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Getting started with power #3: Lunch hour of power

Just like everybody else I’m at my job for 40 hours a week working on something other than my fitness. I’m not living the pro triathlon dream, unfortunately, so lunch workouts are an essential way to fit in a quick block of training.

So the move of late has been to throw my Powertap P1 pedals onto my cross bike and I’ve been coming into the office on that. That way I don’t need to bring my good bike through the rubble, salt and grit that take up a lot of the bike lanes right now. Ideally, it’s something I prepare the night before but moving pedals on and off the bikes is so easy I can even fit it in during my scramble to get out the door in the morning.

I’m lucky enough to have a big park nearby the office (High Park, if you’re familiar with Toronto) that has a few 1-minute hills a 3.5-minute hill, plus a flat loop to get some recovery in. It takes me about 20 minutes to ride out so I add in some stoplight accelerations and then I’m ready for a few hard hill efforts.

High Park loop

The hills in the park are short enough that there is some heart rate lag as you get into and finish the efforts. That’s one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed adding power to my training. I can see right away the efforts and the zones that I want to hit something for explosive and intense and I get that information immediately. The hills mostly lead up to the flat recovery loop so once I’m on there I can use my heart rate monitor to check to see if I’m recovered before diving back down for another effort. Going into this I didn’t think I would completely replace the heart rate strap and now I can see that they work really well in tandem with each other.

The other new addition to my lunch rides has been cadence and pedalling drills during my warmup. Because I’m now getting a reading from both pedals I can see how much each leg is contributing to the effort. I was pleased to see most of my pedalling was fairly even. And looking at the chart confirmed that most pedal strokes were landing in that middle range.


As the race season approaches, I’ll be looking forward to watching all this new info come in during these lunch workouts. Will it lead to some new PBs on the bike course….let’s hope so!