It was tough rolling out of bed this morning. A freak lightning storm came though last night keeping us awake. Today was all about just getting some easy miles in...3.5 hours at a very easy pace. We don't do that too often during the summer, it was a nice ride. 2 hours at the pool with E and too many beers at the Disco's and I'm ready to crash...no riding for me on Sunday.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I was looking for a hard ride...one that I really suffered and had to dig deep. That's not easy to achieve sometimes on a big group ride so I softened myself up a bit by doing 3x5min VO2 intervals @ 115% of FTP before the ride. That did the trick! Tonight really hurt (bad). I tried to ride aggressively and attacked in the normal spots but the legs just sometimes would not go. I'm glad I didn't do the 4 intervals I was planning...I would have gotten dropped!
3 beers at El Burrito's Bluegrass night got me right. Now it's taper time for the 4th of July ride...this weekend is gonna be chill.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Here's a comparison of 3 riders at Blood, Sweat & Gears. ----->
Boyd Johnson is an ex-Columbia Cat. 1/Pro who lives in Greenville. He set the course record this year and you should check out his insane training schedule. If you want to be a pro cyclist look at his website to see what it takes.
Here's his description of BS&G:
Blood Sweat and Gears ride in Boone, NC. This wasn't a real race, but it's one of those rides where all the racers show up and it turns into a race. The nice thing is the terrain is much harder than any actual race that will be put on this year.
The course started out climbing pretty much right away. The pace is always fast on the first climb to weed out the majority of the riders who start the event. Usually there is a group of about 60-70 who make it over the first climb. About halfway up, I got to the front and upped the tempo. I carried on the front all the way to the top and there was about 30 people left in the field at this point.
I knew I was feeling really good today and made it a point to get to the front on every climb. I would set a pace on the front during the climbs and get away solo. At the top I would wait for the group and hang out for the flat and downhill sections. There was another major climb about the 60 mile part and I knew that would be where the final selection was made. I sat on the front from the bottom of the climb and soon found myself alone. I set a tempo the rest of the way up and had enough time to grab a couple waterbottles at the top. I set off solo but not super hard and soon two guys came up to me.
We rolled it from the bottom of the descent and built up a lot of time on the chase group. I found myself dropping the guys on the climbs, and there was one more big climb (2 miles at 8%). I opened a good gap and tried to go solo from this point, but got caught just before another mile long steep climb. I got to rest a little before the climb, so I hit it again on the climb and got away. . .this time for good.
I tried to keep a time trial effort going, but it was hard to keep threshold on the slight downhill. There was one more short steep climb a few miles before the finish. I only had about 30 seconds at the base, and I cracked hard when I reached it. I was worried about getting caught again but soon found my rhythm and opened the gap again. From there I descended and rode the last mile and a half into the finish. It ended up being a new record for the course, and I was feeling great when I finished. This is a big confidence booster for nationals. . .even if it's not a "real" race.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Well, since it's 95 degrees--hell didn't freeze over--but I did win tonights edition of this weeks biggest race in Columbia. It was a photo finish with Ladd but the near unanimous verdict was that I got it...the lone vote for him was from some lady with 2 kids, last name started with an L or something.
The legs tonight felt like crap warming up tonight but I expected that. Karl got things rolling with the usual attack at KM 0 and I thought "what the hell..." and went with him. It was Karl, Francesco, me and some other dude. Karl and I were drilling it and we stayed away for 13min but we pretty much knew we'd be caught but it made the others chase us.
My legs started feeling better as the crit went on and at about midway there was a lull so I attacked hard up the left gutter...I picked up the remnants of an earlier break and was working with Derek and another dude. By the time we were caught the field was pretty thin and the next big attack was the final selection.
The final break had about 6 riders including Phillip (who was killing it all night), Karl, Ladd, The Harrell's duo (toby and damon), and maybe a couple more. Derek was shelled earlier so I liked my chances sprinting against all these climber types. I also started skipping some pulls to conserve a bit for the sprint. The one person I was worried about was Ladd so in the last 2 laps I stayed glued to his wheel.
Karl drilled it the entire final lap which limited any late attacks then after turn 4 Phillip took over then sat up. Ladd knew I was on his wheel and I could tell he was twitchy about it (he kept checking over his right shoulder). Phillip pulled off to the left at 300m and Ladd drifted over with him, he lost some momentum and glanced left...that's when I jumped HARD up the right gutter. I didn't really want to go at 250m but I got the gap and could see in the last 50m Ladd's wheel coming up from looking between my legs. He came around and it was a drag race to the line...a fun race.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Today was pretty epic...I started out climbing great and stayed with the front group of 30ish riders over the first major climb up to the parkway (did 30min at 281w NP). I recovered and really was feeling good when my rear derailler started jumping around...it wouldn't stay in a gear.
After it got real bad I had to stop and check it out...goodby group. It turns out that a link in my chain had chosen the biggest ride of the year to meltdown...luckily I had a chain tool with me and removed the link. The problem was that with a shorter chain I would forget and shift big-big and my whole drive train would seize up in a tangled mess...Then I would have to stop, get off and pull the chain out.
By this time I was way behind and several very large groups had rolled past...bummer. I had a mental meltdown thinking about riding alone for 70miles and my hands were solid black with grease. Not fun. That was a bad next hour on the bike.
When riding alone for this long you gotta try to figure out how to pace yourself to survive...I felt pretty good at about 220w so I tried to keep it there. I ended up jumping from group to group and found some good riders to work with but I usually wanted to go faster so I'd eventually end up alone. It was a long day but I actually enjoyed it a lot and kindof liked pulling people around.
I finished in 5:45....not much to say about that, I would have like to see how far I could have lasted with the fast group and I can imagine the meltdown associated with that would have been far more spectacular. Karl killed it as usual and finished 7th at 4:57 (he was close to bridging to the winning 3 but they saw him coming and drilled it) and Ladd--the new climbing sensation--at an amazing 5:03. Brian at 5:15 and Francesco just behind him. Mick and Treze both had good rides and Chris was the smartest of the bunch and found a great shortcut.
And Jules was 39th (6th female) in the 50miler.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I did a very easy loop with Chris tonight then headed to El Burrito for the bluegrass. Now I gotta get my 27 put on, some new bartape, some new rubber for Jules' bike....then bed.
I talked to Karl tonight and we have a plan...at the last feed station a few miles before snake mtn he's gonna attack with me on his wheel (that's assuming I'm still with his group...). He'll drag me along and we'll get a couple minute gap so I can get over the climb without getting dropped from the front group (this is exactly what he did last year but I wasn't even close...).
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Hey...I won tonight. That doesn't happen too often but it was pretty cool how it went down.
There was a strong wind blowing up the final straight and when warming up I thought that if I could attack with 1k to go and get a good gap noone would catch me with that tailwind. I even did the play by play to karl before the race.
So the first 50min was all about doing no work...at all. This was due to the big ride this weekend and my planned taper for it. So I sat in, surfed wheels and soft-pedaled a lot. I averaged 192w (224w NP) for 50min which is ridiculously low for a crit. So I felt pretty fresh!
There were breaks going up the road all night but nothing stuck until a dangerous one went at about minute 45...this played into my hands as the group had to work pretty hard to reel them back in. We were going pretty hard for the last 3 laps so when everything came together at a half a lap to go there was the usual pause....then I attacked HARD up the right gutter (wind coming from the left). I had an instant gap but Francesco was trying to get across....luckily for me he didn't make it.
I did 10s at 600w to get a gap, 40sec at 375w to keep it, then 22sec at 470w to win it. The last 300m I stood and sprinted with my head down and just remember pain and a blur of pavement.
Ella was standing at the start finish ringing her bell like crazy so I got to zip up the jersey and give her a wave as I crossed the line.
Monday, June 18, 2007
The new links I added are from the Velodynamics Coaching site and are a great resource...there's lots to read on training, racing and power from Charles Howe who's a heavy contributor to the Wattage list.
Resources (start here, lots of great coggan, howe, stern etc, articles)
Technical Links (basically a list of some good links)
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Woke up to lots of attention from the kiddo (cards, breakfast, laffy taffy) then Crusty and I went out for an easy 2.5 hours. The legs are feeling good and it took some effort to hold back from riding too hard...I just wanted to go easy today.
My TSB is now hovering around zero which is perfect and at this weeks TNWC I'm gonna spend some "quality" time at last wheel...until 2 laps to go.
Congrats to I-was-a-cat-5-two-weeks-ago Ladd L. who crushed the 3's field on Saturday in Savannah. You just had to pick cycling this year as your new hobby ;-)
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Chris and Karl had to head out of town so we had an early ride today. A group of 8 of us did 60 miles and we kept it just hard enough to make Crusty suffer...a lot, but not hard enough that he just went home. It worked, he's dead today. Mostly a cruise out to the cricket store with a few episodes of fast riding. It turned out to be a good fun 200TSS day with stellar weather.
The rain this last week kind of forced me into taper mode which will probably be a good thing for BS&G. The legs felt great today and I'll do a couple of easy hours on Sunday then Tuesday will be the last hardish ride till Saturday. Just gotta keep the weight down and TSB up.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Chris, Karl and I went out early to get a few extra miles in before the group ride. 5 minutes after leaving we rode through 10min of driving rain then for the next hour and a half we rode around the fort trying to dodge large black clouds. We managed to only hit light rain for most of the ride but at times we could look back and see a wall of rain a mile away or so.
We may do a "thursday" ride tomorrow if it looks reasonable...
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
A light rain with some small hail thrown in at the start of the TNWC turned into a sideways-blowing full-on epic. About 15 starters dwindled to just Karl and I then we pulled the plug after 15min when we were plowing through 8" rivers at the turns and nearly getting blown off the bike. They don't call em "severe thunderstorm warnings" for nothin'......It was fun while it lasted.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Ok...confession. I have never done a Level 6 workout. My first 2 years of using a powermeter were all about FTP. Finding it and raising it. I could sit comfortably in the pack during a crit or RR but kindof sucked in a break.
This year I started doing structured VO2 intervals and now find myself able to hang and actually contribute in a hard break. So this year my FTP and VO2 are good but my 1min w/kg is still stuck solidly in the Cat.4 range (7.65 w/kg). Oh yeah...I still can't sprint but I blame my parents for that.
So today it's my first foray into the world of Level 6. Usually these are done at from about 150% of FTP for 30s to 2min. I warmed up for 20min which included 5min at threshold and then set out to do 7-10 intervals at 400w for 1min on, 3min off on the Velodyne.
They went well but the Velodyne in erg mode had a slight 10s delay where I was pushing 450w initially so I switched to incline mode at 4% and controlled the wattage myself...that went smoother (as you can see from interval #4). These weren't all that bad for the first 30s but man the last 10s were killers. My wattage fell off in a big way on interval #7 so that told me I was done.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Whatta ya do when it's gonna be 97˚ and you want to do 4 hours? You set the alarm clock...6 of us went out super early and got back just before it really started scorching. Nice 200TSS day. Looking at my PMC tells me tomorrow should be a VO2 interval day followed by margarita's by the pool...you gotta love WKO+.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Another large group showed for the thursday ride. For the climb up Mt. Elon I tried to stay glued to Karls wheel and all was going well until Marc W. attacked (impressive!), then I got spit out the back. I put up some big numbers on that climb and was pretty much tunnel vision lazered on the 1 inch of Karls wheel that I was focused on.
On to Airbase...holy crap what a bloodbath! First Jay put in an absolutely monster pull and since I was on his wheel sitting in the gutter (with a crosswind) we got a good gap on the group. Funny...he pulled off and me thinking the entire group was behind us--I just rolled past him and then immediately pulled off. He was probably thinking "wtf!!! at least take a 15 second pull!" I did go right back to the front once I realized this. Karl and "mystery Athens cat 1 or 2ish dude" bridged and we were absolutely killing it (well mostly Karl and Jay as usual). Much suffering was had and Karl saw 198bpm.
Coming up to the sprint I did a little cat and mouse and then Athens dude jumped...hard. My first thought was "damn he's fast!" then "oh shit...get his wheel". I called this home court advantage because even though it was probably at 200m, he went too early and I came around him at the end (I had my best 5 sec power of the season @1033w). Cool!
Coming down to the Shop Rd sprint Phillip as usual put in the killer leadout over the bridge then Matt finished it off by putting everyone in the gutter for me to get over the line first. It's amazing what a couple of 20 year olds will do for a 12-pack of PBR.
Update: I love epics of all sorts and have been on more than a few in my past (less now with a kid) ... here's a great one by Dave Harris. Inspiring for sure.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Tonight I didn't have a lot of time and Jules wanted to ride so after she headed out, kiddo got to watch a DVD while I climbed on the Velodyne. On these "in between" days of hard rides you sometimes don't want to go do hard intervals but at the same time you don't want to ride totally easy.
Here's where the concept of Sweet Spot Training comes in. Basically you ride at 85% to 95% of your FTP for 60-90min. The intensity isn't so great that you're fried for the next day but it's high enough to affect FTP. You can do many days back to back of this type of training...something you couldn't do with threshold intervals. More discussion here.
So I climbed on the Velodyne, set it to Erg mode, warmed up for 15min then rode at 235w for 45min (all I had time for). An hour later I was done. Sweet!
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
The threat of rain kept a lot of people home tonight but the few who came out were ready to ride hard. From the gun it was attack after attack and the small field was usually strung out. My plan for the night was just to ride as hard as possible and not worry about a good finish and most importantly to always go when either Lang or Jay attacked no matter how I felt. The 3 of us were off the front at least 4 times together.
I thought that after 35min of this pace that the group would crack and we would roll away but that didn't happen which was cool, everyone chased hard all night.
With 2 laps to go I had a brain fart and somehow let Jay roll off the front and that was the only time all night that the group decided not to chase (except for Jay's new wife Linda who in a state of new marriage bliss somehow got across to him...impressive!). I tried to bridge at 1 lap to go cuz I knew he wouldn't be caught but that didn't get too far as the group was glued to my wheel. I ended up about 4th or so.
My legs felt surprisingly good, great in fact, after saturday's ride. I was pleasantly surprised and this bodes well for another hard week of training. I think BS&G is gonna be my main objective for June.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Yesterday's ride was a good one. We had 10 riders from Columbia (one actually from Columbia...the country) and the weather was perfect, overcast and cool. Overall I didn't see the TSS numbers that I had when I did this same ride on 3/31. This was due to the large group and the mellow ascent of the Caesars Head climb at the end.
Hwy 178: This climb is long but not too steep, about 11miles of 6-8%. I felt pretty good until the end and when I looked at my data it was like doing a 42min interval right at my threshold with 5min of VO2 thrown in here and there for good measure. It took everything I had to stick with those guys in the last mile or so. Normally this would be a great workout and I could go home...instead I had a ton more climbing in 70 miles. Fun!
Even though those guys were probably just riding tempo I felt good about sticking with Karl, Jed & Jay (with Jed/Jay being Cat.1's and Karl an Austrian Mutant). I usually don't climb that well.
Hwy 215: A 6 mile 8-10% mind numbing climb. This is where I paid for the earlier effort. I started out with the same 3 but realized to survive this climb I needed to just ride a reasonable tempo. See ya. I tried to keep it at 250w but even that was hard and I just tried to just keep the pedals going around. Robert passed me about 3/4 of the way up and even though he was only going about .5 mph faster I had no desire or ability to try to stay on his wheel.
And the climbing phenomenon of the day, Phillip caught me at the top...Good going dude. Now I have to stop training with you.
The rest of the ride: The parkway descents are always a blast but following Jed and Karl was pretty wild riding. At one point there were 4 or 5 of us screaming down 278 doing a rotating paceline. It left like a break in a 6 turn crit with all the corners. The last 15 miles to Brevard is slightly downhill and brand new pavement...sweet riding. We did a paceline then Jay took over and pegged it at 29mph for a long time.
We got to Brevard, ate and as a group headed down Wilson Rd to bypass the traffic. Once on Hwy 278 and the climb to Ceasars Head Jed pulled at a easy pace for about 20min which kept the group together and set the tempo for the steeper parts. I started feeling a lot better as the day wore on but I'm glad we went easy up this climb.
I feel pretty good today and I think that with the lower TSS I'll recover much faster than in March where I didn't feel "right" for over a week. My TSB went from -3 to -33.9 My ATL is currently 113 and CTL is 79.
Photo's of the day are Here.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Friday, June 1, 2007
Did an hour easy with Phillip. Tomorrow should be epic...will I hit 400TSS? 4500kJ? I'd better go eat another Pb&J.