Tonight is the first time I motor paced behind a scooter – what a rush. When I met my coach at the start, I asked him what the plan was i.e. HR, cadence and etc. He said this is motor pacing so forget about heart rate and keep cadence above 100 and 120 is okay. We were on the 10 mile TT course so he planned two laps and see how I hold up. Off we went for the warm up and we were soon at 25 mph up hill. I was supposed to keep the front wheel one inch from the rear roller. At 20 to 25 mph, this was easier but as the speed increased, it became less comfortable or easy to be that close. On the first down hill, the scooter constantly increased speed and I was forced to spin faster and faster. At higher speeds, it is more difficult mentally to stay close to the scooter but if you fall off at high speed, you pick up turbulent air off the scooter. I was spinning at 100+ cadence as we went flying down the road and up the hills. The high cadence up the hills really taxed my cardio and a couple of times, I was gasping for air and I had the feeling of all the blood leaving my stomach and we had to slow down. We flew past other cyclists like they were standing still. We completed the first lap and he said, let’s pick up the pace. The second lap was faster and I was now getting more comfortable behind the scooter and staying close. On the final leg back we were doing 38 mph on the flat and I was spinning my 52/12 at 110+ cadence putting out as much power as I could. I tried to stay as relaxed and focused as possible.
At the end, my coach said he was very pleased with the first time out. This was the toughest workout I have ever done in my life but I was really pleased that I could keep the 100 + cadence the entire 22 miles even up the hills and top out at 38 mph on the flat. Tom Boonen is still very safe...for now.