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.


Mark said...

I always think your FTP is a bit low after the calibration last year. Setting to 295 seems to be a better estimate.