Thursday, August 14, 2008

Leroy TT, Arrgghh, Too much information

What a great night and weather for a Time Trial at Jim Behrens Thursday nighter. Thank you Jim for putting it on.

I had a bit of an odd week. Mostly running and no biking except for some fun riding with Audrey on Tuesday. I didnt commute Wednesday as planned (totally wussed on the weather and then it did not rain)so I hadnt ridden my bikes with any force since Sunday's Milk Race. In case your wondering....I won it and I am still just in shock about it. Opportunity knocked and I answered. I feel like screaming a wild tribal scream...

OK ,back to reality. So I try for a longer warm-up and I hit some 2 minute intervals and do my usual power checks to see what wattage it takes in a few key places (after the turn, down the hill and the final 2 miles).

I am also gathering power data so I am running my disc covers on my PT wheel. I had gone 16:58 earlier in the year without covers so this was a good test of speed of covers vs no covers.

I also narrowed up my bars and that was a big success I'd say. I had no problems riding a straight line and breathing felt the same as always.

We lined up Rudy first then myself and then Batke (howd he end up behind me?), I was a speed demon sandwich. Great turnout too. Looked like more than 10 to me. Only one problem, I got to the line and I had forgotten to tape over the wattage. I hate pacing on watts. I think it makes me slower and more tired at the end of the race. Everyones different, but I always have gone quicker without seeing the power in real time.

Jim said dont look at it, but I knew I would as it was also a goal tonight. My other big change for tonight was to intentionally make cadence my #1 focus of the event. More than speed or a result. It is a practice TT!! I had let my cadence drop (probably due to a few factors (position, longer cranks, etc.) to scary low levels at PI and States and got it better for Nats. Today was a big test of that and to feel if it was faster than slogging that 53/11 at 80 cadence.

I wont bore with too many more details, but suffice it to say that I was just bombarded with info and it was hard to actually concentrate on just going fast. While trying not to look down the whole race I was seeing and analyzing speed, cadence, power and also trying to time rough splits to Rudy ahead and Batke behind and also check my halfway split and in the last 2 miles my overall time to see what time I was going to turn (as a motivator to push that little extra bit).

I was a busy little bee!!

So anytime I saw my cadence dropped into the 80's I would first try to pick it back up or if the road was gradually going up at the same time I went for an easier gear then watched speed to make sure I didnt lose any speed and in fact tried to increase speed. Quick check of wattage too. Always way too low.

And that darn wattage. I looked at it and since a sub goal was to set the highest wattage I could over the course of the race I was constantly looking at the wattage. I was not surprised to see wattage drop dramatically anytime I was going 30+Mph and slightly downhill. I was not maximizing my speed and wattage when it was so called "easy". Just a quiick side, last Wednesday I set a PB 10 miinute ave power of 323 watts. Tonight my best 10 min average was 292. Big difference, but those higher numbers were set on my road bike. I was very tired too when I set that 323 watt average too.

As another side, like others I think going into timed events cold or well rested without stress is BAD. YOu need some stress pre-race. Those open up rides are so important.

My legs felt pretty fast actually, but a bit flat too. I pushed hard the last 2 miles and averaged 29.1mph and came in with a 16:54, missing my PB of 16:52 from last year. For some reason I am beating my personal bests everywhere but Leroy. And its not because I am putting any extra pressure on myself. I put plenty on myself ALL the time!!

My cadence was up so hooray, I went 4 seconds quicker with similar power with the narrower bars and wheel covers from a couple months ago. And my initial thoughts is that I am going the right direction with the substantial increase in cadence vs the spring. It seems easier to maintain speed at times like when you face an obstacle like a short grade or a gust of wind or out of a corner.

Only bummer was it was perfect conditions and my recent race and training rides indicate I am putting out gobs more power than a coupe months ago. But thats OK. I still averaged 27.1mph. Brian Batke had FTD at 16:17!!


Jim Behrens said...

I can answer that! Rudy selected first and drew #1. Brian went second and drew #3. Since I am in charge, I decided the three fast guys would go off first and, since you were the last one there, you ended up in the #2 slot. Worked pretty well, IMO. I know the other riders appreciated it.
BTW, we had 14 riders tonight which kept me "busy".
Ray, thanx for coming out and for bringing everyone with you. Glad we had some riders on such a nice night.

Ray Huang said...

Your the boss and I dont argue with the boss!! :) I want to come out next week too, but i wont be there for a few weeks. Next time disc wheel and mph-ONLY!! Just as a bit more wattage info I did average 322 watts and 27.2mph to the turn, 308 @ 25mph watts to the halfway point and 288 @29.6mph on the way back in. Its hard to not be happy about that!!