Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Fast Group Ride

I got in a great training ride today. I rolled over to Food Lion in Blythewood and hooked up with 7 others for a big loop around Fairfield County. Everyone was killing it on the rollers out there and I was getting in some hard efforts even when I wasn't on the front. When I was on the front I usually rode around threshold pace or a little higher.

Late in the ride on the climb into Ridgeway, Rich attacked and I ultimately chased him down, then set a fast pace (520 watts for 50 sec) up the steep hill near the top. After regrouping, we headed back down 21 to Blythewood with a tail wind and covered 5.5 miles at 27 mph as a series of attacks split us into two groups.

I ended up with 88.7 miles in 4:03 at 22 mph with an NP of 251 watts. The ride felt pretty hard. For me a .77 IF is about what I would expect to see for a race of the same duration. My legs are toast right now from the effort. Some guys had IF's much higher on this ride, and I can only imagine what they must feel like.

Friday, May 29, 2009

TT Workout

I did my first real workout of the year on my TT bike this afternoon. It wasn't real fun because it was hot and windy and the bike beats the crap out of me on rough roads. My bike is an all aluminum Cervelo P2K that is several years old.

After cruising for about 30 minutes, I did a 20 minute hard effort on Hwy 269 averaging 314 watts. Based on how that felt(real hard), I'd say I was about 15 watts below what I would have done on my road bike. However, I am pleased with the speed. I averaged 25.4 mph on the same section of road where I recently averaged 24.4 mph at 342 watts on my road bike. I had a cross wind today, so I don't think that helped.

After my interval, I rested a few minutes, then rode tempo for about 30 minutes. I've ridden this 34 mile loop a couple of times recently on my road bike going hard, but today I was faster with less effort and less watts thanks to the TT bike. 22.2 mph for the whole ride, despite starting off pretty slow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mountain Ride in Boone

As if Climbing Mt. Mitchell on Monday wasn't enough torture for the week, I took a day trip to Boone, NC for more climbing with LL and Mark D. on Saturday. I had done a couple of hard training days on Thursday and Friday, although I didn't do anything too serious - a little threshold work and some SST.

We did a 36 mile loop twice that included the Snake Mountain climb used in the annual Blood, Sweat and Gears century ride. We pushed this climb really hard both times. The second time up Snake I averaged 349 watts for the final 10 minutes, which pretty much used up all I had in the tank. Thankfully there is a nice 10 mile gradual descent after the climb.

The original plan called for a third climb of Snake Mountain, but after lap two we all agreed to end the ride and get some Mexican food.

On Sunday I did a short 1 hour easy ride on my TT bike. I haven't been on that stupid thing since last October, so it was a shock. Also I got rained on. I'm gonna ride the TT bike just enough so that the state championship 40K TT in a couple of weeks is possible.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Assault on Mt. Mitchell

Yesterday I finished 5th at the Assault on Mt. Mitchell, a 103 mile ride from Spartanburg, SC to the top of the highest peak in the eastern US with over 10,000 feet of total climbing. I've never done AOMM before and had no plans to do it this year, until Saturday afternoon, when a ticket suddenly became available. I made a few preparations, then headed to Spartanburg Sunday afternoon with Mark D.

On Monday morning I ate a big breakfast with oatmeal, eggs, potatoes, bacon and a bagel with cream cheese, washed down with some coffee. Losing track of time I made it to the start at about 6:27 for the 6:3o am start. About 9 minutes into the ride, the guy right in front of me locked up his brakes avoiding a pothole on the bridge over I-85. He went down and I went around him. I looked back and saw riders going down like dominos across the road. LL got taken out and broke two spokes in his front wheel, but was able to continue thanks to the generousity of Casey, who offered up her wheel.

The first 82 miles of this ride were pretty easy for me, as the group was huge and nobody was driving the pace. The first 4:08 of the ride was only 217 watts NP for an IF of .66. Then we reached the steep climb up Hwy 80 and the shit hit the fan quickly. Our 100+ rider group was shredded to 9 as Boyd Johnson drilled it. I averaged 326 watts for 19:46 up to the turn onto the Parkway. After a slight pause, the pace was back up again and I couldn't hold on after a few more minutes. I watched the remaining 5 riders ride away and rode the final hour or so alone. I gradually slowed down, but kept a decent pace right to the end, averaging 252 watts for the final 24 minutes. I backed off before the final steep pitch, because I knew I would need to some power to push my 39x25 gear, which wasn't really enough in a couple of places.

I passed one rider from the fractured front group, so I ended up 5th with a time of 5:44. The last 20 miles took 1:34 at 270 watts avg, 286 watts normalized, and a speed of 12.7 mph. IF was .88. LL came in 12th and Mark D was 28th.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Solo Ride

I was kind of busy today, but I managed to squeeze a good ride in late this morning. After 30 minutes kind of easy, I did 8 x 15 seconds with 1:45 rest in between. These weren't full on sprints, but pretty close. After that I rode about 1.5 hours at 250 watts avg. I ended up doing just under 50 miles at 21 mph.

The last two days were a good training block, but this is only the beginning. I decided last minute to ride the Assault on Mt. Mitchell on Monday. I had the opportunity to get a ticket from someone who isn't able to make the ride. Now I have one day to rest up.

Friday, May 15, 2009

20 Minute Test

I rolled out from my house this morning undecided on exactly what workout to do. I was thinking sprints, then some sort of threshold effort. As I headed over to Hwy 269(long traffic free country road with no stop signs or traffic lights) my legs felt really good, so I skipped the sprints and decided to see what I could do for 20 minutes. I was optimistically thinking 345 to 350 watts, so I rode for a few minutes at that pace, then deteriorated after 5 minutes as it became clear that 350 wasn't going to happen. I got a second wind at 15 minutes and ended up averaging 342 watts. The 8.1 mile section has one pretty good climb and a net elevation gain, so I was happy to see that I averaged 24.4 mph riding my road bike with box rim wheels.

After recovering for several minutes, I rode a 41 minute section at 274 watts and 22.5 mph. When I'm by myself, riding hard and steady seems like the way to go. I rack up TSS points without having to be out there for more than about 2 hours.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Solo SST Ride

After all of the hot weather lately, it was 48 degrees when I left the house this morning at 6:30. I had to break out some winter pieces, like a vest, arm warmers, and knee warmers. I'm not complaining though. The goal was simple, ride around at about 90% of FTP for most of the time.

Yesterday I did 2 x 20 minutes on my trainer at 317 watts. I'm trying to put in a solid amount of time in L3 and L4 right now to raise my CTL over the next couple of weeks. I don't have any races coming up until early June.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Big Day in the Heat

I did a big ride in the heat on Saturday with 7 others. This turned out to be my 2nd longest ride of the year. I rolled out from my house at 7:20 am and it felt perfect - cool with no wind. I met up with Mark D, Casey, and Rob in Blythewood. We linked up with LL, RW, Brian C and Justin in Ridgeway, then headed north for a big counter clockwise loop around Fairfield County.

Since it was going to reach 90 degrees, I forced myself to drink 2 big bottles before the one stop. Then I drank as much as I could at the stop, then drank 2 more bottles on the way back. Also I didn't push real hard when I was on the front. I would take a 2 to 3 minute turn at 90 to 100% FTP, but then I'd have several minutes to rest. Everyone else was riding strong, so the pace was pretty high - about 22 mph while we were all together.

With all that hydrating, and conserving energy, I felt really strong, so I did put in some of my hardest efforts after the 3 hour mark. LL decided to attack the climb back into Ridgeway and I put in a 602 watt 30 second effort to follow him.

Heading back home solo on Blythewood Rd near the end I rode into a stiff headwind and it was now above 85 degrees. All in all it was a great ride though.

Friday Sprints +

Yesterday I decided to work on my sprint, which has been neglected lately in my training. I did 8 x 15 sec with 1 to 2 minutes recovery. After that I took a few minutes easy, then did a 20 minute interval right at threshold pace. After that I just cruised along for almost another hour.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Midweek Update

I'm going to use the rest of the month to build, so I'm taking a break from VO2. I'm going to do a lot of L4 and SST. Tuesday I skipped the crit and did 2 x 20 on the trainer at 98% of FTP. This morning my goal was to ride SST, but I felt really good, so I ramped up the pace a little and ended up riding for 52 minutes at 94%, while I watched three episodes of Entourage.

I'll take one rest day, then more L4 on Friday, followed by a long ride Saturday.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dilworth Crit 35+

I made the short drive up to Charlotte yesterday to race on a fun course that features a nice long hill leading up to the finish. I didn't have any teammates today, and had to go up against the loaded Carolina Masters team. The race started fast and nothing got away for a few laps. That 50 second or so climb wears down the field quickly.

Charlie from Carolina Masters rode off the front a few laps in. One more bridged up. I missed out, so I tried several times to get away and go after them, but it wasn't working. All I ended up doing was wasting a ton of energy. Eventually, I did get away and hammered out a whole lap at 386 watts and 26.8 mph. Ryan from CM had followed me and together we increased our gap on the field but made little ground on the two leaders.

With 1 lap to go we did catch Gordon, but Charlie was up ahead soloing to a win. The field was so close to us, that I didn't mess around and took a big pull down the hill before the climb to the finish. I couldn't stay with the other two on the climb, so I finished 4th. The sprinters from the field zoomed by me about 20 meters after the line.

Interesting race file to look at. The normalized power for 49 minutes was 353 watts, which corresponds to 110% of FTP. I took a quick look at the file from last year's Dilworth and at was actually higher - 356 watts!