Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jordan's Training & Racing

Ace of Base

As tempting as the Working Man's Classic was, I really needed a week to just get out and do some good long tempo rides. After some active recovery on Monday, Tuesday was 32 miles of all-out paceline riding at 22 mph with some friends, followed by 18 at a more leisurely endurance pace. The first 30 was a challenging effort, but great training, since I took solid 3-minute pulls every time I was on the front. The endurance miles were great for burning some extra fat and just adding some base back. The biggest challenge was actually enduring an unfortunate hornet sting (pretty much right where the sit-bone is) I received while attempting to work on the garden. Should have been wearing pants, I guess.

Today, another 53 miler keeping power steadily in the tempo zone as much as possible for the middle 2 hours. I felt great for this entire ride, even with the heat of the day pressing down on me. Tempo riding, while hard to sustain for 2-3 hours, really boosts my fitness without the serious fatigue that comes from heavy-duty LT work. So there will be more of it this week, to be sure.

Bringing Home the Bacon (er, Prosciutto)

The first time I raced the Stony Creek TT was 1999. Back then the race was in early September, and it was THE time trial ("there can be only one"). That year, a hurricane had just passed by and we enjoyed a 20 mph crosswind. I swear the wind conditions have been dramatically different every year since. This year, "multi-directional" is the only way to describe it.

Still, it was a great race overall. There was the satisfaction of knowing you have won by virtue of being the last to start and then catching and passing everyone in your age group. It was a feeling of excitement followed by the lingering question, "So what do I do for the last 10K?"

"Try to set a new PR, dummy," was the reply. I was on-target for a new best time, so I told myself to get focused and keep pushing out that steady rhythm I seem to be good at. The end result was indeed a new personal best for the course, some cool prizes, and another win to add to the palmares.

This week will be all about pumping up the volume to bring back some base fitness, which has seen a slight decline with all the race tapers of the past 3 weeks. Since the 2-man TT is not a major goal, I should be okay going into it with some fatigue, do 3 more good workout days, then taper for the 3-day race weekend in Roanoke.

PLT on Wheat

Good fast day at the race on Sunday. Not a new PR, but 31 seconds faster than my time from PLT #1 last year. Pretty sure that not having the wheel cover cost me about 15-20 seconds, too, but I didn't make the time to install it on Saturday, so oh well. Still, as Steve said, compared to others, it was a solid result. Won the 30+ age group (only 4 competitors, but 2 of them - Hosang and Chris Burns - are solid TTers). Better yet was having the 2nd best time out of all 44 Master's racers.

I have decided to give all of my non-monetary prizes away to my students - we have a monthly raffle drawing. This time, I cannibalized my prize pump (which was all plastic - not as nice as the metal barreled one I already have) for the hose and valve (my pump's presta valve was getting worn, and the fittings were an exact match!). Then I installed my old parts on the prize pump and gave it to one of my kids today who is really into his bike - and who will use the schrader valve anyway, so a worn presta doesn't mean squat to him. Now I just need to figure out what to do with $25 of gift cards to a bike store that's 3 hours away from home. Maybe if I save them for 20 years, I can accumulate enough $$ to make it worth the trip...

Strada Bianchi

Farmville now has it's own Eroica course in the form of a 14-mile stretch of rails-to-trails conversion surfaced with delightful crushed limestone, creating a wonderful white highway through town and beyond. I took the MTB out for the first run on Saturday's official opening (got to meet Governor Kaine!) to examine the trail surface. Time for the next test - went home, grabbed the road bike, and did a 20-mile out-and-back. Sunday, took the TT bike out there (with the cheap wheels, mind you) and rode the 20-miler once again. It's a 0.5% uphill for the 10 miles out, and an excellent opportunity to do a totally uninterrupted (except for a few rural road crossings) 20-minute threshold intervals. I will say, riding 24-25 mph on a loose surface (some of it in aerobars - it's a little rough to do the whole thing - yet) is darn exciting!

More TT...

The group hammerfest was still a fest, if not the hammering kind. We had a young junior out with us today, so the pace was a little more like L2/L3 during the group ride. Probably a good thing, if only for allowing me to recover a bit more from the last 3 days. I still got in a couple of good 10+ minute efforts on the TT bike while riding to and from our meeting point. Had a favorable wind on the ride home and averaged 28.5 mph @ 310 watts for the 10-minute interval. Now if it was only that easy to go 28.5 mph at the PLT...

Totally TT Training

Monday and Tuesday have been all about the TT bike, although up to this point it has been primarily traveling to and from the YMCA to teach my spin class, which gives me a chance to practice my TT starts at every traffic light and stop sign. The class I teach is an advanced one, not unlike the Spinervals workouts folks do when they have to train indoors. Monday's consisted of a pyramid set of hard efforts (2:00/1:30/1:00/0:30 with rest equal to length of effort), then 3 x 3:30 breakaway efforts, which are comprised of a 0:30 sprint followed by 3:00 of riding at LT (1:30 rest), then the other side of the pyramid (0:30/1:00/1:30/2:00). Not a shabby 45 minutes. Today's class was a 30-minute up-tempo group ride simulation, with several 1-2 min hills climbed at or above LT. Not as long or as hard as Monday, but I need to recover some for tomorrow's group hammerfest!

Bryan Park Circuit Race

An exciting Category 4 race, as Jeff, Steve and I worked the field in what I feel was the strongest and most effective display of teamwork thus far this season. Between the three of us taking turns near the front, covering breaks, and attempting to block when one of us was off the front, we really made our presence felt, especially given that there were several other larger teams that weren't as present as they could have been.

Personally, the 14th place finish was a best placing for that race, in which I have historically finished in the upper 20's, so I am quite satisfied with the improvement. Looking back over the past 4 years of mass start races here in VA, my placings this season are a significant improvement. Who knows, they may make a crit racer out of me yet...


  1. Still want to do the TT together?

  2. Greg is still looking for a mate as well.

  3. Jack, let me see what Greg and Jeff want to do, they may become a team in which case I will do the Merckx option with you.

  4. Either way sounds good man . . .. you guys should get the team business squared away first . . .

  5. Yet another fantastic ride Jordan. Well done!!!

  6. Great job TT Jordon. Something to be very proud of.