Sunday, June 28, 2009

Taper Week

I've backed way off from training this week to taper for the masters national RR coming up on Tuesday morning in Louisville, KY. Here's a quick summary of what I did over the past week.

Monday: Total day off from riding. Went to the beach with Lynda and relaxed.

Tuesday: Easy trainer ride at 65% of FTP for 58 minutes.

Wednesday: 5 x 4 minutes climbing intervals at 383w avg.

Thursday: 1 hour easy at 65% FTP.

Friday: 1:11 at 67% with 2 minutes at FTP.

Saturday: 1:40 with 15 minutes at FTP and 1 minute at 519w.

Sunday: 1 hour at 63% FTP

My total TSS for the week was only about 1/2 of what I've averaged over the last several weeks. CTL is down to 92 and TSB is up to about +17. Despite the positive TSB, I felt really flat yesterday doing a hard 15 minute effort. That worries me a little, but I think whatever residual fatigue I have will be gone by Tuesday. The day before the race I want to do some hard openers to charge up my legs. I don't want to rest too much. There seems to be a thin line between resting too much and not resting enough when you are tapering.

Later today I'm riding up to Lousiville with LL. It'll be nice to get that 500 mile drive out of the way and have all day Monday to chill out before racing on Tuesday morning.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend Rides

I just finished off three solid days of training. Friday was two hours with 6 x 4 minutes on variable terrain. It was a little harder to hold power than doing hill climbs, but I felt pretty good and averaged 379 watts.

On Saturday I needed to be done riding by 8:30 am, to spend a day with family on the lake, so I rolled out at 6:30 and simply rode hard for the whole time except for 8 minutes of easy riding in the middle when I came up on a few buddies who were spinning around waiting for the group to assemble for a long ride. The image on the left is from Saturday's ride. I had an IF of about .9, and spent a lot of the ride in L4 a little below threshold. I'm finding that as my CTL rises, I can hold a pace near threshold for a long time.

On Sunday I did a 50 mile endurance ride, just to top of the week of training, and get some TSS points without hurting. I was tired but a steady 220 - 240 watt pace felt comfortable, until it got real hot and no pace felt comfortable. I drank 3 big bottles in 2:24 and still lost 4 pounds.

As of today my CTL is at 100.4. This is the first time I have ever cracked 100. It'll be short-lived though, since tomorrow I begin my taper for Nats. I'm going to the beach for the day and won't ride at all.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

L4 Work

Yesterday morning I wanted to do a hard workout to complete a two day block, but my legs were tired, so I opted for some threshold work instead of more VO2 stuff. I warmed up for a few minutes, road tempo for a few minutes, then did 23 minutes at right around FTP. After a brief rest, I rode 27 minutes at 90% FTP. It was just a good solid hard ride and my legs actually were feeling better as I went along.

When I do these early morning rides I don't eat any food beforehand. I have a cup of coffee when I wake up, then drink Gatorade on the bike. I'm thinking 1.5 hours is about the limit for this nutritional strategy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday VO2 Hill Repeats

I rolled out this morning planning to just ride easy and maybe do a few openers, since I thought I would need two days to recover from the weekend races. Once I got going I felt fine, so I decided to do the workout I was planning for tomorrow. I did 5 x 4.5 minute hill repeats on Pine Grove Rd at an average of 387 watts, which is 119% of FTP. This is about as good of a VO2 interval set as I've ever had, despite having a TSB of -14 today.

I'm not sure what I'll do tomorrow morning; maybe just a solid SST ride. I hope the rain moves out by then.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Road Race Weekend

I just finished another big weekend of racing. Although I ONLY did two races this time, they were the longest two races I've done this year, about 80 miles apiece. Saturday morning Rich, LL and I left early and drove about 2 hours to Salisbury, NC and lined up for race #1, the 30-39 NC State Championship RR. Rich and I rode near the front early on and covered several moves. I attacked a few times to no avail. Then LL moved up and made a well timed attack to get away with Kerry from Carolina Masters. I was right there behind them when they went, and cruised up to the front and helped let the gap form. They linked up with a couple others who were already up the road, and got out of sight. Rich and I followed various moves, but missed the important one. Rich Harper attacked up the left side, but I was on the white line sitting behind Cannell and boxed in. No one flinched, so we watched the race winner, get away and ride up to the break.

With about 25 miles to go, and LL's group minutes in the lead and a chase group also out of sight, I followed an attack by Chris Harkey and we immediately started rotating and got away. After many miles of hard riding we eventually caught the chase group of 4 about 3 miles from the finish. A short climb caused a split in our group, so I could see that there were some tired legs in there. I didn't want to regroup, so I attacked at the left turn with about a mile to go. I held on and finished solo for 5th, a couple of minutes behind LL, who took 4th.

The final hour was the hardest at 302 watts normalized, with the final 2:12 at 411 watts. The NP for the whole 3 hour + race was 279 watts, so this was a big draining effort, but I had to quickly forget about it and rest up for the next day. We ate lunch at a pizza place in downtown Salisbury, then moved in to our accommodations above the Windsong Bicycle Shop, which Charlie from Carolina Masters hooked us up with. After a steak, and a tall beer for dinner, I went to sleep early.

Day 2:
Sunday was another 80 miles of racing in a big Pro/1/2/3 field. Despite planning to sit in and be patient, I somehow found myself in an 8 man break about 15 minutes into the race. Everybody was rotating and we built a lead of 1:20 at one point, before the field chased us. Team Mountain Khakis wasn't represented, so they along with Rich Harper and maybe others, brought us back after we were away for 1 hour. I still felt fine, so I was thinking about being in the next move, but I didn't keep myself near the front well enough and didn't make it. The rest of the race was boring, until the last few miles. LL and I got to the front and launched a few attacks, but didn't get anywhere. I thought all was lost, but in the last mile or so, I was near enough to the front to contest it, and Rich and LL were both there too. With both of them on my wheel, I took off up the right side and tried to lead them out. It was a little dicey, and at one point I went through a gap that closed as I went through. Thankfully no one crashed. I ended up riding hard all the way to the line to snag 4th in the field sprint (without ever going over 807 watts) for 10th overall. It was just a long hard finishing effort at 577 watts for the last 50 seconds. Rich was 16th and LL was 22nd.

Now its time to train a little more, then taper for Masters Nationals in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

12 x 1 Minute Intervals

Here's a graph from a ride I did on Wednesday morning. I'm trying to prep myself for master's nationals so, I did some one minute intervals on the road. I rode a big loop from my house, and the plan was to do 12 x 1 minute with 3 minutes rest between intervals. Some of the rests were longer, so that I could use uphills for the intervals when possible. My goal was to ride at 150% of FTP, but that wasn't too hard, so I really kicked up the pace for the last few, hitting a peak 1 minute of 560 watts on the last one.

It's amazing how much 12 minutes really hard, can jack up the VI and IF of a ride. The VI was 1.37 and the IF was .908 despite spending 90 of the 102 minutes total ride time riding easy.

It seemed kind of weird having this be my only hard workout of the week, but I just wasn't recovered enough to train on Tuesday, and I need to rest on Thursday and Friday, to take on a big race weekend in NC that will comprise of back to back 80 mile RR's.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

3 Race Weekend in Beaufort

I had a busy weekend of racing. I loaded up my 2 bikes, several wheels, tools, and miscellaneous gear and left at the ass crack of dawn to make my 8:44 am start time in the 40K State Championship TT, held in Yemassee, SC. I made it in plenty of time and got a decent warm-up. I surprised myself and rode a 57:12, which was good enough to get 2nd in 40-44 and 5th in P/1/2. I was happy to average 310 watts and over 26 mph, considering how little I have ridden the TT bike this year. Teammate LL had a great race, riding a sub 55 time to take gold in 35-39 and 2nd in P/1/2.

After a big lunch and a few hours resting in a hotel room, we took on the crit in downtown Port Royal. The race was shortened to only 47 minutes and was hard from the gun. I felt surprisingly recovered from the TT and made a few efforts to get away around the middle of the race. I found myself in bad position in the closing laps and couldn't move up much as the field was bunching up leaving little space to pass. I gained a few spots on the last lap and finished 16th, salvaging a few omnium points. Norm power was only 304 watts, but as you can see from the graph it was anything but a constant effort. It was a 4 turn 1/2 mile course, with coasting through turns, then sprinting out of them.

Sunday after a big breakfast including a waffle and assorted cereals, LL and I made the 2 mile drive from the hotel to the Naval Airstation in Beaufort to conclude the weekend with a 63 mile RR on a pancake flat 10.5 mile loop. The sun was coming out and from watching the radar I thought it was going to be dry. I even put on sunscreen since we were racing in the middle of the day. Then a dark cloud moved in and the skies opened up right after the race started. I rode near the front for a while, then settle back as we rode through downpours for the first couple of laps. It was dark and hard to see and there were areas with standing water on the course. A group of 3 got way up the road early on.

Late in lap 3 I got away solo, knowing a had no chance of bridging the 2 minute or so gap myself, but what the hell, I went for it just to see what would happen. What happened was lucky for me. Two guys, then eventually three, bridged up to me after I was away for 5 minutes. One guy was super strong and helped us bridge that gap to the leaders with 1.5 laps to go. After dropping one, the now 6 man group at the front rode together to the finish. There were some attacks along the way, but I just did what I had to do to stay in there. My legs were dead from the chase. In the end I got 4th in the sprint, which was enough to secure 4th in the omnium.

The power numbers didn't reflect how hard the RR felt. My norm power for the 2:24 race was 285 watts (88%), but it felt much higher. The big effort of the day was my 5 minutes out there solo at 340 watts average. All in all I was pleased with some good results racing Pro/1/2.

Great day for the Palmetto Velo team Sunday! Marc got 3rd in cat 3 and Rich took 3rd in 40+.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

3rd Hard Workout in 2 Days

About 11 hours after racing in the TNCWC last night, I rolled out of my driveway for some hill repeats on a nice zero traffic road that is 12 minutes from my house. The climb starts with a steep 20 second section, followed by a 20 second flat, followed by another 20 second steep pitch. Then it is a gradual climb, before it kicks up again near the end taking about 4 1/2 minutes going hard. I rode the steep parts out of the saddle at over 400 watts and rode easier on the flatter sections resulting in a 375 watt average for 5 intervals.

I was really pleased with the power numbers today, especially since I did two workouts yesterday, and didn't get enough sleep last night. Now I'm going to rest up for a big race weekend in Beaufort, SC which includes a 40K TT and 60 minute crit on Saturday, plus a 63 mile RR on Sunday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday Crit

After doing some intervals in the morning (see previous post) I made my way to the crit course at about 6:15 for the 6:30 start. It was hot so I didn't want to be in the heat any longer than I had to. I spent some of the early minutes of the race nestled in near the back of the group, while I tried to get my legs going.

About 12 minutes in, I went hard for about a minute at 440 something watts, but was brought back. Then I sat near the back for a few more minutes, while Rich and Karl were away. After the pack chased and brought them closer. I launched and went up to them. Marc and Nick followed. Karl jumped in, but Rich sat up, thinking the field was right there. The four of us traded pulls and quickly built up a big gap. Karl dropped back after a while, and the three of us continued.

I looked back a few times late in the race, and didn't think there was anybody near us. The field had broken up and lots of riders were assembled at the finish line. Apparently a small group including Jamie, Damon, and Rich had us in their sites. At 2 laps to go, we slowed a little and near the end of the lap, when I was thinking about suggesting that the 3 of us finish together, Nick jumped. I followed and Marc caught back up to us. Yes we are all teammates. Then Nick attacked again. We got back together, and eventually Marc said he would just lead us out so we could sprint each other. I came by Nick near the finish.

I'm pleased with how I felt today. I was at 101% (330w NP) for the 31 minute break and didn't feel like I was fading much at the end.

Tuesday AM Intervals

Masters Nationals are four weeks from today, so it's time to sharpen up and do some anaerobic stuff. This morning I did some 1 minute intervals on the trainer. I was hoping to do 10 at 150% of of FTP which equates to 488 watts, but as you can see on the picture, I was down in the 450's to 470's range and stopped at 8. I couldn't have gone any higher as my legs were burning towards the end of the last few. I still have time to improve over the next few weeks.