Ben dices his post-race data in Garmin Connect


I just returned from two World Cup races on back-to-back weekends. They were in Monterrey Mexico (nope, I wasn’t kidnapped) and Ishigaki Japan (southern-most city of Japan). I placed 19th and 10th respectively, and crashed exactly once per race. Yup, you read that correctly. I crashed my bike in both races, and in both races I had to get back up, wipe the blood off my bars and keep going. Surprisingly, however, the crashes are not what bothered me, and the results – while not my dream finishes – were not bad at all. It was my strategy that I was disappointed with, and that’s not something that can be improved only by experience; not by hours of winter training.

In Monterrey I came out of the water in a small breakaway, and I thought that I could turn that breakaway into a victory. I pushed as hard as I could on the bike, and took some risks too – I cornered so sharp around one corner that I clipped a pedal and landed on my side. I was scraped a bit, but I got back up so quickly I didn’t even lose the pack I was riding with. But even with hard work and risks we only managed to start the run a meager 40 seconds ahead of the main group – where a larger number of riders meant nobody had to work as hard as I did. My legs were out of gas before they hit the pavement and in over 10km of running I went from 1st place to 19th. Comparing data from my Garmin Edge 705 with an athlete from the main pack, I found that I averaged 20% higher wattage per kilogram than him for the 40km bike course. Oops!! No wonder those 40 seconds were overcome so quickly!


The following week in Japan I was determined not to be a hero on the bike. I had learned my lesson. But plans change – as they should – when the right opportunity is presented. I was in another breakaway out of the water, but I wasn’t the only one trying to conserve energy and the rest of the men’s field quickly caught us. That moment in which we were caught presented a perfect opportunity for the stronger cyclists to break away from the group and take advantage of the lull in pace that inevitably happens when two packs become one. I was the second man to sprint off the front, following an Aussie and, unfortunately, dragging a Japanese athlete with me, who had not shown great talent up to this point in the race. It was within a minute of this breakaway attempt that the Japanese rider swerved recklessly and managed to knock me to the ground. This time my wounds were significantly worse than in Monterrey, but my bike was only mildly damaged, and still capable of forward motion. It took me about 5km to catch back up to the main group, but by then the Aussie off the front had already put a minute on the rest of the group. My opportunity had passed. I started the run with a group of 30 other athletes, and finished a respectable 10th.

Untitled51 Take a look at the heart rate and power charts from both races. You’ll notice a huge difference in the HR data in Ishigaki where I was trying to be as conservative as possible for most of the race (Can you spot the 5km where I had to catch the group after my crash?). In Monterrey my HR is high and stays high for the entire 40km. It’s hard to run off an effort like that!

The power data is spiky in both races – a testament to the technical nature of the courses – but you’ll notice that in the Ishigaki chart the valleys are quite a bit wider than in the Monterrey chart.

So again, the results were not what bothered me. It was how I came to those results. I would have loved to have started the season with victories, personal bests, and a consequential doubling in my twitter following. But in a way, the lessons I learned in these races, and the frustrations I have for failing to meet my own goals are exactly what I need to motivate me through the next month of training. The season’s just started, and how we race in April and May rarely determines the success of our season. I’m excited for the people who accomplished their goals in the season openers, but if that’s the case, it’s time to raise the bar.

The post Ben dices his post-race data in Garmin Connect appeared first on Garmin Blog.

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
[time] minutes ago, from [location]
The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click Accept Cookies to continue to use the site.
You have successfully subscribed!
Recently Viewed