Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Lemond says

that bike racing never gets any easier, you just get faster. Its comforting to know that with hard work you can at least get to look forward to being faster, but wouldnt it be nice if coming into form and making that next step in performance or winning that race youve dreamed about winning happened by just reading a book? Would the gains made be just as sweet without all the sweat and pain and hours of training? I dont know to be honest. But for now well just stick with the old fashioned way-hard work and testing!! Two people asked me recently how many miles I had in this year. I dont know exactly because time has been spent without my bike computer working and riding other bikes, but it appears to be in the 2500 mile range. I got to thinking about that today and the number seemed high so I did a little calculating and its probably darn close. All that and not a single ride over 74 miles and not many over 50. I probably make it up on frequency. I also like to recover on the bike from hard rides. I'd rather spin for 45 minutes then take a day off completely (at least after a hard ride the previous day).

Today was one of those days you have to suffer a bit to find out if you have indeed become faster. I did a 3 mile Time Trial at Bike Authority on their Computrainer ( a bicycle trainer that is hooked up to a computer controlled resistance unit). After warming up and calibration tests it was go time. I went and it was apparent right away that the computrainer was not what we thought we set as I experienced up hills and down hills. I was going for over 2:33 seconds at 330 watts average but I had to stop and get ready to do it again. Almost half the test down the drain so to speak. Consider the first one an open the lungs up affair and a painful one. Mike Vannucci (of Bike Authority) and Brent set-up a custom profile for a second go. I believe that Mike saved it for use later. Off I went with a quick 567 watt burst then it was time to try and establish a rythm again. I started at 375 watts, but it was clear right away that wasnt going to last and then it was 320, then it was a struggle to hold 300. At 2:33 I was at 328 watts average so basically the same as the first test. I would dip down, go up, dip down and go up. The last mile was an eternity and made the last 3 miles at Presque Isle feel like a walk in the park!! When Brent finally said your done-I couldnt even pedal and I easily could have fallen off my bike!! Drowned in sweat and breathing in gasps I finally was able to spin a bit. Brent gave me the good news that what we did today confirmed not only what he predicted as my Lactate Threshold and my pacing for my TT efforts, it was almost identical to what my Power Tap data spit out after Presque Isle. And best of all I now know not only much more than I knew yesterday about myself, but we now have a baseline to compare. Brent said well do this again in September, OK? I said "oh..GRRReat!!".

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