This is a video clip of David Rosa (Elite MTB XC) competing for the Portugal National Championships last year. I have been coaching David on and off for over a year now and he is showing great progress in his 30 second, 1 minute, 5 minute, and 20 minute power. David's goal is to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London for his home country of Portugal. David will have his sights set on July to best his last year's effort at this same race featured in the above video. David is shown at 8 minutes 4 seconds into this clip.
I have been lately making good use of my computrainer as this file suggests. I love doing my tempo rides and interval workouts on my computrainer which allows me to get in extreme quality no matter what the weather or time of day. I have been gradually increasing my duration on my tempo rides while pretty much keeping the same intensity.
Get A Power Meter:
A power meter is invaluable in so many ways in both training and racing. Looking at the data isn't really that complicated as it looks but just like looking at an IQ test or other test data from various disciplines,,,, a power meter will quantify your experience on the bike and either validates or refutes what you are suspecting in terms of improvements, performance, strengths, and limiters.
All this analysis isn't quantum physics although it may seem quite complicated at first.
Over the years I have really grown to love this aspect of coaching as it provides some hard evidence and objectivity to an otherwise very subjective task. Being a psychologist as well, I see a great deal of overlap when using data to make recommendations and conclusions. You have to look at the whole athlete and not just the data alone when making training decisions.
With my athletes I use a very time intensive method which is designed to track weekly TSS totals and compare those with the TSS goals I have set for them. I also track how they are feeling based on the volume of training and if it seems they are overly fatigued we re-calculate their TSS goals and TSS progression with a one of a kind program designed to predict future CTL based on TSS totals. This is all coordinated with their race schedule and annual training plan. Athletes update me on EVERY workout and I review EVERY workout to see their comments and get their feedback. Then based on all the data, athlete feedback, goals, and race schedule I then adjust their plan as we progress. There are continual revisions to their schedules as well as TSS goals but I find that this keeps everyone on the same page and progressing forward.