Monday, June 30, 2008

Time trialing article from Charles Howe

Charles Howe has a nice writeup with some suggestions on TimeTrialing... and an accompaning article here ib his own experiences at Presque Isle.

I especially liked the comments...

A few years ago, the author went a bit too wide and nearly off the right edge of the road at this innocuouslooking bend, possibly due in part to a gust of wind. Remember that a TT bike, with a rear disc or wheel cover and a deep-section wheel in front, will get pushed around a bit, so allow yourself some extra margin for error.

You shouldn’t be able to sprint at the end of a TT – if you can, then you didn’t go hard enough – but it’s a good idea to hold a little bit in reserve, then begin to expend it from right about here (1.75 miles to go) to the finish line.

Sodium Phosphate loading

There is an interesting discussion going on in wattage about Sodium Phosphate loading. Along with this pointer to a recent paper.

After SP loading mean power was greater than for P and C (C, 322+/-15W; P, 317+/-16W; SP, 347+/-19W; ANOVA, P<0.05) and time to complete the 16.1km was shorter than P, but not C (ANOVA, P<0.05). During the SP trial, relative to the P, mean changes were mean power output +9.8+/-8.0% (+/-95% confidence interval); time -3.0+/-2.9%. There was a tendency towards higher V O(2) after SP loading (ANOVA, P=0.07). Heart rate, V (E), RER and blood lactate concentration were not significantly affected by SP loading. Sodium phosphate loading significantly improved mean power output and 16.1km time-trial performance of trained cyclists under laboratory conditions with functional increases in oxygen uptake.

If I read that correctly, up to 9% power increase and 3% decrease in time. For a 16km TT we could assume about 20 minutes and 3% would be about 30 seconds.

Not that I want to give my secrets away :-) But I tried this for my "A" TT last year... The TT results where poor, but that was due to a flat... But my overall "performance" for the day was (I thought) very good. See here.

Now whether that was due to the Sodium Phosphate loading or to tapering for the race it is really hard to tell. I don't think the loading caused any problems. And I suspect that it did help.

On balance I'll be doing it again this year for specific "A" type TT events.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Neeves Road 13km TT practice

Hot day today, so waited until it started to cool down in the late afternoon and drove over to Pitt Meadows for a practice TT on Neaves Road.

Conditions where (other than being a little warm) almost perfect.. Only the barest puff of wind from the south (maybe gusting as high as 1km/hr...) I had the iAero mounted so spent the first hour doing coast downs and a 4-mile ride etc. I havn't had a chance to review that yet.

Finished with a practice 12.8km TT. Fairly good time at 17:38. Avg speed 43.6km/hr. Pavg 341 watts, NPavg 343 watts.

This was on the P2c, Aero Helmet, etc. But only the Aeolus 5.0 wheelset.

I have to glue up the Zipp disc for next weekends VVV 10km TT. And I'll use that and the Aeolus 6.5 front on this course. Presumably the deeper front and disc on the back should take off a bit.

I'm also hoping that I can use the iAero over the next month to optimize my position a bit.

Update: I went back to the files and looked up my best time for VVV 10km TT. It was 13:48 with Avg speed of 43.8km/hr for July 14/2007. The above time looks very close to that. So with luck I may be able to match or beat that time next weekend.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Busy week....

Busy week, just not all on the bike :-(

On Tuesday Michel Pelletier came over and we did a Lactate Balance test.... This tells me that about 140-144 heart rate I can remove lactate acid from the blood as fast as I am producing it. Roughly speaking with a power output of perhaps 180-200 watts. The theory is that perhaps doing more training at this end of the spectrum I can increase my aerobic power output.

In other words, since I don't have a big anaerobic capacity... see if I can generate more watts aerobically before going anaerobic.

On Wednesday I did a run out Barnett and then up SFU. Concentrating on keeping heart rate down and keeping cadence up. My benchmark time for this workout is about 36 minutes, so 39 minutes actually not that slow. Avg HR was 150 with Pavg at 254 watts and NPavg 262. Very easy pace. No hard breathing at any point.

Today I was pressed for time and did some quick hill climbing on Westwood. The first climb up
Plateau drive with low power (l3, about 280 watts) for 16 minutes... The second up Johnson at a higher pace (a young cat 1/2 rider passed me at the bottom and it was like a magnet pulling me a long :-) Luckily he was just, for him, spinning up...). About 7 minutes with Pavg about 300 watts....

Finished with some more quick hills at the top of Westwood on the Port Moody side. Getting home just after dark... 9:30PM..

I've decided to skip the popullaire next week. My shoulder is still causing me a lot of problems. And long rides appear to aggrevate it a lot. So for the time being I'm trying to limit rides to a max of about 2.5 hours and try and do the physio exerscises a bit more assidously. This was a pre-existing problem that was made a lot worse from the broken collarbone and surgery in January... I started physio in March for general rehab from the surgery. But the focus has been on the other condition since about May..

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mission - SST and L2

Mission again this week. TT bike this time. Slight head wind but still a bit faster than last week. By a couple of minutes with lower Pavg (280 vs 282) and NPavg (294 vs 301). Average speed up to 38.2 from 37... Shows what TT bars can do :-)

Working up distance and time. Canada Day Populaire (142km) in a week or so... still get painful shoulders after 2-3 hours on the bike.

Moving FTP up based on HC yesterday.. 331 Pavg for 42 minutes... so 315 is probably a better guestimate than 310..

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cypress HC - 42:25

Definitely slower than last year... not sure why. It was warm and very high humidity... Not sure that is the explanation.. I used the TT bike and power numbers seemed good, about 328 Pavg. But that didn't translate into better time.

Bill Reilly and Michel Pelletier both put in better times (just under and just over over 38 minutes...)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Neaves 10km TT

Ford Road to warm up and then did Neaves Road 10km TT. TT bike but no other TT gear. 15:16 for 10.2km. Not great but not bad either. NP and Pavg both reasonable at 332 and 330. Not a lot of wind, but enough to make about a 6 or 7 km/h difference in average speed out and back. This is a pancake flat out and back course.

Neaves Road 10km TT:

Duration: 15:16
Work: 302 kJ
TSS: 29.2 (intensity factor 1.071)
Norm Power: 332
VI: 1.01
Pw:HR: -26.02%
Pa:HR: -45.37%
Distance: 10.207 km
Elevation Gain: 11 m
Elevation Loss: 12 m
Grade: -0.0 % (-1 m)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 528 330 watts
Heart Rate: 0 176 144 bpm
Cadence: 33 102 86 rpm
Speed: 9 46 40.1 kph
Pace 1:18 6:40 1:30 min/km
Altitude: 135 139 137 m
Crank Torque: 0 78.7 36.9 N-m
Temperature: 15 16 15.4 Celsius

Peterson Performance Labs - Training with Power and Heart rate

A reasonably good introduction to training with power and HR here.

His main contention is that while power meters provide valuable data you shouldn't forget to pay attention to heart rate (dig out that HRM strap) and RPE.

For me this is timely. I'm still trying to determine what my limiters are in getting 5sec and 1min power numbers up. Or more specifically how to keep up on the short climbs so I don't get dropped in our typical local road races...

So I'm trying to remember to wear the strap and see if I can get some more insights...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mission - SST and L2

Headed out to Mission today. (Re)build up some L2/L3 base... lot's of intensity and racing over the last month or so and my legs are showing it.

After a warmup I did the Port Coquitlam to Mission leg at exactly 37km/h giving an elapsed time of one hour... Not my best for that but reasonable.

Then came back at a lower L2 pace, finishing with the climb backup Heritage and some sprints.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Anmore Tour - SST

Anmore Tour again. A little slow today. Legs felt sluggish.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Atomic RR

A fairly small field for Cat 4/5 today at the Atomic RR, about 35. Pace was a little slower than last week's Westside Classic. Managed to hang in for three laps of six. Then dropped off with Dave Kosick. We eventually caught with another three riders and finished without being lapped.

I did manage to set a new best (for this season) one minute power of 518 watts on one of the climbs. Which gets me all the way up to the middle of the Cat 5 range in the Power Profile chart. Hey, at least 5sec and 1min ARE both trending up :-)

Michel Pelletier and I did some laps of the Bradner RR course after as a cool down ride and compensate for some of the missed days (rain) early in the week.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

VeloVets Iona 10K TT - 14:42

Not raining today, but very very brisk wind coming off the ocean. About 30km/h. This helps on the out bound leg but really hurts coming back.

This course is primarily east/west, but has a short (800m) section that is north / south. And that kind of wind makes life interesting going across it with deep dish wheels. You can see the drop in speed in the outbound leg for that section.

I managed to finish just seconds ahead of Bill Riley (14:47) and Michel Pelletier (14:52). It's going to be a tough summer trying to stay ahead of these guys.

Power at 325 watts avg (NP identical) is not too bad but could be better. Pretty much the same as this time last year. Last year though we had the Ryder 8km TT every two weeks from about the beginning of May. And that was helping to build up my power. I would be out doing more Neaves Road practice 10k TT's but the weather has been simply abysmal for the last month.

Hopefully June will be better and I can get back on track. The goal is to be able to do better than 335 Pavg for the Squamish 36k ITT in August. Which should get me down to under 52 minutes...

Tomorrow is Atomic... probably more soloing off the back. The hills are not as long as last week, but there are more of them...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bert Flinn - Mountain Bike!!

Raining again today... and in a desperate effort to avoid getting on the Computrainer, based on a suggestion from Ryan Cousineau I (literally) dusted off the mountain bike. Pumped up the tires (Bontrager tubeless, so hoping they wouldn't need to be remounted with fresh sealant..) discovered that someone had borrowed my stem. So off to Capp's to get a stem. Dug up the Polar so I'd at least have a minimal bike computer...

And headed out in the rain about 7:00PM.. Ryan was a no show...

Bert Flinn's bike trails are mostly beginner with a few odd bits of intermediate riding thrown in. The intermediate bits being steepish but short downhill bits complicated with rocks and roots... but with no drops (there are some "stunts" but all are avoidable..)

The uphill bits all felt easy to do compared to a few years ago ... but the downhill bits where all a bit offish... havn't been on that bike for almost two years and what little downhill skills I had then seem really rusty... and I kept feeling twinges and muscle's working in my right shoulder to remind me that it really didn't want me to fall off.. Not that I'd probably break anything at the speeds I was going at (slow walk or slower) but still likely to involve muscles around my collar bone doing things they really don't want to do right now... painful things.... :-(

No power meter... but guestimate for the 1:20 ride is probably about 75TSS points (fait bit of climbing). And a couple of hours later after supper and a glass of wine, I am noticing that the upper body is really noticing the difference between a road bike ride and (easy) mountain bike ride.

Hopefully spring weather will return for the weekend. It's been more like winter here this week. VeloVets 10kTT on Saturday morning (with Michel Pelletier and Bill Riley both promising to show up to beat my time...) And then on Sunday the Atomic RR. Another race for me to show my lack of hill climbing power on... The hills are slightly shorter than Sundays. But not by much.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Anmore Tour - SST

More SST work. I made an effort to increase cadence on all the hard bits (i.e. when ever not actually going down hill > 2% grade...)

For the first hour avg. cadence was 77 compared to 73 for last Thursday. This hopefully will help bring up my anaerobic power. The immediate effect was to put me back by about 2 minutes week to week (i.e. I arrived at my one hour landmark about 2 minutes late...), TSS was up for that (99 vs 91) and overall I felt worse.

The first indication of problems was twitching calf muscles. Which usually don't happen until about 1:30 started at about 1:00. And continued after every short hard (high wattage, > 450) climb. Probably lactic acid build up.

Entire workout (228 watts):

Duration: 2:44:03 (2:50:53)
Work: 2239 kJ
TSS: 242.2 (intensity factor 0.941)
Norm Power: 292
VI: 1.28
Pw:HR: n/a
Pa:HR: n/a
Distance: 62.705 km
Elevation Gain: 1636 m
Elevation Loss: 1668 m
Grade: -0.1 % (-32 m)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 800 228 watts
Cadence: 25 141 70 rpm
Speed: 2.4 61.9 22.9 kph
Pace 0:58 25:00 2:37 min/km
Altitude: 0 270 81 m
Crank Torque: 0 110.2 33.1 N-m
Temperature: 11 21 12.1 Celsius

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Westside Classic - last but finished at least

Again with the hills that the younger crowd can sprint up... leaving me in the dust.. TT'd to the finish. At least I didn't get lapped in the process.

I appear to be ahead of schedule for raising CTL and FTP, but my anaerobic power seems to be slightly worse than this time last year.. at least for higher than one minute.. Short term (say under 30 seconds) is I think better. I'm feel stronger over short sprints (e.g. short hills like last week's Cedar RR). But Deep Cove and Westside both saw me worse off than last year.

Someone got this picture, I think this is on the climb. Thanks to Mark Wan for pointing it out.

N.B. Cool white-walls!

And Alex Pope found this one.

Where did the white-walls go :-)

Thanks to whoever took these and uploaded to flickr. For more photos see here.