Sunday, March 29, 2009

Escape Velocity Spring Series - Bradner RR

Yesterday was possibly my worst spring series race in four years... River Road in a cold drizzle... Just never got properly up to temp and in the 2nd lap got gapped at the back just at the wrong time... Another rider dropped in front of me while we where being dragged back into the group by Joe Donahue, but couldn't hold the wheel, by the time I got around that rider Joe was back in the back of the peleton and they where zipping away at a very un-C like 42-44km/h... into the wind... I just never managed to get back on... Took a lap or two by myself, then tagged onto the A group for two laps... Then went home... I was frozen by that time.

Today was Bradner. The sun was shining. The roads where dry. And while not exactly and precisely warm, it was the closest to warm that we have had (well 232/0 ave last week was close...) Actually quite nice while standing around, colder once you got onto the bike (cool wind.)

Once we got onto the course (neutral from the parking spot 1km south of the course) I worked up to the front and did a hard lap to get everything warmed up.. Then just sat at the back and hung on for the next four laps.... Final lap, worked hard, got back to the front and was first around the final turn (about 3km from finish.) Just past that there is a medium sized gully we dropped into, about 30-40m drop and then back up the other side. I pushed just a little to hard up that and got slightly winded... Had to sit up just slightly, but that let about 15 people get past... Spent the last 2km working back throught them... Finshed about 10th... it was hard to tell, we where all in the final sprint and it was 3 riders wide and I was 2-3 row back.

So not quite as good as last year... The crucial mistake was pushing just a little too hard on the final hill. And if I had about another half kilometer or so to work with, I probably could have got around more of the final bunch... track skills quite handy :-)

But still very enjoyable.

Next week is Atomic and Aldergrove. I think I'm volunteering for one day.. but don't remember which day.

I think this is a picture from the sprint.....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ford Road - L3

Ford Road at L3 today, fast so I could get home and run some errands...

Yesterday was Anmore Tour, L2/L3...

Monday and Tuesday where a write-off... work, chores, weather, all got in the way, so two days off.

I did a bike fit with Anthony King a couple of weeks ago, he uses the CFAC system... the result suggested that I move the handle bars back and up about 10cm... I had to order a short 70mm stem to try that...

Also, as part of the fall out in replacing the Ergomo BB in the Road Bike I ended up with an ISIS, and had to replace that. The CFAC fitting suggested that I could also change up to a 175mm crank...

So this week was focussed on adjusting the body to the new size and shape of the bike.. :-(

Little pains in the back and legs that where not there before, and, that hopefully, will disappear after a bit.

New Cycling BC Road Site

Cycling BC has a new web site just for us Road (and eventually Track and Cross) types...

This site will have the complete Road schedule along with results as they are received after each event.

The previously announced BAR results will also be available here once they have that sorted out.

Finally, they hope to make changes to the site available via RSS, so that you can get notified when results or changes to schedules are posted.

Kudo's to the current Road VP, Alastair Howard for making this happen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Escape Velocity - 232nd / Zero Ave

Today was mashalling on the Armstrong course... Right at the start line / parking lot... So not too boring...

Yesterday was the 232 Ave / Zero Ave course..  Big group in C's I think about 60-70... Nice day, and I simply couldn't get to the front.. Even after we dropped 20-30 riders  after a couple of laps, it was still almost impossible to push up to the front. Finally managed to get close for the last lap and got around the final corner maybe 20th and finished maybe 10-12th.. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

BVC Racing - A again, ugh...

More racing with the A's....

Unfortunately a biggish and fassssssst field... So I spent my time mostly off the back.

First race was a 4x5 Progressive, got dropped lap 3 went they wound it up for the first sprint.. got pulled at about lap 25 after being lapped twice...

Next was 35 Lap Scratch... managed to hang with the main group, but I think we got lapped by Kirk Obee...

Finished with 5x12 Points, got lapped, but did manage to stay with main group to the finish then (although I think Kirk Obee was half a lap ahead...)

Far too fast for me.

Last Wednesday was a BVC Workout... Murray's 42km/h paceline for an hour... with 2x5 L4 sessions and finishing with about 8 mini sprints ...

Tommorow is 232nd / Zero Ave Spring Series course.. always fun... 

Sunday I'm marshalling Armstrong (which is not my favourite course... )

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Anmore Tour - L3

Sunday showed how the my training for the last few months limited my ability to attack in Rozd Races (as opposed to helping attack in Track races.)...

We've had some of the most abnormal and abysmal weather for several decades... So I've got lots of time in at the track and am doing fairly well there... but I've got little time out side doing long road race type distances and efforts... and it shows..

Last year with a broken collarbone, I managed to be in better "road race" shape for the start of spring series... Mainly because I could only do Computrainer and outside rides, and the weather was better and I could get more time outsde...

Anyway... lots of excuses... :-)

Today, did manage to get out and put in some solid L3, almost SST type work on my "favourite" workout, Anmore Tour... My best time to the mid-point (Buntzen Power Plant) is about 58 minutes... and I was only three minutes off that today. And best time is summer temperatures (i.e. 18-20C)  and today was about 5-6.C.. And wet (I'm much slower on the downhill portions when wet, no reason to crash when training...) So actually not to bad ...

But I'll need to put in more time doing this before it will show up as better results in actual Road Races. But you can't say I'm not trying...

This weekend will be interesting...
  • Friday night - final BVC series, need 2  first or second places to get back into 1st overall
  • Saturday - Zero Ave - 232nd Ave course - My absolute favourite lower mainland road race course (with Bradner as a very close second)
  • Sunday - Armstrong Hill - my worst (or tied for worst, Atomic course as bad) lower mainlaind road race course
And at this point weather forecast is for rain... but no snow.. so I guess that is slightly better than last Sunday, maybe :-(

And Escape Velocity clothing orders arrived last week so I might actually have enough kit to race two days in the rain without having to run things though the washing machine on Saturday night. Which given my normal semi-comatose state after a hard road race ..........

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Escape Veloicty Spring Series - River Road

Just cold for six laps, then cold and wet for three laps... thankfully us C's finished just as the snow started.... poor B's, A's and Novices had to race in Snow... ahh Spring Series is back.

By the last lap I couldn't see much through the glasses and just went through the final turn with everyone... 

There apparently was a small group of 4 off the front, who got away in the confusion when the A's passed us in lap 7. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

BVC Racing - 4th in A/B 5x10 Points!!

Didn't (don't) feel that great tonight.. Either an incipient head cold or an allergy attack. Slight headache, twitchy / runny nose most of the week... And hard to get motivated...

Anyway, signed up for B-group tonight.. But only seven A's and seven B's.. so ended up with A/B races anyway.. :-(

First was a 3x10 Points... fast, furious and I was out the back... 

Next was a 20 lap Scratch... Ended up leading the pace line at about lap 7 (13 to go)... what the hell, wasn't going to win anything anyway, so just stayed there for 6 laps.. With 7 to go, pulled up and all hell broke loose... Kirk Obee attacked and Dave Kosick and I just dropped of the back, got lapped with 2 to go.. 

Final race was a 5x10 Points... which was finally long enough for me to do something :-) 

Managed to stay with the breaks mostly. Took a 4th in the first sprint. Mike Laxdale helped to pull me back into the front group after the 2nd sprint. After that it was a small group of five, Kirk Obee, Matt DeLuco, Mike Roethengatter, Bruce Denis and myself. 

Stayed with them to the bitter end. Luckily it was a small group by then. And I managed to get two 4ths... and then in the final sprint, following Bruce Denis's wheel, managed to get over him to lead out the sprint in the last two thirds lap... with Matt Deluco and Kirk Obee getting over me for 1st and 2nd respectively. I took 3rd, Mike Roethengatter taking 4th.

That got me a 4th place overall.

The hardest sprint of the night was sprint 3 in the points race... fast and hard..
Sprint 3 - 4th:
Duration:   0:19
Work:       11 kJ
Distance:   296 m
                                Min  Max Avg
Power:       280  752   560 watts
Heart Rate:   176   186   182 bpm
Cadence:     107   132   123 rpm
Speed:       48.4  60.4 56.0 kph

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

BVC Workout

One hour L3.. Sarah and Murray's tempo workout... paceline, round and round at 41km/h...

Then after a bit of a rest, 10 minutes L4.

Yesterday was Computrainer, one and a half hours L3. It was supposed to be SST, but couldn't quite get that high... I've had a bit of a headache and proto-sniffly nose for the last few days (Sunday?) ... might be the beginning of a cold. But it's not progressing... so maybe just allergies. But overall making it hard to push hard...

Spring Series starts on Sunday ...!!! :-)

Forecast is for 3C and rain... :-(

Of course it could be worse and snow (actually rumour has it that some of the forecasts are for snow...)

Tips from Hunters Webinar - Making the Transition to Spring Season

Attended another of Hunter Allen's power webinars on Tuesday... Making the Transition to Spring Season.

Hunter puts these on once a month for athelets (and a separate one monthly for coaches).

Hunter's best tip of the day was interpreting the Mean Maximal Power Curve.  The dotted line is all numbers for this season (since Oct/2008), and the solid line is the last 28 days.  

I have annotated to roughly show the sections corresponding to L6 (Anaerobic Capacity), L5 (VO2Max) and L4 (Lactate Threshold) times.

This shows quite plainly that VO2Max and Threshold are higher than the rest of the season. I.e. improving in the last 28 days compared to the time since October.

Anaerobic on the other hand is slightly lower.

Anyway, if you want to learn more about training with power meters and how to get the most out of WKO Hunter's webinars are a great way to do it. Here is a link to a free one where he discusses some TDF power files. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ford Road - Character Building Ride

Cold, wet, snow, and that was just in the first ten minutes... 

Ended up with the usual frozen toes... I think the water gets in through the cleat holes in the base of the shoes.

Still managed to finish just about the normal circuit... although I skipped going over the top of Westwood on the way back ... 

I did go halfway up Westwood, but I didn't want to tempt the weather guards by going to the top. Close enough to a blizzard where I was. And I know from previous experience that the extra 150M of elevation makes a big difference in the micro-climatic conditions.

Because I missed the extra climbing up Westwood, I dropped down Lansdown and back up Honeysuckle to make up for it. Also the extra loop up Hawthorne before doing Cliffwood at the top of Heritage Mtn. This is almost as high as Westwood, but seems to be slightly better protected.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Doug Preston - RIP 1957-2009

A very good friend, Doug Preston, was killed cycling, by an oncoming car crossing into his lane on a hill  two weeks ago. We had a memorial service for him on Thursday that was very well attended. It's taken me a few weeks to try and contemplate on how I could do a blog post for him.

Doug was one of my primary role model's and mentors for racing at the track. When I started racing at the Velodrome he was a constant figure, my age, showing that we can continue to do well and be competitive.  He was always helpful and full of tips. I can't remember how many times he reminded me to push down to the left in the curves to get the best time.

Like me he used a power meter to help push himself and stay at the top of his game. We shared a sense of what type of gear to buy (Ergomo, Giro helmot, Cervelo frames, Zipp wheels.) He was also a role model showing that you have to give back to the sport, by helping to put on races. His most recent was Warp Speed Time Trial, sponsored originally by Team Soliton and then by Escape Velocity. Suggesting of course that joing Escape would be the best way for me to do the same.

While I was a bit better in the long run at the track he was far better than me on the road. I could never keep up with him in a road race. He was aggresive and smart in the pack. Almost always right near the front. A role model for me that continues.

The very last email I had from him a few days before he was killed was a discussion about training for this years racing.

Here is a good slide show about Doug with narration by Cam Finnigan.

Doug Preston - RIP 1957 - 2009

Exercise over 50 - the good news

A new report in the BMJ says that men who start to exercise at 50 can end up with the same health benefits as men who exercised regularily at a younger age... And that the overall benefits are the equivalent to stopping smoking, exercise more and die less...
Increased physical activity prolongs life in middle-aged men after "an induction period" of up to 10 years, the study says.

BVC Friday Racing - playing with the A's again

Three races with the A's tonight... 

First was an Elimination... I don't really mind getting spit out the back in an Elimination... but not even being able to get to the back to get spit out... that's embarassing... Mind you they where going 58km/h... :-)

Next was a 20 Lap Tempo race... I somehow, by mistake, got to the front, third wheel.. And after about 5 laps managed to even get over top of Jeff Ain who after being second wheel for 3 laps had taken 2 at the front... Managed to even stay there for 2 laps!!!!!! At 51km/h... After that I was toast and off the back doing laps at 45km/h... Kirk Obee and (I think) Mike Roethengatter caught me with 2.5 laps to go. Bruce Denis and Mike Laxdale with 2. And the rest of the field (started with 10) all three of them... caught me in the bell lap...

The last race was an Unknown Distance... I was bagged and just hung in at the back... and tried to at least stay reasonably close (on the same straight away) as the finisher's sprinted ... I managed to get up to 61km/h following Julian Base's wheel... but that just got me around the corner and on to the straight away... 

I think next week I'll retire, defeated, and slink back into the B's where I belong for the last two nights of the Winter series..

I have to admit it has been fun... 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

BVC Structured Workout - 2 days

Yesterday was motor pacing. today was Whistle drills...

I put on a smallish gear tonight, 51x16 (about 84")... 

Felt like a sewing machine... The Whistle Drill was mostly short sprints and one set of take-a-lap... Which where are  really difficult (well for me) on that small a gear... I found it tough to spin fast enough to get speeds up... 

When I did get speeds up my heart rate went up and I got out of breath quickly... And how humiliating .... "C" racers where out sprinting me :-)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Calibration - about 20 watts too high...

So as usual the first principle of power meters applies... if it sounds too good to be true it probably isn't...

Anyway, first pass at it appears that the Ergomo with its factory setting k-factor of 196 is about 20 watts too high.

This is my standard PowerCalibration60.erg test, start at 100w and increase 1watt/second until you fall over. I usually last five minutes, which gets me to a load of 400watts.

The two power files get munged in an excel spreadsheet. The chart to the right shows the overall match.

I'm estimating that a drop in k-factor of about 20 will be needed. I'll do another test tomorrow with that.

Assuming that, adjusting yesterdays ride file makes the overall IF 0.988 (instead of 1.07), TSS 97.7 (drop from 112). NP 282 (previously 300). Much more believable... Right in line with current FTP of 285..

Give the cool weather, heavy training wheels, two water bottles, three layers of clothing, etc, I still believe that this could be an NP buster ride (one hour with IF > 1.05) ...  but unfortunately yesterday wasn't :-)

Today was an L2 ride from hell... Out around Ford Road... and just at the farthest point from home it started to rain... so the last hour and a half was cold AND wet.. So much for listening to the weather forecast. They said rain in the morning and clearing in the afternoon and evening.. So where did this rain at 4:00PM come from.