First off, this is an awesome web site! I have been checking out the posts and have been informed and entertained.
Well, I have been racing triathlons for a few years, sprint to Ironman distance (4x) and I really don't like to swim or run. I have never really trained consistently as my approach to the events is generally just "in it to finish." My work schedule has changed recently so I have been able to start riding in some group rides on Tues and Thurs mornings around here. Then on the weekend I usually get out one afternoon. (two kid's and an wife who also competes in Ironman events takes it's toll on the time you get to workout!)
After about 4 weeks of the group rides, I decided to try my first time trial a 10 miler up in West Palm Beach. I figured even though I hadn't been training long, it would be a good test. They do the tts on the same course once a month, so I figured this would be an easy way to gauge improvement.
I got there with plenty of time to warm-up. just rode around the parking lot, but I saw a lot of people with trainers (maybe next time!) I was a bit nervous. Every time I had done a triathlon, I had to save at least a little something for the run afterwards. Not this time! Somebody told me earlier that if I have anything left in my legs at the end, I didn't work hard enough.
I was in line for 6 minutes. As I took my place at the start line. The guy says "30 seconds." then calmly added "and you need to take those headphones off right now". The fact that he had seen me in line for the last few minutes with them on, and waited until then to tell me threw me a little off. Heart rate went up as I'm trying to take the headphones out of my jersey. Relax.. Relax I'm thinking. Plenty of time. Relax.
Get them off as he started the 10 sec. countdown. Boom.. I'm off!! Get up to speed pretty quickly. The wind is completely behind me on the way up to the turnaround. This seems to make 26/27 seem really easy. I knew the way back was going to be straight into the same wind that was helping me.. yuck!
I didn't really have a clue as to how hard to go anyways, add in the wind and I was really messed up. Just kept pedaling. When I crossed the line.. I was shot. Nothing left. Not one more pedal stroke. Completely wasted. What an awesome feeling. Final time: 24:49. Just over 24mph and good enough for 5th in my division, a minute and a half off the winning time. I wore a hrm, but didn't look at it during the race.. good thing.. AVG- 180, MAX 197! (I'm 31 years old)
A friend of mine sent me an OLD road bike of his that he used to race with in '96. I'm going to do my first crit, Cat 5, this weekend. I'm very nervous, but at the same time excited to try something different. Intervals are not something I'm used to, but the group rides are helping me a bunch.
Let you know how it goes! Any more tips on strategy would be appreciated!!