Saturday, October 9, 2010

Computrainer Race League

A quick note, for anyone with a Computrainer, there is a Race Series for the next 21 weeks.

The first race (10k TT) must be submitted before Midnight GMT this Sunday.

What price a wheel?

It has been a busy month, trying to get hours in on the bike, get back into track shape, and some paying work done :-)

Last night was the 2nd Friday night race of the year. I'm racing with the A group this year so that I can race in my 93" gearing.

What was interesting about was the difference between the last week and last night. A week ago we did a 40 Lap Scratch race and a 4x10 Points race. In both races I was getting spit out the back, then going up to the blue line and when the pack came around jumping back in. Last night we did a 25 Lap Scratch race and a 6x10 Points race. I managed to stay on the pack for the 25 Lap scratch and didn't get lapped in the points until lap 30, and even then was working well with smaller groups who where also down one lap.

Speedwise last night was about the same as last week. But there was something different about last night. Suddenly I was able to stay on the pack, at the back of pack, not working in the rotation. But still much better than last week where I simply couldn't hold on (in many cases couldn't even get on.)

The difference was the rear wheel. Last week I was on a loaner training wheel with some no-name training tire. This week I had my Zipp 900 with a Vittoria Pista EVO CL 22.  Gearing remained unchanged at 50x14 (about 93.6" for the 700x22 Vittoria.)

If you look at the scatter plot on the right, The green and yellow points are from last weeks race. Blue and Red from this week. This is power at speed. And you can see a clear trend for higher speed at most power levels for the red and blue points.

At a guess, between 2-3 kmh for most power levels. An that makes the difference of hanging in at the back and getting spit out.

So what is the price of a wheel? Call it about 2 kilometers per hour. For whatever power output you have you'll be able to go about 2 kmh faster.

Or more pragmatically, something like an extra 50 watts to push around the training wheel at speeds between 46-52. You'll need to produce those extra watts if you want to use the training wheel.

Monday, September 13, 2010

GranFondo - claim jumpers

It is apparent that a good starting position is critical for a good finish time, but also that a good starting position does not guarantee a good finish time if you are not in shape.

I was 438th across the start line, just about 1:40 after the first riders. While I managed to move up a great deal. The people who started at the very front had an open lane and took good advantage of it. This group got a nice gap and kept it throughout the race. IFF you are not in that group off the start, then you have to move forward to it. Not impossible as there are people all along to bridge too. But still more work than if you start at the front.

Out of about 30 male riders in the first big group to arrive in Squamish, 5 started in the Alta Class (pay extra for best starting position.. about 40 people) at about 6:59:45. The rest started in the the 3-4 hour chute, at about 7:00:05. They where in recorded start positions starting at 44 through 137 (male starters) with the 137 crossing only 35 seconds later. There was only ONE additional rider, starting 70 positions or an additional 18 seconds later who managed to bridge up and join this group, which had a 1:11 lead over the next group once they got to Squamish. 

I went across at 7:01:20. Another 18 seconds and a couple hundred more riders behind that rider. And was about 9 minutes behind by Squamish.

Looking at starting, the Alta Class started at 6:59:45 and the last rider (except for some late starters) rode across at 7:19:49. So it took about 20 minutes to start everyone. I was 438, and about 30% into the 3-4 hour chute. So at an estimate the 3-4 hour chute had (at least) 700 starters (counting men only) and they where all started by about 7:03. 

Of these only about 240 actually finished under 4 hours. So about 450 people didn't and their finish times ranged all the way from 4-6 hours. In fact I could find over 50 riders starting at the very front of the 3-4 hour chute (i.e. in the first 60 seconds) that finished in over 4:30.  Again this is male riders only.

Possibly a few of those had mechanicals. But its reasonably obvious that people where not seeding them selves appropriately. Finishing 5-10 minutes over 4 hours is justifiable. More than 30 minutes looks slightly bad and more than an hour is ridiculous, they never had a chance of finishing close to 4 hours.

I couldn't find anyone starting in the later chutes who finished under 4 hours. So it appears that the people who could do under 4 hours did seed them selves correctly. But there is a large contingent of people who just don't follow instructions and effectively make it more difficult for those who might otherwise.

In some respects perhaps the setup of the chutes promoted this. With five chutes (3-4 hours, 4-5, 5-6, 6-7 and +7) that where all about the same size, or say holding about 20% of 4000 people, roughly 700-800 riders in each. But only about 12 percent of the finishers actually got in under 4 hours. So a smaller 3-4 hour chute with some effort at policing the entry to it would be appropriate. Probably about half the size of this years chute.

Big Ride - aka RBC GranFondo Whistler

The first RBC GrandFondo Whistler went off without a hitch yesterday. This was an amazingly well run event that saw 4000 people (plus a few hundred in the separate Giro BC Cup race) head up to Whistler from downtown Vancouver. We had a closed lane all the way. Something like 15000 traffic cones, 110 flaggers, 45 traffic cops, six aid stations, and a nicely organized finish area. BC Premier Gordon Campbell was on hand to wish us luck and start the race and fondo and there was a helicopter overhead taking pictures.

The start was setup with seven starting chutes:

  1. Giro 
  2. Alta Class (pay a little extra)
  3. 3-4 hours
  4. 4-5 hours
  5. 5-6 hours
  6. 6-7 hours
  7. 7+
Rob McMurty drove Paul Baker and I down and we arrived on site at 6:05, early enough to get well placed in the 3-4 hour starting chute. 

Roll out after the start was 1:20 (chip timing, this gets deducted from your overall to get actual elapsed.)

I put on a bit of gas and finding openings migrated forward. I figured that the first bottleneck would be about 6km in, where we climbed up Taylor Way. Short but steep; and I wanted to be well in front of the main bulk of riders by then. By the time I was coming off the Lions Gate Bridge I had lots of room in front and back and then climbing up Taylor Way there was room to easily maneuver and climb at whatever speed was appropriate.

Once on the Upper Levels it was just a matter of finding a comfortable pace and a group riding at that speed. 

I kept trying to see where the actual front of the group was. I think at one point, going up the hill out of Furry Creek, I saw what looked like the main front group. At that point about 3-4 minutes ahead.

I arrived at the Brennan Community Center with a split time of 8:57:53. This is the half-way point. Since we have the split information we can also see the state of the race here:
  • Tete de le course - Samuel Devlin - 8:34
  • Owen Hrrison - 8:44
  • Powered by Chocolate Milk Group - 8:47
  • Front group - 8:48 - 8:56
  • Second group - 8:58 - 9:02
  • Third group - 9:06 - 9:38
So I was just about up to the tail end of the first main group. But had not quite joined on. That group of about 295 riders was at that point spread out across 8 minutes. The second group was about 196 riders. The third group was the bulk of the field, there was a continuous stream of riders (30-40 per minute) for another 32 minutes. At that point I was behind 231 or 10.4% of the mens field. NP to this point was 256 Watts.

From a power perspective, at this point I was at about 155 TSS points. Or roughly equivalent to most of the training and racing I have doing this year.. And at about that point I started to get the twinging calf muscles and shortly after going through the split point I actually had a fairly bad cramp in the right leg. So I stopped and took of my knee warmers and gave the calf a quick massage... then back on the bike. 

At this point we where leaving Brackendale and starting the longest climbs of the day, 350m over 9km then after some short descents another 150m over 4km. I brought the power numbers down a bit allowing people to get by me, just finding a pace that let my legs recover a bit. The next split was just before the summit. At that point I had slowed enough that 327 riders or 14.7% of the mens field was in front of me. NP for this section (1:12, about 30 minutes past the second split) was 218 Watts. Very easy to see in the WKO chart.

Once we got to about Daisy Lake I was behind a fairly strong rider who brought the pace up quite nicely. The legs felt a bit better and I was able to get to the front and start pulling as well. From here to the end of the race I managed to get the power levels back up. Although by the end the twinging was back. But I found that with a bit of standing up and looking for a comfortable cadence I was able to start catching people and move forward quite nicely. I had dropped 96 positions from Squamish to Daisy Lake. I managed to pull back 53. It helped that by this section people where slowing down. I was also looking at the average speed, 31.5kmh, doing the math and trying to see if I could stay under 4:00..

Assuming 120km, 31.5kmh meant for sure... but 120km came went just past Creekside... about halfway (from memory) to the Village. And then how much of a climb through the village to which parking lot... with an estimated margin (at that point) of about 1-2 minutes when I hit the turn into the village and a sign saying 1km! 

Squeaked through with an elasped time of 3:59:02! Total TSS for the day was exactly 287. 

The distribution at the finish:
  • Winner - Samuel Devlin - 3:24:46
  • 2nd - Owen Harrison - 3:27:01
  • 3rd - Hunter Lowden - 3:30:17
From that point there was a steady stream of finishers. At a rough guess, IFF i had managed to maintain my pace through the middle section, I would have been about 5 minutes faster, say about 3:54.

Looking only at my age category, 50-59. I was 37th out of 613 riders. The fastest rider in this group, David Taylor finishing in 3:31:54. So he was only 7 minutes behind the fastest rider,  in the first group (1-2 minutes behind first in his group) and 13th overall in the mens field. 

So I need to reduce my time by 25+ minutes overall to be in the front group. 

My apparent problem this year is twofold. First not enough training hours or more correctly a too low CTL. I should be higher than 80 and close to 90. Currently a dismal 60. 

Secondly, I need to have longer harder rides. This year my typical hard training rides (and races) have all been about 150 TSS max. And the common point with the leg cramping seems to be hard rides AND rides that go long. I thought it might be hydration or heat. But yesterday was cool and I don't think I was dehydrated. So whats left is riding past the built-in limits from training.

Both of these are in fact mostly due to my shoulder issues. The impingements (both sides since May 2009) led to very poor muscle tone in the shoulders (above and behind) and that lead to a ride limit of about two hours. At that point it was simply too painful to continue. I have managed to get some strength back over the last two-three months. And only since about July have actually been able to do longer rides. 

So I need to ramp that up. Get out and get longer rides in. Move up to 3-4 hours hard rides at least once per week in addition to the current regime. That would move CTL (over time) to about 80-90 and get my legs used to doing longer rides without cramping (hopefully.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Anmore Tour - new PB!

Last night was another WTNC, fairly warm so the pace was slow. So I spent the first few laps attacking on the downhill ... lots of fun, pushed heartrate way up... Gave up when they rang the bell for the preem.

Then got dropped after another few laps. Got caught up with the cat 3's and dragged back to my group. Went to the front with Ryan and strongly suggested that the race was neutralized until we got back to the downhill...

Did one more attack and then let them go for the bell lap... just soft pedaled it to the finish..

Today was cooler (finally...) Out to do my Anmore Tour. Didn't have any strong expectations heading out, but realized on the first long climb (1.5km @ 8%) that I was feeling fairly strong and would probably be close to my PB for it. Didn't quite get there (9:10 vs about 8:30) but given that I hadn't bother to warm up and didn't really get serious for the first 4-5 minutes that wasn't too bad. Probably a PB for 2010.

  1. Buntzen: 17:00 beating 17:20 (2007)
  2. Whitepine: 33:45, beating 34:20 (2007)
  3. Belcarra: 43:50 beating 45:20 (2007)
  4. Burrard Thermal: 56:16 beating 57:30 (2009)
  5. Aspenwood: 89:02 beating 90:00 (2007 & 2009)
  6. Home: 94:55 beating 95:36 (2009)
I'll have to try this again next week with a proper warmup. In theory I was 40 seconds slow at the top of my first big hill on east road. But then pulled that all back plus some getting over to Buntzen. If I just matched my best time up that hill and maintained todays pace for the rest of the course that would get me down close to 94:15.

I reasonably sure that the Tuesday nighters are helping this. They are just 10x1minute L6/L7 intervals with about 90 seconds rest in between (unless you attack on the downhill...)

Also the Anmore Tour is repeated l-2 km hills and lends itself to doing a lot of standing up on the pedals doing L5-L6 efforts and then getting your breath back cruising down the backside of the hill to the next one.

This should help TT FTP etc. Although Time Trialing is more (almost all) aerobic, L4/L5 and not much standing up. We'll see how the Cypress HC goes on the 28th. There is also the BC TT on the 29th. May be able to sneak into that as well if there are no snafu's and I get enough volunteers. It will be the Warp Speed course, but two laps. So slightly longer than the Squamish course. Goal time would be 53:00. But my best time on the single lap is 26:47, so 53:00 for two might be a tad optimistic :-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

BCMCA Cedar RR - 3rd the hard way in blistering heat

It was a hot day... no it was a very hot day... hmm. Make that a VERY HOT day.

George McLaughlin and I did a park-n-ride. Race was at 12:00 so easy ride over to Cedar.

But it was hot (did I mention that it was hot already?) By noon over 30C.

Waiting for the race to start I finished off a 590ml sports drink to get pre-hyrdrated.

We started at a reasonable pace, about 38kmh. And caught most of the 60+ group (except Dave Mercer) in the second (of three 20km laps). We had whittled down our 9(10?) starters to 6 by then, and picked one additional person from the 60's.

I tried in the first two laps to get the pace up by getting off the front. But couldn't maintain a decent pace through the rollers. And no-one seemed to want to try and go with me.

Tried to stay hydrated, finishing off my second bottle on schedule halfway through the bell lap. But at that point started to feel the dreaded twinging in the calf. That continued and got worse.

Followed Bill and Chris in for the sprint but by then the twinging was more like a cramp. And when they started the sprint with 200m to go I pushed hard and it was like my legs turned into concrete...

I'm not sure if this is a heat or hydration problem. But this is the third or fourth time it has happened. All on medium to hard races in hot weather (Dove Creek last year, Metchosin a couple of years back.) Another data point from this year though. After only a short (15-20 minute) rest I had to dash to get back to the ferry. Had a bit to drink (one can of coke) and a couple of cookies. And then pushed hard to get to the ferry. And didn't have any cramping or twinges... Rode back in 30 minutes.

So I don't think it is effort, i.e. doing too much work. And it could be getting dehydrated. But I'm suspecting that it may just be getting over heated.

Looking at the power files later, average temp for the race was 35C.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Westwood HC - new PB 14:26

Last night's WTNC was slower but I made up for it by attacking on the downhill and then leading up the climb... but I paid for it by almost popping off the back. Heart rate not quite by almost off the chart with peak 10s 184 bpm, peak 1min 182 bpm and peak 2min 180 bpm.

Nominally anything over 180 means I have to recover at a corresponding lower rate below 180 for a similar amount time...

Tonight I did my Westwood HC route, 3.72km, 279m of climbing, 7.6% grade average.

Even with a slight delay for the (new) traffic light a third of the way up I still beat last years PB by 8 seconds, 14:25 vs 14:33. Power numbers up a bit as well, probably because I'm about 1-1.5kg heavier than this time last year.

I'll hopefully have time to do the Cypress HC in two weeks (the day before the BC TT which I'm acting as race director for so won't get to do.. :-( ). This ride indicates I should be able to take about a minute or more off of last years time (38:29).

But that is a mass start race, so the time you get depends a lot on getting on and staying on a good wheel. That said, last year, by the time we got to the last 1-2km, it was down to about 2-3 riders and if I recall, I popped with about a km to go, but had only one other rider with me (just behind by a bit) for the final 500m or so. I knew that the other couple of riders where in a (vastly) different age category and couldn't find the watts to stay with them as they pulled away.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Anmore Tour - L4

The skies looked threatening early in the afternoon, with distant booming of Thunderstorms. So I mentally changed gears from WTNC attendance to just riding locally IFF things looked better.

Well by 7:00 it did look better so I headed out for an attempt at a fast Anmore Tour.

Was within one minute of PB at Buntzen, then 45 seconds at Whitepine, Belcarra and Burrard Thermal. About two - three minutes getting home (97 minutes, PB is just under 95.)

Appears to be an NP-Buster ride. Best 60 minutes at NPavg of 295 watts, for 111 TSS, IF 1.053.

Probably didn't drink enough, only went through one bottle and dropped just about 3lbs. It was quite warm.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stave Lake - social ride sort of

Headed out and did a VeloVet ride on Saturday. Now that the Albion Ferry is no more the meeting place is closer, Starbucks at Harris Rd in Pitt Meadows. Then out to Stave Lake and back along Dewdney. Lunch at Tim Hortons in Maple Ridge, then home.

Felt great, and shoulders where not too bad. I've been doing some exercises to get strength back up and that seems to be helping.

Heading home after lunch, about four hours in, definitely my longest ride this year, legs felt strong and fresh enough to climb up part of Westwood on the way home. Total TSS for the day about 250. On a base CTL that is only about 58...

Sunday I went out for a recover ride. Just a spin out around Ford Rd. Legs felt terrible, no strength, no push.. Definitely sore and out of energy after the ride on Saturday.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

WTNC - very very fast, off the back

This weeks WTNC Cat4 group was very fast. We averaged slightly over 45kph for laps 2 and 3!

The first lap or two was fast because someone got off the front and got us moving, and then we could see the Cat3 group which tends to act like a magnet :-)

Anyway, I managed to keep up for 16 minutes, at that point our average speed was 42kph, and I was whacked. So just drifted off the back. Was going to try and stay with the Cat3's, but they caught me at the SW Marine Dr to Stadium Rd corner, so I had to sit up to let them pass, leaving me with no speed to stick in at the back.

But shortly after Ryan Cousineau caught up with me and we did a couple more laps at a high enough speed to at least look like we where in a bike race.

Strangely, it seems like the Cat4 group eventually did slow down as the Cat3's re-caught them in the last lap.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Comox Weekend

Another fun weekend over at Comox with Emil Marcetta and George McLoughlin, slightly marred with a crash the first day in the B Category Crit.

Saturday we had a Prologue, about 5.5km 2% uphill time trial, with the last 500m at about 8-10%. I managed 11:15 on my road bike. Bill Yearwood brought over his TT bike and full aero kit, and managed about 35 seconds faster. I think full aero + TT + being in better shape, should allow for 10:15-10:30. Which is just under what Bill did.

The second race Saturday afternoon was the Crit using a 4km course near the Dove Creek RR. This was supposed to be 35 minutes plus one lap, but the bell was rung after about 32-33 minutes. Caught me unaware as I was expecting another two to go and had sat at the back getting ready to push for two. Left us all scrambling to get to the front. After the final corner there where still some of the slower riders at the front leading us out and as the pack was passing them about 200-300m from the finish someone got bumped and went down. I was just in front of him on his right and may have bumped his bar, didn't feel anything though, just heard the crash.

Sunday was the Dove Creek RR at 8:30AM. Much nicer starting then compared to 11:00AM last year. Cooler and didn't run out of water. The race nicely kept together until the end and then I just followed Bill Yearwoods wheel for the last few km. He got a nice lead out, with Mike Secov following. I had a brief problem with another rider which cost me two pedal strokes or about 20-30m before getting onto Mike and Bill's wheels. Didn't quite catch them and one other rider, they still had about 5m at the line. Still it was fourth overall.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Versus Tour Tracker

I forked out the $29.95 US for Versus Tour Tracker this year. And other than some hiccups with their use of a streaming plugin (autobahn) for the first two days I'm really enjoying it.

What you get is the full TDF video feed in HD downloaded and viewed in your browser via a flash plugin. This means from the race roll out to the end of the podium awards. For Sunday's stage one this was six hours compared to three hours.

This is not the same as the Versus broadcast. You get Phil and Paul's commentary, mostly, but it is not the same commentary you get on the over the air (cable) version. I still have my PVR setup so I compared the two versions for todays feed. For some portions the video and commentary are the same, with either or both Phil and Paul doing commentary. But in other portions they split up and you get different audio.

For the most part this is when they need to do a sponsor blurb, or a replay of something missed in a commercial, etc. One of them continues with the tracker commentary and the other does the over the air commentary. More kudo's for Phil and Paul, they are doing a lot more work than we realize.

For the parts of the feed prior to when Phil and Paul are available, i.e. for when they would be doing the over the air version, there is another commentator. So on Sunday we got him for the a little over three hours and Phil and Paul for the rest.

Another strange difference, for the over the air broadcast you get the audio portion of the video feed. At least what I presume is audio from the race, crowd noises, cheering, etc. That is missing from the tracker feed.

For the first two days they where using Autobahn which is a plugin which was supposed to improve streaming. I had a lot of trouble keeping this happy. Especially trying to stop / restart, skip, replay etc. Todays video was a bit slow in becoming available and there was a short lived announcement that autobahn was removed so that streaming would improve. I think the bit rate I was getting with autobahn was better. The quality seems to be slightly less today. I need to play a bit and see if I can figure out how to improve the download bit rate.

As a bonus this also works on your iPhone. Login and you can watch the video in full screen mode there. Note that there is also a Versus iPhone app for $14.95 which may be slightly better, but that won't allow you to watch on your PC. The free Versus iPhone app is pretty cheesy. It just does standings, results etc and mostly devotes a lot of screen real-estate trying to sell you the $14.95 version.

The bottom line is I think that the tracker version is worthwhile. While you can get Versus in HD in the US we are stuck with the older non-HD feed via OLN up here in the frozen north. I have been saying for the last two years I would cancel my cable and signup in a minute for anyone who would get me HD feed for the tour. And this is doing that at a reasonable cost, only about a buck and a half per stage... maybe about $.25 per hour ...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Heritage - L4 hill reps

Tuesday the WTNC was a bit slower than last week. Average speed was under 39kmh. Compared to 40.5 last week and over 41 a few weeks back. Made it much easier to keep up and I was right with the pack at the end trailing it into the finish by only 10's of seconds.

Tonight I was on on Heritage. Didn't feel up to any intensity, and the weather was threatening to change to rain so didn't want to get to far from home. So just did L4 hill reps. Tried to average about 280-300 for 2:50-3:00, with 2 minute rest between. Did a dozen repeats, then wandered around doing some more L3 short climbs to round things out to two hours and get back for supper.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WTNC - managed to keep up this week

Had a good workout tonight at WTNC. Pace was a little faster than last week, slower than two weeks ago. Kept up until the final lap when I get gapped when the people I was following gave up in the last 50m of the hill. Couldn't quite get back onto the back so followed the peleton up the final hill about 100m back.

The weather final co-operated so that I could get in three reasonably good workouts over the weekend. So I managed just over 400 TSS points in three workouts... which is not to bad with a CTL at about 60. 

This week will be tough though. Busy every evening and on Saturday I'm helping with timing at the ellevation Cypress HC. I've setup some netbooks with Race Timer and the goal is to get unofficial finish times available via a builtin webserver more or less as people go through the finish line. And then to have the official results available quickly after the race (as fast as the commissaries can compare to their hand written results and say yea or ney.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WTNC - off the back again

I took most of a week off two weeks ago. A bit of a virus, work etc... Which killed me for WestSide. Just couldn't convince myself to get out of bed. 

But then felt better two days later and had a great WTNC last week. The Cat 4 group averaged about 41kph and I managed to stay with them until the last lap. Positive TSB probably helped.

Tonight was not so good. Smaller group, slower. But that gave me ideas, I tried getting to the front to see if I could stay there for the climb. Yes I could. The bad news they rang the bell for the preme and that meant the next lap was fast and I was out of breath and then out the back.

What is the distance from last turn to top?

Was discussing the length of the climb with Ryan C. and Mark W. before the race. Ryan thinking (for him) there was some advantage to going for a preme from just before the corner. If you are in the first few riders around the turn then you get an advantage, possibly a small gap and then you should be able to sprint to the finish from there.

The distances, to the turn circle,  just over 100m, to the finish line about 170 (total about 270m). Another 200 or so to the top.

Overall about one minute for the whole climb at a reasonable pace.

I expect a "winning" sprint from the turn to the finish line would need to be well under 30 seconds. 

Which means probably within the AWC (anaerboic work capacity) for many people. Pretty much the same as a two lap final sprint on the track. Doable, but only just....  Well actually,  not quite for C, barely for B, and typical for A. Which kind of delineates quantitatively the difference between the abilities in the different ability categories (read novice / Cat 4 for C, Cat 4 / Cat 3 for B and Cat 1/2 for A.)

One of the interesting things I have learned is that (at least for me...) just following the conservative follow at the back and suffering a bit from the rubber band effect at the bottom corner still leaves me in better shape overall than attempting to get towards the front by working along SW Marine then sagging back during the climb. 

When done properly (last week, not this week) I hit the bottom turn with a heart rate at about 152 and by the top I'm at 166. If I do an extra 10-20 seconds work to get forward in the group, I start at about 160-162 and am at about 170 by the time I get to the top. 

And that means over several laps I start getting even less recovery, so hit the bottom higher, and end up spit out the back...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fatigue Profiling - from Allen / Coggan V2

So one of the latest new concepts from the new book (do you have to ask.... Training and Racing With a Power Meter, 2nd Edition by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan PhD) is Fatigue Profiling.

For each of the different energy systems, which of course map to how well you perform for each of four different time periods we have (up till now) relied on the Power Profile.

This provides some feedback showing your best numbers for five seconds, one minute, five minutes and one hour. The resulting slopes are usually characterized as "all-rounder)" - roughly sloping up; "sprinter" - steeply sloping down; "Time Trialist" - sloping up; and "pursuiter" - upside V with peak in the one minute column.

I've never learned what my profile represents, other than roughly flat for the first five seconds and one minute (untrained and occasionally getting up into low Cat 5 territory. And roughly flat for five minute and one hour up in the high Cat 4 or low Cat 3.

Fatigue profiling is an attempt to show how fast you fatique  in each of these areas. You set up periodic charts for your recent training. Showing your best efforts periods of time in the range around each power level.

The book suggests cherry picking the numbers from each chart, i.e. best numbers for each level from different days. I'm not quite sure I agree with that strategy. If you think of each energy system has a certain amount of "work" it can do. Higher numbers will (in my opinion) use that reserve faster.

So I'm taking a more conservative approach and picking best sets in the same period.

Peaks Coaching has a small widget that will munge this for you. And provide some commentary on your fatigue scores.

L7 - Neuromuscular Power -  for the limited wattage I have, at least it lasts reasonably well. I can get a nice kick in and keep it going. Just as long as I get out before I'm in L6 territory.

L6 - Anaerobic Capacity - average and below average - and that is starting low! Definitely my weakest ability.

L5 - VO2 Max, starting high, staying above average for short periods, and at least average for 8 minutes. This is definitely my strength.

L6 - Lactate Threshold, starting high, and below average for 60 minutes. Most likely this is because I really haven't done any long hard FTP testing type rides this year. All of the numbers are low.

2010 Amgen Tour of California daily power file analysis by Hunter Allen and Dirk Friel

Just noticed that we can get some daily power data analysis for the Tour of California. See here for daily race analysis... by Hunter Allen and Dirk Friel.

The 2010 Amgen Tour of California consists of eight stages starting in northern California in Nevada City and travels south to Agoura Hills near Los Angeles.  TrainingPeaks is proud to support two teams in this year's event, Team Saxo Bank and Team Fly V australia. Stay tuned after each stage to see and download actual race files from these amazing athletes. For immediate notification when race files are posted follow
Good way to get some tips on how some high end coaches look at power files.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Campbell Heights RR - got gappppppeeeddd...

I was doing well, I thought...

Managing to keep up with the Cat 4 field up the little sprint hills. But somehow on lap five I got behind the wrong wheel between the two hills. Looked up and saw two things. First that there where some people accelerating off the front! Second my two guys where dropping off the middle group!!!

By the time we got to the top of the second little climb I was about 200m behind the following group of about five guys. And they where a good 300m behind the leaders.. I had to TT for about 2km to catch up. Then we stayed about 30 seconds behind the leaders for a couple of laps. Then during the second last lap that lead extended to about 60 seconds...

By the final lap we had collected another 5 riders dropped from the lead bunch so we all had a fun time doing our own little sprint. I ended up on Brian Wongs wheel about 300m out and he ended up going too early, with me following and going to early and having to pull up about 30-40m from the finish line which let Bill Reilly get past me.

The race was slightly slower this year, I think because the course was shorter. We did eight laps of 8km, last year was seven laps of 9.6km. With the same amount of climbing per lap. So end result was 30 seconds faster and a fair bit more work... 180 TSS vs 166 TSS!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Escape Velocity - WTNC promo video

Every Tuesday until September.... 10-12x1-2m VO2Max/Anearobic Capacity workouts with 2m rest... this is one heck of a good workout and a lot of fun too.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

WarpSpeed TT - 26:42

After getting all 100+ riders through the ITT in the morning, then 15 TTT teams doing 40km finished, prizes awarded and everything loaded back up into the 4Runner, I finally got my reward. Drag the P2C out, pull on the skinsuit and ride the course myself.

Managed to take about 10-12 seconds off last year, 26:46.

Quick numbers check in analytic cycling, Assuming CRR 0.0038, CdA 0.230, average watts about 280. If I got watts up to 320 OR CdA down to 0.210, then I would reduce time to under 26 minutes.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ant+ arrives on the iPhone

Well almost, hopefully available soon.

Here is an early review. And here is the Wahoo Website for more information.

They will be offering a small Ant+ dongle that can be used with pretty much any Ant+ device (power meter, heart rate strap, cadence, foot pad etc.) to log data.

They have a Wahoo Ant+ utility app (already) available in the iTunes App store. This can be used to test or record data.

Best yet, they will have an API available to allow any iPhone App developer to develop applications using the dongle. So if you want to do a customer coaching app that monitors your Metrigear or Quarq or ?? device, then go for it.

The developed app's should run (with Ant+ dongle) on pretty much any of the current Apple products. I.e. iTouch (version 3 OS), iPhone (3Gs) and iPad. Allowing for a wide range of platforms. From the inexpensive iTouch ($200 and up), the ubiquitous iPhone, and the larger screen iPad (for those coaching apps).

The Ant+ dongle will be available as a dongle. And also as a iPhone case. I would expect an iTouch case as well (maybe with GPS added.)

I have done a bit of development on the iPhone/iTouch. The specs are pretty amazing. You get a real bang for you buck in these devices. Lots of memory, lots of CPU. The one limitation with the version 3 os is that it is difficult to have something run in the background. E.g. for data-logging. You need to keep it in the foreground and manage the screen to reduced battery usage. And you get kicked out for things like incoming phone calls (iPhone only.) But the version 4 os (fall release) should address some of those issues.

I don't own an Ant+ devices yet (actually, maybe, I have some older Garmin accessories that might be, and an iAero.) But I am going to order this so I can play with it as a developer.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Two Time Trials

Got to do two time trials today.

First was the season opener for the Vancouver VeloVets 10k TT out at Iona. Nice conditions, just a little wind. But still only able to get 14:33. Which is a bit slow.

Then I got a complimentary entry to Race the Ridge Golden Ears TT. Normally only open to people doing the full stage race they where nice to let me ride (probably as I won't be able to ride next week's WarpSpeed when I put my race directors hat on.)

The conditions where very nice. Probably the best seen on that course for a few years. It is a spring race and typically early cold damp mornings. Yesterday was warm and dry.

I put in a reasonably good effort, 32:29. Which is about 45 seconds faster than my time from two years ago and a new PB for me on this course. Comparisons to the rest of the field are a bit harder as they had all spent 2-3 hours doing a hard road race earlier in the day.

That said, the best Cat 3/4 time was David Stephens with 29:48, one of only four riders go under 30 minutes (including Cat 1/2.) There where three more Cat 3/4 riders just over 32.

I ran the Golden Ears file through Aerolab. Still learning how to tweak the sliders for best results etc.. This shows that a hilly course that gives you a lot of variation in speeds. Without being so hilly that you change position too much to invalidate the results.

On this course the speed varied from 20-70 km/h (exclusive of the turn-around and start.)

Best guess, CdA getting to about .220-.230.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Anmore Tour - SST

Last night was Heritage Mtn, 4x10m VO2Max / L5.

Tonight was my Anmore Tour, a little slower than usual, but still SST mostly. But put in a nice 5 minute interval towards the end climbing up to the top of Parklanes development on Heritage Mtn, 329 Watts PAvg Watts for 5 minutes. And that after a reasonably hard one and half hour workout...

Total TSS for the full two hour ride was 173. NPAvg 258. Which probably explains the sore legs.

TT season starts on Saturday. We'll be out at Iona for 9:00AM to do the VeloVets 10k. In the afternoon I'll be out to RaceTheRidge Golden Ears TT to get a practice ride in and put some WarpSpeed posters out.

And hopefully all the local readers of this blog will be out to WarpSpeed next weekend. I'll be putting my Race Director hat on so won't be able to ride. Hopefully everyone will enjoy themselves. I'll be thinking of good friend Doug Preston the previous race director who was killed last year while training on his bike.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Golden Cheetah - Aerolab - figure out your CRR and CdA

Got around to looking at the new Aerolab extension to Golden Cheetah.

Golden Cheetah is an open source ride managment / power analysis tool that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Aerolab is an extension that allows you to use the Chung Virtual Elevation method to derive CdA and CRR from a power file.

Currently this emulates the Chung spreadsheet quite well, but does not auto-solve. You have to play around a bit to look for the best solution. Also you have to jump through a few hoops to get the Rho constant (air density, for which you'll need altitude, temperature, dew point temp and know how to calculate, I can provide a small spreadsheet if anyone is interested.)

I'm still a bit confused as to how to discern the effects of CRR and CdA. But within some reasonable degrees of accuracy you can get some good ideas.

The above shows a VVV TT, the 10k Iona course, out and back. With reasonable results, I think this was my PB for the year. Assuming about 0.0033 for CRR my CdA would be about 0.229.

Just a sanity check, plugging those numbers into analytic cycling gets me a speed for just about exactly 40km/h for 284 watts average. On the day it was about 43.7 (exclusive of start and turn-around.) So getting close...

Ford Road - 20m L5

Thursday was Heritage Mtn, 6x3m L5 and 4x2m L6 with 3-4 minute rest between. Trying to get some VO2Max work.

Today was supposed to be 2x20 SST but I was pressed for time and the weather was NOT co-operating. So I did one 20m L5 session and headed for home before the rain started (didn't quite make it.)

Not to bad either, 300 watts Pavg and 306 NPavg. And that course has lots (nine) corners and round-abouts (four!) with corresponding bits with lower power. Nice average speed, 36.6 kph, mostly against a good head wind.

This is reasonably close to where I need to be for this type of effort. The best 10m Pavg was 306 watts, which compares well to, for example, my PB on the VVV TT last year which had best 10m Pavg 308 watts.

Getting CTL up is still hard. Only about 65, low for this time of year. Its been tough getting long rides in for all sorts of reasons... too much work, weather, spring series, weather, etc...  Also my shoulders make it tough to do much longer than 2-2.5 hours at a time.

Generally though this still leaves me able to do efforts of about 150-175 TSS. And that accounts for pretty much all of the races I plan on. A typical BCMCA 65km race usually is between 130-175 depending on how flat or hilly it is. Even Westside Classic in Cat 4 was only about 180 TSS last year.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tips on Mass Start Hill Climb Pacing

This assumes a long (> 15-20 minutes) hill climb where the pre-dominant effort is at or slightly above FTP and anaerobic power will only be used (sparingly) to maintain contact with other riders.

This also assumes a mass start race where drafting is allowed. An uphill TT format would require different pacing.

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 2:07 PM
Subject: Re: [Wattage] Hill Climb Pacing

Unless you are best at low RPM go with a 12x25 or 12x27 cassette. That will allow you to keep your cadence in a more comfortable (to most people) range. (On our local Cypress HC, 12km @ 5.7%, my average cadence last year was 76.)

5-6% grade means you want to be drafting. Which means you want to have someone in front of you. Which means try and find someone who is setting a pace that allows you to maintain your best power. 

This usually means finding the best wheel during the first few minutes as the rest of the riders spread out each according to their best 1-2 minute power. Stay with the one that matches your best, don't over reach so that you blow up. But also don't stay with a group that is too slow or you will be too far back to win.

Lots of people will blow up, so be willing to look for a better wheel to follow if the one you picked starts to slow down.

Overall from a pacing perspective. The first 2-3 minutes will be about 110-120% of FTP with some spikes as high as 150% if you need to catch onto a wheel. Then it is just a slog at just above FTP (i.e. your 20minute power) to the top. Possibly with a sprint at the top.

On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 08:15, wrote:
I have been searching for information on hill climbing races and how
to use power to get the most out of the effort, and so far I have come
up short. I plan on doing the Lookout Mountain Hill climbing here in
CO. Its 4.5 miles at a steady 5-6% grade that should take me about
21-22 minutes. Being that the race is about 20 minutes long, I have a
good idea of what wattage I can maintain for that amount of time. I
would presume that I should pace myself close or just slightly about
my 20 minute wattage for most of the race and then 2-5 minutes out,
try to ramp it up until the end. Is this the proper way race hill
climbs or am I missing something?

Thanks for then feedback,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Old post from Andy Coggan on TT Position

Found a reference to this old post in the Wattage list today:

Tom Kunich wrote:

> It looked to me as if you really had to
>do a lot of trial and error research without a wind tunnel or SR power meter 

> to tell you what was going on in real time.

Not to be disagreeable, but I disagree. If my goal were to set myself up in an aero position with minimal drag and I didn't have access to a wind tunnel, I'd just drop the elbow pads far enough down below the saddle that my shoulders (acromion process) were within a couple of inches of being level with my hips (head of greater trochanter), move the elbow pads in to where my arms were as narrow or perhaps narrower than my thighs when viewed from the front, tilt the aero bars up ever-so-slightly, and keep my head down. I'd then go out and ride the bike - hard - in that position and see how far foward (and thus up) I needed to move the saddle to where my thigh-torso angle was similar to the "working position" on my road bike. I'd then ride the TT bike for at least one hour - hard! - each week for at least 6 weeks before any race. Sounds crude, I know, but for a flat TT this neandrathal approach will probably get you to within about 1 km/h of your maximal speed.

Now, the caveats:

1) achieving such a position will, as has been discussed, probably require special equipment, e.g., a frame with TT-specifc geometry, or at the very least a down-angled stem/forward seatpost. The latter approach is okay as long as you don't fall off your bike as a result of having too much weight on the front wheel.

2) the above isn't necessarily the fastest position for a rolling or hilly course, or at least may not be unless you devote more time learning how to go fast in such a position.

3) gaining that extra 1 km/h will probably require spending time in the wind tunnel further refining your position.

4) use of a power meter such as an SRM or Tune to try to refine your aero position can be entertaining, but unless you have access to an indoor velodrome probably won't help you go any faster than just following the advice of somebody with a well-trained eye (like John Cobb), or simply copying the positions of athletes known to have low drag. OTOH, having the power data can be very useful for training purposes, and for pacing during TTs.

To quote John: "The key to faster TTs is to step on the cranks harder ..."

Andrew Coggan

Monday, April 19, 2010

Photo Finish

Here is the photo finish....

I shows John Guthrie getting me by maybe a cm...

I suspect I made the fatal mistake of letting up a bit and looking over when I heard him coming.

Luckily  both of these riders where 50-54 so I still got 2nd in the 55-59 group.

Still hurts to loose the sprint like that though.

Thanks to Duane Martindale for the pictures. See more here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

BCMCA Langley Thunderbird RR

First BCMCA race of the year out on Gord Reddy's new (as of 2009 at least) course.

Short 6km course with one sharpish sprint climb and then rollers for the rest. Twelve laps, about 74km total.

Last year we (50's) never did catch the 60's (Peter Kirkland) and got caught by the 40's (Larry Zimich and friends.)

This year we still didn't catch the 60's (Derek Tripp and Dave Mercer) but the 40's never did show up.

Fairly large groups. About 25 riders in both the 40's and 50's groups.

Derek Tripp and Dave Mercer cruised to the finish without being seen by anyone. In our group Ray Waggner and Martin Willock succeeded in getting off the front on about their 4th or 5th try, with about 3 laps to go. Managed to stay off with the rest of us following about 30-40 seconds behind.

I kept a good position just back of the front for the run up to the finish. Followed another rider who moved up along the left to the front. With about 300m Scott Jutson jumped, got on his wheel, he was following Greg Funk. Adjusted my gears and with about 100m to go jumped and almost got 2nd in our group. But someone else managed to get me in a photo finish.

Good enough for 2nd in the 55+ category and 7th overall.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

You know you have too many wheels when .....

I picked up a new rear Bontrager XXX Lite carbon wheel on eBay..  Lets say the price was right. Less than a new Bontrager Aero Aluminum.

I wanted to expand my options for training with carbon wheels. Switching to aluminum for training requires swapping the pads which is such a pain.

Anyway, needed to swap cassettes around, which meant cleaning them all and checking which ones need replacing etc etc...

Lined up its a getting to be a a fair collection. This is only the "active" set. There are some older aluminum rims that could still be used in a pinch but don't have cassettes mounted. Also no track wheels.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Westwood HC - 15x40s L5

Babying the shoulders this week. Three days in a row but all short workouts. About an hour and a half each.

But with some hard bits.  Last night I did some Westwood hill reps. With 3 L7 (>400 watts) intervals about 1:20 in length.

Tonight the coach was suggesting 10x40s L5 with 20s rest. To quote "this is an intense workout". I didn't have time to get out to Pitt Meadows so I could do it on flat roads. So I did it as a hill climb up my good old favorite Westwood. That is about 3km and 300m of elevation gain.

Hard (!!) workout. I ended up doing them all the way to the top. Although past the first ten they where perhaps getting a bit shorter and harder to get restarted :-)

Overall just under 16 minutes to the top. Which is probably my best time this year. If I remember correctly my best time last year (6 lbs / 2kg lighter, mid summer) was 15 minutes even (well I did that at least once...)

I was a bit surprised that the time was that low. While I was pushing about as hard as I could for the 40 seconds, I was also sitting up and pretty while not actually stopping it felt like it.

I did, I think, about the first four sitting down. But just couldn't keep up the intensity. So did all the rest standing up.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring Series - Snake RR

Snake was fast this year. The C group was climbing it about 10-15 seconds (est) faster than we did it two years ago. My times where from 1:50 to about 2:10-2:15. Two years ago 2:0 to about 2:20-2:30. I was doing sag climbs (first onto the climb and last off the climb.)

I managed to be off the climb and close enough that I could TT back onto the main group every lap except the last. Ended up with two other dropped riders who couldn't help me and ended up dropping off leaving me to follow the field at a distance and finish about 500m behind.

Ah the joys of a Class TimeTriallist Power Profile :-) Nothing much for 5sec, 1min (untrained, Cat 5 on a very very good day.) And Cat 3 for 5 minute and 1 hour.

Overall my 8th for the Crit and 1st for the TT got me 2nd overall for the Omnium. Probably should have been 3rd as one of the leaders didn't race on Sunday. If that rider had started on Sunday they would have had (at least) 2nd and I would have been 3rd.

So what does it take to climb Snake and can I do it faster; or why do I sag climb?

I used a spreadsheet available from the wattage forum (tt_analysis.xls). It allows you to enter distances, grades, power for a tt course and get an idea of how to pace it.

In this case I just set the segments to all be 500m, 11% grade, then various multiples of ftp. This is shown in the chart as the red line. Effectively power required to climb for a specific number of seconds.

The second line is the Mean Maximal Power numbers (copy raw from WKO chart). Note the cross over at 130 seconds. This indicates that (at least as far as the model is accurate) that it is unlikely I can do this climb very much faster than 130 seconds. For example to get down to 110 seconds (about what the lead climbers where doing) I would need to do about 450 watts for 110 seconds. And according to the MMP chart (which is my best efforts over the last 28 days) my best effort over 110 seconds is about 375 watts. I would need to add 75 watts to that.

On the other hand the 130 seconds matches fairly closely the times I did get.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring Series - River Road ITT

We got to do a full 12km this year as the person (ahem...) who put out the cones and signs pushed the turn-around out as far as possible. By co-incidence this made the turn off 88 to 272 at exactly the 3km point. So you get 3km east/west and 3km north/south.

This made the course just under a km longer than last year. The extra half km out was very painful, slightly uphill against a strong headwind. So almost all of the times this year where about a 1-1.5 minutes slower than last year.

I managed 17:15 which got me first in C group, compared to 15:38 (2nd) last year.

Mike Sidic had the best time of the day, 15:31. Only 16 seconds slower than his time last year. Other A riders where about 60 seconds slower so that shows a big improvment for Mike.

Spring Series - Old Yale Crit

Flat one km course. The wind helping on one leg. I managed to stay with the pack for 20 minutes, until the 5 lap to go sign went up. Then couldn't quite stay and did the last laps by myself. I suspect, as usual, I was the "last" person to get dropped.. A distinction of sorts (same at Armstrong.)

Good for 8th or 9th out of (I think) about 25 or 30 people who started in the C group.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

C Group Breakaway for 5th on Atomic RR

Managed to get a nice little breakaway for the last lap to end up with 5th place.

Atomic has three climbs:

  1. Ross Rd, 600m@5%, about 1:30
  2. Huntingdon, 700m@4.5%, about 1:40
  3. Bradner, 400m@8%, about 1:20
Effectively they all climb about 30m total elevation. But each has its own characteristics and certainly each feels very different. 

Ross Road starts with a very fast drop and you hit the bottom and spin up for a bit, then typically everyone finishes standing up as it kicks up at the top. 

Huntingdon has a preliminary 300-400 hundred meters that is uphill slightly, so by the time you hit the steeper bits you have slowed down. But overall the grade is less. So mostly sitting down and spinning. 

Bradner starts steep, about 200m at 10% and then drops down, go around a corner and then it kicks up again for that final little insult before you get to the top (and just past that is the finish line.) Mostly people start this one standing but typically by the top everyone is back in the saddle.

We had to do six laps (10km per lap.) What I was finding was that I was quite comfortable on the Ross Rd. climb. No trouble matching the pace to the top. Even starting from the back. Huntingdon was even easier. I had a 12x27 cassette and found it very easy to go from the back at the bottom and accelerate up to the front by the top. 

Bradner the younger guys hit standing up and moved up it fairly fast, and while I could match that. I knew that doing so six times would not probably be a good idea. 

I stayed at the front for the first lap. Mainly to get nicely warmed up and get some idea how fast the C group wanted to race. That gave me a baseline and also showed how expensive it would be if I tried to do that for the entire race. I was showing about 35 TSS points for that lap. Trying to do that for six laps would get me up over 200. Doable (maybe), but probably would leave me few options at the end.

So I my goal was to do three laps with minimal effort. Hang out at the back, go to the front on Huntingdon just so I could be first at the bottom of Bradner, sag climb up Bradner so conserve matches (Anerobic Capacity efforts). 

Over the course of 4.5 laps the C group numbers dropped from about 40 down I think about 25. My strategy was to push hard on the second last time up Huntingdon and see if I could get off the front one a couple of people. That was my "easiest" climb. So instead of following and starting from the back, I moved up after the Ross Rd. climb, so I was in the top four at the bottom of Huntingdon. Then climbed just a bit faster than my normal pace and the "normal" pace was typically taking me from the back of the peleton to the front. so starting from the front and pushing a little harder caused the group to split badly.

From about half way up there was another rider who made several small jumps off the front to see if anyone wanted to try and get away. So with about 30-50m of the climb to go I moved up to him, said "lets go" and jumped hard. He managed to get my wheel and we go well off the front. Stayed well off through the Bradner climb. Which I did at his pace. About 500-800m past the start/finish another three riders managed to bridge up to us. But it appeared that we had a very good gap. 300-400m at least from the main group.

We worked our way around. I pushed fairly hard to get us some additional distance. Unfortunately couldn't quite match them on the Ross Rd climb. Ended up about 150m back. So just TT'd around following them. I could see another group about 300m back. Going up Huntingdon the group behind started closing so I picked up the pace. Hoping to stay away.

Then after the drop coming into the Bradner climb for the final sprint I come to an almost grinding halt, There was a large truck with trailer moving up this road, which is a tight steep skinny (not quite two lanes) road, with cones in the middle and this idiot is driving up at about 2kph... !!

As I slow down the group behind me catches me and we start to try and pass him, there was only about a meter left on his left side for us to climb past, and then I notice that the riders passing me where from the A group! Now I'm really confused. So I just followed them up and finished. Taking 5th. 

It turns out that the rest of the C group pretty much shattered on that climb up Huntingdon. There was effectively no real main group after that. They all just moved around the last lap as best they could. The group I had been trying stay away from was the A breakaway.

So even though it was only 5th, I think this pretty much counts as a tactical victory. Had a plan, executed the plan, and pretty much the plan worked about as well as I could have hoped for.

Overall my time was about two minutes faster than last year at Spring Series, 1:45 vs 1:47.

But I'll note that our pace was substantially slower than the BC RR Masters race last August. We did the first four laps in 1:11, the August pace was 1:02. Or 34.1 vs about 38kph. Of course that race had six "Master A" riders who had ridden Westside classic a few months earlier as Cat 1/2. So presumably that had a lot to do with the faster pace. :-)

It appears that all of those Anaerobic Capacity workouts on the Computrainer in January and February (2k loop repeats.) seem to really be making a difference in what I can do this year. Still can't sprint but much more comfortable on the climbs.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wet, cold, crash...

What an awful day. Cold and wet. The C's where just phoning it in. I actually had to get out front just so I could get warmed up enough to stay on the bike. We where on the North Bradner course, which is normally my favorite.

We started with about 25 people. Where down to about 15 by the last lap. I was well positioned at the front, or so I thought, but going up one of the small climbs on the back side I guess I slowed a bit too much and all of a sudden was in the middle, someone crossed my wheel in front of me and down I went.

 The bike and front wheel got the worst of it. Luckily Marsh Coopers parents where close by with their pickup and kindly offered a ride back to the parking lot.

I ended up with some road rash on my left knee and a bad bruise on my right leg (I think from the top tube.) and possibly a bruised rib on the left. Amazingly neither shoulder hit anything. I seem to remember bringing my arms in so that I would roll, and that was due to not wanting to screw up my shoulders any more. In fact I think the bruised rib is from rolling over my left elbow as it was tucked in :-)

Also I was lucky that this was on a small climb, so going fairly slow, which also meant I didn't get run over by the people behind me. I think another two or three people went down. Jasmine Glasner was able to get back up and rejoin the group. There was one other rider who also had some bike problems so also had to get a ride.

The wheel looks worse, I think, than it is. It is a Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 and these are actually just Bontragers carbon rim with a carbon shroud added. And it appeared that only the shroud was damaged. Hopefully Rob Mulder will be able to repair that.

Meanwhile the bike is at the shop so they can fix the bars, shifters etc. Again it looked like mostly superficial scratches there. May need to rerun cables etc.

Reward for 2nd place

My personal reward to myself for 2nd place... once I got home and put my feet up. This was a Howe Sound Imperial Red Ale only available during the Olympics.

Hmmm hmmmm good, especially after a hard race.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Series - Aldergrove Bradner RR - 2nd C Group

Good result on the new Aldergrove Bradner RR course. This is a 10km loop with two climbing sections. The new one being along Huntindon just before turning onto Bradner (this is also the bottom left turn of the Atomic RR which we do next Saturday..) This is a series of small climbs leading to the sharp left. From there it is a fast downhill and then flat until we turn North on 272. Then an annoying small set of climbs (rough pavement, seems harder than it should be) and finally the finish sprint climb. Total of 100m climbing over the entire loop.

Actually I just checked the power file. The first little climb along 272 is actually a bit more elevation gain than the second. About 30m in .875km. While the final is 21m in .25km. So I guess there is a reason it feels hard. Just doesn't look like it should.

We did 5 official laps. But the parking is in the middle so actually did the last third of the course one extra time.

We had nice weather today. But the usual Westerly wind that we usually get to fight along Zero Ave was replaced by a brisk Easterly to help push us along Zero..

I had a nice result. Got out and tried to push the pace up a bit on Bradner and Zero. But there was not a huge amount of interest. Event with the nice tail wind the peleton was content to sit up and average only about 40kph. Rested up at the back during lap four. Moved up to the front at the beginning of lap five, during the descent and climb along Huntingdon.

About 50m from the top of the climb along Huntingdon and jumped and got a nice gap and cruised through the corner. Then pushed hard down the hill and to Zero ave. I think about 150-200m gap by then. Turned on to Zero and got down on the bars. TT'd all the way to 272. Easily kept the speed up to just under 44 (huge tail wind) and was about 300m ahead when I turned onto 272. Then it was manage heart rate, work as hard as I could to get up the first climb, coast down to the second getting heart rate down and then sprint...

I still had about 50-75m gap going into the final sprint climb. And only one rider managed to get past me and that was right at the line. Less than a meter.. Still I was more than happy with a second palce.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Series - Armstrong Hill RR

After missing this race last year (I marshaled) got to do Armstrong again. In three previous attempts I have never managed to stay with the front pack past lap 3, usually getting dropped on the 4th time up the climb.

The climb is about 1.6km in length with an overall average of 4.6%. But it has three separate bits. Starting with 300m at 12%, then flat for about 400m, 400m 6%, 200m 2% and then finish with about 400m at 5%.

The younger guys sprint up each section with a rest in between. I have trouble with that because my anaerobic is not quite as good. Fortunately I can hit the top and without much recovery, throttle down to a fairly high L4 aerobic number and time trial back on.

So that was the rule today. I would take about 4:30 to climb. The front would take about 4:10. I would then scoop up the 2-4 riders between me and the front and we would work together through the descent to get back onto the front. Just in time to do it again... Overall 4 minutes climbing, about 4-5 minutes catching on, then maybe 2-4 minutes recovery. Repeat as necessary.

That worked well for the first six laps. Unfortunately on the bell lap I ended up at the top, 20-25 seconds back with no one to work with. The three guys I had worked with on the previous lap where another 20-40 seconds back... They eventually caught up with me at the bottom of the climb. But by that time we where 40 seconds behind, so just climbed and finished, probably about 2 minutes back of the first group. Which by that time was down to ten riders (from original starting group of about 50 riders.)

Interesting power numbers. I have been assuming my FTP is about 280 watts. But that would make this an NP buster ride (> 1.05 intensity factor for > 1 hour workout.). The best one hour was TSS: 119.6 (1.094). Overall TSS: 157.1 (1.07).

The format of each lap was conducive to getting a high NP. Three one minute anaerobic sprints in the climb. And then some serious hard work including some short high anaerobic bursts to get caught up. My highest 5 and 10 second numbers where some 791 and 584 watts in a downhill section, jumping the speed up as high as I could to catch back on.  And the rest of the time doing lots of L3/L4 work.

Anyway I met my race goals of staying on until the last lap. I would have liked to be with them at the bottom on the last climb. That will be the goal for next year.

Armstrong RR:
Duration:   1:22:16
Work:       1181 kJ
TSS:       157.1 (intensity factor 1.07)
Norm Power: 289
VI:         1.21
Pw:HR:       -6.59%
Pa:HR:       13.91%
Distance:   44.16 km
Elevation Gain:     589 m
Elevation Loss:   584 m
Grade:     0.0 %  (5 m)
Min Max Avg
Power:       0 815 239 watts
Heart Rate:   76 179 159 bpm
Cadence:     33 118 81 rpm
Speed:       9.6 63 32.2 kph
Pace         0:57 6:15 1:52 min/km
Altitude:     76 155 110 m
Crank Torque: 0 99.4 29.2 N-m
Temperature: 10 12 11.1 Celsius

Here is a post from Culyar Conly who rides for Westwood and did the A-series this weekend. He needed a ride this weekend, he is staying with Scott and Sara Laliberte who are on a training vacation in Southern California. Good summary of what it's like to ride in the A group.

Spring Series - 232 / Zero Ave - Murhison Road RR

Saturday was the ever popular 232 / Zero Ave course.

Things looked ominous as I loaded the truck at 8:00AM to head out. Raining, cold, ugly looking clouds. And the forecast for Langley was for rain. But the rain stopped around 200St as we drove along the freeway and by the time we arrived there was actually blue sky and sunshine.

I had a reasonably good race. The pace was a little slow this year, 36.3kph compared to last years 37.3 I think due to a nasty head wind along 240th. The C group stayed together till the end except for the usual attrition. I did a fair bit of work at the front. But nothing to heroic and didn't have any real opportunity to try and get away.

Was with the field into the last turn, but had no chance sprinting up the final 300m finish (3% uphill).

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Series - River Road C Group

First race of the year, Spring Series, River Road. I stayed with the C group. A little smaller this year, about 41 people starting. I think a bunch of people who otherwise would have raced C raced in the Novice group. Certainly we didn't loose too many riders over the first laps. And normally we drop a bunch in the first few laps.

C group was fairly crash free this year. We had one person go down by them self hitting a cone. And in the last lap someone at the front (about fifth wheel) apparently touched wheels and went down hard. Which caused a bunch of other people to go into a pothole on the shoulder. And a bunch more to stop dead. The rest of us managed to get around the final turn and sprint to the finish without incident. If memory serves this is the first time in several years (3-4) that there hasn't been a crash in the final corner in C group.

Average pace was so so, only about 38.2kph. We got caught by the B's in our 9th lap. We where only supposed to do 9 laps, but the lap board guy seems to have got confused and we ended up doing one extra. Luckily as otherwise we would have been trying to sprint into the back of the B's.

BronPhoto Picture here...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hunter Allen interviewed.

An interesting interview with Hunter Allen over at BikeRadar...

In response the ever popular what are the benefits to a power meter question:

Top three, then...

Number one is the planning. I can actually plan my training around the response I want to get; this is called the dose and response system. Pacing is also a very, very big part. On-the-bike pacing in an event is very important, whether that’s a time trial, a criterium, a road race or even a breakaway. We often lose sight of the fact that this sport really is a sport of pacing. So we’ve got pre, during and then the post side, the actual analysis side; figuring out what the data means – did I improve, and how much can I handle?

And some more generic info:

Has coaching changed because of the use of power meters?

Now, I have a very clear understanding of what needs to be done to elicit a certain response. Before, if we wanted to improve your ability to go hard for a short period of time and recover quickly, we knew to do short intervals. Now, there are wattage numbers that we are trying to hit, a goal effort. It’s changed the prescription side of the coaching.

I actually think this is the primary benefit of training with a power meter. It allows you to optimize your time on the bike:

Does volume still count for what it did before the popularity of the power meter?

That has changed. There are a lot of these old myths that have been propagated throughout the years – base training for two months, riding really slow, or whatever. Those things work well for pros, but are just silly for the rest of us. If you’ve got eight to 10 hours a week to train, you can’t afford to ride slow. It does mean that you’ve got to keep a higher level of fitness throughout the season and take more of these smaller rest periods.

And finally a bone for us data analysis nerds:

What's the biggest mistake you see people make when training with a power meter?

They don’t value the cumulative power of all of the data. It gives you your training stress and tells you how much you can handle over three months, four months, six months... It allows you to look at it in that periodic type of way. What you really need to understand is how it all builds together. It can tell you your chronic training load [what you do every day], but you have to account for that. If you just ride, collect information and look at it in the performance manger chart in our WK0 software it can tell you a whole lot about what you can handle.

I have been trying for years to get Hunter to put this into a one-pager (well two pages double sided, and we can use a small font). Then I could print it out and put it into my track bag to hand out to people.