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Reshuffling the Deck

This week was my first recovery week in the last month and I really needed after all of the high intensity V02 work that I’ve been doing. Now that I have a firm V02 (read: short interval/high intensity) base set and racing results to prove it, I need to refocus on raising my FTP (Functional Threshold Power).

In my most recent FTP test, I did not do any better, power wise, than last month, which was expected although disappointing. Some improvements were apparent though, mainly pacing and pedal efficiency. VI (Variability Index) for the ride was an even 1, which indicates perfect pacing. Also, average speed went up 0.7 mph, which means that, while I’m not pushing the pedals any harder, I’m delivering a more even pedal stroke which is propelling me faster.

So, I’m planning on doing two months of solid Base work and FTP building which will start with longer endurance rides as well as 4x8min FTP intervals. All this should bring me back up to par with where I should be, FTP wise, at this point in the season, I’m about 3-5 watts behind schedule.

This next weekend there’s no racing to speak of, but Lindsay and I are moving, so I’ll have to use my free time wisely in order to meet my training goals for the week. It should prove to be a fruitful week as I don’t have to worry about saving myself for racing!

Until next week!


Blah Week

This week was just a blah week of training, which was suddenly interuppted by some in office surgery to remove a bump on my leg. Unfortunatley, this kept me from being able to race on Sunday (My leg was killing me all week), but seems to be clearing.

This week I’m on a solid recovery week as I mentally prepare for the true opening of serious racing in Colorado. The Koppenburg Circuit Race is on Sunday and always proves to e an unpredictable race.  Sometimes breaks go, sometimes it’s a bunch sprint, but it’s always a race of attrition.

Till next week.  Time to go pack boxes, Lindsay and I are moving!


Missed Opportunity

This weekend marked the first weekend of real racing in Colorado.  The University of Colorado hosted their annual crit weekend along Research Park in Boulder.  The course is known for being fast and relatively flat.  My race?  All I can say is that I missed an opportunity.

SM4 went at 1:40, which meant that I showed up a little over an hour early so I could register, this race tends to fill quickly, and walk the course looking for any defects in the road surface that might cause a problem.  In a continuing trend of not making the same mistakes twice, I made sure to bring spare front and rear wheels.

The gun went off and from the start you you could tell that CSU was going to be controlling the race; I think there were seven of them in the group of forty or so.  They didn’t let ANYTHING go and I mean anything.  The farthest I saw a break was maybe ten seconds and even that was quickly brought back.  I managed to sit in for most of the race at the back, avoiding a fairly major crash in the first third of the race.  The pace was pretty solid, but my legs felt pretty good and I hung on without much of a problem.

My missed opportunity came at the end.  For anyone that doesn’t know, I qualify myself as a sprinter.  My peak power output is 1274 and my 5 sec power is around 1230, so I should just hang back and wait for the field sprint at the end, but I wasn’t so patient.

Instead of just hanging back, I panicked at two-to-go because I didn’t think I was going to be able to get to the front once CSU decided they were going to lead out there man, so I decided to try and follow another guy’s move.  This was a bad decision because I don’t have the endurance or the anaerobic power to hang with someone making such a bold move at the end of a crit and I know it.  I just ended up dragging the peloton behind me for a lap and a half, setting up everyone for a nice field sprint.  I guess you live and learn.

Things to work on:

1) Moving up and keeping position.  I tend to lose a lot of spots quickly and am not *really* comfortable moving up though the pelaton.  I normally just move up on the outside, wasting energy.

2) Staying calm in the final laps of the race.  I’ve got a sprint that should be able to take me to the podium, but I need to be patient enough to use it.

All-in-all it was a good race and I learned a lot along the way.  I just need to continue working on the mental side of things and I think that everything will fall in place.


Colorado Season Openers

This weekend marked the first weekend of racing in Colorado.  It opened with the Frostbite Time Trial in Buckeye on Saturday and a training crit across from IBM in Boulder on Sunday.  I did both a learned some lessons a long the way!

Frostbite Time Trial:  Nothing beats a longer drive than you could ever want for a 11.2mi time trial, but I arrived without about an hour and a half to spare.  Just enough time to check-in, find the start/finish and get in a good warm-up.  I started at 11:07 and, let me tell you, the wind was like nothing I’ve ridden in before.  I actually felt bad for those that were using disc wheels.

The ride overall went very well with two notable exceptions.  The first, for some reason, I couldn’t shift into my largest gear on my cassette.  Normally, this wouldn’t have been a problem except for the tail wind.  I averaged just over 32.5 mph for the first half of the ride and not being able to shift into the large cog probably cost me several seconds.  The second issue, I underestimated my speed going into the turnaround and completely over shot it.  I KNOW that I lost at least 10 seconds here, which would have made a huge difference.

The outcome?  A decent 7th place overall; only 10 seconds out of 4th.  The guys that got the first two spot, they were total sand baggers.  They had times that would rival the P12 crowd, actually one of them won overall with his time.  As far as I’m concerned I got 5th and should have had an easy 2nd if I hadn’t overshot the turnaround at 35mph.

The Training Crit:  This day should have been mine.  Once again, I show up about an hour early, get a warm-up in and check-in.  Everything’s going great and we roll up to the start line, I’m in the second row.

The gun goes off and the guy in front of me has trouble clipping in so I end up 30 or so riders back.  “No problems”, I think to myself, “I’ve got 40min to get to the front.”  Everything was grand, I waited until around minute 27 to make my move.  I bridged up to the breakaway and just sat on.  The breakaway was soon caught after a decent chase and I decided that this was my moment to make this really hurt.  My plan was to take the far inside corner with a ton of speed and attack.  The peloton was starting to get soft and I figured after the latest chase, I would be allowed to go.  Wrong!  I blew my tube right after getting through the corner and my race was over.  There was a small lip in the road that was responsible for this.  In my genius, I didn’t bring and extra wheel so I had to pull with around 10 minutes remaining.

All in all, it was a good first weekend of racing.  A lot of mistakes were made, but that’s what training races are all about.  I felt good and once I get some of the small stuff taken care of, I’ll be ready to rock.