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.