Had another race at Hillingdon this Saturday. The weather was lovely when I left home, bright sunshine and just a little wind. It was raining at the circuit but only lightly and it stopped before the race.
The race started as most races seem to with someone going mental from the start which leads to a nervous and quick couple of laps. Everything settled down and we just rode our bikes for a bit. A break went away but with only two people it was always coming back. With a few laps to go there were three people up the road, a guy attacked the bunch to bridge and I sucked wheel all the way over. The 5 man break looked good, we didn’t have far to go and everyone looked strong.
This is where it gets weird.
A guy that had been lapped (twice) was allowed back into the race. He then dragged the rest of the field back up to us for some unknown reason. So we are all back together, the counter attack went and I got in it but in a crap position for the corner. I lost 10 places in about 2 seconds and that was the end of that.
Before we got to the end of the lap I explained to the guy that he shouldn’t be in there and should get to the back. “I got an earful of abuse and was told it wasn’t the TDF”.
My concern is safety, a person who is lapped should be taken out of the race before the last laps, we were told that at the start. A person who cannot win has different motivations to everyone else. Someone sitting up in the middle of a bunch doing 30 something mph can cause a crash, someone trying to get out of the way of the bunch could cause a crash.
To the outside world it might have appeared as sour grapes, but I value my teeth not my BC points.
Had a good race at Hillingdon yesterday. Three of us from Rollapaluza were there. It was very wet and very windy, on the warm up lap I could barely get down the back straight.
The bunch stayed together just gradually shelling people out the back, I lost my glasses after about 10 minutes and my eyes were stinging from the rain and grit. At one point I found myself off the back as the guy a few places in front got dropped. I chased back on (took a while and it bloody hurt). On the last lap I tried to attack from the back going down the back straight, I went absolutely no where as soon as my nose was in the wind. I get back in the bunch and sat up as we went down the start finish straight to avoid any sprinting drama (read crash).
Very pleased with how I did, felt wired not trying all the way to the end but the difference between 20th and 10th isn’t worth worrying about.
Sean and Tom both finished in the bunch too. I think Sean was 10th or 11th, Tom found himself on the front into the last corner, which with the tailwind we had probably wasn’t as bad a position as he thought.
I’m enjoying myself a lot this year, I have no expectations and just race for the hell of it. I do need to be careful to not just settle for mid pack mediocrity though.
Managed to get some hard training done this week and really fired up for my session today. The new bars and levers feel like they are in a good place so I’ll give it a few weeks and see if they are going to stay.
Someone writes a blog post to keep my head where it should be despite the issues I’m seeing in training.
and by this I mean training on a bicycle.
Since last Tuesday’s 2x20 session I’ve managed to do no hard training at all.
Wednesday I got 10 minutes at tempo done with a bit of speed work. Rested the next day and squeezed out 30 minutes on the trainer at a not very high intensity.
I went away for the weekend and I must admit thinking about it I had very little sleep and was on my feet for most of the time. I came into last nights training full of high hopes and was all set to hammer out a 2x20.
Admittedly I changed my handlebars over to my new ones and hadn’t ridden it yet. The position felt alien, it felt too long and too low. I did the first 20 minutes and was pedaling in triangles. I raised the bars up 20mm for the second interval but only did 10 minutes, I just didn’t feel good. Too hot, too weak and too disappointed.
Tonight is cruise intervals, I like this workout as the shorter interval time keeps me motivated and I can do a lot more intensity and time before I get bored. I’m going to spend 30 minutes riding and trying to tweak the position of the new bars before starting the session. If I can’t get comfortable I might just give up and put the old ones back on for the time being.
I’ve watched both Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico tonight so I’ve nothing left to do but think about my own cycling racing.
Hog Hill where I’ve raced the last two races has as you might expect from the name a steep hill at the end of every lap. I find this hill very very difficult. Ascent has a guess at your power output from all the info it gets from your Garmin so I thought I’d have a look at what it thinks I did on the hill each lap.
- Average 421 watts, Peak 605 watts
- Average 315 watts, Peak 493 watts
- Average 265 watts, Peak 577 watts
- Average 254 watts, Peak 521 watts
- Average 274 watts, Peak 777 watts
- Average 243 watts, Peak 396 watts
- Average 259 watts, Peak 548 watts
- Average 242 watts, Peak 466 watts
- Average 258 watts, Peak 533 watts
- Average 235 watts, Peak 528 watts
- Average 223 watts, Peak 516 watts
- Average 248 watts, Peak 535 watts
- Average 258 watts, Peak 517 watts
- Average 281 watts, Peak 611 watts
Seems to me in order to stay with the front guys I need to be able to ride at around 350 watts for about 2 minutes (I included the drag to the bottom of the hill in my numbers), recover in 2 minutes and then do it again 14 times. If I can do it twice then it should be simple enough to train for it by raising my FTP (general goal) and doing higher intensity work with 2 minute intervals.
The higher output on the last lap interests me. Calleva from our tema commented at how strong I finished, I was aware of feeling better on the last climb than I was in the middle. I don’t know if it’s psychological or what, but maybe just trying harder is all I need.
A whole kilo heavier than yesterday. I didn’t manage to do what I intended last night which was going to be 5x10 at tempo (me trying to do SST). The reason for the short intervals was just so I could get some quick stretching done in between.
Anyway I did the first 10 minutes at 146bpm and didn’t feel great. At the start of the second one I couldn’t get up to 94rpm cadence so aborted after a minute.
Not wanting to waste the day I decided to do some speed work as I can manage that even when dying, and did 10 sets of 30 seconds at 130rpm with a recovery in between to get my HR back down to 120 or so. I managed these with no issue and actually found them easier as I went along.
Going to try another SST thing tonight but if it doesn’t work I’ll stop and watch TV.
Robert Kendrick tells me I should get a power meter. I know he is right but have been dragging my feet because of the money I’m spending out this year on getting married, upcoming vets bills and the fact that sometime in the next few months Steve Hampsten is going to say my frame is built and I need to cough up.
As an illustration of why I need one, last night I did a 2x20. As I have no number to go with I just do it at a pace I think I can hold for the whole work cycle. I used to base this on HR but this drifts so badly over the last 20 minutes as my body temp soars that you end up tarting far too hard and having to do a lower output for the second 20. So essentially I guess what gear and resistance to do it in based on how I’m feeling and what I’ve managed before.
In the past I’ve made an attempt to work out my LT heart rate and had that number at 161bpm (anymore than that and my HR would shoot up very quickly). I’ve based a lot of my training on that number but after seeing an average of 169 for Saturday’s race I started to wonder if it was too low.
Last night I set the trainer much higher than the level I was at this time last year (actually now on it’s highest resistance), and kept everything else as close to the same as I could get it. I put the bike 2 gears higher than last year and just went for it. The last 5 minutes were very painful (mostly in my head I’m sure) and my heart rate sat around 168 for all of that. I managed to keep my cadence up between 91 and 94rpm and compelted the full 40 minutes of work.
So it’s obvious my LT is higher than 161 (perhaps 168 or 169 but my first TT of the year will tell me if that’s near right). This poses some questions, have I got a much higher FTP than last year or was I just training too light? Is doing a 2x20 at this sort of level of effort too much? Where do I need to do my SST stuff?
I intend to use the 168 number and recalculate my HR zones using Joe Friel’s chart. that will give me a zone 3 of 151 to 156.
Dave Hayward has put a gallery up of Saturday’s race
I don’t look like I’m having fun