Sunday, February 18, 2007

As Good as it Gets

Like Old Milwaukee, it may not get any better than this! I was reminded in Saturday's Tundra TT of the law of diminishing returns -- I'm probably about as good as I'm going to get.

First, the good news: I improved last year's time by 45 seconds and last year's power by about 25 watts. I felt strong and steady and caught my 30-, 60-, and 90- second men, while only being passed by a tandem. My finishing time was 25:34, which isn't all that fast (22.3 mph), but put me about in the middle of the field for Cat 4, which is what I'll be racing this year. I didn't embarass myself, I had a good time, and I got to see lots of folks I haven't seen since the Atlanta race in October.

The rest of the story is not necessarily bad, just a reality check: In the 12 months leading up to the February 2006 Tundra TT, I logged about 2292 cycling miles mixed in with lots of running and some swimming. I concentrated on triathlon from 2002 through 2005 and saw consistent progress in my cycling ability without much increase in mileage or training structure. Training miles: 2002-1451 mi, 2003-2222 mi; 2004-2707; 2005-2292.
In April 2006, after last year's Tundra, I decided to focus on road racing and give tri a break. In the 12 months leading up to this year's (2007) Tundra, I logged about 4400 miles on the bike and made significant improvements in my training structure, including interval training and a periodization training plan.

In short, I doubled my mileage and greatly improved the quality of my training. That got me 45 seconds in the TT -- actually it probably got me about 35 seconds, because surely my fancy new TT helmet 'bought' me at least 10 seconds or so over last year!

All this info doesn't mean that I don't still have room for improvement, it just means I need to be realistic about how much more speed and power I can squeeze out of my legs at my age (39) and talent level. I think I'll enjoy this year more by focusing on racing tactics and on helping teammates to try and reach a few podiums. Realistically, the combination of Cat 5 and Cat 4 in the Georgia Cup series greatly diminishes my chances of high finishing places, but probably gives me an opportunity to be a part of more interesting races, which should be fun.
All in all, it just means my goals need to shift a little bit away from race performance and little more toward enjoying the races and helping teammates.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

2007 Schedule

My 2007 ride schedule looks like this:

February 17 Tundra Time Trial
March 4 GC Albany Road Race
March 10 Wheels of Fire Century - Pine Mt., GA
March 24 GC Gainesville TT
March 25 GC Gainesville Road Race
March 31 Perry-Roubaix
April 1 Perry-Roubaix
April 7 Mayhaw Century - Colquit, GA
April 20 Unicoi/Brasstown and watch TdG finish
April 28 BRAG Spring Tune-up and watch Twilight Crit
May 12 GC Birmingham
May 13 GC Birmingham
May 18 Georgia Tandem Ralley - LaGrange
May 19 Georgia Tandem Ralley - LaGrange
May 20 Georgia Tandem Ralley - LaGrange
June 3 Rock 'n Rollman 1/2 iron
June 9 Jordan Engineering BBQ Bicycle Ride
June 16 GC Savannah TT/Circuit
June 17 GC Savannah Road Race
June 30 GC Dahlonega TT and short Road Race
July 1 GC Dahlonega long Road Race
July 14 GC Rome TT
July 15 GC Rome Road Race
July 21 RAGBRAIX - Iowa
July 22 RAGBRAIX - Iowa
July 23 RAGBRAIX - Iowa
July 24 RAGBRAIX - Iowa
July 25 RAGBRAIX - Iowa
July 26 RAGBRAIX - Iowa
July 27 RAGBRAIX - Iowa
July 28 RAGBRAIX - Iowa
August 18 GC Augusta TT
August 19 GC Augusta Road Race
September 15 GC LaGrange TT
September 16 GC LaGrange Road Race
September 23 Six Gap Century - Dahlonega
September 29 GC Atlanta Circuit Race
September 30 GC Atlanta Criterium
October 1 No riding - month off
November Peach Peloton
December Peach Peloton

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Rotor Q-rings and 165 cadence

If you've read my recent posts, you know I tried Rotor Q-rings for a few weeks, found that they didn't significantly increase my power output, and went back to my circular rings. That finding was sort of expected. However, yesterday during a computrainer session, I noticed something unexpected. It seemed like it was a lot easier to hold a high cadence that it used to be.

I haven't done much high cadence work lately, but a while back I determined that at low wattage (150 watts or so), I could easily hold 120 rpm for a minute or more and could peak in the high 130's without any really crazy rocking in the saddle.

Yesterday, I found that at the same wattage, I could hold 135 or 140 rpm for an extended period without extreme difficulty and I actually peaked at 165 rpm for a few seconds! Is this ease of spinning somehow related to my few weeks riding with elliptical rings? I don't know. Does it have any significant meaning? I don't know. Is it interesting? Yes.