Training Technology: The Caveman eats his helmet.

After nearly 2 decades of being a pro triathlete, the Caveman finally stumbles out of his grotto, knuckles dragging, to discover the wonders of training technology!

I know I’ll get a lot of flack for this one.  (Ga Von Twitt– give me the best you’ve got!) Especially after this blog post about how backward the Caveman really is about training technology.

I used to rely on roughly on Time, Heart rate and Feel. Using my trusty Suunto t6 for swim, bike and run.

Now things have changed radically: From now on, technology will play an integral part in my training. Does that mean my admitted “loafing” and fun days of being “self coached” is over? No, to me, using this amazing new invention (ha ha) is a new challenge to rise up to. For all you techno geeks, stay tuned if you like numbers, watts, repeats, resting heart rate, calories burned, power to weight ratio and all the things the Old School Caveman shunned before.

Here we go:

– Power

Barely 2 weeks after resuming “training,” I was subjected to a lab test by Ian “Numbers” Rodger– my new trainer.

I reached out to Ian via FaceBook in a panic  2 weeks before XTERRA Nationals 09. I somehow conned him into a bad situation of injury and under training, only 6 weeks before XTERRA Worlds. For such a clever guy, you’d think he’d know better.  I met Ian where he lab tested me before the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. I was impressed by his extensive knowledge for Wattage numbers which, very importantly, he combined really well with the non scientific aspects of racing. (pacing strategy etc) Successfully combining the Science of Physiology and Art of Training is a rare gift and I look forward to exploring new frontiers of performance and cleverderness with Ian.


The good photos are by Gary Perkin. The bad ones are by me!

As you can see by the lactate in the graph below, my 3 month long Ice Cream and Beer diet was great for aerobic capacity, and I stayed below 2 mM till 330W, but then the Ice Cream and Beer diet backfired and I went from “OK” to “completely blown” in a few minutes flat. I peaked at 470W and my threshold was between 360 and 415W.  Two weeks before XTERRA Worlds 09 I could hold 50 min (5x10min reps) at 460W– so I have a looong way to go before Ass Kicking Season opens. My best Peak Power (PPO) was 510W* way back, but like I said, I’ve never been much of a lab rat…

Looking at this graph, Ian will have me do a lot of my base training between 290 and 330W. As opposed to my old “Go according to State of Legs, Caffeine level and Loudness of Music” scale.

conrad lactate power jan 2010

– Scientific bike set up


Dr Jeroen Swart from Science to Sport in Cape Town fine tuning my bike position using the locally developed Ergofit system. (and his 2 decades’ XC racing experience at National level) Ian and Jeroen were both convinced I shouldnt ride anything shorter than 180mm cranks- quite a rare phenomena- such long cranks.

Notice I have the “hare in the headlights” look. All this mumbo jumbo… “Back in the day, I would just put the saddle on the bike, tighten it down well and pedal the damn thing!”


Even though we were separated by a continent and 2 big oceans, Ian Rodger (R) got my set up amazingly close to what it should be  (fine tuned by Jeroen Swart on the level) via the wonders of video on the World Wide Web. Check out how to do remote bike set up here.

Thanks to Neil from BicyclePower (Powertap) in South Africa for lending me his wireless Power Tap wheel. Without the help of those magic little numbers on the handlebar, I would fall back to the “State of Legs, Caffeine level and Loudness of Music” scale…

* Hereby I distinctly distance myself from all forms of doping, blood siphoning, untraceable Growth thingies and any kind funny business which includes everything up to course cutting. My Wattage numbers are so big because I’m a big guy- if you consider power to weight ratio I’m not as hot as you may like to think.


Windows 7 professional 64 bit Activator 23-09-2014, 02:55

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orthodox 02-03-2011, 05:10

Shah, out of shape pushes 5×10:00 at 460W! I should just drink more beer…

Aleksandar Sørensen-Markovic Ironman triathlet » Legends inspire legends inspire legends 26-03-2010, 10:19

[…] Easy! Hmm, hvad betyder det når det kommer fra en mand der i træning laver intervaller a 15 min lige omkring 400 watt. […]

Conrad Stoltz Xterra Triathlon World Champion » This one time, at band camp, I rode 300 Watts for 3hrs 23-02-2010, 22:54

[…] I ate my helmet, (and embraced training technology when we started base training about a month ago.) I have been […]

Conrad Stoltz 23-01-2010, 20:34

As for the blogging-thanks for the compliment. Please dont hesitate to request topics you’d like to blog about. Internet in South Africa is scarce as hens teeth, and I finally got hooked up with my own supply- the reason I have been quiet since Christmas. (Also I have more time now- as Amber is stuck in the US for a while longer) Now my internet is feeble but available anytime. I’m slowly figuring out what triathletes like to read, (numbers, diet and cool equipment) so I’ll blog more about that. I prefer funny stories, photography and interesting experiences- usually outside of training and racing, but I think we can reach a happy medium;)

Conrad Stoltz 23-01-2010, 20:25

The Brand- Running the “one man band” of a pro triathlete is very time and energy consuming, and not being much of a numbers guy, (high school algebra proved that!) I shun all forms of clutter and confusion with electronics, intricate graphs and software. Now I leave it all up to Ian. If he says keep it at X watts for Y hours, thats all I do- he plays the numbers and I push the pedals- its a good, symbiotic partnership.

The Brand 22-01-2010, 21:09

Thanks Conrad !!!

I was wondering if you would “up” your blogging good performance 😉

Way back when you were the first one to tell me to use Power Outage combined with Heart-Rate.
I simply thought you carried on using it . . . . . . 🙂


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