James Fletcher Testimonial
Posted by Andy McCorkell on Nov 01, 2010
Video Interview from July 2010
In July we met with James Fletcher, triathlete (and son of Wattbike's resident Sport Scientist Eddie Fletcher) and recorded the following video.
Case Study from March 2010
Like hundreds of other age groups triathletes or cyclists I fit my training in around a full time job. With three sports this is often a tricky business and mostly about having the time to fit sessions in around work and life in general.
Getting out on a bike on dark nights and cold weather has little appeal, but its important to get in a consistent winter’s training. Morning visits to the gym and lunchtime visits to the pool generally take care of my swimming and running but I have always struggled to get the consistent cycling I need.
Frequently this has left me playing catch up coming in towards the race season and as a result cycling has always been a weakness for me in triathlon terms. If I’m honest I lost some of my enthusiasm for the sport because my consistently poor bike leg.
However this winter, I’ve been using a Wattbike and had a winter like no other in terms of my cycle training. Having used Wattbike since October I have a renewed enthusiasm and have been able to train consistently three sessions a week.
I have made significant measurable improvements in my power and technique since starting on the Wattbike.
For example in a 20min test I averaged around 215watts (average HR 176 – max HR 185 this is how weak I was on a bike!). In comparison in a recent set I averaged over 280 watts for a longer time period of 35min for the same or slightly lower physiological cost (average HR 169 – max HR 181).
This is a significant measurable improvement in power on an equivalent but longer duration of set.
One of my problems was a very weak pedalling technique, I’ve been able to use the Wattbike’s Polar View to work on my technique to balance up the power produced and angle of peak force in each leg – I’ve still got some imbalance to sort out but I’m much improved. It’s taken some time with gradual improvements in technique over the 6 months
This has enabled me to work comfortably in a higher gear and higher cadence to produce the significant improvement I’ve been able to make.
My three weekly Wattbike sessions have consisted of a long endurance ride (the winter has been so bad has been virtually impossible for me to get out on the road), a very specific technique session to improve my pedalling technique, gearing and cadence and a focused 20 minute to 40 minute ‘test’ ride to put it all together.
It’s March now and I feel like a different athlete. Seeing improvements and getting measurable calibrated data really helps you chart your progress. It also allows you to alter or tweak sessions where appropriate. The range of data provided by the Wattbike allows you to take control of your bike training taking the guesswork out of your cycle training. Plus there is much more information than you get from conventional turbo trainers. I often find my mind so occupied by the statistics and the graph of pedalling action that it takes my mind off the more painful sets!
I’m currently coming into a new phase of training where I’ll be looking to get out on the bike once a week and do a few evening 10 milers. I’ll be looking to use the Wattbike to build on the winter training I have in the bank and begin to sharpen up. It will also allow me to get some monitored bike into run sessions done, which will be invaluable coming in towards race season.
With three sports and limited time you need to make the most of the time you spend training. The Wattbike is a top-notch tool that allows you to do just that.
Specific monitored sessions based on good data that you can monitor over time. In the end you can only improve on what you’ve done previously, by knowing what you’ve done in the first place. So in my opinion cycling has been waiting a long time for a training tool like this. It’s just not possible to monitor a road ride, spinning bike, or turbo session to this degree.
I’m excited by the gains made over the winter using Wattbike and really looking forward to seeing what the race season brings.