How to nail your 2017 New Year’s resolution before 2016 has even ended

Oakley’s new Radar Pace combines cutting-edge eyewear, real-time audio feedback and customised training sessions. In short, it’s your perfect training partner…

This is a sponsored article in association with Oakley.

With Auld Lang Syne still ringing in the ears, your cycling mates unveil a scroll listing their fresh set of resolutions to motivate cycling in 2017… that is until the second week of January when work, life and the universe has disrupted training – again – and their race entry suddenly seems an expensive faux pas.

As for you, you can revel in the fact your fitness at the New Year’s Eve party – let alone what it’ll be like in 2017 – has never been higher. And it’s all down to Oakley’s new Radar Pace (that and your dedication, of course).

The Radar Pace is Oakley’s ground-breaking new pair of performance glasses that, thanks to the clever folk at Intel, features voice-activated control and links to an extraordinary app that prescribes you a customised training plan.

Not only that, as the app learns what you’re capable of, it can increase/decrease the intensity and volume of training so that you follow an individual course.

The Radar Pace itself measures fitness parameters like pace, speed and distance, but Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity mean power, cadence and heart-rate data is also available with respective training tools.

The more data, the more precise and bespoke the individual sessions created by the app, which designs sessions based on strength, stamina, speed and technique. And all four of these are complemented by the Radar Pace eyewear, app and this trio of measurements…

Bespoke cadence

Your Radar Pace communicates cadence – pedal revolutions per minute. Why is this important? If you’re training three or four hours a week, you’ll probably ride at a relatively low cadence of around 70-75rpm. That’s because your muscular system’s more developed than your cardiovascular fitness.

If you have the luxury of more time, riding for eight-plus hours each week for many years, your cadence will probably be higher. That’s because greater stamina often results in a higher cadence because your strong heart and lungs remove some of the muscular load, meaning you can whip those legs around quick-smart for faster, fatigue-free riding. Your Radar Pace will ascertain which you are and challenge you accordingly.

The Oakley Radar Pace designs sessions based on strength, stamina, speed and technique
The Oakley Radar Pace designs sessions based on strength, stamina, speed and technique

Power feedback

“Radar, what is my power output?” you ask. “150 watts,” replies Radar. Thankfully, consistent training over the next four weeks will result in significant wattage gains, and it all starts with a fitness test.

Here’s how: warm up for five minutes at 50-60rpm. (Ask Radar for cadence to keep you up-to-date.) Then pedal in a seated position for one minute at the starting power – this is around 55 watts for unfit individuals and 100 watts for fitter folk.

After a minute, increase power by 15w. Keep increasing by 15w each minute until you can’t talk. Now stop. This is assumed to be around 85% of your maximum heart rate. Take note of the power output. Add 60w and this gives you your maximum minute power (MMP).

Now you can set training zones to elicit different physiological adaptations like stamina, speed and strength. Look online for power zones by respected sports scientists Andrew Coggan and Hunter Allen.

Retest again in four weeks. With Radar’s instant feedback and training plan ensuring consistent training, you’ll discover your MMP has risen, along with training zones and the smile on your face.

Train to the beat

Power meters are great but they’re not cheap. Thankfully, the Radar Pace also links seamlessly with most heart rate monitors, again relaying how hard or easy you’re working and how that relates to the session.

Similar to power zones, you should find your maximum heart rate – your average over the last 10mins of a 20min eyes-out time-trial is a good start – and then follow the Radar Pace’s sessions suited to the specific physiological adaptation.

For instance, training between 75-82% of your maximum heart rate for 45mins to 2hrs improve your ability to maintain sustainable power as well as raising carbohydrate metabolism.

The Radar Pace also lets you ride ‘freeform’ when you’re looking to ride naturally and not follow a specific session.

And for one final dollop of motivation, you can listen to your smartphone’s music library, activating tune choice by a simple verbal direction. Ride into the New Year in the shape of your life with Oakley Radar Pace – that is an order…

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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