One study down, a few hundred more to follow.
As a bit of “post-mortum” on our little EBC project, I asked all those participating in the study to share their own personal thoughts or observations with me. So as any experienced researcher will tell you, the actual collecting of the data can often reveal as much as the data itself.
There Is Joy In Repetition
No, I”™m not talking about techno music, although the first time I heard that expression (about the joy in repetition) was in regards to Trance music. Getting back to our study, early on I heard feedback from some of our guinea pigs… er, I mean riders who found the Muscular Endurance work to be harder than they thought. They reported thatl making even just 2 sets of 15 minutes in Zone 3 and 75 RPM was more challenging than they thought. I also heard about how it got easier week after week. This was naturally expected from an RPE or “mental state of mind” is considered; doing something familiar will typically seem easier than doing something completely brand new. However, this later point emphasizes the real importance of having training tools.
In other words, if we consider that human nature tends to encourage us to work as little as possible to accomplish our objective (think efficiency, not laziness), in combination with our mental comfort with all things familiar, we run the real risk of depriving ourselves of a good training effect when these are at play in our physiological development or improvement as a rider.
If we put this in the context of our current study, if we did not heart monitors, we would not have been able to insure or insist that our heart rate remain within the range specified. If a training effect were to come into play (that is, we were to become stronger in some way from doing the M.E. drills), without a heart monitor, we might not have increased our gear (remember, keeping cadence constant was a requirement) as the training effect occurred, and thereby inadvertently reduced the amount or the longevity of that same training effect.
Not Just for Curiosity & Science
I also heard from at least two people that if they had not done the study, they would not have been as well prepared for a late season big ride they had scheduled. The combination of the type of training and the fact that it was an obligation to get through each of the study weeks was enough to motivate them to keep training.
In general I have found that most of my study participants gain a good deal of benefit from our little research projects. The worst case scenarios seem to be that they don”™t improve, but they are no worse off than when they started. It”™s generally a neutral to very positive both in experience and results.
I have answered the previous comments through this graphic below. However, these answers may be wholly unsatisfying. Remember, the reasons this entire blog started and I coined the phrase Evidence Based Cyclingâ„¢ is because the same studies are used by different coaches to emphasize different things or with completely different conclusions. It”™s not exactly religion, it is science, but believe me there is way more subjective interpretation involved than many are willing to admit to.
I will not claim to be a professional researcher, nor the final word on any subject for that matter. But I will also not hide behind the science and say that it must and only can say this or that. It is what it is, look at it, learn about the subject, then draw your own conclusions.
At a minimum, I hope you are encouraged to dig in and do your own studies. Learn to question everything including everything written in this blog — but don”™t just be a movie critic — get in there and make your own movies!
- Indoor Cycling Power Research #7: Good News, Bad News - August 16, 2023
- Blog Post #10 Baseline& Performance Testing - June 29, 2023
- Keiser Tour de Power - April 18, 2023