Update from Team Dillon Wattbike Users
Posted by Alex Skelton on Mar 01, 2011
About a month ago Wattbike started working with a number of the Team Dillon athletes to help them in their preparation for this season. We have just had our first round of blog posts back from them, in the next few months we will feature each athlete in more depth
To preface this blog, I’ll give you a little background about myself and how I came to have a Wattbike. I’ve been an amateur triathlete for over 4 years; friends would describe me as competitive, but I train and compete for love of the sport and passion for the outdoors.
Why then a Wattbike? Well, anyone who’s climbed up the Col du Tourmalet, the Col de la Madone, or any other long and technical climb will know; it’s more fun if you’re fit. Also quite obviously, you don’t get to go screaming down the other side (the fun bit) if you don’t make it all the way to the top.
Moreover, I’ve always done relatively well in races, but I’ve never had a training plan or a strategy. Don’t get me wrong… every once in a while I’d buy a book filled with programs, give it quick skim, then put it neatly away on the shelf without a second thought. The strategy worked for the first few years but then I hit a plateau, while simultaneously my boyfriend became superman and kept improving his race splits.
Now I’m not the jealous type (boyfriend chuckles in background), after all he’s a guy so I clearly can’t expect to be as fast as him, but I also don’t think it’s implausible to expect similar relative improvements? He of all people knows how it feels. Two years ago at the Austria 70.3 IM I had a tremendous race and he had one of his worst races. The combination prompted him to lose 20 kilos and buy a Cervelo R3.
I only weigh 55 kilos, so losing 20 would be near impossible, and I bought a Cervelo S2 before the Austria 70.3 IM in question… so instead I sought out Michelle Dillon, from Team Dillon. She recommended that I incorporate Wattbike sessions to improve my cycling performance.
The Wattbike sessions work out well because I work full time and it’s hard to get out on the bike during the week. In addition, it’s a significant improvement to riding a spin bike at the gym or even a trainer on the turbo at home. Now for all of those considering a Wattbike, it doesn’t weigh that much and it can easily fit in a living room along a few bikes.
Despite looking like a medieval torture device, since getting the Wattbike at the end of January I’ve been able to track my improvements (and lack thereof) not only in watts but also using the force curve feature to look at where I’m losing momentum in my upstroke. I believe the Wattbike is a significant improvement from my turbo trainer as it provides me with information regarding: my power; the evolution of my power over time; my power per leg ; and the efficiency of my pedal stroke (i.e. do I lose power at any point in the stroke).
I’ll keep you updated…
The Wattbike is amazing!!
The feedback it gives you is second to none! Not only can you measure each leg in a work out but you can measure the resistance when you push and pull with your legs.
I am really enjoying those long turbo sessions now! It makes a couple of hours seem like great fun and the time passes away really quickly.
My fitness has improved massively and I am able to hold above 300 watts for over an hour now!
Its by far the best piece of gym equipment I have ever been on.
I only wish I could take it outside for a long Sunday ride!!!
Everyone who is serious about fitness and cycling should have one. It really has made a massive difference to my strength and overall fitness. My TT times have improved massively and we are only at the start of the season!
Bring it on.....
I can't wait for my first race of the season at Dorney in the World championship qualifiers...
First time training with Power EVER over the past 6 weeks and already feeling the quality of key sessions and the amount of feed back the Watt bike gives me.
The legs hate it!! They despise it in fact. For me I love it and appreciate Watt bike supporting team dillon and then in turn team dillon passing one over to me to test myself for a year! Truly grateful and has made me very hungry...
Myself being a smaller frame athlete the power to weight ratio on the bike is key. I am touching on 5ft 8 and about 65kg race weight. (Aiming to get 1kg lower this season). Therefore the course choices, in particular the bike leg should benefit my masculine frame The ability to hold a competitive pace over the course of a half ironman calls for my body and legs to be well trained to cope when all others faulter!
Dillon's killer brick sessions are key! Hard intervals on the bike followed by mashed legs hard running. I tend to put myself through hell on these. The watt bike brings a new level of pain and feedback. The constant bounds of wattage is simply spot on and a major benefit to my session! Whether it be 1hr,10min or 1min intervals I always log what I hit previous and number never lies. The log during the session is also significant as the RPE may have to lift to hit the same watts as the body tires. Really focuses the mind into a race situation of continually pushing!! I am still amazed at the technology and for a technophobe it is brilliantly easy to use.
(Not sure if I should disclose my watts yet!? Secret training still Dillo Next write up may be my progression up the Wattage curve )
Technique and the 'peanut'. Big fan!!! The real time feedback it gives you is amazing and has sorted out the imbalance between left/right and more so the phase in the pedal stroke. For me on the left there was a continuing dead spot over the top. Thinking this was a protective measure from an old injury. Bit of brain power over the past few weeks has brought it up to speed and not only feeling more fluid on the Watt but on road also. All about the peanut!
My aims for last season were respectably high after a solid base behind me and achieving some podiums was a good reward for consistency and hard work .... This year the aims are higher; even bordering on cocky but I am up for the challenge. Let's see how i can capitalise on my year under Team Dillon Coaching and build on that through more hard work and now with a very big string in my bow being the Watt Bike..
Races that I am focussing on this year are Swashbuckler (May), UK70.3 Wimbleball (June) and Half challenge Austria (Sep). Hopefully the swashbuckler will be a good tune up to get me to the finish line 1st come the tough races in June and September.