Comparing Different Trainer Selections in TrainerRoad

In TrainerRoad, it’s possible to use virtual power even though if your trainer isn’t supported.

I tested the wattage readings from the selections of Minoura’s trainers at different resistance settings. The speed was around 25 kph and the cadence around 53 RPM. The Minoura M80 trainer was used at the lowest resistance.

Minoura M50/M80/MAG850L

  • Level 1: 53W at 25.0 kph and 53 RPM
  • Level 2: 105W at 25.1 kph and 53 RPM
  • Level 3: 128W at 24.9 kph and 53 RPM
  • Level 4: 146W at 24.9 kph and 53 RPM
  • Level 5: 199W at 25.1 kph and 53 RPM

Minoura 850

  • Level 5: 206W at 25.4 kph and 53 RPM
  • Level 6: 218W at 24.9 kph and 53 RPM

Minoura M80-R/M70-R/B60

Level 0: 121W at 24.9 kph and 53 RPM
Level 1: 143W at 25.0 kph and 53 RPM
Level 2: 161W at 25.2 kph and 53 RPM
Level 3: 185W at 25.1 kph and 53 RPM
Level 4: 194W at 25.0 kph and 53 RPM
Level 5: 206W at 25.1 kph and 53 RPM
Level 6: 218W at 25.0 kph and 53 RPM

The highest settings seemed to match.

I also tested virtual power for my trainer at 46.6 kph and 83 RPM. The power reading was 466W.

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First Fitness (FTP) Test with TrainerRoad’s Virtual Power

Recently, I subscribed for TrainerRoad which estimates your power output based on your speed on a trainer. This was my first assessment.

The app was installed on my Nexus 7 2013 tablet. It used Bluetooth to connect to a Wahoo Blue SC speed and cadence sensor bought from MEC.

The assessment had two 8 minute all out intervals. My FTP was estimated to be 182 watts. Since I felt that I could go longer, I might update it to 3 percent higher for my future workouts. My HR was at least 85% of max HR. I might aim for 90 to 95% next time. My base phase was Sweet Spot which was recommended for most cyclists. After six weeks, I plan on testing my FTP again.

Here’s the screen shots from TrainerRoad.

You can sync your TrainerRoad rides to Strava too.

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The Minoura M80 trainer was used. Thankfully, it was on the list of supported trainers. I bought it on Craigslist for a good deal. I had to install a 700 x 28c or smaller tire on my rear wheel to make it fit. 38c was too wide. I worked out with the highest resistance on the trainer, using my gears to adjust the resistance further during my assessment.

It’s possible to share the same bike, leaving the speed and cadence sensor installed. I recommend installing single sided clipless pedals if you have cycling shoes, and a quick release seat post skewer for easy adjustment. The bike should be multi-speed unless your trainer has adjustable resistance like some smart trainers do.

I use TrainerRoad because amateur athletes improved their fitness levels significantly with the program and you don’t need to buy a power meter which tends to be expensive. Since its target power during its workouts are selected based on your FTP, it reduces the risk of over- and under- training. Unlike Zwift, you don’t need an internet connection to train. You can choose different plans for different goals. It’s $12 per month.

Should Active Commuters Use Heart Rate Monitors

Recently, I started using a heart rate monitor and it made it easier to stay in my preferred heart rate zones during my rides. That’s why I think a heart rate monitor is beneficial for those who actively commute.

SS_zones

Without a HRM, I have a tendency to push too hard or too gently which makes training more difficult increases the risk of overtrain, cause a plateau, and may decrease endurance.

With a HRM, I can stay at my target HR uphill, downhill, in the flats, off-road and with wind. This makes sure that you to get a good work out. If the hill is steep downhill, I feel safer coasting or braking. With my HR at a desired level, I’ll spend more time in my preferred zones. This should improve my stamina and average power. I hope that the improved stamina would be beneficial outside of cycling. I use the Soleus 3.0 GPS watch to measure my heart rate.

A well rounded plan should be used for improving fitness. A HRM can help you achieve your fitness goals. You could use zone 1 for recovery, warm ups and cool downs, zone 2 to improve your endurance, and the other zones for intervals.

With a HRM, you can train with whatever plan you like while commuting. It can help you build your base fitness.

I recommend HRM’s that are universal because when you replace their watches or computers, they can still pair. It’s important that the monitor is giving accurate readings.

I think active commuters should use a HRM to achieve their fitness goals. It can make training more efficient, improve average power, endurance, speed, and fitness, prevent injuries, and even improve health.

Abnormal Sense of Taste in an Autistic Person

I didn’t think my sense of taste was abnormal as an autistic person. This makes sense because an autistic person can’t experience a non-autistic brain and vice versa.

With an abnormal sense of taste, it’s possible for the person to be a picky eater, or not trust his or her sense of taste.

I remember avoiding flavoured potato chips. I tend to stick to plain chips.

There are foods that I don’t seem to mind such as green smoothies and cacao. Interestingly, some people find cacao bitter but I don’t really notice its bitterness. Since dark chocolate is healthy, this may be desirable. It’s also possible easily to eat too much of it even though some people find it difficult.

With an abnormal sense of taste, I might not be able to trust my sense of taste enough for food safety issues if there’s no heads ups. What if the food was spoiled or contaminated. Fermented foods have some similarities to spoiled foods. I’ve accidentally consumed alcoholic cocktails and didn’t remember tasting the alcohol. I ordered the drinks because I misread the menu. I found out only after I was told about it.

 

Do Autistic People Tend to Look Younger Than They Really Are

Sometimes, I’ve been told that I look younger than my age. Even some autistic people on forums agree that they look too young.

People even thought that I looked younger than my sister who’s younger. It’s likely that autistic traits played a role. The autistic traits may include mannerisms, facial expressions, difficulties reading social cues, taking too long to answer questions, relying less on intuition, getting distracted easily, taking things literally, style of clothing, and gait.

I disclosed to an interviewer that I was autistic. He thought that I was shy possibly due to the lack of eye contact and taking too much time to answer. Acting shy might make a person also act too young.

You might think it’s always a good thing to look much younger than your age. I’ve felt the same too because I associate it with high energy levels, being active, good health, being young biologically, being fit, not smoking, good diet, good stress management, self control, good genes, and good sleep.

There are cases where we might not benefit from looking too young if it means passing as a person under 20. What if the person needs a job? Would it give the impression of a lack of experience even after having degrees under the person’s belt. It’s likely that autistic traits have more effect on employment than looking too young. I’ve heard of people under 20 who don’t have problems with interviews.

What I’ve been doing is getting support and discovering what else I need. I learned that I needed to speak up in order to get the accommodations rather than ignore my concerns, thinking that I will outgrow them.

Using Exercise Bikes for Fitness Testing (FTP)

This week, I estimated my fitness level with a spin bike at Kitsilano Community Centre.

Once you know your FTP, you can calculate your power zones for training and pacing.

In the community centre, I used both their Life Fitness upright exercise bike and one of their Keiser spin bikes.

The LF bikes measure heart rate, average cadence, and power, and allow logging your data through an online account. I used an LF bike at a warm up pace. For some reason, my legs were tired. Maybe it wasn’t properly adjusted. In case you’re wondering, they have recumbent bikes too.

Here are some screen shots from an LF bike.

 

 

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Today, I used one of their Keiser spin bikes. They measure cadence and power but don’t seem to have HRM sensors attached which means you may have to bring your own HRM. Both its seat height and fore-aft position can be adjusted. They even have single sided clipless pedals with toe clips on the other side. They’re more confortable than the LF upright bikes.

With that bike, I warmed up then pushed my heart rate around 165 to 170. My guess was that my average power was 160W for 20 minutes, which means the FTP was calculated to be 152W, which is average. My average HR was 164. I did push hard before the test for five minutes which may have affected the results.

I thought the result was surprisingly low because I rode my bike to work around 45 minutes a day five days a week for more than a year. Maybe I’ve cut back too much on cycling for half a year or never trained effectively.

 

 

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From the following links, you can find charts showing power vs duration and fitness levels:

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/power-profiling/

See this chart for 20 minute power.

Here are my power zones. Here’s the link for the calculator: http://datacranker.com/cycling-power-zones/.

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Compared to bicycles, the exercise bikes felt like they had more resistance maybe because I’m so used to coasting. Without a heart rate monitor or power meter, it’s easier to overestimate your effort based on feel. I have a better idea of what it’s like not to coast and how to properly pace myself when cycling. When I’m not doing intervals, I try to keep my heart rate between 120 and 130.

In the future, I plan on measuring my LTHR since I train with a HRM. I also plan on doing interval training which by the way can boost your fitness in VO2 max significantly in only eight weeks!

Update: I have calculated my HR zones.

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Inclusive autistic traits

autisticality

Problems

Autism is big and messy and confusing, and no-one really understands it. It’s difficult to make a good summary and description of autistic traits, because generally no-one can agree on what autism actually is. But even taking that into account, I’ve never read a satisfactory article or leaflet summarising and describing autistic traits.  Every description I’ve ever read suffered from at least one of these problems:

  • Wrongly weighted. So many descriptions of autism written by neurotypical people focus completely on social traits. Often autism is described as an entirely social thing, and any other differences are considered incidental if they’re mentioned at all.
  • Vague. The “triad of impairments” is the worst offender here. It divides social traits arbitrarily into “interaction”, “communication”, and “imagination”, but there is absolutely no clear distinction between those categories. They’re meaningless and useless divisions that don’t remotely simplify the description, and so they serve no useful purpose…

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