Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Training Ed

Bridging Intervals #1 (trainer)
Got my hurt on...not much more to say. Will be interesting to compare the numbers with next week's BI work.


10min warmup
10min tempo
20min tempo
4min warmdown
70min TOB


  1. March Test

    Hit the park at dusk...saw this as last chance to make up the test. Warmed up on the hill and jumped in. Felt the usual way on the test...pushed to the wall. Focused on using higher cadence up the hills as this generates greater power with less grinding MT fatigue. Wound up with avg cadence of 88...several rpms higher than past tests. Was nice to not have the 30/40 degree lung burn after the ride.

    Numbers were up a little, though nothing like a breakthrough...will have to keep the nose to the grindstone in any event. Here are the numbers:

    Mar 2009 Test
    Test Date: 3-Apr-09
    Location: Park
    Duration: 20:00
    Bike/wheels: seven/pwrtap trng
    Distance: 7.45 miles
    Temp: 63 (windy)
    Average speed: 22.33 mph
    Average HR: 164 bpm
    Average cadence: 88 rpm
    Average power: 287w
    95% Power: 273w
    Average torque: 10.01
    Wt: 141
    Wt: 64.09 kg
    Power to weight ratio (95%): 4.25 w/kg

  2. Tyson's Corner Circuit Race - Cat 3

    Encouraging race...very interesting course. I felt a little like I'd imagine one might feel in a giant tumbling dryer. Or riding the edge of a disc wheel leaned up against a wall. Only with a slight flat portion at the top and bottom.

    I was curious how a straight 3 race would be compared to the 123 and 'A' races I've done, especially with such a big field. It was about what one might the 123's in terms of consistently high tempo, off the front moves and chase-downs, but without the same 'rip your legs off' accelerations that come with the pro1-2 guys.

    I was a little cautious in the first few laps because of the smokin downhill and amount of traffic, but still keenly aware of not getting stuck at the back. Jinksy had told me on the way up that the long uphill would be where lots of shuffling got done so I tried to play offense on the hills and defense on the downhill. But there was such incredibly fast pack shrink/stretch that was really hard to maintain any consistent position. I would be at the front in one half a lap and at the back as the back flowed through to the front. I spent alot of time trying to hold/gain position while at the same time staying out of too much traffic at high speed. There were several crashes along the way and I was surprised there weren't more. Not so much because of sketchy moves but more the speeds and extreme pack shuffling.

    Despite all that I did manage to pay attention to what was happening at the front, at least to an extent. I was actually at and off the front a little right before Greg went the first time. I'm not sure that the break had even gone off by then...if they had I missed it. I just found myself pretty close and had momentum up the hill and so went ahead. I drifted back pretty quickly as we crested the hill and tried to settle in. I think that was lap 2 or 3. I actually watch Greg go and hoped someone would cross to give him a fighting chance. I moved up to be ready to 'block', or at least try to. Never quite got there before it came back but at least moved in that direction.

    As both Greg and Jinks mentioned, we had numerous opportunities to connect, and they both served as good aim points for me throughout the race. If I had it to do over again I'd have stuck on Greg's wheel with about 4 to go. As it was I unwittingly allowed myself to drift further back than I realized, and with two to go I started a concerted effort to get onto the lead 'line'. I used the hill on the next to last lap to close some and worked the downhill to catch onto the leading line of 10-15 guys (I could see Greg at the front of that line going into the final uphill turn). I figured I'd just stand and do a few hard strokes, then sit and drive hard for the bulk of the hill, then stand and sprint the last bit. Turned out pretty well as I closed on alot of guys and passed several as well. I saw Greg just ahead duking it out with what appeared to be the leaders (guess it was except for the animal off the front). Very cool to watch and only then did it dawn on me that we were basically finishing AT THE FRONT.

    Now even as I type this I don't know my finish place, but I do know we can/did ride with the best of those 94 cat 3's. By the way, Jinksy and Greg were both all over the course making moves the whole way. Greg looked like Vino out there and really deserved top 5. This tells me we can make a serious mark as a team in some of these straight 3 for planning thought.

  3. Good job sir, see you at the Casey Crit!

  4. Thanks Jack.

    8x5 min LT's (trainer)

    These felt better than last week. Did a 10 min warmup, the 10 min tempo ride, 3 min rest and 8 x 5min LT's w/3min rest between each. Power was up 10ish watts, HR down by 4ish bpm and cadence lower by 3-5ish rpm. Must have been this morning's Wheaties.

    Numbers were:

    int1 - 17.74/137/74/10.78/256
    int2 - 17.58/138/73/10.97/258
    int3 - 17.5/141/72/11.04/259
    int4 - 17.54/142/72/11.07/260
    int5 - 17.64/145/72/11.11/263
    int6 - 17.67/146/73/11.16/264
    int7 - 17.7/147/73/11.14/264
    int8 - 17.85/149/74/11.26/269

    by comparison, last week's were:

    int1 - 18.09/138/76/10.42/253
    int2 - 18.05/143/77/10.61/257
    int3 - 17.96/146/76/10.58/255
    int4 - 17.89/148/78/10.65/255
    int5 - 18.14/150/76/10.47/255
    int6 - 18.21/151/79/10.44/255
    int7 - 18.44/152/77/10.28/254

  5. I agree with you about seeing how we can make a mark in the straight 3 races. So often in all the pro,1,2,3 races I have no idea where I am in comparison to the other cat.3s. Of course, you see a lot of guys hammering and hurting you and unless you know they are 1's or 2's, you start to mentally think you are behind. It was really good for my mind to stack up against a pure 3 field. With 4 of us and the way we are all riding right now, we should not only be making an impact in these races but also hopefully getting some more top 10s, top 5's and podiums.

  6. ED, great race report, my Hr was raising and for a monment I fealt like I was there!
    Great job,ED Greg and the Jinks!!
    Big G help Em if BWR ever hits a 3-4 race

  7. Morgantown RR

    Excellent race…many takeaways. Apology up front for rambling.

    I watched the weather in Morgantown for a couple weeks prior to the race, trying to discern the likely state of the course. Also studied the profile to try and determine just what those climbs and descents would look like. In the end, as always with this stuff, it was the in-person recce that gave me what I needed.

    In order to get that, I had to leave pretty early on Friday so I'd have enough light left to drive the 47 mile course after the 4+ hr trek to Morgantown. I allowed for 2 hours, which turned out to be just enough. The first 20 miles or so were on a relatively main road (think a one lane each way version of Rt 17), then a turn up and over a hill leading into a bowl of larger hills criss-crossed by seriously back-woods roads. No lines on most of them and the terrain…think 'the hills are alive - sound of music' poster, only not the alps, and more hillbilly-ish abodes. Quite picturesque in some areas and a little scary in others. Anyway, all mannner of climb pitches on 4 main 'hills' with some ridge riding and wicked downhills with hairpin turns thrown in to make all the connections. Think Ullrich over the side. Surface was variable…ok in some areas and moon-scape potholed in others…I had some tense moments controlling the bike and have new found respect for my HED Alps and their ability to withstand shock and awe. There were two or three sections where I simply had to stand and ride out the holes, fully expecting to flat/destroy the wheels (think of Tom's rim in the shop). The rain was still coming sat am…temp was 44. As start time approached the rain subsided and the temp rose to near 50. I figured this was safe enough, as did a couple hundred others. The race was actually delayed by an half hour so some guys (from Va) who got lost could roll in.

    I did my normal warmup on the trainer, though it was extended somewhat because of the delay. I was very glad I brought/used the trainer as there were many who did not and were relegated to 'riding around' for a long time. So the race went off around 1130 or so…123's first and so on. The 40+ field started maybe 40 guys, many of whom I recognized from previous WV races. The guy who won the state RR last year was there, as were several other placers. Some other's I had not seen as well, plus Tony Bilotta from Cville/Waynesboro (Van Dessel Factory rider), some guys from Md, and a few from Pa. This race actually started at Mason Dixon park, went south into WV, then north into PA and south again to finish at the start. I was amazed at the number of all Cat's…at least 3 times greater than what the pre-reg listed. Was pretty well run too…they had a camera set up at the finish, motor support, guides at every one of the many 'easily missable' forks in the road…well done. Only bone to pick was the finish straight. The official laid down the law at the start for DQ of any rider finishing on the wrong side of the yellow line. Problem was there was about a narrow car's width worth of space.

    So off we went across a scary old suspension bridge…early test of the wheels. This one really fit looking guy takes off and I'm like, is this guy for real? Never seen him before and thought from the pack's non-reaction that he must be a poser. He stayed out a little, came back and went again. This time I went with him. Stayed out for a few minutes and re-integrated; I'm wondering what the pack is up to…no real chase to speak of but we're into a nasty headwind. I'm at the front (nobody wanted to work so I'm feeling things out but trying to not put out too much effort) listening to the chat between the WV boys. I know we've got some nasty hills ahead and figure they figure I don't know that in any detail…but of course I do b/c of my recce. Anyway, we're riding up to the northern part of the course straight into a headwind so I do my best to mark any move and at the same time not expend too much. Bilotta goes off and I join…we're out for maybe 7-8 min before re-integrating. As an aside, during this break I have my first wheel touching experience. Tony's ahead and pulls over abruptly to look back. In the process our wheels just overlap and touch…alas, I didn't go down and nothing much happened. In that instant I thought of the training you guys did the other week for just such stuff. Was sorry I couldn't make that workout but guess I got mine OJT.

    After this I rotate back to catch some draft and damn if two guys didn't get up the road. After a couple minutes I realize they are out there, try to judge whether or not they are gaining or dropping ground…couple minutes later I realize they aren't coming back to us and try to marshall a chase. They were probably quarter mile out by then…hard to judge…but getting ineffectual support I decide its now or never…bridging intervals here I come. I got probably three quarters there feeling strong, then it got hard. I guess it took me about 2-3 minutes total…the last 100m tried my soul (not to mention thighs and lungs). Thanks to the intervals though, I had the juice to spend. I was able to get on without the guys even realizing for a couple of pulls…got a little recovery and started working.

    We were within a couple/three miles of the turn into the mtns and worked like hell to widen the gap. Once into the hills a couple/three more guys made it across and this 6-man break continued for another 6-7 miles. At that point, on the descent of climb#3 I think, two guys got away. One was that really fit looking guy who I didn't know…I wasn't marking him (big mistake) b/c I didn't know who he was based on past races. This terrain was so topsy, turny, curvy that it was very easy to get out of sight. Anyway, the remaining four continued to press…I spent a lot of time at the front. The group did work but not always smoothly. I knew I was working too much but was paying attention to my red-zone so as not to cook quickly. I did take some satisfaction in making it hard for the rest of the guys on the last third of each climb. I was telling Bill that while I didn't feel especially stronger on the body of the climbs than previously, I definitely felt stronger on the last pitches and over the top…and especially on the top ridges since on a couple of the climbs there wasn't immediate downhill, but 'ridgeline' where accelerations paid off. I actually was able to drop folks, though they caught back on during the decents. These were very technical and I had to slow to make some of the turns. One of the guys (from Md finished 2nd in last year's 40+ Wintergreen) actually went off the course a little (gravel/grass) and damn near over the side. We all saw/heard it and had a no-shit ullrich moment. Fortunately he managed to stay upright and continue on with us. After climb#4 we had rolling terrain for several miles into/through a small town (several tight turns and a diving hill across a tiny bridge into a nasty short climb). Traded pulls but here again I ran into the dilemma of too much work vs. keeping the chasing wolf from the door. There was a pack of 4's/dropped 123's/40's behind and closing so the pucker factor was there. It was after this short climb and about 2 miles from the finish that this chasing pack caught us…right in a narrow section of road with the worst moonscape surface. This was the spot that on my recce I noted I would FOR SURE have to cross the yellow line to keep from flatting. Turned out I was in being enveloped buy a swarm of riders just then and there was a vehicle from the rear. I'm not eggagerating when I say (as I did out loud at the time) this car shaved my already shaved legs!

    So we continue on and in the last swervy rolling couple miles I managed to recover most of my position. Now this 25ish sized unruly mob is frothing for the sprint. I'm ready and been waiting for the chance…alas truncated by 10 pounds of bikes/bodies in a 5 pound bag…I finished with juice to spare. Beat a couple of the guys in the break and wound up 4th or 5th among the 40+ by my reckoning. I spoke with the guys in the break after the race and they confirmed that the one 'unknown' rider was the local monster of the 40+ who surely won solo. The other guy (from Md) was thought to have dropped someplace along the way…we'll see.

    The race took me 2hrs 23 min and change according to my watch…no idea on official time. I wore a sleeveless base layer with long sleeve jersey and vest, knee warmers and fingered gloves…no head covering. The sun came out about halfway and I would have been happy with a short sleeve jersey and no vest. As it was I stripped off my turtleneck during warmup…I also had a tough call on glasses since half the sky was still very dark and half looking lighter. Fortunately went with the darker tint, which paid off. Also did pretty well at on-the-bike feed/hydration…took in a bottle and a half (1 of accelerade and the other water) and about half a flask of hammer gel. Had only very minor cramping twinges…one of the other guys in the break got bad hamstring cramps in the final 2 miles. I considered this an accomplishment since cramps on long, hilly RR's have always been a challenge for me. Tough to find safe opportunities to feed and big demands on the body.

    I honestly felt I had another 20 miles in me at pace…it was nice to finish feeling good. In retrospect I think I might have been able to hang with the winner swapping pulls on a break from the break…wish I had realized who/what he was earlier. My bad…sloppy pre-race intel. Next time I'll pay more attention. Overall fitness and ability to respond to variety of situations was good. This was the clearest indication I've had yet of what our program is doing for us. I went out for a post race couple hours yesterday and felt pretty good. My aim was to unwind and also test out gearing for the upcoming hill TT's. While I was happy overall with my gear (rode the Cervelo with Alps) in the race, I could not get my easiest climbing gear to work…kept slipping. This gear would have come in very handy on several of the nastiest pitches, and not having it jacked up my rhythm somewhat. I also found that my 'adjusted handlebar position' (to facilitate ease of long-time in the drops) created sub-optimal reach length on climbs…again a pain in the a** with so much hard uphill. My seven rig is much smoother on the gearing and climing position…may just ride it in both the hill TT's. Anyway, spent some time on the hills of Artillery Ridge yesterday to figure this out and felt great for a post-race day. Overall assessment: a nice step forward and great validation of the program we're on. Looking fwd to Casey!

  8. Just amazing work! Why don't we add 40+ to the races locally? Our 7 guys would rock. Great job out in WV

  9. Pretty impressive sir - both your race and your story . . . . have you done much research on the courses at ephrata?

  10. Thanks guys...haven't done detail on Ephrata yet other than to watch the video of the course. So far seems 'rolling' which will make it fast. Still want to understand the hills a little better. I did do one tour a couple years back up there...only did the TT and the RR...RR was 8 mile loop with couple pretty big hills per lap (like the hard side of the park only a little longer)...will see if this is similar...looking fwd to it. How's your training coming Jack?

  11. 3x10min LT on trainer 'climbing'

    Felt pretty good; focused on keeping the gear low and grinding it out MT steep climbing style.


    10min warmup
    10min tempo
    10min LT1- 141/73/258
    3min rest
    10min LT2- 147/71/257
    3min rest
    10min LT3- 150/71/259
    10 min warmdown

  12. BI's on trainer (2 sets of 3 x 1min BI's)

    Decided to scale back to two sets based on recent workload and coach's advice. Power numbers were a little better than last time on the trainer (two weeks ago) and HR numbers a little lower. Just as painful but think I was able to hold these more steady this time around.


    10 min warmup
    10 min tempo

    1min int1- 145/107/412
    2min rest spin
    1min int2- 140/107/406
    2min rest spin
    1min int3- 143/116/407

    6min rest spin

    1min int4- 137/109/400
    2min rest spin
    1min int5- 146/96/388
    2min rest spin
    1min int6- 146/97/398

    6 min rest spin

    10 min tempo

    4 min rest spin
    total TOB - 60 min

  13. Great race report and workout summaries, Ed! Congrats on your strong race in WV. Finally figured out the issue w/comments is specific to using Firefox on my home laptop - I switched to IE and will use that for my blogging. See you on Sunday!

  14. Casey Auto Crit - 19 April 09

    It was fun being back 'in the News' as we used to call it...Newport News, racing around in my old HS stomping ground. The course was much friendlier than I had heard/expected, especially in terms of the corners. Great job by the race to put up hay bales in strategic spots and generally layout the course as best as possible given the constraints. A little sobering to hear about the injuries sustained in some of the crashes...guess that's the risk with so much energy concentrated in such a small area (half mile lap dead flat).

    The Cat 3 field seemed pretty fast...I was in position to watch Greg make several attacks really launching off the front-sides. Very cool to watch. I tried a couple myself but without much effect. The one time I did get with a guy who wanted to work I was already shot and looking for an O2 mask off someone's wheel. I did manage to recover after every effort and worked back up to the front consistently...even got to do a little 'false work' at the front once when Greg was off the front to help slow the pack. Went pretty well since I was trying to catch a breather anyway. Of course that lasted maybe 15 secs before the pack caught on.
    One comment about the 3 field vs. the 123...don't recall many sketchy moves in any of the 123 races but still saw a number of them in the 3 race. Much more subtle than the 4's but still not as smooth as the 123. I did appreciate the consistently high pace and speed in the turns...and our cornering drills have helped me tremendously in terms of staying with these faster packs. These high octane crit races are a great confidence boost despite the somewhat depressing odds of finishing on the podium...the intensity is great. There is slack time in the 4 and 40+ races but virtually none in these 3/123's, especially if you want to work. It will be nice and pretty interesting to see what we can do with all our firepower concentrated on one 3/4 race this weekend. I could see a case for just rotating guys to and then off the front in a continuing series of attacks until one sticks. With six of us we could probably do that in the crit.
    One comment on the 123 race and to witness many of the moves the teams made. One brilliant (though ultimately futile) move was with about 3/4 laps to go RPC blocked at the front for maybe 30 secs at the precise time they needed to in order to ensure their guy and the 4-man break he was in stayed clear of the field. Their guy (Dodson maybe) got beat at the line by the older King in a pretty amazing 'walk-down' in the home stretch. Bill and Jinksy were very much in the mix in that race and looked great. Congrats to all our other racers...we were very well represented!

    April 20, 2009 7:19 PM

  15. TdE April 2009

    Everything's pretty much been said by the team, but to summarize:
    1) Tight, technical courses + a hundred energetic, reckless cat 3/4 riders = unsatisfying carnage & chaos (TT was ok though)
    2) TdE was very well organized and run for the most part and considering the massive turnout
    3) Experiencing a stage race with the team was fantastic
    4) No more 3/4 races, maybe no more 3 races
    5) Much tougher race selection criterion going forward for me
    6) Excellent to finally get off the front, even if it took my vehicle to do it!

  16. Sir, you doing any other W. VA RR this season?