Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Ride of 08

I went out for a solo ride this morning, and added a little structure. I did 3 x 20 minutes at SST pace with about 3 or 4 minutes of rest between the efforts. It was real windy today, which made some sections slow, but others real fast. On the second 20 minute effort, there was a 10 minute span where the average speed was 27.1.

Even though I am in the middle of a long break from work, I don't feel like turning it into a personal training camp and riding a ton of miles yet. I'm content to keep most rides under 2 hours right now. I've got a few projects around the house that I'm working on that are keeping me busy this week. I'll ramp things up in a few weeks.

Happy New Years everyone! Be safe tonight.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Afternoon Group Ride

This afternoon, I took part in a six man ride from LL's house in Wildewood. We rolled out at 2 pm in near perfect conditions with sunshine, 66 degrees and light wind. It was a damn good day to be off from work. Traffic was a little heavy in the Clemson Road, Two Notch area, but I guess that is always the case.

I think the intent of the ride was to ride at an endurance pace, but riding single paceline the whole way we kept a fast pace. Throwing out the first and last five minute segments where we were piddling around in the neighborhood, we averaged 22.1 mph. I'd still call this an endurance pace ride, but the 239 watt NP is right at the bottom of L3.

The 833 watt max was set as JB and I kicked it up to get into the draft of a truck on Sparkleberry near the end. We passed at least 3 county line signs today, and no one flinched. I need to at least attempt a sprint soon, just to remember what that feels like.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday Bonus Ride

I was fully expecting to take three days completely off from riding, so any riding during this time period is a bonus. I woke up Sunday morning with no plans at all for the day, since I was supposed to be out of town. I woke up drank coffee, ate breakfast, sat around playing on the computer, then eventually went out to ride once the temperature was up to 65 degrees. On the bike I had no plan either. I just rode a moderate pace and stayed out for a couple of hours.

After the ride I was lazy and watched almost the entire Panthers - Saints football game.

I'm Still Home

My trip to Ohio was canceled. One of our two cats got sick Friday night, so we took her to the vet first thing Saturday morning. She was dehydrated and ended up staying at the vet until Monday afternoon. She was diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid and may have some kidney issues, but she is on medication and doing much better today.

We had planned to drive to Ohio Saturday morning to visit Lynda's parents and relatives, but had to call the trip off.

I managed to do a short little trainer ride totaling 38 minutes, while Lynda was out running.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day After Christmas Ride

LL and I met this morning for an endurance pace ride through Blythewood, and up to Ridgeway this morning. The rain did move through before we started, but a fine mist persisted, keeping the roads wet and the temperatures from reaching 50. I felt fine riding, but with wet feet and legs this ride would've really sucked if the temps were 5 or 10 degrees lower.

When I got back home I was surprised to see that my wife had ventured out on her bike. It turns out she did 1 1/2 hours solo in the crappy weather, and was a little underdressed. Needless to say she came inside shivering.

I'm taking a little training break until the middle of next week. Tomorrow morning, we are off to Strongsville, Ohio for a few days to visit the in laws.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday morning trainer fun

This morning it was time for more sprint work on the trainer. After three of these workouts this month, I'm starting to get adjusted to the high RPMs of seated trainer sprinting. Looks like my cadence topped 140 on some of these.

I thought I would actually get outdoors on weekday mornings at least occasionally this fall and winter, but that hasn't happened. It's just too damn cold in the pre-dawn hours, or if its warm enough its raining or foggy. That's not a problem for the next week and a half though. I'm off from work, so that means I'll ditch the trainer for a while.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday SST Ride

The goal for today's workout was simple - ride for 1.5 hours with at least one hour in the sweet spot. I wasn't sure the plan would work since my legs felt like crap yesterday and I've spent the last two days indulging in holiday related feasts and drinking beer. None of that seemed to matter though. After a short warm-up I did 1:13 at 271 watts and a little under 22 mph. I felt great today and could've held this pace for much longer I think.

Saturday Distance Ride

Saturday morning I was going to meet up with a small group as they rolled through Blythewood, but I missed them. I ended up riding to Winnsboro, then back home via 269 and Cedar Creek Road. The weather was awesome, probably 70 degrees, with sun and light wind. I just cruised along at a steady pace, but my legs felt heavy so I didn't push it.

For me right now a 2 hour ride is a distance ride. I'm still in off season mode, trying to do some weight training, and recharge mentally. I seem to be maintaining FTP pretty well with about 6 to 7 hours of riding a week with a lot of SST.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday Group Ride

Saturday morning I met up with a group of about a dozen or so for a short endurance ride from Blythewood to Ridgeway and back. It was a good group with about half on road bikes and half on TT rigs. Since I rode from my house to the starting point, about 1 1/2 hours of this ride were actually spent with the group, and we averaged about 20.5 mph, so it was a good steady pace, but not too fast.

By the way, don't read anything into my recorded max HR of 211. I seem to always get some high readings at a particular point about 2 miles into every ride. When I throw that out, the max was actually 161.

Trainer Sprints

I did do some training this week, but nothing was really blog worthy except for this little sprint workout I did Friday morning. I did 3 sets of 4 x 15 sec seated sprints, with 1 minute recovery between sprints and 4 minutes between sets. This is a good workout to compliment a weight training program, by training the legs to use strength gained from weight training to turn the pedals faster. For me it's a way to work on a weakness. I'm not the greatest sprinter, but I do see improvement after doing this sort of workout. I was only able to do about 625 watts on these, but I should be able to bump that up by at least 50 watts after several weeks.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Ride

Didn't have a whole lot of time to devote to riding today, so I did about an hour pretty hard after a 30 minute or so warm-up. It was only in the 30's when I rode, but it felt fine with the sun, compared to yesterday's 2.5 hour ride in the cold fog with LL. The batteries in my PT hub went dead 20 minutes into the ride yesterday, so no data.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Weekend Riding Recap

The weather was awesome on Friday, so I did a third consecutive day of road riding, getting in about 2 hours. I basically rode tempo after a long warm-up. I decided to skip LL's 95 mile ride around Lake Wateree. I'm just not up for 5 hours on a bike right now.

I almost made it through Black Friday without shopping, but ended up making a trip to Walmart late in the day to pick up some Christmas lights, so we could get every bush in the front lit up. To my surprise Walmart wasn't crowded at all.

I did not venture out on my bike on Saturday or Sunday because it rained the entire time. I actually did 1 hour on the trainer each morning with 40+ minutes of SST each workout. The weekly summary shows six consecutive days on the bike with a good portion of that time spend in L3 and L4. I also managed to lift weights a couple of days. I've probably never trained this much on Thanksgiving week, but this year I wasn't traveling and I had plenty of time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pre-feast ride

I had no real plan for this ride other than to just get in two hours. I was a little tired from going hard yesterday, but with today being Thanksgiving and all, I wanted to get out and work up an appetite. Mission accomplished. I was able to consume copious quantities of turkey, dressing, mac & cheese and rolls. Then I still managed to eat dessert.

Solo Tempo Ride

I had Wednesday off from work, so I ventured out on the road bike. I pushed pretty hard and felt like a got in a great workout in less than two hours.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Three mornings of SST

After a couple of rest days following the mtb race, I did three consecutive mornings of hard tempo, otherwise known as SST. It sounds boring, but I kept the workouts short, with the longest being 58 minutes. As an experiment, on Thursday I did no warm-up or cool-down. I simply rode the whole 50 minutes at about 90% of threshold. It wasn't too bad. That day I also lifted weights at lunch, and this morning I felt sluggish.

I've already decided that SST would be my bread and butter workout for the offseason, but a comment posted on a forum recently by power training guru Andy Coggan reinforced my belief in SST. Coggan recently said, "In terms of riding indoors, though, I believe that *every* workout that isn't a recovery ride or some form of structured intervals should be in the "sweet spot"."

Tomorrow I plan to actually get outdoors and ride some, assuming that temperatures rise well above the forecast low of 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

MTB Race

I did the mountain bike race at Harbison Forest this afternoon and finished 2nd in the expert class. It was a low key event since most competitors were locals and its the off season right now. About 10 of us lined up and I was the lone singlespeeder. I paced myself pretty well and rode a good second half of the race to move up from 5th to 2nd, but the leader (Justin from Charleston) was way out in front and I never saw him. The SS worked pretty well on this course. I couldn't keep up on some of the flat pedaling sections but the bike was fine on climbs and everywhere else.

I've been using this race is motivation to hold onto some sort of fitness over the last several weeks. Now I can slack off a little more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weekday Morning SST

I'm not riding everyday now, but when I do ride I'm trying to get the maximum training effect that I can get in a short period of time. On Tuesday I did this 48 minute SST(sweet spot training) effort on the trainer, with a total on bike time of 58 minutes including warm-up and cool-down. At this intensity level its hard, but not too hard.

On Monday and Wednesday, I skipped riding and lifted weights on my lunch hour.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Columbia-Roubaix Ride and More MTB

On Saturday morning I took part in a long group ride with a twist. MM put together a route that started in the Fort and headed south to Eastover, then west to Hopkins, while hitting at least a dozen different dirt sections. It was a blast bombing down unfamiliar dirt roads at 20-25mph. On the pavement we mostly just cruised along and an easy pace. The pace picked up a bit after LL, Justin and I broke off in Hopkins to head back to the NE. We just rode steady tempo, but I was still exhausted by the end. Lots of tss points were earned for an off season ride (166).

Sunday I rode the SS 29er at Harbison, which was also a blast. The 32x17 gearing made things tough riding Spiderwoman, but that gear is great overall for this place. There's an mtb race there in a couple of weeks and I think I'm gonna race. I'm still in OK shape so why not?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One Hour Hard

I'm not logging a lot of training hours right now, so I decided to make the most of this morning's trainer ride. I did a very short warm-up, then did 2 x 25 minutes at about 300 watts. The whole workout including warm-up and cool-down was at 91% of FTP. I think I'm gonna do hard rides like this a couple of times a week and avoid distance rides for the most part.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Trail Ride

The stats on this ride are a little weak. I really wish a had a power meter on my mountain bike, but I don't. I have a speed sensor, so I can use the Powertap computer, but no power. This ride was at Harbison Forest this morning on my 29er singlespeed riding a 32x17 gear. This is a pretty big gear, so I stuck to the faster trails. I pushed the final 9.5 miles and averaged 13.2 mph. Its really fun getting back on the trail again after several months of only road riding, except that I managed to crash pretty hard once on one of the many roots that cover much of the trail. Luckily I was unhurt.

SST in the Wind

I want to keep some fitness, but mentally I'd rather do a short hard ride than the typical 3 hour + LSD ride that most people do. On Saturday morning I rolled out with my wife, who is still rehabbing her foot and just getting back on the road again. Leaving the neighborhood, we went opposite ways, and I did my familiar Cedar Creek, 269, Syrup Mill loop. For most of the ride I just rode SST. It was real windy out there, so that keep the speed down a bit.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday Stroll

I was really exhausted from my three race weekend, so I did almost no riding for several days. I did a couple of short easy runs and one short ride on the trainer, then finally felt like doing something on Sunday. My legs felt great so I rode tempo most of the way. It's amazing how good riding feels at a TSB of +26.

For the next couple of months, I'm going do a mix of cycling, running, singlespeed mountainbiking, and weightlifting to maintain some fitness and maybe build a little strength. That sounds like a lot, but in reality I'll do less hours per week than when I'm in season. For example, today I lifted for a half hour at lunchtime, but that was it, no ride.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

3rd Race in 2 days (4th place)

This morning was a 52 mile road race on a military base in Port Royal. It was a pancake flat course, but still a very good venue for a race. We had full road closure for all but a mile or so. There were several turns and curves on the 10.5 mile course, and many areas exposed to the wind. It was definitely a course that favored the big power riders. My teammate LL got into the early break at mile 3, then hooked up with Eric C and shedded the rest of break. Those two built up a two minute lead and stayed away, with LL finishing a close 2nd in the sprint. Back in the field I was able to break free solo with a little over one lap to go. Sean from team CTM quickly bridged up to me and we were able to build a big gap after a few miles. We got pretty close to LL with a couple of miles to go, so I decided to ease off because it didn't make sense to help a spinter up to the front of the race right before the finish, who would probably smoke us all. I felt better about LL's odds one on one against Eric. Ultimately, I was overmatched in the sprint for 3rd, but felt good to snag 4th on a course that didn't really suit a skinny climber type like me.

From a wattage perspective the race file isn't outstanding, with only a 279w NP average for 2:05, but there were a number of hard zone 6 bursts when the race was active. There were also plenty of lulls where it was easy to recover.

I finished 3rd in the three race omnium, while LL vaulted up to 4th. It was a solid way to end the season. Now that its over, I'm not going to pack away my bike. I'm just going to ride when I feel like riding, and do a little running. I am NOT riding or running or anything tomorrow. I'm tired.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Afternoon Crit

Race number 2 of the day went a little better than this morning. I finished 4th in the crit, after bridging across to a 7 man group that got away about 30 minutes into the race. One of the guys in the break managed to crash himself on a straightaway with 1.5 laps to go. Mark W won the field sprint for 8th. I'm 3rd in the omnium going into the road race tomorrow. I think LL is 7th.

The power file show that the race was not super hard. I made a few short hard efforts, including a nice 2 minute or so effort at 400 watts and 28.6 mph to bridge across to the break. I led out the sprint which was for 2nd after 1 rider escaped with 10 laps to go. I tried to get a gap before the last two turns, but couldn't. I managed to sprint to the line pretty well (10s @971w), but still got passed by 2 faster guys.

SC State TT

My effort in the 40K time trial this morning in Yemassee was less than what I was hoping for. I rode a 59:57, good enough for the bronze medal in 35-39. LL rode a solid time of 58:05 to get the silver.

Right now I'm relaxing in a hotel room, waiting for the crit in downtown Port Royal at 5:00. Due to the low number of entries, the race is going to be a combined group including pro/1/2, cat 3, and masters 35+. Should be fun. More updates after crit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Intensity During Taper Week

After doing short easy spins on Monday and Tuesday, I threw in some intensity this morning. My goal was to spend some time at and above threshold, but I wanted to keep the total interval time at about half what I would do in a typical workout. I ended up doing 8 minutes at about threshold, 5 minutes about 20 watts above that, followed by 1 minute really hard, but not all out. I think this was enough work to keep me sharp, but not cause much fatigue. Tomorrow, I'll do 30-45 minutes easy. Friday I'll do about 1 hour with a few short efforts. Then Saturday morning it's off to the state TT championship in Yemassee, SC followed by a 60 minute crit in the afternoon, and a 63 mile road race on Sunday.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Easy Sunday

I just did a nice steady, boring, solo zone 2 ride on the TT bike this morning. It seemed like a pretty fast pace for only 206 watts.

Group Ride TT Training

Saturday morning, I did a 2 hour training ride with LL and BW. We did 2 x 1o minutes with 3 minutes recovery while we were headed north on Hwy 269. I tried to push a little harder than my previous threshold workouts on the tt bike. We staggered the start on the intervals so that I went off 20 seconds after LL. It was nice having a carrot up ahead to help push myself. I don't think I made up much ground on him though, even with a little ring climb towards the end. Average watts for the first 10 minutes was 325. Then I went off 20 seconds before LL on the second 10 minute interval, with BW going first again. About half way through, LL caught and passed me. Then he slowed a bit and I went back by him and keep my pace in the mid 320's watt range and ended up averaging 323 watts. Just as I stopped my interval, LL zoomed back by me as he finished. After the intervals we regrouped, and took turns taking long pulls at tempo pace, then eventually chilled and rode easy for the last few minutes. I'd have to say that LL has an edge on me for the 40K TT that we are doing this Saturday. He's going to push 360 or so watts. My skinny ass can maybe do 320 watts. The weight advantage is in my favor, but on a basically flat course, that may not be enough to equalize things.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

8 x 3's

Here's a fun workout I did this morning on the trainer. Not! Intervals done at more than 50 watts over FTP are in no way fun, they hurt really bad, but I convinced myself that I needed a hard structured workout today to try and eke out more gains in fitness before I begin my taper in a few days. My wife was actually down in the basement riding her trainer beside me today. She hates riding a trainer, but right now that's all she's cleared to do while she continues to recover from surgery to repair a tendon in her foot. I managed to average 374 watts for my 3 minute intervals, which is fine. In a couple of weeks I can stop this madness and enjoy the off season.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pre-dawn TT Workout

After taking it easy for a couple of days to recover from a hard race, I climbed back onto the TT bike and rolled out from my driveway in total darkness on this chilly morning donning a vest, arm warmers, and legwarmers for the first time since spring. I followed my low traffic route which meant plenty of climbing and rough pavement. I put in a 21 minute hard effort on Peach Road and added a few other short efforts including a 4 1/2 minute climb at a little over threshold. I think I'm finally getting used to riding this bike, which is a 6 year old Cervelo P2K by the way. I really wish I had one of these though... P4C.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Vista Grand Prix Crit

I raced the pro/1/2 crit in the Vista today and finished 6th. Officially I am being scored as 7th, after initially being scored as 10th. I'll go into more detail about the officiating screwups in a future post.

Here's a brief recap of the 50 lap, 28 mile race. This was a very hard course. It was a rectangle with one long uphill straight and one long downhill straight. I got into an 8 man break early on that lapped the field. After that I got away from the field again with the same group of 8. Then I launched a solo attack, got about 15 seconds and then dangled off the front for 3 or 4 laps and came close to lapping the field a second time, but was reabsorbed by my breakaway group. Then we finally caught the field for a second time. With 2 laps to go I attacked on the hill to try to get a way solo before the sprint. They called a gambler's prime of $100, which ended up foiling my move as I was chased down by the end of the lap. I did manage to stay in front to pick up the money as we crossed with 1 to go. From there I was only able to slot in at about 7th place as we raged down the hill on the backside, queuing up for the final sprint. I came by one rider just before the line and was about even with the 5th place finisher.

Now onto the good stuff - the power numbers. There were some crazy numbers in this file. For starters I raced 1 hr 8 min at 112% of FTP or 354 watts normalized power. That's 5.2 watts/kg! Yes probably my threshold power is a little higher than 315 now, but no where near 354 watts if I was to ride a well paced time trial effort. Some other things that jumped out were a 5 minute effort at 443w NP and the final 2 laps which were at 405w average power.

To those who were at the race and may have seen the finish, what place do you think I was?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday Threshold Effort

I decided that I needed to get in a hard workout on this day, since I didn't push it on the tt bike Wednesday. I could tell within the first couple of minutes during my warm-up that I had good legs today. This was in contrast to Tuesday where I never felt comfortable even warming up. I started out planning to do 2 x 20, but once I got started, I decided to just do one long effort and go at least 30 minutes. I actually picked up the pace a little as I went along and averaged 322 watts for 32 minutes. I really didn't go all out, so this shows that my fitness is improving. I don't know what to expect out of myself in the crit this Sunday, but I'm pretty sure I'm on track to do well in the state TT in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Suffering on the Trainer

Tuesday morning I did a brutal interval workout on the trainer, 3 sets of 3 x 3 min on, 1 min off. Each set is basically a hard 11 minute effort with a couple of short breaks in it. I struggled and thought about skipping the last set, but I hung on and made it without much of a slip power. The 3 min efforts were all between 354 and 359 watts. I used to do this and similar workouts a lot back when I was strictly following the Dave Morris school of training. This year I'm only doing these sort of VO2 max workouts to bring on a peak.

Today I did something a little more conventional. I went out on my tt bike and just rode whatever pace I felt like. I went sort of hard part of the time, but nothing to taxing. I left early with a headlight that I haven't used in at least a year. Thankfully the light still works fine. There was more traffic then I expected. It seems that by 6:45 am cars are already all over the main roads.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Solo SST ride

Went out this morning on the road bike planning to just get in a couple of hours at a moderate pace, not expecting to have much energy after a hard effort yesterday plus 1 1/2 hours of yard work in the heat of the day. After warming up for about 15 minutes I was feeling pretty good, so I picked up the pace and rode hard tempo for the rest of the way. The conditions were hot and somewhat windy on the second half of the ride, which held the speed down a bit.

This turned out to be a really efficient training week. I only rode 8hrs and 43min, but my average IF for the week was .826 or 260w NP. I did a VO2 max interval day, a threshold TT day, three SST days, plus two short easy days. I'm thinking the coming week will include more VO2 intervals, a ride on the tt bike, plus crit racing for the weekend. Next Sunday will be a rare occurance...a bike race right here in Columbia, SC

Saturday, September 13, 2008

TT effort

After a few rides to readjust to the TT bike, I decided to put in a hard TT effort this morning to see where I stand. I did an out and back 18.5 mile effort on Hwy 269 after about 30 minutes of warmup heading out there. I started out trying to stay a little over 300 watts and that turned out to be a good guess as to what I could do. I was struggling in the middle portion, but managed to get a second wind and pushed 321 watts for the final 5 minutes. I did have a car that buzzed me about 3/4 of the way through that probably spiked my adrenalin. I was cruising at maybe 27mph on a long straight section maybe a foot from the white line and a white haired lady in a cream colored Lincoln pased me coming within 6 inches of my bars. She was only going about 35 and somehow failed to see me even though I was wearing a bright orange kit and the weather conditions were clear and there was zero traffic. Final averages were 306w and 25.2 mph for 44 minutes...not bad, but I'll have to pick it up a bit to be competitive at the state TT.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weekday Morning Stroll on the TT bike

It was cloudy, damp and dark this morning, but not raining, so I ventured out on the TT bike at about 20 minutes before sunrise. To leave any earlier I need to find the charger for my good light. I had just enough lighting to be seen though, so off I went. I choose to follow a safe, low traffic route, but it wasn't ideal on the TT bike. I had several turns, stop signs, rough patches of road, and lots of climbing. I just tried to stay in the aero bars as much as possible and ride hard. I did manage to hit 43 mph pedaling a downhill, so that was fun.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

5 x 5's

I kicked off the workout week this morning with some 5 minute intervals on the trainer. I haven't done any structured VO2 max work since before Nationals over two months ago, so I wasn't expecting to set the world on fire with this workout. It hurt a lot, which was to be expected, but the results were good...353w average or 112% of FTP, and I didn't break down near the end.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back to the TT bike

Got out on the TT bike this morning. Goal was to ride a few efforts at around FTP. I did three intervals totaling about 29 minutes(see graph). These really hurt. After the last hard effort, I rode about a half hour of tempo, but that wasn't fun either. It's gonna take a few more rides for me to get comfortable with this TT stuff again.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

30 second intervals

With Sunday's planned road race canceled, I wasn't quite sure what to do this weekend for training. With only four weeks to go until my final race, just doing distance didn't seem right. I decided to do some 30 second intervals followed by SST for a total time of about 2 hours. This might help prepare me for some upcoming crits. Tomorrow I'll get on the TT bike and maybe do some work at around threshold.

I felt really strong today and averaged around 500 watts for 4 sets of 4 x 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. After a three minute rest I rode 56 minutes of SST at 260w AP, 266w NP, 23.1 mph and I was holding back to save myself for my TT bike ride tomorrow. As I write this I'm polishing off my third Sierra Nevada pale ale, so I better stop, drink some water and get some rest.

2 x 20's

This workout is one I did on the trainer on Thursday morning. I was pushed for time and started this about 15 minutes after getting out of bed. I still did 16 minutes warm-up, because that's about the minimum I need. I think I pushed myself pretty hard on these 20 minute efforts and was hoping to see 325w, but 320w average is still good.

My weight has slipped to 68 kg, so my power to weight at FTP is getting back to a level where I think I could compete in a pro/1/2 RR, which is exactly what I hoped to do this weekend. BUT I found out Friday morning that the Augusta GA races for this weekend were canceled due to tropical storm Hanna, even though it ended up staying far enough away, and didn't affect our area at all. I was looking forward to racing the hilly RR course on Ft. Gordon, where I finished 2nd last year. Oh well, I might dust off the TT bike this weekend and start getting ready for the state TT that's in 4 weeks. And yes, I will be running the wireless PT wheel on the tt bike for every ride I do. I have to swap to a 9 spd cassete, which is a pain, but I'll do it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I finally made it out to my first TNCWC(Tuesday Night Criterium World Championship) in about 2 months. The TNCWC is a weekly practice race held on a safe 1 mile course in a local business park on the south side of Columbia. My goal for the ride was to get in a lot of hard efforts and ride at race speed. I've done plenty of miles over the summer, but I need some more speed work to get ready for several races I have left.

After a good 20+ minutes warming up, I arrived at the start line, just in time. I attacked a few times, got into some breaks, and was generally very active off the front. Nothing would stick for much more than a lap, which actually is a good thing from a training standpoint. In the middle of the race there was a 22 min segment at 343w NP(109% of FTP), so looking back I can see why I could barely hold on while Karl drove the break I was in towards the end of that 22 minutes. After that break was caught, I relaxed for a while. At about 45+ minutes in I was sitting mid-pack, contemplating a two laps to go attack. Before turn 3 on that lap I noticed that the pace went up a bit and I slipped back a little. Turns out that I missed the memo about the race being shortened. I just assumed that it was 50 + 2 laps, but apparently it was 45 and we were now finishing. Rather than launch into my sprint from 25th wheel, I just rolled through the finish line and continued riding hard for a couple more laps to top of the workout. I have no idea who won the race, since I was so far back at the finish.

Monday, September 1, 2008

SC State RR

The state RR on Saturday was a success. My teammate LL is the new 35-39 state champ and I got silver. Not bad for a two man team. We actually finished 3rd and 6th overall, but the 60 mile race also included the 30-34 group and many out of state riders, not eligible for the state championship. LL went with a 3 man break that formed at maybe mile 10. That group got a quick minute or so lead by the end of the first 15 mile lap. I stayed near the front, just behind the half hearted attempt by several riders to chase for a lap or so. From my vantage point the race was pretty easy. I was ready to follow a wheel in case someone made a serious attempt to go across to the break, but that never happened. Early in the final lap I goofed and didn't go with a couple of guys who got a slight gap. At this point LL's group was safely out of reach, but I should've just just gone with every move. I was feeling rested enough and could have done that. Eventually I tried to bridge across to the two chasers by myself, but failed(see graph, 345w AP for 5 min). In that bridge attempt, I was making up ground and was maybe 20 seconds back, but failed not because I slowed down, but because the field dragged it's way back up to me. Then immediately the apathetic field slowed back down and I watched those riders get back away. I didn't know this at the time, but LL was still the only SC 35+ rider up the road, so silver was still a possibility. After a few minutes of rest I went away with Ryan Jenkins and Matt Botting. We stayed away for the final 12 minutes of the race(see graph, 363w NP), but were joined by one more who came across when the field closed to us near end. I attacked on a short climb with about 1 mile to go(see graph, 816w for 16 sec and 440w for 2:12), sensing that if I waited any longer someone else from the field might get us. I rode in to the finish alone and that effort was good enough to take the silver medal and the final money spot.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fast Group Ride

Saturday morning I hooked up with a six man group that LL got together to do a fast training ride. I rode about 5 miles from my house and met them as they rolled through Blythewood. We kept a fast paceline for virtually the entire ride and ended up averaging 23.3 mph for the 57 miles that the seven of us were all together...not super fast, but this was a hilly route and a long section of the ride was east into a slight head wind. I feel like a got in some great training, with numerous 3 to 5 minute efforts at or above FTP. I do most of my training solo, even when I'm out on the road, mainly just because I like to set my own pace and sometimes get frustrated sitting in and not getting enough hard work. This ride was different, we had as a stated goal that this was to be fast and steady. Everyone is in great shape and prepping for the State RR in a week. It was nice to see everyone working cohesively all day, using their energy on the front propelling the whole group forward as opposed to surging ahead and slowing the group.

Today, I was spent from yesterday's big effort, and not feeling like training myself into a hole, I just did a nice 2 hour zone 2 ride.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trainer Week

Looks like tomorrow will be five straight days on the trainer. I usually get out on the road at least once during the work week, but I just haven't made the extra effort to go for a real ride this week. My routine is to wake up, grab some coffee and gatorade, head down to the basement with laptop in hand, crank the a/c to 65, queue up something from my netflix view instant queue and ride. It's not hard to pay attention to what I'm watching while riding at threshold pace or lower. The hardest workout I've done was 2 x 20 on Wednesday at right around my FTP(click on the image to the left). Today I rode SST for 53 minutes at 93% and felt like I could've kept on going if I had time, so maybe I'm getting back the form I had couple of months ago. CTL is at 87 now after peaking at 90 several days ago. For me that's pretty high and should be good for the state RR in a little over a week.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Feelin' Fast

I wasn't able to get away for the sprint tri I was signed up for, but I did manage to get in a hard 2 hour ride solo. I followed that up with a 2 mile tempo run. Felt really fresh after a reduced volume week. Ended up with a 275w NP avg for the whole ride.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rest Days with Little Rest

I took two complete days off the bike. I did no training of any kind on Wednesday or Thursday - zero riding, not even a run or swim, but it was anything but restful. I got little sleep and basically lived at the hospital for a day and a half. This morning, home and armed with 8 hours of sleep I was able to do some training, so I went down to my basement room and knocked out an hour on the trainer. I decided to do a series of 15 second sprints, followed by a half hour of SST(sweet spot training) at about 90% of FTP wattage. This workout wasn't too hard. The main goal was to just do something at least semi-productive on the bike. I'm signed up for a sprint tri in Greenville Sunday morning, but it is likely that I'll stay home, unless my wife recovers super fast and can get around the house on her own, by that time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Five Days in a Row

Tuesday morning I got up before 6am to get in a 2 x 20 workout on the trainer before work. I felt pretty good and was able meet my goal of holding FTP wattage without cracking. CTL is up to an alltime high of 90 after a five day block of mostly hard tempo riding. I've been ramping up lately, knowing that I will be cutting back on training to help my wife while she recovers from foot surgery.