Base Power with Quarq and Gord Fraser

Quarq

With our magazine content behind a firewall and in an iOS app, I wanted to bubble up this little bit from Issue 25, to talk more about the Quarq, and the work I did with Gord Fraser.

To get in shape for GFL, I worked with Gord on a solid plan and Quarq equipped my rain bike for the base miles. What resonated, is what Gord said in chat:

“Biggest goal is frequency. Back to basics man. No need to smash v02 max.”

For me, consistency is key. Because I’ve been riding for so many decades, the memory is there. Just have to engage the muscles, get them going, and then the speed will come. Smash the Vo2max later, as Cross season gets closer, and with more workouts from Gord.

I’ll leave the in-depth reviews of power meters to DC Rainmaker, but having used them all at one time or another, what I liked most about the Quarq is the consistent and steady readings. I pedal, glance down at a head unit, and see an accurate number that looks right. That’s all I need.

A funny anecdote is before Gord and I worked together, he asked me if I was a pussy and I replied, “If you mean like the time I brushed shoulders with you on a roller at the front of the group heading back to Monterey? Certainly not!” But what I am is a busy person with not much time to “train,” like I once did. As I shared in the magazine article, I also felt that racing was getting in the way of riding. So I focused on having some really great rides, re-centering on those moments, and then getting back into the drama of racing when it felt right.

It felt right last night at Tuesday Worlds, where I just showed up and it was a very fast points race. In a sea of white/red and red/green, I got in the mix for a lap or two, and enjoyed the feeling of speed. After so much base, and grinding out climbs, opening up the legs felt good.

Don’t think anyone wants to hear the specifics of my training, so the summary is

Hard stuff during the week, in target power zones, then long rides on the weekend at tempo.

Crosssports blogs about all of this too, sharing workouts and the flow of the season. As CrossVegas gets closer, there’s more speed work, and intensity, and really not taking the sport (and myself) so seriously. If you put the focused time in, the fitness will come, and always try to have fun with it. Pin a number on, show up at the line, and let that roulette table of a race spin as it does.

The Quarq I’m using on the rain bike is the Elsa and I agree with Ray who wrote

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Riken (Elsa is the non-Red version) is a solid power meter, capable of helping any athlete train. I saw consistent accuracy, and day to day use is spot-on with any other top power meter on the market.

“Solid and consistent,” just like Gord said and, “Back to basics man.” It’s also nice not to have to worry about whether my left and right legs are both doing equal work.

Finally, earlier this year, Quarq announced a 19% price drop, including the Elsa.