Monday, February 16, 2009

TradeZone 'Training' Race

Great team and individual efforts across the A, B, and C races. It was a cold (30's) quite windy day, thankfully with some sunshine. Very fast and large fields on a wide open but surprisingly bumpy course. As a first team outing in 2009 this was very successful at validating our program and adding cohesion to the team. The correlation of Bill's power-based training program to our strength and success on the course is obvious and highly encouraging for the coming season. If there was ever a time to value and believe in the plan, this is it.

Please tell your indivdual race stories here.


  1. So I'll go first. Didn't quite know what to expect in the Pro-1,2,3 race other than fast. Only similar crits from last couple years were the Bryan Park A races and the Kelly Cup 40+. With the Battley Harley-Davidson guys (including Dave Fuente), plus a slew of other NoVa and Md big-time teams we figured it would be smokin'. It was. And long...wound up nearly 1 hr 40 min. I managed to move with the pack and although severely tested a couple of times after minor moves on (and even off once or twice) the front, managed to hang and finish strong with the bunch. Many lessons learned and much practiced in the bargain. Here are a few: (1) First and foremost, the systematic power-based strength, endurance, tempo and LT training we've done over the past 3 months put me in a position to stay with this very fast pace (24+ mph avg in serious wind) over the 100 minutes. And not a TT-like nice even tempo. Brutal spikes of power output followed by only slightly less brutal settling...repeatedly. We've not gotten to our 'repeatability-driving' high end LT's yet, but what we have done was enough to give us early season competitive legs. (2) For the first time I had a precise plan for warming up. That's because of the power-based interval work on my trainer has taught me just what I need to do to get warm enough to be comfortable at high tempo/LT. I never knew just how much was enough before since it was impossible to quantify precisely enough for me to believe in it. As consequence I went by HR and 'feel'...which resulted in 'under-warming up' and getting shelled at the start of races where everyone else was effectively warmed up. (3) Effective cornering. That alone was enough to keep me in this race. If I had cornered the way I did last year (me: Am I doing something wrong in the corners, pissed off Cat2 behind me: yeah, you're going to slow! that bike's not going to fall down) I would have been off the back of this race in the first 10 minutes. I got better at cornering because we finally did some F*&^ing drills to practice it, and I got some real basic instruction by Bill and Steve, who know what they're doing. Then Greg and I hit numerous corners and suddenly it didn't seem so hard. As a direct consequence of this recent training I felt very comfortable in the corners and it's a good thing I did. (4)Moving around in the pack. I'm still no pro at this but I made a conscious effort to use wheels to move up, out and around wherever I could. Working our pacelines on rides, even a slower speeds, really helps with this. It helps in getting the comfort level of being in close proximity and learning to feel the way around without having to fixate on just how close the guy next to or in front of you is. (5) Sprints. The various kinds of sprints we do in the context of EM work helps with training the need to do what I'll call 'utility' sprinting in the context of the whole race, not just the finish. I already know I ain't winning any races in a sprint finish, but work hard on the sprints to gain the ability to jump off, close a gap, avoid a collision (the old 'acceleration evasive' from driver's ed!), etc. I figure I'll work harder at being a good sprinter than the sprinters will be at being good climbers so in the end I'll wind up ahead (that's slow-twitch math). (6) Awareness of teammates in the bunch. Bill's always talking this up as a way to help each other with individual and team objectives. Even with only four of us in the 123 race (among another 50+) there were numerous opportunities for me to interact with/assist/be-assisted by my teammates...I let Bill in when he was in a pinch, Bill and Jinks (unknowingly sometimes) protected me from the wind, Greg and I swapped positions several times, Bill gave me good advice on the fly a few times, as well as a warning of his impending (and worsening) cramp situation, we all provide target reference points to each other just by being there...I'll work up to Bill...there's Greg drifting to the side, I'll link onto him...Jinks is making a move in the corner - I'm on him...Greg's off in a move, let's slow the pack a little. You get the picture.

    So that's alot of good stuff. I'm sure I'll think of more but here's the point...OUR PLAN IS WORKING.

  2. I'd say that everything we saw in the race and the amount of intensity expelled was learning!

  3. I talked to one of my reps today, who is in the know about 99% of the teams that raced Tradezone Sunday. He said bar none racing in that Nova,DC, MD area is probably the most competitive that we will see below Pennsylvania

  4. OK, I'm in now. I'll add my two cents worth (that's all I earned). 1) While in the Trade (Twilight) Zone, the outside line is where it is at! I had a nice groove on. Then, I let myself get caught inside, shuffled to the back as I tried to get back to the outside line, by the time I thought I could get where I wanted, the yo-yo'ing from mid to back took its toll. 2) As Ed said, cornering is everything. While up front, we rolled through ever corner. From mid-pack back, it was Brake, Coast, Corner, Accelerate, Brake, repeat. 3) Overheard in pack, I am holding my line, there's nowhere for me to go." (Gus) And, "HOLD YOUR LINE! HEY, If you keep coming into my front wheel I WILL knock you the #$%#$ over." (Ben) Even in the B race, we needed to knock the rust off our bike handling. Lastly) Loosing 20 lbs will make a huge difference. The constant acceralte-brake-accelerate wouldn't have crippled me if I was lighter. P:W is everything. I had a great VO2 max/LT Time trail effort.

  5. Race felt really good I stayed in a very comfortable zone for the entire race. I learned a lot about the course and the flow of the race (Bill’s pre race blog help with this)I was able to wear down some riders by having them do extra work while I stayed smooth with my momentum up. I followed Dewey for a few labs I was impressed with how he would just slitter through the pack( like a snake)at the end, with good commutation on Dewey’s part I was able to locate him, and take him across a break and drop him off with 1/2 lab to go.
    We had run through a few race scenarios and were acutely able to carry one of them out. Overall Dewey was on the point as they crossed the final hill and netted 6th out of 70. I had nothing left and was unable to grab the tail of the pack. At the end of the day my first up-grade race, with some cat 3's to boot I had the legs to close a break and lead with less then 1/2 remaining.
    I owe our training program (Bill) a lot of Thanks!