by Marcus Leach
It used to be that the data we had from training was fairly standard, but as technology develops the amount of data and different variables that can be measured is quite staggering.
Take Garmin's Edge 810 for example, a combination of onboard computer with a seemingly endless number of training variables and a cycling specific sat nav.
Over the past weeks I have had the pleasure of using the Edge 810 and have to say it has really helped me with my training. When I first started using my turbo trainer it used to be that I would just get on and pedal, using a stop watch to time intervals of higher intensity and rest periods. Whilst training like that ensured I got a good session in the whole process was revolutionised when I hooked up the Edge 810, complete with its cadence and speed sensors.
Suddenly I had all of this real time data in front of me and my training sessions took on an altogether different focus. Rather than just upping the tempo when the stopwatch dictated, now I knew the exact cadence (just one example) I was trying to maintain and could adjust my efforts accordingly to ensure I was optimising my training. It hasn't just been on the turbo trainer that the data has helped either, with a long distance training ride from London to Brighton and back possible thanks to the maps section of the computer.
Much like when you drive using a sat nav the Edge 810 gives me detailed directions ensuring I stay on roads that are well suited to cyclists. What I have loved about it is that you can either upload pre-set routes, of which there are literally hundreds available on the internet, or you can design your own custom route from scratch.
To date I have only used pre-set routes, but with a ride planned for London to Paris in under 24 hours I will be plotting my own route for this. One note on the maps is that I had to download a better version that the standard one the Edge uses, this was to get more detailed views on the screen. It didn't take long and has greatly improved the userability of the Edge as a sat nav.
As I head to France to take on the Paris-Roubaix Sportive I will do so knowing that I can measure my ride to perfection (at least that is the plan) thanks to the data I will have in front of me.