Even if we don’t understand slow twitch from fast twitch to nose twitch, the muscle fiber mixes we are born will inevitably guide us towards riding or racing that takes advantage of our strengths, and minimizes the drawbacks of our weaknesses. We are encouraged by what we do best and thus we continue to build on it. Add a little training that continues to improve on our strengths, and some desire to achieve objectives with those strengths, and now we will begin to see specific rider types emerge in a way that can actually be quantified to help with both prescribing training as well as understanding just how variable power is from one individual to another.
I am a big proponent of using all of the tools at your disposal, so the idea of training without a heart monitor just leaves too much information on the table. Why handicap yourself for something that is both easy and relatively inexpensive to measure? More to the point, heart rate should be seen as what it ‘costs you’ to generate a specific power level and sustain that level.
Maybe a better title for this chapter would have been ‘What’s It All Mean?’ This is really the bottom line, after all. If we are going to research the best power bikes to buy, learn how to use the power consoles, perform heart zone and power zones baseline tests, we need to know how to understand the data that flows from all this work. Since this chapter is a bit long, we’ve broken it into two posts.