Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Computrainer report

So, I agree my setup isn't cool.  The bike is ok (my road bike), the TV is great, but the environment....meh.  I need a real man cave with motivational posters on some finished walls, proper table for the TV and laptop, and probably a bar fridge for some post ride refreshments.  Perhaps you'll see the transformation of my riding zone over the course of a few blogs.  PLEASE PLEASE make some suggestions - tell me what motivates you to ride indoors from October to April/May.  I might even move my ride to the finished part of the basement.

This past summer, I was a training follower.  I didn't really have a "plan" - I just went out with whomever was going and usually trained alone for the same amount of time if the crowd I was with was faster.  I've vowed to change that for next year and take more of a leadership - or at least autonomous - role.  So, I'm starting now.

Since August, I had been asking a local coach / former pro triathlete to take me on his roster.  He agreed given a mutual friend had recommended me as someone 'serious' (whatever that means).  I wasn't in a rush to get started because I had Muskoka 70.3 in mid September and there was obviously no time for him to add any value to my training regimen.  We kept in contact and post Muskoka, I began requesting to start a training plan.  I wanted to do a monthly plan at a cost of about $175.  Steep?  Certainly not inexpensive, but it came with some other "perks" as well and wasn't just a simple plan.  Nevertheless, for over $2,000 revenue for the next year, the "coach" was excruciatingly slow returning emails, if at all.  After a couple weeks, 3 emails to the coach and me complaining to my buddy, I called it over - the "coach" obviously didn't want / need me on his roster and if he did (like he said he did), he wasn't showing it very well.

As I've been following Bryan Payne's blog and reading about his success (he's in Kona now) and training regimen, I started to look into what he does.  Mark Allen Online.  After some thought and even reaching out to Bryan, I decided to sign up with MAO as well.  the plan cost is $19 a week for a maintenance plan.  I can live with that!  You guessed it - my first 'planned' workout was tonight!!

As I am planning IM FL in a year's time, the important things for me are to:
  • Build a good aerobic base
  • Put in the time and mileage
  • Build leg strength for the bike
  • Build core strength and flexibility.
I signed up for 12 weeks of a 20 week MAO plan.  I'm sure I'll do the other 8 especially given they start Jan 1.  The training is all aeroobic zones (at least for now).  Tonights ride was to be 60 minutes with HR 131-141.  I chose the Timberman 70.3 as the ride tonight.  On a side note, you can purchase "Real Course Videos from Computrainer and actually follow the images of the real thing - not just the profile and "road" that you see above.  You get the buildings, lakes, scenery, etc - the exact thing you'd see if you rode the real course.  All from the comfort of your man / woman cave.  My IM Canada video isn't working and CT is shipping me a new one.

If you've never seen a CT in action and like techno geeky things, you'd LOVE the CT.  I am amazed at it's capability.  The "feel" you get riding is about the closest thing you'd get to the outside.  When the profile "climbs", you see the grade change and it actually gets harder to peddle.  As a result, your HR climbs, speed drops, cadence slows until you downshift and you get to see (and feel) all this real-time.  It's remarkable.  Of course the coaching software analyzes your spin scan results, everything gets saved to your hard drive and you can even send the report to your coach.  I knew my left leg isn't as strong but now I can quantify it.  2.6% less power.  With the spin scan, I got real time feedback I was slacking on the left side so I could correct it as I went.  Hopefully by spring time, I'll have the equality sorted out between my halves.  

Tomorrow I have a swim in the plan (though there is no way I can make it to the pool, time wise) and a 40 min tempo run.  I haven't figured out where I'll fit that in yet, either.  Work is really busy and DW is in New York so I can't run and leave the girls home alone.  If I can't get out during the day, I'm toast on both training sessions.

Here's a shot of Bumper asking me when the hell I'm going to be done on the damn wheely thing so he can go outside.

I'm serious about the ideas for your workout room.  If you've read this far, please drop me some ideas!


  1. Congrats for signing up with MAO. I heard only good things about this program. I intend to sign up with them as well at the end of the month, once my marathon season is done.

    I’d love to buy a CompuTrainer but my wife and I have exhausted our tri related budget for this year. It is no. 1 on our wish list and probably we’ll buy one next year.

    You have probably heard of the DCRainMaker, the guru of triathlon related gear reviews. Here’s his "In Depth CompuTrainer Review":

    He also has a post on his website about how he set it up in his training room. As usual, it has all the little details that you might look for. Here it is:

    Hope it helps,

  2. Thanks Doru! Those are awesome links - I checked them out a long time ago while I was researching the CT but had forgotten about them! Definitely worth a re-read now than I am sort of setup.