Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
No racing for Murat this weekend, not even any real crazy hard training- I did enough of that Mon thru Fri.. and it appears I've logged 305 miles this week in 17-1/2 hours overall. Not that I didn't want to race TP and Quabbin, I did.. but I really need to bring my A game to the start line of any hilly road race, and this week's volume put me at about a C or D for form, and I'm not that interested in racing myself into the ground and off the back, not to mention driving 2 hours each way and paying $30 a pop for the privilege. I'll save that kind of commitment for the road races that I care about- like Blue Hills. Now if TP and Quabbin were flat criteriums, I probably would have found a way to be there. The risk/reward ratio is a lot more favorable.. You can bang your head against a wall "training your weaknesses" but as a friend recently shared with me on FB:
"Don't let what you cannot do, interfere with what you can do." -John Wooden
That's good advice, IMHO.
the answer to the riddle, per our 6 year old son Reis: "because seven 'ate' nine". He told that one out of the blue today while we were driving home from IKEA. Thanks for reading.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
It's not that I won it or anything, so I won't bore you with a race report. The interesting story is that I rode my bike down to the race, then I raced, then I attached my headlight and rode home. 86+ miles in about 4:14. I've done this ride before, and it has always paid dividends the following week. I got home in the pitch black- about 9:15. Previous attempts to do this ride ended up with severe cramping both during the race and on the ride home. Yesterday I did a little better- one calf cramped a tiny bit for a moment and that's it. Added to my two bike commutes to work on Monday and Tuesday, I already have 200 miles in 3 days. Today is a rest day- hopefully a bike path bike ride with my son if anything at all. Racewise- I tend to hold back a bit when I know I need to ride home afterwards. Feeling a little fresh at the end of the crit, I easily took my place in the lead out train and got 3rd in the field sprint. The usual suspects had broken away and had a big gap. Nice big field last night also included G-Diddy in his 1st ever [Wed night] Ninigret Crit. Didn't see him after the start as I think he was tail-gunning at the back, enjoying himself. That's what it's all about. Interestingly, my first 60 minutes riding into the wind down to he race was my CP60 for the day, racing was actually easier than the ride down. Nice tailwind on the way home was thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks for reading.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
These charts give you an indication of training load. (top one is 2010, bottom one is 2009) The blue line is CTL- Chronic Training Load- a running average of TSS for the past 42 days. The pink line is ATL- Acute Training load- a running average of TSS for the past 7 days. The yellow line is TSB- Training Stress balance.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Above, André Greipel (Team HTC - Columbia) took a hard-fought victory in stage five.
Looking at the weather prediction for this weekend, it was apparent that racing enjoyment would be curbed quite a bit on Saturday, making it all the more attractive to go to Ninigret last night. The same tired script played out of course, with all the big engines detaching themselves and surfing the field for an hour- Gary A- Tobi S- Billy Y- Billy M- Adam S- Randy R- Todd B (hope I didn’t miss anyone) they duked it out for the win (I think Tobi got it) while us mere mortals in the field worked it as a training race should be worked. I went for a prime at one point and got outgunned by a tall dude who I think is a junior (?) Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t quit because it was a 2 place prime (Nice six pack of Narragansett Lager- Ninigret has the best primes!) I almost tossed my cookies after that sprint, and had to really dig deeeeep to stay attached to the field- something made a lot harder by the many folks who were dropping out and jumping back in every other lap. I was getting gapped and it was even more painful to go around the bodies that were being spit out the back. This was a windy edition of Ninigret for sure. At 5 to go I had pulled myself together in the sprinter’s lounge and started moving up. By the time we heard the bell, I was 5th wheel. On the back stretch I was 3rd wheel. We had barely hit the final left hand curve and I became impatient and started my sprint 333 yards from the line. My leadouts were cooked and it was time to either GO or be swarmed and end up fighting for a wheel or a clear path. Field sprinting for 8th place? Meh... It’s a training race. Why not practice some sprints? I wasn’t exactly sprinting from the back of the field.. The correct thing to do would have been to hug the right hand curb, but that’s not what I did- stupid me- I left a lane open on my right side and [correctly] held my line to the finish. Tall junior rider and someone in Cox uniform passed me on the right. 3rd in the field sprint- I’ll take it. It was an excellent workout. The bad news is that when I got back to the car, my wife was in the driver’s seat while my son was kicking a soccer ball around. I put the bike up on the car, yelled at Reis to get in the car and jumped in the passenger side- I was cold. What do you think we left leaning against the car as we drove off? A Bontrager Race-X-Lite front wheel. We do not recall running it over, but it sure as hell didn’t make it into the car. I’m hoping a good Samaritan saw us drive off and is holding the wheel for me. It matches my Powertap wheel and I really want to get it back. Has a blackwall Conti 4000s tire on it and a Polar magnet on the spoke. Thanks for reading.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
No I’m not referring to growing a tail, or taking a wiz, or laying some cable or seeing a man about a horse. (What ?) it’s just that lately, my body is telling me to sleep lots. Maybe I’m “tireder” than I realize what with the racing I did Sat and Sunday and the supposed rest I was supposed to be getting last week and what did I do- I commuted to work almost every day, making for another 200+ mile week. Physically I feel great. Monday after work I took out a TT bike that is on loan to me and tried it for size. That was a 40 minute ride to
For those who wondered, my performance at Myles Standish was the pits, but the data I gained from my peak hour was excellent- better than I expected. It’s nice to have something positive come from a day which, on the surface, appears unsuccessful.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I must say- the switch to 172mm cranks was definitely correct. It "feels" like I can accelerate much more successfully, both on yesterday's climb and in today's sprints. Thanks for reading.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010
The verdict is still out whether I should regularly do this bike commute, which.. at 27 miles each way, totals 216 miles between Monday evening and Friday morning. Tack on any training rides or race mileage from Saturday and Sunday.. and I can have 300 mile weeks all summer long. I need to figure out how to manage this effectively and make sure I am not adding unintended fatigue. Sometime in May I expect to begin working from home 1-2 days a week and that will change the program quite a bit. In April I need to really pour on the volume if I am expecting to properly let the spring unwind in May. I didn’t crack 1000 miles in April 2009, but it appears this will happen before April 20th this year. To wit I already have 288 miles and it’s only the 8th. It’s also a rest week and I am skipping Ninigret tonight even though I know it will be epic with the warm toasty weather outside. My commutes this week are in the 2 watt/kg range, and I’m enjoying the hell out of taking my time and noticing all the things there are to notice on a 27 mile journey. So it’s active rest for me all week.. until Saturday.. when I expect to be doing something special- might be a field test, might be some racing in MA, or a combination of both. It’s time to hit the reset button and go into a new build period using an accurate new FTP. I want to do some time trials. How many choices are there in our area? Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Checking Chris Hinds Crit results at www.road-results.com I notice that out of the 51 finishers:
10 are Cat 1
19 are Cat 2
11 are Cat 3
2 are Cat 4
9 are Cat "?"
Cool. That's a lotsa cat 1s!
Funny thing too- I showed up for the race without renewing my license! Almost drove home to take care of it too- then I was informed I could do it right at the race by filling out a USAC form- sweet! What a relief that was..
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Monday, April 05, 2010
Teammate Matt K. won the crit, and the halfway prime, and he also won the field sprint at Chris Hinds for 7th. Nice work.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Friday, April 02, 2010
Success? Relative to what? Well.. I used to be one of those guys who didn’t touch the bike until April or May, and who would go to the old Lincoln Criterium in June/July and get dropped every three laps, jump back in and try again.. until finally after 3-4 weeks of this, I could hang in there and finish the A race, sometimes on the heels of the top ten guys sprinting for the win. Things are different now. I race cross 5-7 times a winter. I ride 3-6 hours almost every weekend, all winter long. I build a 1000 mile base by the end of February. I use a powermeter and know pretty well where I stand on any given day.. and yes a lot of it is still “by feel”. The data does more to verify how I’m feeling than dictate how I should be feeling.
This past Saturday with Gewilli and those hills will stand as a ride that I consider critical- one that pays big dividends later on. A TSS of 300 calls for a rest day this early in the season- I was not interested in repeating the effort on Sunday. I did a one hour spin indoors, barely turning the pedals. Instead of resting on Monday, I rested Sunday, and moved up Tuesday’s workout by one day, which consisted of six intervals of 3:00 at FT +10%. This was a hot workout, but didn’t cause much fatigue, so I poured it on again Tuesday night, doing 1:00 FT efforts at 90 rpm separated by 1:00 Endurance efforts at 110 rpm (repeat 20 times, with 10:00 rest in the middle). This gave me some fatigue, but I felt like I could do more at the end of this ride. Wednesday- REST- no riding whatsoever. Yesterday I took the bike to work. Scheduled myself to do a couple of 15:00 FT efforts, but this is “easier” to do indoors (mentally, indoors is harder). I was able to eek out one of my intervals on the bike path, but the occasional slowing down and stopping related to traffic and mud and water took away from it a bit. Still, a solid effort.. and I was flying- slight tailwind. Once off the bike path, there is no possible way to ride hard for more than a minute without stopping or dodging traffic, so I just made the most of it- decided to make this ride home something special. I was feeling exceptional. Looking back on the power distribution chart, it’s evident that more than ½ the ride was spent over FT, ½ under. And overall, 15 minutes of coasting- that’s a lot of zeroes factored into the averages. This fast ride home pleases me.
Indeed winter could have gone a lot more terribly or incorrectly, or unlucky or injurious than it has. I feel pretty fortunate to have emerged from the past six months injury free, at a good fighting weight, and in competitive form. It didn’t just happen, it wasn’t all luck. I was executing a plan, not exactly doing it “by feel” all the time.. because for a lazy phuc like me, if I did everything by feel, I’d have slept-in until noon every Saturday and every Sunday for the past 6 months.
Tomorrow will be a good test to see if all systems are go, but again it’s all relative. April 3rd is not the time to call out the defining moment of your entire season, so I go into tomorrow with one expectation- to have fun. If I caulk up a top 10, I’ll be immensely happy, but not devastated if I’m tail-gunning all day. My “A” races are still more than two months away. Thanks for reading.