Sunday, November 8, 2009

180's, reflections and future thoughts

One of a few pet peeves of mine is doing 180's in training rides/runs. I always try and do a loop and only in cases of closed roads or a turn onto a busy/fast road, etc make me turn around. But today I made an exception because I  got to the the bottom of Oak Hill at Everett (the Covered Bridge race course) and had to climb it. I had never climbed it and it looked steep so I did the dreaded 180 and went up. Oak Hill did not disappoint and I hope we get to do a race using it someday. I didnt try and go fast, but even if I had it would still be a slow grind to the top.

I was pretty much guessing on today's route as I played hookie from my daughter's dry land camp at the Ledges on Truxell.  I got on the State road race course from an early 90's or late 80's edition. In those days the State race was a big deal and you could qualify for the National road race which qualified you for the Olympics. The race started in a cold rain at Boston Mills. Before we were far along my Cat.2 team mate (I was a Cat.3) comes screaming that 6 Cat.1's had escaped right from the gun and we chased like mad to no avail. He dropped out in frustration and I almost quit from overheating till I could strip off the tights, jackets, arm warmers, etc.

114 miles later and 4:45 I came in I think 8th and they took only the top 7 from our State. I was devastated, especially since the guy who beat me had no intention of going to Colorado for the National road race and took a tow off of an enclosed trailer on the last lap only miles from the finish and gapped me. We had been in a long 2- person break up till that point. I recovered (or was just that mad) chased to the line and after 114 miles I remembered I spun out in a 53x12 and flew by him, but after the finish line. I recall I was screaming a line of obscenities at the top my my lungs as I finished.

But the few times I ride down there I always remember that race. I dont recall much before or after that race or even  the year, except that if I had made the National Road Race I was going to go. I was in my early 20's at the time and not making Nats I recall helped make my decision to pursue work instead of trying my hand at racing as a profession.

I have also been thinking about having my own Cyclocross race in 2010. I would like to have it in the Heights somewhere.  I have put a lot thought into the course, but not really much about how to go about getting the land use, etc.  The business end of it. Some fun elements will be a F1 course style grass fields with long sweepers, chicanes and multiple UCI barriers (some possibly in the middle of a chicane or out of a tight corner). I want riders to have to choose to dismount before the corner or ride around it one foot out.

Also the course would have brutally hard sections (ride-able uphill grass or dirt and a sled hill or stair run-up if those elements are available) split with technical sections that wont be as anaerobic followed by hard sections again. This way racers can attack the hard sections, recover and attack again. 

As for training, I am getting back to basics and have started endurance rides again. I am taking a short break from intensity and will start to ramp up the wattage soon. I am having trouble deciding if I want to try and push or pull for the LT work. if i push I basically ride just below LT for longer intervals till a power level becomes "easy".  Then at the first big event or break out ride the idea is to race hard and blow away the old LT wattage.  Then the new LT wattage becomes the one to ride just below.

The other idea is to do shorter, higher than LT wattage intervals with more repetition. So instead of say 2x20 or 1x45 Push LT interval I will do 8x5 at 105% LT. The idea is that by going a bit higher than LT you pull your LT up. In the end I think I will end up trying both styles as I consider myself to be my own test lab. And what works for one person may not work for another.  I may respond better or just find that more short intervals is easier to complete (mentally more than physically) than one or two long intervals. Or maybe one works better on the trainer and one is better suited to outdoor rides.

And getting back to Peninsula, wouldnt a ~40km TT course using Riverview and Akron-Peninsula be awesome? No 180's and fast wide open corners to make one big loop.

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