Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How to Get Your Ass Kicked

How to get your ass kicked on the golf course:

It's old news, but if you haven't seen that blog, do yourself a favor and go to JC Penny. It's pretty damn funny.

But I digress.

How to get your ass kicked at Tuesday Worlds:

Ride with this bunch:

I'll give you some data, because it's always nice to put a good ass kicking in perspective:

In 22 Tuesday Worlds rides in 2007 where I stayed with the front group, my average normalized power (NP) for the meat of the ride was 249 watts (I don't count Colaparchee, the 1st half of Zebulon, and the cool-down section at the end of most rides). The hardest of the 22 rides yeilded a NP=265. At the time, that was between 85 and 100% of my FTP - it was hard, but I rarely got dropped.
The calendar flips to 2008, Worlds begins, and the numbers change:

3-11-08: last 10 minutes before drop, NP=329 watts (that's 45 watts above my friekin' FTP!).
3-18-08: last 70 minutes of chasing 3-man break, NP=276 watts
3-22-08: 75 minutes prior to barely hanging on to back of rotation for dear life, NP=273 watts
3-25-08: 40 minutes prior to drop, NP=284 watts. 6 min prior to drop, NP=311 watts
(For you fat guys reading this, I weigh 148 pounds, so 329 watts is 4.9 watts/kg for me.)
If I didn't have a power meter, I might develop a complex about my poor riding. But with my Ergomo putting it in perspective, I'm just happy to have access to the best damn Cat4 training rides in the World.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Perry-Roubaix TT Analysis

The last post covered the bad and the ugly from Perry, so now I'll allow a little space for the good. I had a good TT in Perry and took 2nd. I've been working hard on my position on the bike, I upgraded some equipment, and I've made it a point to do at least one hard ride per week on the TT bike. It's paid off. I'm faster now in TTs than I was last year. This weekend my average speed was 25.9 mph for about 10 miles.

In July 2007, my coast-down testing showed me having a CdA = 0.265 with an assumed 0.005 Crr (rolling resistance coefficient). Last week, after lots of tinkering with my position, adding a rear disc wheel, and installing Veloflex Record tubular tires, I reduced my assumed Crr to 0.045, which - if all else was equal - should have resulted in a higher CdA measurement. But I found that my CdA had dropped consierably to CdA=0.233.

To put that in perspective, a drop in CdA from 0.265 to 0.233 would result in a savings of 56 seconds on a pan-flat 10-mile TT course holding a constant 300 watts.

Using a very rough approximation of the segment lengths and slopes encountered in Perry this weekend, I modeled my ride with known CdA, distance, and time to calculate wattage. I normally put out more wattage while climbing, so that was considered for each segment. The model shows that my average power was about 299 watts. If I'm putting out about the same wattage now on my TT bike as on my road bike, and if my 60-min power is about 95% of my 20-min power, then that relates to a FTP of 299 x 0.95 = 284 watts, which is exactly what I recently tested it to be.

Here's a snapshot of the model. You can find the spreadsheet at Badger 3 if you'd like to use it.

Same Tune, 2nd Verse: Perry-Roubaix 2008

A little moisture made Firetower Road easier to ride this year, but the dirt and wind were still more than I could handle. My power output was much higher than last year, but evidently so was everyone else's.

Here's some 2007-2008 comparison data for those who are interested. This is for the Competitive 35 and under field (I weigh 149 lbs):

My NP for the first 45 minutes of the race in 2007 was 224 watts; in 2008 it was 270 watts. My NP for last 8 minutes prior to losing the group in 2007 was 204 watts (remarkably low, even considering that my FTP was only 235 or 240 at the time). In 2008 my NP for the last 8 minutes before catching the autobus was 301 watts, which makes more sense - that's about 15 watts above my current FTP. I can only hold 4.44 watts/kg for a while before popping.

The climbs were tougher this year, too. Here are my average power numbers (with watts/kg) for the two short climbs on the front part of the course for the first two laps (L is lap, C is climb):

---------L1/C1------- L1/C2--------L2/C1--------L2/C2



Monday, March 03, 2008

Albany Georgia Cup Race Data

Bill leads the blue train in the Georgia Cup Albany Crit.

Power graphs with summary data for Albany:



Road Race