Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Noticing a pattern....

nolfnolf Posts: 2,016
edited September 2007 in Training, fitness and health
Is it me or do all posts in the training forum go along the lines of

Question
Beacon Ruth
Ric Stern correcting Ruth
Ruth re-correcting and explaining
Ric Stern conceding minor point and trying to sell power meter
Continue for 2 or 3 pages :shock:

Be nice if you two just agreed to disagree!
"I hold it true, what'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost;
Than never to have loved at all."

Alfred Tennyson
«13

Posts

  • Funny, I was getting the same vibe !
    I must say goodbye to the blindfold
    And pursue the ideal
    The planet becoming the hostess
    Instead of the meal
    Roy Harper - 'Burn the World'
  • That's interesting, and one reason why i like objective data to back up subjective views.

    So, this is my 95th post on this forum, spread over 32 threads. There are many threads i've responded to that Ruth hasn't been on, and many of those where i've responded prior to Ruth.

    I've quickly (so the figures may not be exact, but should be pretty close) looked at all my posts and there appears to be 4 threads where we interact (there's some more threads where we're both in the same thread but don't really interact).

    Of those four threads i've agreed in one of them with her, disagreed in two of them with her, and another one she disagreed with me.

    I suspect that if i was to look at posts where i try to sell a power meter you'll find a small percentage again. And, the threads where i do mention power meters, i'm not overly trying to sell them, i'm saying that you need to collect certain objective data to make some points.

    I don't believe i've conceeded any points to her (or if i have it would again be a very small %)

    Thanks
    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • nolfnolf Posts: 2,016
    Ok so it's a slight exaggeration....

    And with regard to powermeters I was just suggesting that sometimes you go slightly OTT on the advantages of a powermeter when most people will never spend £2000 on all their bikes together let alone £2k on a single part (approx. cost of SRM Powermeter).
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • JungliJungli Posts: 201
    LOL @ Nolf!

    Excellent thread!
  • Glad I'm not the only one who finds Ric's dogmatic style errr dogmatic. Certainly doesn't make me want to buy the products & services he sells - but then that's just me.
    It would be nice to see more input from others here - even if its not all objective, science stuff :) and I know I have decided not to post replies sometimes because I have a good idea that Ric will be along and that's a shame.
    Still.... as I said perhaps its just me :?
  • Glad I'm not the only one who finds Ric's dogmatic style errr dogmatic. Certainly doesn't make me want to buy the products & services he sells - but then that's just me.
    It would be nice to see more input from others here - even if its not all objective, science stuff :) and I know I have decided not to post replies sometimes because I have a good idea that Ric will be along and that's a shame.
    Still.... as I said perhaps its just me :?
    Not sure I'd call Ric's style dogmatic, after all his statements are typically backed up by scientific evidence and not based on faith or opinion. If people don't like the truth that's their problem.

    If someone is going to post opinion or belief on an open forum under the cover of fact, then you should expect that those with some expert knowledge on the subject will jump in and make a correction or seek to refute it, less more and more people out there begin to believe a myth to be actually true.

    There is nothing wrong with opinion (it can be quite fun to debate), as long as it is represented as such. In God we trust, all others better bring data.

    Now coaching is a blend of art and science, however I know if I was choosing a coach, then I would want the science part of their methods to be evidenced based (like Ric's are) and not belief based. See here for a good explanation of what I mean:
    http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/dept/coachsci ... thermo.htm

    or as recently commented on by another coaching company (no bias here :wink: ):
    http://www.physfarm.com/blog/?p=4

    Personally I think you should be encouraging more such souls to inhabit this space.

    BTW - very good power meters can be purchased for less than 1/3rd of what NOLF quoted.

    And yes I am an RST coach
  • nolf wrote:
    Ok so it's a slight exaggeration....

    And with regard to powermeters I was just suggesting that sometimes you go slightly OTT on the advantages of a powermeter when most people will never spend £2000 on all their bikes together let alone £2k on a single part (approx. cost of SRM Powermeter).

    I believe that "slight" would be an under estimation.

    I'm not certain of the demographic of people visiting these forums. I turn up at bike races (in the UK) and for your average 2nd or 3rd cat race i typically see bikes that are more expensive than what you suggest. I rode one sportif this year and the bikes ranged from super bling (at many, many £Ks) to very modest bikes at < £1K. I wouldn't be so presumptious to presume what people do or don't earn in order to have free funds available for coaching and similar.

    On the other hand, as i pointed to in another thread, there is research available by Jeukendrup et al showing where money (actually, what equipment or training is best) should be spent to get the best returns on your performance. Unless, you are right at the top, have been training for numerous years at the highest level and are genetically peaked out, it always comes down to training. Training is simply better (whether Ruth wants to believe it or not) with a power meter (i've been saying that since 1993; which predates me selling power meters by about 7 years).

    If i was given a choice between some bling kit or a regular racing bike plus a power meter, the power meter would win hands down.

    Lastly, decent power meters can be had for one quarter of the price you suggest.

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • Glad I'm not the only one who finds Ric's dogmatic style errr dogmatic. Certainly doesn't make me want to buy the products & services he sells - but then that's just me.
    It would be nice to see more input from others here - even if its not all objective, science stuff :) and I know I have decided not to post replies sometimes because I have a good idea that Ric will be along and that's a shame.
    Still.... as I said perhaps its just me :?

    As Alex said, there's nothing wrong with opinions and ideas, etc. However, where someone posts an opinion, especially if they are in the 'industry' and present it as fact, then i'll call them out if it's wrong (and if i notice the thread). i don't think there's anything wrong with that. There's plenty of coaches that spout utter rubbish, which people believe as the truth (that's not directed at Ruth, btw).

    Let me put this another way: most people want to improve their cycling (i.e. get fitter). Until recently cycling had plenty of dire coaches and coaching methods. Recently coaching has been introduced that is of a good scientific nature, which is evident with both the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) and BC (British Cycling). These countries have started to overturn the more traditional cycling countries using similar coaching techniques to RST (i.e., evidence based).

    For those who've been into cycling for a while, you may remember a time when only 15 years ago Britain would have been lucky to have people finish a race at something like the Olympics or Worlds. Now they tend to have the best medal haul (or is it the second best Alex?).

    Ric

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,421
    Ric says things which he shows have been proven.I've no doubt somewhere along the line there is a study against - thats science. I can't say I agree with all that he says but at the end of the day, I care little about shaving a few mins of my 30Km commute - though currently I am trying to increase my distance and endurance. I don't see Ric overtly 'selling' power meters - he champions them passionately but thats his preferred style of training. What it comes down to is whether you prefer his style or another coaches. Be thankful there is a choice.

    Power meters on their own though, the same as HRMs, from what I read, won't be of benefit if it isn't interpreted properly and I guess thats where a coach, such as Ric, can be of benefit if thats your preferred method also. I think Rics presence here is beneficial to everyone - whether you agree with his style or not and it'd be sad if over critical criticism would stop him posting! I think the diversity should be welcomed.

    Anyway, my 2p worth :D
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    It's a shame Mike WIllcox doesn't seem to post here - there would be some great threads!
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • DaveyL wrote:
    It's a shame Mike WIllcox doesn't seem to post here - there would be some great threads!

    I was thinking the same think over the weekend. To be fair to Ric, his arguments are all based upon observed fact, and despite some tongue in cheek provocation does give a pretty balanced response in all of this posts. Before I get accused of bias, I am in no way related either biologically nor commercially to him, in fact I still believe that a power meter whilst extrememly useful, is of less value than an aero helmet, a set of rigid wheels, and a full on TT bike. I maintain that you can get to 75% of your potential with no resport to energy measurement (such as power or HR). Mike W would argue 100% is realisable this way, but I am no Luddite and can accept technology has a place in quantifying training which is no bad thing.
    Over to you, Ruth... :wink:
  • nolfnolf Posts: 2,016
    Ok 1st off let me make myself very clear-

    If Ric left this forum and stopped posting in training I think we would lose 1 of the most knowledgeable and valuable posters here.

    However I have found that sometimes you can put other people off posting because you bombard with detail- this is a very scientific and professional way of doing things, but slightly intimidating when someone has a different opinion to you (especially on subjects which are open to debate and not clear cut)

    The prupose of this thread wasn't to go have a go at Ric!!! (Or Ruth) just to say it's an observation I have and that it would be nice if the wider Bikeradar community would post here!

    As it happens If I had 2k one of the first things I would do is buy an SRM powermeter which comes with a weeks training course and then I'd probably hire Ric (or his firm) to help me train specificly with it.

    Don't entirely agree with your views on long hours on the bike at a steady pace tho.. :)
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • DaveyL wrote:
    It's a shame Mike WIllcox doesn't seem to post here - there would be some great threads!

    Been out of the loop for a while but look in here from time to time. :)

    My views are well known but if I was starting out today then I might feel differently. There were no power meters or HRMs when I started to race so training was down to Perceived Exertion.

    During the winter months I would have at least two moderate exertion rides a week of long duration (3 hours). Sometimes i would split the day into two or even three rides and end up doing up to 4 hours. The other rdies would be considered hard but not flat out (Tempo).

    Come the spring I would do mostly hard rides with the rest easy recovery rides. Then in the racing season do flat out interval training at least once a week with the rest of the training easy and then race every weekend.

    I can't see how my flat out interval training would differ with the use of a power meter, neither would the use of a HRM affect easy/moderate training. Quite simply if I wasn't up to training hard then I rode easy. With experience you know when you can train hard and when not to. Using a Power Meter and/or a HRM means you rely on the read outs so you'll never build that experience of PE.

    Looking back I used to bust my guts in training, but it was all worth while.

    I'm back to riding again and went out for two hours (tempo) this morning.
  • DaveyL wrote:
    It's a shame Mike WIllcox doesn't seem to post here - there would be some great threads!

    Been out of the loop for a while but look in here from time to time. :)

    My views are well known but if I was starting out today then I might feel differently. There were no power meters or HRMs when I started to race so training was down to Perceived Exertion.

    During the winter months I would have at least two moderate exertion rides a week of long duration (3 hours). Sometimes i would split the day into two or even three rides and end up doing up to 4 hours. The other rdies would be considered hard but not flat out (Tempo).

    Come the spring I would do mostly hard rides with the rest easy recovery rides. Then in the racing season do flat out interval training at least once a week with the rest of the training easy and then race every weekend.

    I can't see how my flat out interval training would differ with the use of a power meter, neither would the use of a HRM affect easy/moderate training. Quite simply if I wasn't up to training hard then I rode easy. With experience you know when you can train hard and when not to. Using a Power Meter and/or a HRM means you rely on the read outs so you'll never build that experience of PE.

    Looking back I used to bust my guts in training, but it was all worth while.

    I'm back to riding again and went out for two hours (tempo) this morning.

    Hi there.

    Funnily enough - I came to exactly the same conclusion from the opposite direction!

    When I started racing (10 years ago) I was straight out of uni with an engineering degree. So heart rate training and doing everything my numbers seemed the right thing to do.

    Over the last 2 or 3 years I've learnt that I can get much better results by ignoring the numbers and listening to my body - as a result I know it much better now.

    Cheers, Andy
  • BTW: Don't take the above to mean I don't believe in modern sports science! I've recently read Coggan's power training book from cover to cover and will probably incorporate some of his ideas into my training to hit specific physiological goals - only I prefer to use rpe rather than watts.
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    DaveyL wrote:
    It's a shame Mike WIllcox doesn't seem to post here - there would be some great threads!
    Yeah those were the days huh?...Listen up though. There's some new kids (Ric and Alex) on the block people and these guys really know their shhit!. Personally I'm glad its a forum about training afterall and the more accurate and precise the advice the better... If it means you have to think before posting any anecdotal 'this old man once said' nonesense then so be it. PS and I also like to read Ruth's posts too :D
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Yep, next season it won't be a thread about comparing times in Richmond Park, but instead everyone will be comparing SRM wattages from their 2x20s! :D
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • DaveyL wrote:
    Yep, next season it won't be a thread about comparing times in Richmond Park, but instead everyone will be comparing SRM wattages from their 2x20s! :D

    Wow...whatever next? - indoor time trialling on turbos? No need to spend £1000's on a specialised TT bike, pointy helmet and skin suits any more!
  • Personally i think we are really lucky to have the likes of Ric and Alex getting involved and giving advice for free. But then i suppose i'm into the approach they advocate. I'm in total agreement with Toks.

    Regards,

    Mac
  • Toks wrote:
    DaveyL wrote:
    It's a shame Mike WIllcox doesn't seem to post here - there would be some great threads!
    Yeah those were the days huh?...Listen up though. There's some new kids (Ric and Alex) on the block people and these guys really know their shhit!. Personally I'm glad its a forum about training afterall and the more accurate and precise the advice the better... If it means you have to think before posting any anecdotal 'this old man once said' nonesense then so be it. PS and I also like to read Ruth's posts too :D

    Still coming out with the same old nonsense eh? :D

    I would rather read anecdotal evidence of riders like Dave Lloyd etc. who have known and experienced the art of putting their money (efffort and dedication) where their mouth is. And after all Ruth is a champion and that's why people on here listen to what she has to say.

    Armchair experts are two a penny. Read about it in a book and suddenly you're an expert. Take a course on coaching, carry out tests on athletes, measure their VO2 max, know what their lactate threshold is. Do they go further or faster knowing all this? Do they train any better? TT times are no better now than they were 25 years ago. The only difference is the equipment.

    Take the thread about cadence. There is a lot of talk about the cadence levels that work but nothing about how to get there. That's where anecdotal evidence is invaluable. Let's here more about how to put it into practice from riders who have done it.
  • Still coming out with the same old nonsense eh? :D

    I would rather read anecdotal evidence of riders like Dave Lloyd etc. who have known and experienced the art of putting their money (efffort and dedication) where their mouth is.

    Can't 'lesser' athletes put dedication into their sport? I felt sure that the sweat, pain and tears i'd put into my racing over the last 23 plus years meant i'd had put some effort and dedication into my cycling.
    Armchair experts are two a penny. Read about it in a book and suddenly you're an expert.

    it's funny: Dave Lloyd suggests that the best coach he ever had, never even rode a bike (Eddie Soens), yet you think for information to be worthwhile it has to come from someone who has has put effort (whatever that is) into their cycling. So, which is it?
    Take a course on coaching, carry out tests on athletes, measure their VO2 max, know what their lactate threshold is. Do they go further or faster knowing all this? Do they train any better? TT times are no better now than they were 25 years ago. The only difference is the equipment.

    Nonetheless, if i'm an armchair expert then so be it. I don't just think i read about it in a book. i seem to recall that my education process (which continues) was quite a long period of time (couple of years at college, more than several at uni, coaching courses, etc, working with riders at a world class level, and on the TdF, etc)

    Anyway, here's the question you need to ask yourself: if the old school style coaches were so great, then why the hell was the GB team, in general, such a terrible player on the world stage? Why, now that BC have introduced evidence based coaching do we have so much success? We have more success than any other UK sport (i think that's correct based on Worlds and Olympics). It's quality scientific training that has bought the best out of the riders, just as it has for the AIS. Why are other countries now following those two models?

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • [quote="Ric_Stern/RST"
    it's funny: Dave Lloyd suggests that the best coach he ever had, never even rode a bike (Eddie Soens), yet you think for information to be worthwhile it has to come from someone who has has put effort (whatever that is) into their cycling. So, which is it?
    Take a course on coaching, carry out tests on athletes, measure their VO2 max, know what their lactate threshold is. Do they go further or faster knowing all this? Do they train any better? TT times are no better now than they were 25 years ago. The only difference is the equipment.

    Nonetheless, if i'm an armchair expert then so be it. I don't just think i read about it in a book. i seem to recall that my education process (which continues) was quite a long period of time (couple of years at college, more than several at uni, coaching courses, etc, working with riders at a world class level, and on the TdF, etc)

    Anyway, here's the question you need to ask yourself: if the old school style coaches were so great, then why the hell was the GB team, in general, such a terrible player on the world stage? Why, now that BC have introduced evidence based coaching do we have so much success? We have more success than any other UK sport (i think that's correct based on Worlds and Olympics). It's quality scientific training that has bought the best out of the riders, just as it has for the AIS. Why are other countries now following those two models?

    Ric[/quote]

    I can't argue about the success in track cycling in the UK. It's amazing that we are so much better than the rest of the world. It makes you wonder how what we know and the way we coach is so much superior than all the others. Yet they have the same access to the same data and methods as do we. Why is that?

    Athletics, now that's another story. Surely sports science has advanced in athletics in the last 25 years yet no one in the UK can come close to the times of Steve Ovett and Seb Coe. So what's the difference with cycling? ........I'll tell you it's the equipment!

    I've a lot of respect for coaches but you still need the material to work with and the dedication of the ahlete. to become a champion.

    The old style coach was Eddie Soens yet Dave Lloyd said he was the best. You can't have it both ways.
  • while the equipment certainly plays a part (which is still part of sports science) as you said, the other countries have access to the same sort of data (i.e. wind tunnels). The only two countries that really have good sports science type coaching are UK and Aus. Everyone else lags behind (at least in terms of a national governing body effort)

    ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    I'm sure Ric doesn't need anyone to stick up for him but I will in any case.

    I don't sell powermeters but I have bought one and it was the single best purchase I have made since returning to cycling.

    I wish someone had encouraged me to do so earlier and I would strongly advise anyone who hasnt (and wishes to go further and/or faster) to at least try one.

    So keep posting Ric.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • bahzob wrote:
    I'm sure Ric doesn't need anyone to stick up for him but I will in any case.

    I don't sell powermeters but I have bought one and it was the single best purchase I have made since returning to cycling.

    I wish someone had encouraged me to do so earlier and I would strongly advise anyone who hasnt (and wishes to go further and/or faster) to at least try one.

    So keep posting Ric.

    There are three scenarios possible here.

    1) You did less training than you did before.

    2) You did the same training as you did before only smarter.

    3) You did more training than you did before.

    If it is either 1) or 2) then I'm impressed. If it's 3) then what did you expect?

    Be honest.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    1 is probably closest to the mark. (I did 650 hours or so 2006, YTD this year I have done 360.)

    Makes the point why using a power meter is not the same as HRM.

    In 2006 I used HRM, downloaded to PC and have loads of data but making sense of it (as many posts to this forum attest) is not easy and to a large extent subjective. So I know I did 650 hours training in 2006, know I got better as a result but don't know by how much.

    Since March I have power readings and now its straightforward. I know I have done 360 hours and know where and by how much I have been getting better. Just a bit frustrating not to have last year. And even more frustrating to realise many of the hours spent training 2006 were not spent to best effect.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • bahzob wrote:
    1 is probably closest to the mark. (I did 650 hours or so 2006, YTD this year I have done 360.)

    Makes the point why using a power meter is not the same as HRM.

    In 2006 I used HRM, downloaded to PC and have loads of data but making sense of it (as many posts to this forum attest) is not easy and to a large extent subjective. So I know I did 650 hours training in 2006, know I got better as a result but don't know by how much.

    Since March I have power readings and now its straightforward. I know I have done 360 hours and know where and by how much I have been getting better. Just a bit frustrating not to have last year. And even more frustrating to realise many of the hours spent training 2006 were not spent to best effect.

    How have the increases in power affected your race results? Is it possible to calculate a value equation to compare to say an aero helmet, or a TT bike as an example (in other words £/minutes or placing? And how do you know that without the power meter you would have not improved by the same margin?
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    "How have increases in power affected race results?"

    This assumes the only purpose of training is to shave seconds off a TT or get into a higher road racing category. If this was all there was to training then I agree why bother, it may be cheaper to buy an aero helmet.

    Fortunately (I think) for me there is more to training and cycling to that. I got back into cycling to primarily to get fit and my goals in cycling are to continue to get fitter,despite advancing age, and through getting fitter go further/faster. In terms of cycling output I measure the latter by doing sportives and Raids. In terms of numbers I regards CP targets as more motivating than TT seconds (and harder to earn because you have to work for them not buy them as you suggest).

    So how has this increase in power affected my...results? For sportives its meant around 3 kph improvement in average speed. More importantly when over in Europe its meant me being able to do a col a day more and more days consecutive hard riding.

    Thats not to say I don't race. I do time trials but as a means rather than an end, because they are a very good way to train for long Alpine climbs. (FWIW I do a 10 in 24 and a 25 in 1:04. On a Roubaix kitted out for a full days ride. Average power is 330W for 10 and 285W for 25, hopefully next year both will improve.)
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • ToksToks Posts: 1,143
    [I would rather read anecdotal evidence of riders like Dave Lloyd etc. who have known and experienced the art of putting their money (efffort and dedication) where their mouth is. And after all Ruth is a champion and that's why people on here listen to what she has to say.
    Hey Mike good to have you back mate! I'm not knocking anecdotal evidence per se. Afterall who wouldn't want to listen to what an elite level rider has to say on their training methods. But lets be clear on this, some of these guys and girls are just good because they're good, sometimes even with seemingly ineffective training approaches. I was quite pally with an elite level RR'er some years ago who advised me to spin a low gear all winter and I'd be flying come spring. Come the first RR race in March I was indeed flying - out the back!

    You may remember a ding dong battle I had with this guy who recommended upper body strength to improve climbing performance. According to this guy Dave Lioyd believed it was absolutely crucial for road racers apparently. Well in all my 4 years of riding I've never once read about or felt that upper body strength has inhibited mine or anyone elses climbing; whether that be in the Pyreness or up surrey's Box Hill. As I keep saying to those ever so friendly Jehovas's witnesses - I wanna believe but where's the evidence! :D
  • bahzob wrote:
    "How have increases in power affected race results?"

    This assumes the only purpose of training is to shave seconds off a TT or get into a higher road racing category. If this was all there was to training then I agree why bother, it may be cheaper to buy an aero helmet.

    Fortunately (I think) for me there is more to training and cycling to that. I got back into cycling to primarily to get fit and my goals in cycling are to continue to get fitter,despite advancing age, and through getting fitter go further/faster. In terms of cycling output I measure the latter by doing sportives and Raids. In terms of numbers I regards CP targets as more motivating than TT seconds (and harder to earn because you have to work for them not buy them as you suggest).

    So how has this increase in power affected my...results? For sportives its meant around 3 kph improvement in average speed. More importantly when over in Europe its meant me being able to do a col a day more and more days consecutive hard riding.

    Thats not to say I don't race. I do time trials but as a means rather than an end, because they are a very good way to train for long Alpine climbs. (FWIW I do a 10 in 24 and a 25 in 1:04. On a Roubaix kitted out for a full days ride. Average power is 330W for 10 and 285W for 25, hopefully next year both will improve.)

    It was a genuine question, since with a limited budget to spend, I'd really like to know whats the best way to spend it. OK so TT isnt your bag, but there is clearly a competitive driver in the form of faster (and therefore quicker) sportives. I do both, and for me cycling is mostly (though not all) about racing, hence my interest. I'd race anything if I was any good/ had the money: it's just my nature. You're right about "buying" speed, but then what's the difference between using a power meter / coach / aero helmet. All designed to do the same things: make you go faster or longer, and they all cost money.
Sign In or Register to comment.