Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Monday, February 22, 2016

Stages Power Meter Comparison Part Deux!

Alright, fresh off of a 3rd agonizing FTP test that I am actually satisfied with...short story is, the last two tests were painful--1st one I went out too hard too early and the 2nd one I suspected that something was off with the Computrainer. To show that I wasn't just whining on that 2nd disastrous test, I have comparison plots for that "bad" 2nd test and my latest "good" 3rd test. First the bad:

Click on the image for a better look. There is a lot of data plotted here so I want you to focus on the solid blue and dashed red lines. You can see that the Stages power meter (red dashed) predicts a higher power output than the Computrainer (blue) of about 50 watts at any given time during the 20 minute test. And, yes, I calibrated my power meter. As soon as I started, I knew something felt wrong because, yes, it was hard, but too hard considering I was mashing and the Computrainer was telling me I was "only" putting out barely 250 watts during the beginning. As you can see, I gave up at about the 3 minute mark, shifting to an easier gear. If the Stages power meter was correct (which I think it was), I was putting out over 300 watts during that time period--I wasn't going to be able to sustain that for 20 minutes even if I decided to enter a very, very, dark place. Another telltale is that for the first minute I was trying to lift my pace since Computrainer was saying I wasn't working hard enough, but the power seemed to keep constant at around 245-ish watts. On the other hand, Stages was showing that I was indeed lifting my effort steadily from about 300 to 325 watts.

Now the good:

Same idea here, but totally different result! Look how magical the plot is--Computrainer and Stages data are almost on top of each other! In fact, towards the end they almost look identical in a mean average sense. Not sure it is because either Computrainer or Stages corrected due to "warm up" or if it was an anomaly due to my erratic surging while approaching puke mode. This tells me that the Stages and Computrainer can be expected to match each other if all is good with calibration, warm up, etc. Yay data!!

I do have other interesting plots of heart rate and speed that seem to support my armchair-ing above, but I am done nerding out this time around. Yes, I know, HTFU...but there is such a thing as smart HTFU-ing...I think...

Monday, February 01, 2016

Stages Power Meter vs. Trainer Road and Zwift

So, it's been a while since I did a pretty plots blog, so here it is! I recently joined the power meter crowd (yes, finally!) and wanted to see how the power estimations of Trainer Road and Zwift compared. Note that I am using the Tacx Booster on setting 2 along with a speed/cadence sensor--both Trainer Road and Zwift use published power curves for the Tacx Booster to estimate power generated based on speed. First off is Trainer Road vs. Stages. The comparison here is really good! The averages actually are pretty spot on. Stages data has more variability, which I think should be expected. But in all, Trainer Road seems to have this one dialed in.
 On the other hand, Zwift is way off. I kinda suspected this because I was barely getting winded while pumping out 270 watt sets. As shown in the plot below, power can be off by as much 60 watts! Yes, Zwift makes you seem like a monster, but it is not real. Especially, during three sprints (the three spikes around 12 to 15 minutes) they diverged quite a bit--Zwift seemed to plateu before 400 watts, but Stages went all the way to 800 watts. I believe the latter because I was mashing super hard and it seemed that Zwift just flatlined.
Again, I want to emphasize that these findings are solely based on using the Tacx Booster and Stages FSA EVO386 crank power meter--your results will most likely vary. Well, there it is.  Enjoy at let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

You Are An IRONMAN...Again!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Canada, Eh?! Yessir!

So, several of you probably already know that I have decided to take up an offer to move up to Calgary and help out with our new Canada office. All I can say is that I am very grateful for this opportunity! It is a great feeling to know that they actually listen to my wants and needs and try to make it to where it is beneficial for both me and the company.

It is currently a crazy time with a lot of changes unfolding. Although it has been a while, I am somewhat accustomed to this type of change. It is still hard, though. This is one of the longest, if not the longest, time I've been in one place. Through all my travels and experiences I have meet amazing people and experienced amazing cultures. As with Texas, I never thought I would end up in Canada, but the lure of the Rocky Mountains was too strong. Plus it is a grand opportunity for me to accelerate my professional growth.

But enough of that--this is an adventure racing blog! I'm so looking forward to the new outdoor adventures that are sure to come! I really hope my friends in Houston come up and explore these new-to-me regions. Plus, I'm going to be even closer to Glacier/Waterton, so no more excuses for yearly trips! That said, I hope to become a curling aficionado in no time.

I think the biggest transition is going to be trying to find a new workout crew, especially for Ironman Florida. I really hope this doesn't mean a lot of lonely miles on bike and foot, but it may become my new reality for a little bit at least. I know the Race the Rockies and Raid the North crews up there, so hopefully I can hook up with them and they band of merry adventurers.

I am still in a bit of shock because I had been talking about this potential move for over a year now, making it seem to be less realistic as time went on. But it IS happening and I might even get a bonus, short stint in St. Johns also to help out with a project out there. 

As someone recently reminded me of my own favorite saying: "Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional." Here's to a new growth chapter in the adventures of K-SPoT!

Business cards from Zazzle

Monday, January 02, 2012

Houston Adventure Racing Team 2011 in Video Form

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Houston Nav 2011 Results

Thanks for all the hardcore racers who came out on Monday! Congrats to Ken and Brian on taking the top spot in the full course and Elaine for leading the Robertson Clan to an undisputed victory in the family course! I hope you enjoyed the event despite the cold, windy conditions--These parks are beautiful and I look forward to putting up another event there in the near future!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Houston Navigation Meet 2011!

If you're in town and have nothing to do the day after Christmas, spend part of the day running around the park like a little kid doing a scavenger hunt! Here is the fun info on the when and where:

Date: Monday, December 26, 2011 
Alexander Deussen Park (12303 Sonnier Street, Houston, Texas 77044)
Check-in: 7:30am 
Navigation Questions: 8:00am 
Pre-race meeting: 8:30am 
Start Time: 9am 
Duration: 1st team should be in at around 2-3hrs 
Cost: $20 for solo, $30 for 2 person. Payment due at check-in (cash or check) 
Maps: 1:24000 scale


CLICK HERE for more detailed information and to RSVP!

See you there!