Friday, August 1, 2008

Power versus Price

I have been making a big deal lately about reseting power numbers. Thats only because I have been trying to reset best power numbers across the board. Anything from max instantaneous power up to about 20 minutes.

Why? Well its two fold. First because my training has been a bit sporadic anyways with weddings, family trips and sometimes being super tired or sore from hard workout blocks or adapting to running. Secondly and more importantly I havent been racing that much so I use training sessions to test myself knowing I am not throwing away race form for testing. if anything its focused my short term intervals and I am giving it all Ive got.

But thats not really the why at all. The real reason is I am thinking about racing some track next year and track is about maximum power output over very short (but painful) distances. I am thinking about the Masters 3000m Pursuit where you race against one person who starts like you from a standing start at opposing ends of the track. If you catch the other rider (unlikely) you win or if you have the fastest time you win and move on to the finals. I am also interested in the kilo known to be the most painful TT in cycling. A 1000m of go till you literally puke.

I must be nuts!! Thats all I can say about that. I find the other mass start track races interesting and fun, but my skinny butts not made for throwing elbows and lightning fast accelerations. As a pro sprinter told me, if you arent comfortable in the pack sprint to throw elbows and push people out of your way and dont have the fast twitch muscles, get the F@$@# out of the way. Youve got other races to win. Sound advice. No wonder I dont make it a priority to travel to big money crits. Why bother.

Now heres where the problem always comes up. I think to do anything properly you should have at least some of the right equipment to do the job. I dont mean bling, but a track disc, aero-pursuit frame (even if a cheap one) and pursuit bars. And possibly not Speedplay pedals or Eggbeaters, but Dura-ace or Look pedals, which means another pair of shoes.... You see how it all snowballs after awhile.

All because I hate the mere idea I am giving up time due to equipment. Especially when racing against the clock. But I am realistic and I know the engine is by far the most important tool I bring to a race. And in that regard my coach Sean Gilbert has been redirecting my training since Nats to producing road racing type power vs. time trial power like in the spring. But in doing so I may theoretically lose some TT speed over 40k, but I gain power to overcome things that hurt me this year, like driving into headwinds.

And by doing so I may actually be faster still. And having coaching is by far the biggest bang for the buck in bicycle racing when you break it all down. My Zipp Sub 9 disc (which I love) is about $1800 and probably gains me a massive 50 seconds in a 40k. But that $1800 is a whole lot of coaching and I am sure thats worth a whole lot more than 50 seconds.

Just some of my usual crazy thoughts running through my head. Ok, now back to thinking about how to earn more money for Audrey's college education, home improvements and did I say a track disc?

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