Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Transition week

My plan usually consists of 3 weeks on, with the third week in the block being the longest/most difficult of the block. The 4th week isn't a true rest week but one where the volume is reduced but the intensity is still up. The 4th week in the block is when supercompensation takes place.

I'm currently in the 4th week of the block and will start adding about 4 - 6 hours of additional time per week starting this Saturday. 3 months of indoor trainer work has me ready to get outside, especially now that the temps are hitting in the low to mid 80's.

Workout today called for 5X1 on 2 off at SMSP wattage or above 380W.

Say hello to the new Cat 4....

I completed my 10th race a few weeks ago and was waiting to upgrade after the state criterium championships. Now that the race is behind me, I decided to submit my upgrade request which was accepted with no problem. I'll be competing in several Georgia Cup races in May and June and they run a combined 4/5 race which means being listed as a Cat 4 will help me towards my Cat 3 upgrade should I place in the top 3.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tempo with a little LT thrown in

My next race will be May 10th at the Series 7 road race in Cumming, GA. This will be sort of a homecoming as we used to live in Cumming, GA for about 8 years prior to moving back to SC and my parents and brother still live in the area at Big Canoe, GA.

Nothing special about the road race but after doing 2 months of short intervals, I need some time in the saddle in order to stay in the pack and hopefully contend for the sprint at the finish.

The plan called for a 2 hour hard road ride with at least 30 minutes of MSP/SMSP thrown in. Just to clarify, SMSP is basically L5-L6 and MSP is L4. I decided to do all MSP as my criterium racing schedule is pretty much over.

I'm not sure if it was being outside on the road or just trying to get the ride in before the rain, but my average speed for the 1.75 hour ride was 20.6 mph, a little higher than anticipated. I cut the ride short by about 15 minutes as the rain started picking up and I had some family obligations that I needed to get ready for.

Pretty good ride with about 40 minutes of L4 work and the rest tempo.

Saturday workout results

The training plan called for 3x8' @ 280-290W with 5 minutes between each interval. The plan for the 5 minutes between each interval looked something like this:

0 -1 minute: easy
1 - 2 minutes: 340 - 365W
2 - 3 minutes: easy
3 - 4 minutes: 340W - 365W
4 - 5 minutes: easy

I performed the first 8 minute interval at an average wattage of 283W with the 2 minutes of SMSP recorded as 344W and 349W respectively. For the 2nd interval, my average wattage was 288W with the 2 minutes of SMSP recorded as 324W and 346W respectively. I could tell I was fading going into the 3rd interval and only produced 269W for the 8 minutes and 335W and 353W for the 2 minutes of SMSP.

Not bad but not where I wanted the numbers to be.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New FTP as of 4/23/08 - 280W or 4W/kg

I haven't done any formal testing since December and really can't see the need to do any now (maybe at the end of the season) and I've decided to bump my FTP from 275W to 280W. I feel as though I'm higher but we'll see how things go and will re-adjust if needed. My last adjustment was 1/20/08 so I think I'm long overdue.

Weighing 70kg, this puts me right at 4W/kg. Not impressive but my goal is to get this to 4.5W/kg through weight loss and an increase of my FTP to at least 300W. Both should be attainable as I've only spent 4 -5.5 hours a week on the bike since 2/1/08 and my weight (body fat) has increased slightly for this time of the year.

New workout for Saturday

The plan for Saturday is to do intervals - 3X8 min @ MSP wattage (280W-300W). Instead of resting for 5 minutes in between intervals, Dave Morris has me doing the following:

0 - 8 minutes @ MSP or 280W-300W
8 - 9 minutes easy
9 - 10 minutes SMSP or 350+W
10 - 11 minutes easy
11 - 12 minutes SMSP or 350+W
12 - 13 minutes easy
13 - 21 minutes @ MSP or 280W - 300W
21 - 22 minutes easy
22 - 23 minutes SMSP or 350+W
23 - 24 minutes easy
24 - 25 minutes SMSP or 350+W
25 - 26 minutes easy
26 - 34 minutes @ MSP or 280W - 300W
34 - 35 minutes easy
35 - 36 minutes SMSP or 350+W
36 - 37 minutes easy
37 - 38 minutes SMSP or 350+W
38 - 39 minutes easy

Sunday calls for a hard 2 hour road ride with 30 minutes of MSP/SMSP intensity. Looks like rain so I guess I'll be doing this inside!

Longer Intervals and Increased Mileage

Tuesday started my transition to longer MSP intervals and more time one the bike. Not much racing going on between now and July so I hope to start a new build phase and be flying by mid-late July for the State Road Race Championships.

Tuesday's workout called for 4 intervals 8 minutes in length with the first 7 minutes being at MSP and the last minute being at SMSP with 4 minutes of rest in between intervals. I decided to start conservatively as I was still feeling sluggish from the weekend and ended up with the following #'s:

Interval 1: 7 minutes @ 288W and 1 minute @ 348W

Interval 2: 7 minutes @ 282W and 1 minute @ 351W

Interval 3: 7 minutes @ 280W and 1 minute @ 340W

Interval 4: 7 minutes @ 282W and 1 minute @ 343W

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mediocre weekend

I ended up with a 15th place finish in the Master's 35+ race on Saturday and 14th in my category race on Sunday. I felt sluggish the whole weekend and having my wife and two children with me in a hotel room probably didn't help. My youngest has been battling a cough for about 2 weeks and she came down with a 102F fever on Sunday night which meant a trip to the doctor on Monday. Turns out that she has pneumonia.

Both courses this weekend didn't favor a climber and the pace was all out from the start. The race on Saturday was located in the ION Community in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Pretty flat course with cobblestone pathways across the roads for pedestrian traffic. Throw in a roundabout and a sharp 90 degree turn with a corner full of cobblestones and it makes for an interesting day of racing.

I got to the starting line after everyone had lined up so I was sitting in 38th position to start and would need a few laps just to get mid-pack. We averaged 25.7mph for the entire 43 minutes and I just couldn't get into a groove or zone.

The race on Sunday was pancake flat with sweeping corners and we averaged 26.1mph for the entire 40 minutes. Even with the official's warnings, we still had 4 wrecks during the race, one that required a stretcher.

I went solo for 1.5 laps but no one followed and I decided to get reabsorbed as I just didn't feel that I had it today. Once reabsorbed, I found myself falling to the back of the pack. With 2 to go, I started making my way up to the front could never get closer than about 20th. We rounded the last 90 degree turn towards the finish line and even though we had a long run in to the finish, being so far back made it difficult to pick my way through the field and I ended up sitting up just before the finish as there was no place for me to go.

Even though I didn't place in the top 5, I did extend my streak and 2008 goal of placing in the top 15 in every race I enter.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Getting ready for the weekend

The Omnium results finally came out for the Rock Hill races and I ended up winning the Omnium with my 4th place in the crit and 2nd place finish in the road race. Hopefully I can match or better these results this weekend at the ION crit and SC State Criterium Championships in Charleston.

My training was slightly interrupted this past week with a business trip to CT and performing 1 minute intervals on a hotel exercise bike is not my idea of fun. I bagged the 15 sec intervals the next day and my coach readjusted my schedule to maximize my training load before this weekend.

I'll be racing with the Masters on Saturday and my category for the championship and hope to come away with some dinner money (family making the trip with me) as well as some hardware on Sunday. My racing schedule will slow down after this weekend with a circuit race and road race May 10th and 11th as part of the Series 7 of the Georgia Cup and will probably fit in 4 more races between May and the SC State Road Race Championships at the end of August.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Some More Hardware - 2nd Place

Today was the Patriot's Trail Road Race and the weather was OK - no rain but a little colder than expected. We had a group of 30 riders in the 35+ race and we did 1 lap or 45 miles. I felt pretty good today and coming off of my 4th place finish in the crit, I felt I had pretty good legs.

The race was uneventful until halfway through, my cable decided to stretch beyond the point that my front derailleur needed to move the chain to the big chainring. Finally, after 10 minutes of spinning in my 36 x 13 on the flats, the chain decided to move over. Good thing we were past all of the climbs and I made sure that my fingers stayed away from the thumb button on my left shifter.

With about 500M to go, a guy dropped his chain for the second time in the race, and the pack went in all directions. This allowed one guy to get away unnoticed as we later found out. At 200m, we had the full road and I took full advantage of it. I sprinted past 10 riders and ended up taking 2nd by a few bike lengths. With second in the road race and 4th in the crit, I managed to take 1st in the Omnium as well. All in all, a pretty good weekend, and I owe it to my coach - Dave Morris, my new steed, and the racing smarts I've acquired over the past year.

Next up are two crits in Charleston on the 19th and 20th with the 20th being the SC State Crit Championships. If this weekend is any indication I should be in top form by the 20th.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Old Town Criterium - 4th Place

The weather cooperated somewhat for my race but the roads were saturated which made an already technical course as it pertains to the last two turns before the finish even more difficult. I decided to swap out the trusty Continental GP4000's for a new set of Vittoria Open Corsa's and this proved to be a mistake.

The field had about 30 riders for the 15 lap race and things started out rather slow for crits. The pace did pick up for the first prime and then leveled off for the rest of the race. A guy attacked just as we crossed the start/finish after the second prime and he ended up staying away for the remainder of the race. He benefited from having 4 other teammates in the race that slowed the pace and blocked.

With less than a 1/4 mile to go, I attacked up the right side and passed 10 riders just before a hard 90 degree right turn. I took the corner at 30mph on wet pavement and my rear tire started to slide. I managed to right the ship only to have it do it again on the last right turn towards the up hill finish line. These two slides cost me my gap and as I started sprinting for the line (in too high of a gear I might add), I got passed by two riders less than 20' before the finish line. 2nd place was mine to lose and I did it with the help of Vittoria and the burn in my quads!!

45 mile road race tomorrow starting from historic Brattonsville, the site where the movie The Patriot was filmed.