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.