ErgVideo 2 – Second Impression!

8 01 2009

It’s not about WHERE you ride, it’s about HOW HARD you ride

Yesterday I rode the Muskoka Half Video from ErgVideo for 6 minutes and posted my First Impression. Today I had planned a Brick workout (1 hour bike, 20 minutes run), using the same video. 

If you read the First Impression post, you probably noticed that I wasn’t thrilled with the product… 54 minutes later, I loved it! Here is the thing, when I first bought the Video, I had a complete different idea in my mind. I thought it was just another video that wasn’t available for the Interactive Real Course Video (IRCV), so I was getting it from another company. Well, as it turned out, these two products are not exactly the same. As I pointed out in my previous post, IRCV simulates the course and it is up to you to perform. (Nothing wrong with that!)

I exchanged a few emails with Paul Smeulders (President and Developer ErgVideo) after my first posting. The first thing he mentioned was “It’s not about WHERE you ride, it’s about HOW HARD you ride“, which is a pretty good way to summarize the product. In Paul’s words:

While you get the feeling of familiarity with the course profile, if you are not training the required abilities or performance factors needed to excel in the cycling leg, simply riding a course profile repeatedly won’t necessarily guarantee you are executing a specific workout designed to get you there efficiently. Many people ride long courses slowly, every time, or according to their daily whims. ErgVideo rather forces you to expend effort according to a preset power plan. In the cases of Triathlon style ErgVideos, you are following how a successful high-level athlete is attacking the course. While it may not suit your tastes precisely, you are going to get a very specific focused workout that you can’t cheat or. Moreover, you can see all of the important details of your ride, and adjust them, using the web-tools feature in the ride designer.

ErgVideo has a different approach then IRCV, it imposes you a pace according to your capabilities based on a real course. I really didn’t buy the concept at first. However, after riding the course for 1 hour, I noticed that the beginning was extremely easy, not because of the profile, but simple because I have the tendency to start hard and slow down at the end (on a good day, it will be the other way around). ErgVideo really forces you to pace yourself, which is something that I need to improve.

Technically speaking, you can just create a erg course and you’re done! Yes, but lets face it, Computrainer Coaching Software (CS) is not the best motivating tool, it is just like a trainer on steroids. When you combine it with a video of a real course profile it adds a new dimension to your workout.

I summary, ErgVideo is not a course simulation tool, it is a workout simulation tool!

What’s next?

I will continue to use IRCV and Computrainer 3D to get familiarized with real courses that I’ll be riding, which will give me a pretty good idea of is waiting for me at each race  (e.g. riding IM France course, made me consider a new cassette). I will also use ErgVideo for my day to day training, specially intervals. However, before I buy another video, I’ll bug Paul a little bit more to find out which videos will best match my workout plans.

Oh, one more thing, my wife used the Muskoka Video for one hour too, I’ll let her comment! 😉

Note: special thanks to Paul for replying to my numerous emails. Great customer service!

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2 responses

27 02 2009
How to use Computrainer in my day to day routine « Hans Winter’s Weblog

[…] Since this post, I’ve started to use Ergvideo for the interval training. Have a look at ErgVideo 2 – Second Impression! […]

8 01 2009
Beatriz

I’ve tried Muskoka Half both with Computrainer 3D and the ErgVideo. I understand they work different things, have different strengths. I am not able to judge whether one is better than the other, I guess when you train you try most everything and focus on what you think you need. But I have to say, yesterday 1 hour on the Ergvideo was awesome!
First, it is hugely entertaining! If you picture I am in a basement at 11pm, -10C outside, after a long day of work and school and haven’t had dinner yet, recognizing some parts of the race is highly motivating for me! I love being outdoor, I need seeing stuff!
Technically, can’t forget I am there to train, the greatest improvement was that my cadence average increased about 15%! The software is done in a way that I was actually training harder, not cheating on hills.
I am the one who complains of the price tag of all triathlon gizmos – we must keep things in perspective – but I really enjoyed the workout yesterday!

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