5k State TT
I took first place and had the fastest time of the day overall. time was just 6:45 or so, 27.8 mph. We started right into the wind for more than half the course as the start and stop on the out and back were staggered. The narrow road made the turn a challenge; really had to slow down to about 5 mph to get around the cone and then get going again on an uphill section; slammed it from back to the finish and was hitting 32+ in sections. Just not long enough to really build up the average speed.
10k State Time Trial in Alliance Ohio
The course in Alliance was a rectangle with the first leg headed west slightly uphill and into the wind (10-15 mph steady), then we turned north with the wind at our side as we had a downhill and some rollers, then a right turn heading east with the wind behind us, a right turn heading south with more rollers and a cross wind and then right with just a kilometer or so to the finish. My time was 13:02 for the 6.2 miles of 28.6 mph avg. That was good enough for first place in the 50-54 and overall. My goal was to be well above 28 mph. Today we have the short 5k time trial.
6x5 steady states
I held 347, 354, 352, 350, 338 and 341 on these; higher than called (steady state zone is 319-330) for but I was feeling great; HR ws right around 162 +/- on most; also just took 1-2 minutes between each...ready for Tuesday and Wednesday time trials in Alliance, OH.
Cleves Time Trial
rode a 22:20, 27.5 mph. Feel ready for the 5k and 10k state tt's next week in northern Ohio. Felt like today could have been faster but we were delayed by thunderstorms for 30 minutes after we warmed up. Pretty much hit it when the rained passed.
Did the last of the 7x3s' on Friday afternoon. Power not quite as high with this being the fourth day of time trials and intervals but did ok on these with power above 400 on he first and holding in the 370's on the last two. Definitely tired after this stretch of days.
Saturday was an off day with just an easy 45 minute recovery ride late in the day. Spent the morning in Dayton, OH doing some contract photography work. Today I commuted to the sports club to teach in the morning, rode the class (55 minutes at 270) and then rode another hour at home at low endurance. Tapering for the state tt's on the 25th and 26th.
Time Trials and Intervals
Rode Cleves on Tuesday at 22:13, one second off my best of the year. Had I know I would have pushed one second harder. Won my age and took second to an 18 year old.
Rode the Blue Streak last night at 22:19 in a difficult wind. The first mile was at 24 mph avg, was up to maybe 25 by mile 2 and then with the tailwind for 5 miles was up to 28.3 avg. Lost a mile per hour going the last couple of miles to the finish. Won my age and took second overall to a 24 year old.
Did 7x3's today with power in the 370's, cadence around 100 or so. Used the crit course at Ault Park. Legs a little tired after two nights of tt's. Also got rained out on interval #4 with a sudden storm with surprisingly high winds and torrential rain. Waited it out and finished the set. Have another round tomorrow.
Used the uphill section of the crit course at Ault Park. Starting at the bottom of the hill these all took me to about halfway around the pavilion. I'd coast down and do the next. Power numbers were 496, 482, 485, 493, 489, 503, 488, 504, 507, 487, 480, 488, 500, 494 and 514. Average power was 494 and normalized power for the 45 minutes was 355. When I did these last fall average power was 474. Actually enjoy these for some reason. Much more tolerable than the really long but lower power efforts.
7x3, day 2
Todays efforts on the same course were 383, 380, 381, 373, 372, 384 and 374. Tomorrow we have the 15x1's. Should be fun.
answer to question from team members on how to compete in crits
Good questions. I'll offer some of my thoughts on this. I know training ideas are open to debate and this group email is great for these discussions.
HR training zones can be a valuable training tool. When HR monitors first came out they were cutting edge technology. The problem with HR is that it reacts slowly and is affected by the weather, our sleep, what we eat and drink, etc. Our HR zones also change as we age and trust me it isn't in a good way. You do want to know what your Max HR and lactate threshold (LT) numbers are. You can be tested at UC for a nominal fee or NKU at no charge. Max HR's vary from person to person so don't worry if you hear someone has a max of 210 and yours is 190. It makes no difference in performance. The same for your LT. It is what it is. The key is how long you can ride at and above LT. Someone may have a bigger engine (VO2) but if they didn't train it and/or don't use it, you can beat them with less power. In other words someone with a Corvette may lose to someone in a mini van if the driver of the 'vette doesn't know how to operate the car.
If the team is looking for another benefit for the riders, a deal on power meters would be worth looking into. Power meters are a great training tool. Power is immediate and comparable indoors and outdoors in your training and also comparable to other riders when we convert our power zones to watts/kg. Time trials are a great example of this. At the indoor tt's in Dayton the winners are almost always going from those with the largest watts/kg to the lowest. Its nothing but a power event. Crits and roads races are different since you can draft and have to deal with many other issues like wrecks, being blocked, etc. But, I can tell you that in a sprint with clear lines to the finish the guy with the most watts/kg has a great advantage.
So, how do you build power? how do you get to the point that your not riding at 98% of max just to keep up let alone try to put on a sprint? There certainly isn't one interval that is going to work and this isn't something that is going to happen in a few months of dedicated training. Be prepared to put in two to three days per week of solo intervals and be hitting the group training rides so you develop the bike handling skills. Learn to take recovery days which are best ridden inside where you wont be tempted to rdie too hard. Be able to train indoors in the winter unless you can get out consistently in December, January and February. You can't be ready for the spring season without a strong winter of training. I have a lot of tips on indoor training. It is immensely effective training for both the body and mind. If you can push yourself inside the outside training will seem much easier. Well, maybe not easier but you'll feel pretty strong. Racing into shape is miserable and you'll likely peak after the season or not all as you're just burning yourself out without a solid base of training.
If we look at what it takes to be a good crit rider, and this is from data from the most recent AP races for someone I'm working with, I can tell you that power wise the average power for a rider finishing in the top 25-50% of the A race was 3.7 watts/kg with sprints at 15+watts/kg and honestly that sprint isn't high enough. HR average for the 59 minutes was just above LT and peaked at about 97% of max.
What does this tell us? First, this rider isn't hitting max or zone 5 HR just to stay with the group. He can ride at LT and put out enough power to be in the mix. He can also call on some pretty good power (1100+ watts) for the sprint and settle back down quickly to keep with the front half of the race. Pretty sure he's been top 5 and top 10 over the years. Over many years he has trained himself to ride at those levels. Time trial riders train themselves to hold 94-97% of max Hr for 10-24 miles. For a race like AP it looks like a rider needs to be able to hold a tempo pace in this riders case and then go all out to that VO2 level for the sprint. We could make the argument that if he held a steady state effort (closer to tt pace) and could still pull out that sprint he may do better. We're working on that. then again, if he can hold lower power and use a bigger sprint when needed, he could do better also. Conserving power is one consideration. If you're pedaling more than 80% of a crit you're pedaling too much.
So what would I do if I wanted to do well in these crits at AP in this case? I'd simulate the effort as closely as possible in my training with the HR needed to compete and finish and that all out effort every 7 minutes or so for the sprint and with no break go right back to the pace needed to stay in the pack. If I'm doing the B race, roughly 30 minutes, I'd do enough efforts that it totals double that time. Maybe 3x20 or 2 x30 or 4x15 with those sprints every 7 or so minutes. This is a simple plan but could be effective.
In the long run, building watts/kg is going to take some long efforts below and above LT or Functional Training Power and short but super intense efforts way above LT and close to Max HR. You need to build your hearts ability to move more blood with each beat (more O2 to the muscles) and this plays out in bigger power in sprints and higher sustained power for endurance/tempo/steady state/tt rides. We can talk more about this. My own experience on power has been seeing my tempo efforts go from 260-270 watts for 90-120 minutes to 290-310 watts for the same time frame. TT power has gone from 320-330 at Cleves to 360-370. How long did this take? About 7 years.
Also consider that some people are built to be sprinters, some are built to climb, some are built for tt's. Finding your strength and taking advantage of it is something to consider. You can train a weakness and it may never get much better so I'd do that with caution. If you fall a little behind on climbs but have a great sprint, train the climb. If you're 250 lbs and riding road races that are filled with climbs you may want to rethink your goals. Part of setting goals is being realistic.
I'm sure we can kill a few days with a group training camp/clinic. Lots to discuss.
Did the first day of the 7x3's using Heekin Avenue from Eastern to Ault Park. With a 10 minute warmup and 5 minute cool down I was on the bike about 50 minutes. Average power for the intervals was 398, 382, 377, 372, 378, 371 and 372 and normalized power for the entire ride was 300. In the 50 minutes I also got in a little over 2000' of climbing. Kind of cool that I can ride less than a mile from house, up and down one hill, and get in some decent elevation gain.
Power was about as expected. Have round two tomorrow and then some 15x1's. Could certainly feel the effects of yesterdays one hour circuit class today.
Cleves June 4 2013
Rode a 22:16 or about 27.6 mph for the 10.25 mile course. It was good for second best with the fastest time being 21:29 or 28.6 mph, the third fastest time in the 40 year history of the time trial. this moved me back to fourth all time. Oh well. Not sure at 51 that I can pull off that time but I'll keep trying.
After last weeks light training we're back at it this week. On the schedule we have the time trial on Tuesday and then on Thursday and Friday 7x3 power intervals. On Friday we have 15x1 power intervals. Haven't done these in a long time so curious to see where I am on the power. On the 3 minutes ideally in the 370-400 range, upper 400's and low 500's on the one minute efforts.