Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back to Basics

Lack of Computer Gadgetry!!
Along the lines of questioning whether you are a real cyclist, I came across another cycling term, "Back to Basics". This translates to training/racing without any type of device that monitors speed, heart rate, power, whatever. Basically you have nothing on your handlebars. Pretty unheard of nowadays. I saw a few folks this year that I swear could have commanded the space shuttle from their handlebars. Believe me, I would have loved to have the command center staring at me but I was on a tight budget because I was just getting back into this sport I love and needed to update my ride.

During my real fit days (at least 15 years ago), I used a heart rate monitor pretty religiously and loved it but it sometimes became a crutch. Anytime the batteries went out or it just stopped working because of my overly corrosive sweat, I had a hard time getting motivated to go out training because I knew I wouldn't be able to geek out and see my data when I got home and downloaded it to my Intel 486 with math co-processor (yeah, remember those days). Well I decided this year, I wouldn't train with anything and it proved pretty effective.

This year, my training program was pretty much limited to two group rides during the week and racing during the weekend. So heart rate/power meter monitor or not I hit the group rides as hard as I could, for as long as I could. At first this meant me pulling once or twice and then hanging on for dear life in order to not get dropped. But after a month or so, I found myself starting to be the last guy standing on the paceline of death and was loving it. If nobody wanted to pull through, eff it, I would just stay on the front and continue punishing myself. This was old school Sobe training at its best.

I would get questioned prior to some of the group rides about my lack of computer gadgetry on the handlebars and I would just shrug my shoulders and say I just do group rides and go until I can't turn the pedals anymore.

I hope I can stay in the back to basics mode but I may cave after one of my teammates posts his power meter numbers and the geek in me wants to know what kind of watts I can deliver to the pedals.