The Joule GPS+: A Tool for Coaches and Athletes Alike, Part 3
Data that was once only available in a lab is now easily accessible at your fingertips. Part 3 of this four-part series on key power training data for coaches and their athletes touches on more in-depth power training metrics, including how to use PowerAgent's virtual ride partner.
Using PowerAgent, a cyclist or their coach can convert a previous ride into a route. User can also convert rides to routes on the Joule GPS+. Once the ride-to-route conversion has occurred, the route file now contains pacing information from the previous ride. Copy that route to the Joule GPS/GPS+. When the user rides that route again they will now have multiple ways to monitor their current pace against the pace associated with the ride route.
- The cyclist can use the map dashboard to see both the Ride Partner and their position. In this case the rider will see two icons on the screen: one represents their position, the other represents the virtual Ride Partner. The Virtual Ride Partner is moving at the pace of their previous ride.
- They can use the Ride Partner metric to track displays like how far ahead or behind the rider is from the Ride Partner in time or distance. This metric also displays the average speed the rider will have to maintain to beat the Ride Partner to the end of the route. This is called the Escape/Closure rate on the Joule.
- Using the Joule cycling computer's pacing features, a rider can compete against themselves, using their own rides for that route, or obtain a ride or route from a friend and compete against the friend's "best" time on that particular route. A little friendly competition never hurt.
Race Lap/Auto Intervals
A common feature on cycling computers is an Auto Interval setting. This feature allows a rider to set up an Auto Interval (or Auto Int) after a certain amount of time or distance. The Joule GPS and Joule GPS+ are unique in that it can Auto Interval based on "position" or a GPS waypoint.
An athlete can mark the Start/Finish of any type of circuit race (Road, MTB, Crit). Each time they pass that GPS waypoint the Joule GPS/GPS+ will automatically mark an interval. After the race they can go to the interval dashboard or ride summary in the history area to check out their performance during each lap of the event.
Using the Countdown feature, the cyclist can set up countdown timers for Distance, Time, or Kilojoules. Kilojoules (KJs) of work is a key metric for many coaches. The ability to count it down is unique to the Joule GPS/GPS+.
Why Your Coach Cares
A coach may want their athlete to simply get in a certain amount of work for a ride. They do not care how the athlete gets the work done. In this situation a coach would say "Get in 2500 KJ today." The athlete could choose to do this by riding hard for a shorter period of time or go easier for a longer period. It's a nice break from more structured interval work. On the Joule they would just punch in the total KJs and ride until the device tells them they are done.
Lets say an athlete wants to do a particular Ironman event or something like the Leadville 100. A coach will look at a power file from the same event, but from a previous year, and find a finish time that's around the goal time of their athlete. They will be able to determine how many KJs it took to complete the event. Then during training they make sure the athlete can at least do an equal or greater amount of work to complete the event in that time.
Want to dive deeper into the data? All of these metrics can be viewed in our PowerAgent software and uploaded to your coach's favorite platform.