Saturday, May 31, 2008

riding at 12,000 feet

Pics from a training ride up trail ridge road.

some power data and analysis coming soon!

some interesting things to look at.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Client report

NH bassed athlete Alex Indeck competed in the Crank the Kank TT this past weekend.
This is one of the hardest ITT’s in the country. Rising some 2300 feet over 22 miles, the ride starts off with long flat and false flat sections before hitting the final accent of 7 miles averaging about 7%!
Alex executed his race plan perfectly, scoring him a 10th place over all, 3rd in his age group and taking over 2 minutes off his best time despite windier conditions and a heavy field! Nice work Alex!

A letter from the man:
"Even with the wind this year, still cut over 2 minutes from last year’s time. I ended up 3rd place in my age group. I had a strong start, but took about 6-7 miles to get my heart-rate down to my upper tempo zone. I came into the finish with the tanks just about empty so I think timing and effort were good. The training plan worked about as close to perfect as could be. Thanks for a great spring training schedule!!! "

Remember to have fun out there everyone!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tour of the Gila wrap up.

Been getting more couch time than normal lately...
On may 4th the last day of the Tour of the Gila was complete. My final results were 13th over all. I was a “factor” in ever stage, being active but never got into the top 10.
After a tactically bad first stage and very hard stage 2 I was feeling good and ready for the TT. With the work I had done on the discipline this year I was feeling confident on moving into the top 10 over all. The TT, as you know, was dismal. The last day was my cold was in full affect and I had to change hats from, “I am tearing the leg off everyone and moving way up” to, trying to convince everyone that the easier the pace the better! I have done enough big races to have learned how to do damage control pretty well.
I held on to 13th over all and really can’t complain to much with my performance.
So lets take a look at the preparation. What worked what didn’t…

Max Power: This has been an issue lately. This winter I addressed this in my training.
Weights. I hit the weights over the early winter, trying to build some strength for the hard work to come on the bike.

Sprints/ stomps: Something I never do. I incorporated these into my winter riding as well. Not for speed really but as more of a strength workout, enabling me to handle the repeated accelerations we must do riding in an aggressive pack.

Going faster/ more top end: over all this was my main focus. In every power zone I am strong up to my Critical power. I can ride at or just below it very well for many repeated efforts. After 2 years I was sick of telling stories like “I was only 15 feet from the wining break and just couldn’t finish it off!” After much data and analysis I realized that my endurance and ability to go “fast” after lots of miles and Kilojoules was extremely high it is my “fast” that just is not fast enough. To address this I spent more time working the upper end on my zones. Threshold work was focused on shorter intervals pushing that limit up. 340 watts, to 345, to 350 etc… More 10’ intervals after a warm up instead of 20-40’ intervals after 2-3000 kj’s.
Group rides were added. The sat., winter group ride in Boulder was in full affect this year. 2.5 hours of fast paced action. This was normally finished off with a 30’ climb. not all out but pretty hard. This simulated day 1 of the Gila well. Fast and flat, with a steep killer climb at the end.

More Time trialing: with a TT bike I could now spend more time in that position, at that cadence at that power. This meant a little less climbing but there are only so many hours in the day.

These were the main focal points this year. Does that mean I abandon my strengths? No way. There were still a few super secret training rides in there.
Did it work? I would say yes…
Over all, the race was extremely competitive and hard. The cat 2 only status makes it the hardest race you’ll ever do. I would say all but 5 guys in the field were thinking “this is it. This is my day, my race” it is insanely fast. The attacking was non stop. Stop go stop GO!! Hard, hard attacks all day every day, sands the last. We dropped 20-30 people in the first 20 miles on day 2. Guys who rode well on day 1! The 2 riders right behind me on day 1 were out of any GC hunt. While the extremely unsteady riding may not have suited my strengths and surly softened me up for the final I can only imagine what it would have been like without the strength work outs and group rides I did this year compared to last? Maybe like last year?

Day 1: I did miss the “move” that tock off with 20 miles to go, but I did ride away from the rest of the pack…
Day 2: Despite the relentless pace and non stop attacking I was attacking on the last climb. However I still could not drop my rivals and missed Summerhill when he bridged to the early brake.
Day 3: Everything failed here. Getting sick? Still not enough top end, or was I not “fit” enough to survive the 2 pervious days well enough? I estimated I was 1’ off of what I should have been able to do. No clue on my wattage.
Day 4 Crit: pretty easy for a crit. As can be the case for a stage race crit that is not on the last day.
Day 5: despite being sick I hung tough. I wasn’t “sick” sick, just congested. With a hand full of decongestants, and other miscellaneous pills I was breathing well but a bit foggy in my head and my top end was totally gone. I think I was very lucky that one, we rode pretty easy 90% of the time until the last 15 miles and two our race leader was riding conservatively and slowed after the last big climb allowing my small chase to catch back on preserving my GC position.

Over all, I feel like my prep and training was better. I did better on each stage and in GC in a collectively harder race. While I came up short of what I am capable of and my weakness are still my weakness they are not as big. This is a good example of how training ones weak areas, even if they are not race specific, will result in improvement.
Any ideas or constructive thoughts are welcome.
Happy training every one!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

What it takes.

Final Tour of the Gila race report up.
For full results go HERE.

What does it take? I get asked this allot. What does it really take to do an Ironman? What does it take to ride the RAAm? What does it take to complete or win a stage race?
Well… it takes allot of things. It takes a lot of food! I found it amusing to look at everything I ate during the 5 days of racing. Here is an estimate of what I ate from the morning of the first stage to the end of the last stage.
...And still lost weight.

6 bagels
½ loaf of bread
½ gallon oj
½ gallon soy milk
8 cups cooked rice
18 eggs
½ honey bear of honey
6 shiner bocks
1 package Oreo cookies
1.5 lb’s pasta
20 oz pasta sauce
½ lb chicken
1 avocado
2 cans tuna
2 package mac& cheese
1 lb’s grape nuts cereal
4 tortillas
½ lb cheese
8oz hot sauce
16 oz pico
6 cans coke
1.5 lb's of coffee

Race food:
25 bottles of sport drink
6 bottles of recover drink
9 power bars
3 cans Go Fast
19 gels

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The race of truth

"When I was your age I walked up hill to school both ways."

"The snow was up to my neck back then!"

"when I did the TT at the Gila in 08 there was a head wind on the way out and the way back!"

believe it or not it was kinda like that...

~me trying to kill the pre TT nerves...

After 2 tough days I was feeling surprisingly good. A nice morning spin had me loosened up and I was feeling motivated. I was going into today 12th on GC and with all the TT work I had done I was thinking of moving into the top ten on GC for sure. However, the wind and more so my legs had other things in mind.
A pic here of me warming up. (coming)
my warm up was good but it didn’t deliver, I finished a horrible 30th place. I wasn’t so upset about the placing on the stage but more the fact that I lost 1 placed on GC instead of moving up. the guys that got dropped early lost a lot of time and I am sure had an easier ride than the front 2 groups. I was expecting a good ride from a few of them.

This had me pretty down but a local pooch came by to cheer me up as I laid down out side of our cottage trying to get through my after noon bonk.
Mistakes today…
None really to note. I could have eaten more maybe but I was very nervous and couldn’t put any more down.
The consensus is that our race is much, much harder than last year. I was thinking this but a few peers have come and said it out loud. Our pack that started out with a perfect 70-75 is now down to almost 50. 50 riders makes the pack, what I call, difficultly small. Meaning there is no where to hide. Gaps open a lot and don’t get closed. Case in point on day 2, by the first feed zone we had dropped 25 guys or so which never got back on.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Gila stage 2

The inner loop RR. Today felt like an a 88 mile hilly crit. The way I felt riding across the rolling road over the divide and the huge leg spasm I had at the bottom of the last climb I was very surprised to attack the final selection on the climb in an attempt to bridge to the early 9 man break. Holy run on!! I am tired, sorry.
The head wind was to much and perhaps more so the ridiculous amount of non stop on and off attacking I had to contend with. I wish I was in the break all day I am sure it was easier than what I did. As the 15 man, what was left of the pack, came back to me on the climb the race leader jumped and bridged to the break. I couldn’t respond at the time. Bad for me as I was left to play armature hour trying to chase with 7+ guys sitting on getting ready to sprint for 14th place.
I finished in the top 20 and the lead break was inside 30 sec. a long effort in the break away for 20 seconds, you say, but as I said, the way things went in the pack I think it was easier in the breakaway. Only tomorrow will tell.
I moved up to 12th. today. the TT will be key.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tour of the Gila, Day 1

Windy tough, heavy roads and tactics that made it hard for everyone. Well, some said it wasn’t tough in the pack but I thought it was. I saw Ryan Blew's power file but he is biger than me by alot. I would say i did over 3500Kj's today.

With 25 miles or so to the finish (18 or so to the base of a very nasty finishing climb) a big group, 14, finally got away after a whole race of half ass attempts. When we did hit the climb I felt like my legs had been in an oven for the whole day. You know how you feel when you wake up after sleeping on the beach for 3+ hours that how I felt. But… seems like a few others felt that way too. Up the first kick I was OK. At the front and in control. On the windy plateau there was only 12 guys left or so! OK nice! I thought. I tried to keep it steady. Not long after the finishing 3 miles kicked up I was with one other, then alone. I felt like I was gona crack at any minute but I just kept steady, talking to my self. keep goin EK, just don’t stop, don’t stop.

So 15th on the day. Hopefully the guys in the move burned allot of gas today. Well, more than me. It built my confidence to ride that well. If only that break was pulled back… what would have happened?? I can only hope to keep this up. at the very least its gona be fun.