘8 minute test’ – which takes an hour, but uses 2 x 8 minute intervals to find your potential maximum hourly output. You can just do the hour, but it’s really hard to judge (when you are new to this) how hard you can go ‘for one hour’ – 8 mins is more approachable!

So I set the app up, set my weight, wheel circumference, Turbo model and resistance step and then paired the sensors with the Garmin.

Next up – the actual test! While geeking out is fun, actually getting on the bike is now the issue!

Tonight I lasted 9 mins in my jeans – but you can see the results. I could get hooked!



#power, #trainerroad, #turbo

Circuit of the Cotswolds 2013

Well, I thought the HHH was hard, this was harder. There are 4 major climbs, one of which is Buscombe Lane. To be frank this is not the sort of climb anyone would do by choice! 25-30% in places. With a 39-27 low gear I ground to a halt and had to jog up about 100 feet. Otherwise I felt pretty strong on the day and came 21st overall, an my time was about the same as last year at 06:22:53.  Not that its a race! It is a very well organised Sportive  and I will be back again next year.