Saturday, June 30, 2012


The Ohio State Time Trial Championship is a week from today so the tapering has started. This past week was pretty light with just the Tuesday time trial and then a 5k and 10k tt effort on Thursday. Other than that its been one hour endurance and one hour recovery rides. Felt very odd today not doing a long ride but thats good. You want to have that built up energy for the A race. This week I'll ride the Tuesday night tt and then keep things pretty light up to the race on Saturday. I only plan on riding the 10 mile event in the afternoon and helping with the 33k in the morning. After that it's off to Michigan for 9 days of riding around Traverse City, Old Mission Peninsula, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Northport, etc. The week after I return I'll be heading to Cleveland for the 5k and 10k time trials at the Ohio Senior Games.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cadence and Power

There was an interesting article in VeloNews by Chris Carmichael and Dean Golich comparing Pros's vs The Joe's. The premise is that the pro's know how to use a higher cadence whether going easy or hard while the 'Joe's' tend to drop cadence when looking for power. While the pro's will typically settle in around 95 rpm no matter the force on the pedals the amateurs will attempt to add more force but tire out from the lower cadence. Essentially the non-pro needs to be able to deliver power in a variety of ranges within a more consistent and higher cadence. I can verify that this is try for this 'Joe'. I know that in many of my intervals I produce the best power within the desired zone when my cadence is in that 95-100 range. When I get tired on the later efforts I try to make up for the power loss by mashing at a lower cadence. This almost always fails. If I think about it and up my cadence and choose the proper gearing I can usually hold better power even if not as strong as the earlier intervals. Its important to consider cadence during your training and racing. I know that my new coach pointed out last fall during some steady state efforts that my cadence was low, like mid 80's, and asked if I time trial at that cadence. My time trial pace is typically 105+/-. The key going forward was to train at that cadence also. Trying to replicate that during training is tough but well worth the effort.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

In-Season Weight Training

I recently had someone who I don't coach if I recommend weight training during the racing season. I asked this rider if he was using weights just in the winter and he said that he was from November through February. I asked why he stopped the rest of the year and he said that his coach said that with the increase in training and racing during the season that there wouldn't be the need or time for weight training. For a number of reasons I disagree with this approach. The first thought would be that any gains realized during the off-season lifting would be lost in a matter of weeks once the program is discontinued. I guess my feeling would be why do it in the first place if you plan on stopping? And why start a program if you think that the on the bike training during the season is providing the same benefits? To maintain the benefits of lifting you have to keep it going throughout the year but just like your training it should ebb and flow with the seasons. The comment about not having time is also interesting. My thought would be whether you have time for the potential back problems that come with hours in the saddle? Or the loss of efficiency in your pedal stroke from not having a strong foundation (neck down to hamstrings) and adequate strength and balance training? Or how about just as a master age athlete the idea that complete fitness is actually more important than just cycling fitness unless you happen to be riding for a living which I doubt any of us are. Obviously I recommend making the time! You don;t have to spend hours at a time. During the season you can easily find 2 or 3 30-45 minute blocks of time per week to work in complete strength training program. You should still make sure that your off days are truly off days so don't lift when you should be recovering. Consider lifting after your intervals or 48 hours before on an endurance day or early or late in the day to compliment our riding that would happen at the opposite time. And don't worry about bulking up. If done properly all you will do is trade fat for muscle and up your metabolic rate substantially.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Final 33k Time Trial

Queen City Wheels held four 33k times trials this year on our course at Cleves. We started at the Tuesday night finish line, went to the start, and then back. The first event in March was bitterly cold with temps in the low 30's at the start and no better than upper 30s by the end. I really don;t like riding in that weather. My time was just over 49 minutes. The April event was rained out although three riders went out in the thunder and lightening. I skipped the May event to do 120+ miles from here in Cincinnati to georgetown, OH, Ripley, Oh and back. The last event was this past Saturday. It was hot and humid with a slight wind out of the south. From my training over the last month in the heat, and from past experience, I know that I lose a lot of power as I get dehydrated. Its not unusual for me to lose 4-5 lbs in two hours when doing 3x25 tempo's. This is even after going through up to 4 bottles. For this last time trial I decided to use my Profile Aero bottle between the bars. I debated using the regular bottle on the frame (hate losing aero position to grab it) or the Camelback vest (feels to bulky under the skin suit). I made sure that during my warmup that I drank regularly. I had two bottles of Gatorade in that hour. For the race itself I filled the bottle between the bars to the top with Gatorade. I'm in general not a fan of the longer time trials. I like 10 miles or less but most state and national events are longer so riding a few is necessary. I felt much better knowing that I wouldn't be as dehydrated as in the past. My goal was to ride each half at around 23 minutes. On Tuesdays I can average about 27.5-28 mph or 22:30-22:0 with my PR being 21:34, well over 28.4 mph. My best this year is 22:11 and worst 22:42. I thought 23 minute efforts would be pretty reasonable. I rode the first half in 26.9 mph or 22:52. The first two miles of the second half were dreadful to say the least. After the turn I had a hard time getting back to speed. By mile 3 I started to get back my rhythm. The last 5 miles had a slight tailwind so i was able to have some extended stretches at 30 mph. On the last climb to the finish at 4% I was still pushing 25-26 mph. I finished with a 46:01 which would have the second half at 23:09 or 26.56. Total time was 46:01 or 26.73 mph. I missed my goal by 1 second. I did finish with nothing left in the bottle and have no doubt that it helped having that for this effort.

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