One of the key benefits to SOLOS is the ability to enhance both the execution and value of various training sessions, whether they be on the bike or on the run. Through a combination of immediate visual feedback and timely audio cues, SOLOS helps athletes to stay present, focused and safe, without the need to look down to your handlebars or wrist.
Before you launch into a formal training program, it is best to spend about a week getting acclimated to both the SOLOS headset and app. You will want to make sure you are able to properly connect your valued sensors, such as a power meter or heart rate monitor, set up a training session with the relevant metrics in your field of vision, as well as successfully complete and save a workout to one of your favorite endurance sport apps, such as TrainingPeaks or Strava.
After you feel comfortable with the above, it best to perform a basic Functional Threshold Power/ Pace (FTP) test, which will help you to reveal your current fitness and establish a benchmark from which you will train near, above or below in order to target various energy systems. After a thorough warm up, complete a 20-minute effort (bike) or 30-minute (run) with the goal of going as hard/ far/ fast as possible for the given duration. On the bike, a power meter is your best source for gauging intensity (HRM is OK too), while on the run, pace/ mile will be an effective measurement. Regardless, plan to take 90-95% of your results (use the lower number if you are newer to endurance sports training), which best approximates your 1-hour max effort, aka your FTP.
SOLOS makes the above workout much easier to accomplish and more fun too. I suggest using the “Multi-View” mode, then, for the bike, selecting power or heart rate for the top line and elapsed time for the bottom. Replace the top line with pace if you are running, and leave the bottom line as elapsed time. After a thorough warm-up, you can either begin the FTP test on a round number such as 20:00 or 30:00, or you can stop for a short recovery, save the warm-up file, then start a fresh ride/ run just for your FTP effort. For added fun and motivation, create a 20-30 minute playlist on your phone, then enjoy listening through the high-quality onboard Bluetooth speakers, while keeping your ears free for safe interaction with others on the road or trail.
When you’ve completed your FTP test and lengthy cool-down, save the workout, and then analyze your results right there in the SOLOS app summary, or on a number of other apps.
Keep an eye out for a follow-up post with suggestions about how to use SOLOS and that fresh, new FTP knowledge to build fitness, stamina and speed.
Scott Fliegelman is SOLOS’ Director of Strategic Partnerships. He was the former owner and head coach of FastForward Sports, at one time the largest endurance sports training group in the Rockies, and has also been a long-time contributor to Triathlete Magazine. Scott is based in Boulder, Colorado.