TrainingPeaks Retail Store is Now Open
By Hunter Allen
Quadrant Analysis continues to shed light on power files even more so than we originally thought it would. Of course, here at Peaksware, we all knew what a great addition it was going to make in version 3.0 of WKO+, but sometimes you don’t know ‘just’ how great of a tool something is until you implement it.
I coach a few clients myself and one of my clients had the opportunity to go to California for a short vacation over the holiday and while there, he rode the famed Old La Honda climb near Palo Alto, California. This client lives in Colorado, but with the weather this year, he has had to spend most of his time on the indoor trainer doing his best to simulate outdoor riding. One of his weaknesses is his muscular strength and we have focused on this particular area these past few months. The Old La Honda climb is a great combination of steep pitches interspersed with gradual areas and is a great test for any rider. On this climb, you can imagine that the steeper sections stress muscular strength more whereas the more gradual sections are less stressful.
When my client returned from his vacation he wanted to try and simulate the force of the climb in California on his indoor trainer, so he got out one of his trusty indoor DVD’s that emphasize climbing. He did his best in this trainer ride and then downloaded his power file into WKO+, marked it up, and then uploaded it to his TrainingPeaks.com account. When I got it, the first thing I went to do was to click on the Quadrant Analysis tab in WKO+. Notice in the first figure below that the ‘blobs’ of yellow in Quadrant I were the simulated climbing intervals in the DVD. Unfortunately, Quadrant I is the domain of sprinters and not climbers!
After analyzing the indoor file, then I wanted to compare that directly with the Old La Honda climb. So, I created a Multi-File Quadrant Analysis of the two workouts, in order to determine if he did in fact simulate an outdoor climb on his indoor trainer.
As I suspected the answer was no and examining the screenshot below, the RED colored dots represent the Old La Honda Climb and the YELLOW is the indoor trainer ride. Notice how the Red points are focused mainly in Quadrant II? 44% to be exact and that means that my client spent a lot of time pedaling relatively slowly with higher forces on the pedals. Quadrant II is the domain of the climbers, mt. bikers and single-speed riders.
Now, the question remains to be asked: Could he have changed something in the indoor ride to better simulate the climb? The answer is an emphatic YES! The simple solution is to pedal more slowly! If he would have restricted his cadence to 70rpm or less then he would have been able to better simulate the Old La Honda climb. A simple solution that he can put into practice immediately and benefit from on his next outdoor climbing ride all thanks to some great analysis tools in WKO+ version 3.0!
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