This is a sponsored article in association with Oakley.
Professional cycling is unrecognisable from the "flog 'em" mentality of years gone by. Where once woolen-adorned riders, clicking their downtube shifters with frozen hands, would ride and ride until their last breath seemed imminent, now training is much more precise, pinpointing specific parameter of fitness – we’re talking speed, strength, stamina and power – by varying ride intensity and duration.
This change in mindset is highlighted by the top teams. Instead of spending near enough their entire budget on riders, World Tour teams now shave off a percentage to recruit world-class coaches, sports scientists and exercise physiologists.
Enter your very own cutting-edge training partner and coach – Oakley’s revolutionary Radar Pace.
Track and feedback
The result of a collaborative effort between Oakley and technological whizz kids Intel, the Radar Pace is a smart-looking and smart-thinking piece of performance eyewear that’ll help you to bike stronger, faster and longer.
The voice-activated system tracks, coaches and responds to your every move, ensuring you maximise every ride.
“What does it measure and what feedback does it send through the earbuds,” you may ask? Pace, speed, distance… it also syncs with your heart rate monitors and power meters to feedback heart rate and wattage. My word, it’ll even do your washing and join your neighbourhood watch scheme if you ask nicely.
How does it work? The sleek frame features two earbuds, three microphones and innovative motion, humidity and proximity sensors that, when asked, provides real-time feedback.
“Okay Radar, what’s my heart rate?” you ask. “100 beats per minute,” the female coach responds. “What’s my pace?” “Five minutes per mile…” Which is all well and good but, without guidance, where do you go with that information?
Cue the Oakley Radar Pace (iOS/Android) app, which features an extraordinary customisable training plan. You see, not only does the Oakley Radar Pace app give you a bespoke cycling programme based on categories like current fitness, event distance and time until event, but actually adjusts the sessions’ duration and intensity as it paints a clearer picture of your abilities.
As for the prescribed rides, these focus on strength, stamina, speed and technique, and cleverly balance hard workouts with easier efforts, and tougher weeks with the occasional easier week.
By the genius of Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity, your smart glasses then tell you whether you’re matching the pace or intensity of the specific session. “Decrease your pace,” you’re told or, more likely, “Increase your pace!”
Music and phone
In addition to becoming your number-one training partner, the Oakley Radar Pace glasses play your favourite tunes and can take phone calls on the fly – hands-free, of course.
Touch pads on the temples ensure you can adjust volume with a simple tap and swipe. And don’t forget that eyewear should also act as, well, eyewear! Prizm Road Lenses optimise and sharpen visual acuity, while the Oakley Radar Pace comes complete with a clear lens for cloudier rides.
Battery life nestles at the 4-6hr mark depending on feature use, with a neat, waterproof USB port responsible for recharging your coach. Two nose pads, a spare set of ear booms, a microbag and protective eyewear case complete a truly revolutionary training package.