Should We Race by Numbers? With Dirk Friel

Should you pay attention to the numbers on your head unit while you're racing? If so, which ones, and when? We dive in with TrainingPeaks co-founder Dirk Friel.

Garmin cycling computer head unit

When Chris Froome first came to prominence on the WorldTour and started dominating grand tours, all the talk was about how he was constantly looking at his stem. Was he staring at his power meter to gauge his effort? Entire websites were devoted to catching Froome in the act of looking at his head unit while racing his bike.

While Froome now claims he isn’t staring at his power and it has to do with breathing, the point deserves attention given the metronomic nature of some pro racing. If you did look at your numbers the whole time, would you be faster?

In this episode, we’re joined by TrainingPeaks co-founder Dirk Friel to discuss what numbers, if any, you should use to gauge your racing efforts. Of course, any discussion of how to race a bike naturally evolves into a broader conversation about strategy, tactics, psychology, and even equipment. So, you’ll gain plenty of insights into general race craft.

However, most of the discussion will be about the numbers: which numbers can help you, and in which race setting they’re most appropriate; and, just as importantly, which numbers can hurt your racing or at least your mindset. We’ll also discuss how you can use numbers to prepare for specific races, and even to plan out your race.

In addition to Dirk Friel, we’re also joined by sports psychologist Simon Marshall, former WorldTour rider Svein Tuft, pro racer Shayna Powless, and athlete and coach Jen Sharp.

How’s that stem look? Let’s make you fast!

Episode Transcript

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