What The Pros Are Riding: Rachel Joyce
Improving her Kona Placing year on year, Joyce took 10 minutes off her bike split in 2011 to finish fourth.
Cervélo have been the leading brand in the Kona bike count for years so news of the latest evolution of their P-series aero family always creates a lot of excitement. The new P5 certainly follows the distinctively angular family look with an offset, almost vertical seat post and wheelhugger seat tube. The tube shapes are deeper overall though and there are two different fork options too: a shallow one for UCI-sanctioned road events and a deeper, more aerodynamic blade complete with drag reducing brake shroud and stem ‘beard’ for triathletes like Cervélo newcomer Rachel Joyce (racheljoyce.org). The front end is also home of two more really neat design touches. The Cervélo specific 3T Aduro bars have totally internal cable routing for an extremely neat and aerodynamic cockpit.
The most dramatic innovation is the new Magura RT8 TT brakes though. These neatly get round the issue of convoluted, control-reducing cable routing on many “superbike” designs by using a hydraulic caliper driving piston actuated by conventional cable levers. The frame is pre-routed for Di2 electronic gearing, as well as a range of aerodynamic storage options.
Joyce raced on the older P3 in 2011 and says her experience of the bike put Cervélo top of her sponsor wishlist when she took the decision to go solo. Having worked on her bike fit with Matt Steinmetz (formerly of Retul in Boulder, Colorado) on the P3, she’s working to recreate her position on the P5 with some minor adjustments like placement of her hydration systems. Joyce has only just started racing on the P5 – resulting in a PB of 8:46:09 at Ironman Melbourne in March – and has a standard build but should be moving to a new lower front-end model in the next couple of months.
Bag the bike
The P5 follows its predecessors, sitting firmly in the ‘dream bike’ category: the top-end P5 Six frameset will cost you £4,499.99 or you could go for the ‘budget’ P5 Three at £3,499.99 (madison.co.uk).
A swimmer and runner from an early age, Joyce has had plenty to gain on the bike and found more than 10 minutes on her Ironman Hawaii bike split from 2010 to 2011. “I think the biggest difference was my bike position,” she says. “My training was better too, but much as I’d like to think it was all down to more power through the pedals, the data from both races shows it wasn’t! Kona is the kind of race where position makes a huge difference because you spend so long in the time trial position.”
SRM-sponsored athlete Joyce has been using power-based training for three years now. “It’s an integral part of my training,” she says. “It doesn’t play such a big part in my racing, but I do like to get the data back from a race. It highlights areas I need to improve, so I might see that my power drops during the last 40km of the ride for example.”
Joyce’s coach Matt Dixon (purplepatchfitness.com) sets her training sessions based on power, with target bands to hit in every workout.
Joyce also uses indoor bike training to keep a tough edge to her bike splits. Since early 2009 she’s been using a CompuTrainer for turbo workouts and says it helps to keep a focus to her tougher bike sessions. Her favourite painful sessions include 2x20mins at threshold and a one-hour time trial. “It feels like you’re on the road because you don’t get those dead spots which some turbo trainers have. You’re not stopping for traffic – though sometimes I wish there were some traffic lights on it! There’s no hiding when you’re on the CompuTrainer so you have to keep going, just like in a race. Often in a race your legs are screaming at you to stop but you have to keep going and the CompuTrainer teaches you that.
Train Like Rachel Joyce
Use a power meter
Power meters measure how hard and fast you pedal, giving you a constantly updating power figure in watts that isn’t affected by external conditions. They also measure your heart rate, cadence, speed and distance, so you get a wealth of information that you can download, analyse and learn from. There is software available (such as WKO+) that helps you study your power files and turn them into in-depth training information, but doing this isn’t for everyone. If you don’t consider yourself very techy you might need to enlist a coach to help you interpret your power files.
Train on the turbo
A brilliant feature on the CompuTrainer is the ability to download specific race courses, like the Ironman UK bike route, and then ride them in training. They also measure your power and show you how efficiently you pedal. Fortunately you can train like Rachel Joyce using just about any turbo trainer, although there are a few things you can do to help:
– Plan your session before you ride
– Set up a fan to keep you cool
– Use a stopwatch and heart-rate monitor
– Watch cycling DVDs for motivation
– Download new music podcasts to keep you entertained
This article was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine. Save time and money by having every issue delivered to your door or digital device by subscribing to the print edition or buying digitally through Zinio or Apple Newsstand.
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