Thursday, April 7, 2011
Being "Not Pro"
I enjoy following Ted King, one of the riders for the Liquigas team. Not only does he keep an awesome blog which gives an inside peek into the life of a professional cyclist (complete with pictures of really great food!) but he also posts a lot of his rides on Strava. For those who don't know, Strava is an awesome website that lets you upload and compare your rides with other cyclists.
Though Strava is really designed to compare local rides, one of the things that's fun to do is to compare climbs that are roughly equivalent, even if they're not the same climb. Of course, by doing this one quickly realizes how far from "pro" most of us mere mortals are.
Looking at the statistics above, these are climbs of roughly the same length and gradient. What are some of the key differences? Well, not only does he generate nearly 70% more power than I do... he does it while his heart rate averages only 138 beats per minute. My heart rate goes to 138 when I just see a climb. If I were to try to generate that kind of power, my knees would pop, my lungs would spontaneously combust, and my heart would explode right out of my chest.
In my defense, his climb started about 20 miles into his ride while mine was at the exact midpoint of a century ride. Yeah, that's the reason for the difference.... uhm, right. Haha.