July 20, 2009
I’ve used a Polar CS600 computer with power meter all winter for indoor training and I cannot begin to tell you how much MORE effective it is to train via power instead of heart rate. I busted my butt with 2×20 intervals twice a week all spring. I took a break for most of May because my father died. Nevertheless I’ve put at least 30 watts (and probably 40) on my FTP so far this year. I hope to add another 15-20 before this season ends. I’m still in Cat 5 Women territory power-wise but for me it’s great! I’ll post a review of the newer Polar CS600X in a week or so.
Combining that with losing 11 lbs has allowed me to complete the 3-mile climb up Hawthorne to my apt for the first time in ten years. The grade starts around 6-8%, reaches a soul crushing 14% in the middle before leveling off to 2-3% around the 2.5 mile point…only to finish with a 500 meter stretch of 8-11% that ends at my apt complex. The ability to do that climb gives me much more flexibility on rides. I don’t have to put the bike in the car and drive down the hill to start a ride now. I can do a 30 mile loop around the peninsula with about 2,000 feet of climbing. That makes for a perfect Saturday ride to go with a 45-50 distance ride on Sundays. I still want to lose another 15-20 lbs and I’m scouring for a few fall centuries now.