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Old 05-19-11, 05:18 AM   #601
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Rains once again kept me inside on Wednesday. We are almost at the yearly precipitation average and there is still over 1/2 year left to improve. I did a 1.5 hr Z2 ride with 2 sets of 4 x 30 sec L7 intervals. I had to put a towel under the rollers to add some resistance and even then riding at power took extra effort. At around 575 watts my bike began to get sloppy on the rollers. I averaged 555 watts for the weakest 30" and 579 for the strongest interval efforts needing a cadence of 115+ to hit the power goal making the roller ride dicey. I'm on recovery week and the HR goes up and down readily. I also pushed the last 15 minutes to put the HR at the top of Z2 and averaged 244 watts during the effort.

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Old 05-19-11, 07:57 AM   #602
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I totally agree that a power meter is the way to go. I am just not ready to make that investment. It is not time over a fixed distance that equals power because there are a lot of other variables such as wind resistance, grade, and system losses. Its torque times angular velocity that equals power. That is how your power meter measures it.

BTW - I was riding a rode named Hermes road tonight, thought you might like that.
I know calculating power is more complicated than timing a distance but in practice, it seems really close. When I do 5 minute z5 power intervals up a hill, I target a power level. I check it occasionally on the climb and note the spot where I finish. Each time up the climb, the level of effort is the same and the way I use the power meter is the same. Generally, I end up at the same tree after the 5 minutes plus or minus a couple of feet. When I review the power date on the computer the average power is within a few watts.

Heart rate lags and builds over the intervals. The first few intervals, the heart rate lags. Toward the end the heart rate shoots up and finishes more toward a max than z5. If I tried to hit a z5 heart rate on the first couple of intervals, I would be a much higher average power and farther past the tree.

The advantage of the power meter as a gage is that I can look at the 3 second average power and make mid course adjustments and change the force if I shift. One thing I learned quickly with power training is that if I shift into a lower gear the power drops precipitously unless I really focus on increasing force. Likewise when the hill flattens a little, I have to shift into a bigger gear and hit the pedals hard to keep the power up. I am not sure that RPE is that precise. However, now that I know this, my legs and brain are calibrated to change force with shifting to keep the power constant. Heart rate will stay the same in all this cases where as changes in terrain without corresponding changes in force result in large changes in power and provide opportunity for rest. With a power meter there is no rest which makes it much harder IMO.

Having said all that, I think timing oneself over a fixed distance interval and doing it over and over again will be better than heart rate and a good proxy for power.
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Old 05-19-11, 08:07 AM   #603
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What is your feeling about campy? I have both a chorus and ultegra drive trains, IMHO the campy is the smoother, the ultegra is a little quieter.
I think it is what one gets used to. I have test ridden bikes equipped with Chorus and I fumbled a bit with the ergo shifters and felt it was precise but sluggish compared to D/A. However, I am sure that was me as an operator. I restarted cycling and purchased Shimano. I have so much Shimano equipment bikes and wheelsets now, if I changed to Campy it would be very expensive. So even if it is better, I am pregnant with Shimano.
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Old 05-19-11, 11:16 AM   #604
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Yesterday, my wife and I took a vacation day and spent the day celebrating Stage 4 of the Tour of California. Chris Horner was totally on fire climbing Sierra Road. Hopefully, you saw the TV coverage and the helicopter views of Mount Hamilton and Sierra Road. Chris said, he told his guys to kill Mount Hamilton and they did 400 watts all the way up and busted up the peloton. Chris made Sierra Road look easy.

We attended a Gala fundraiser at Testarossa Vineyards and Chris attended. Here is a pic of my wife and her friend with Chris. Chris is a former Webcor professional.



Our day started with my wife racing up Sierra Road in the morning. I passed on the racing but helped out other racers getting ready and rode up in a van with my bike. The weather was sketchy at the start with light rain. Having the tour end at the top of Sierra Road really complicated the staging of our event. There were police and tour organizers controlling access up Sierra Road and the ToC had to get a lot of equipment to the top to set up for the finish. As such, we had to be finished by 11AM but could hang out on the top for the ToC finish estimated for 3:30PM. It was cold and foggy at the top so we passed and came done. Fortunately, the weather improved as the day progressed.
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Old 05-19-11, 11:29 AM   #605
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Pinning on a number. Do not use the holes provided in the corners of the race number when pinning on the number. That is so Cat 5. At yesterday's race, I had to repin several numbers correctly using six pins and pinning it on by passing the pin through the number then the jersey and back through the number just inside of the hole in the corner. Otherwise, the hole can tear and the number comes loose. It is more important in TTs. Make sure the number is on the correct side and readable by officials.
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Old 05-19-11, 11:41 AM   #606
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Pinning on a number. Do not use the holes provided in the corners of the race number when pinning on the number. That is so Cat 5.
Ummm... yeah... that would be me.

But I was then adding pins to keep it from flapping, and I learned in the crit series how far you can cheat it towards the middle to avoid the wind and not get called on it.

Now that I'm C4, I'll have to start pinning it correctly.
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Old 05-19-11, 11:51 AM   #607
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I'm really enjoying watching the AToC. Family members will walk into the family room, glance at the TV, groan, and walk out. I'll be in San Diego this weekend, and have thought about trying to make it up for the final finish Sunday before heading back to AZ.

I'm becoming a big fan of Sky this season. They always do their part in the peloton, work together as a team, and are really aggressive taking control and setting up the finish. They just don't appear to have the big climber they need for GC. It was also great to see, for once, that Horner said the same thing, about Shack attacking to intentionally tear apart the peloton, that the announcers had said. They so often call it "differently" than the teams saw it.

I'm still waiting for my tall main man, Vansummeren, to do something of note.
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Old 05-19-11, 12:17 PM   #608
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At the Gala, Chris said that the team car pulled up to him on Mount Hamilton (no race radios) and the manager asked him what the hell was he doing. Chris told him his legs felt awesome and he was going to blow apart the peloton and kill Sierra Road. The manager said, you better be right and went to the back. The gala announcer asked Chris how he felt after the discussion with the manager and he said, I hope I am right.
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Old 05-19-11, 02:27 PM   #609
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Now he is no doubt saying "I love it when a plan comes together." Hell of a performance by Radio Shack.
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Old 05-19-11, 04:11 PM   #610
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I know calculating power is more complicated than timing a distance but in practice, it seems really close. When I do 5 minute z5 power intervals up a hill, I target a power level. I check it occasionally on the climb and note the spot where I finish. Each time up the climb, the level of effort is the same and the way I use the power meter is the same. Generally, I end up at the same tree after the 5 minutes plus or minus a couple of feet. When I review the power date on the computer the average power is within a few watts.

Heart rate lags and builds over the intervals. The first few intervals, the heart rate lags. Toward the end the heart rate shoots up and finishes more toward a max than z5. If I tried to hit a z5 heart rate on the first couple of intervals, I would be a much higher average power and farther past the tree.

The advantage of the power meter as a gage is that I can look at the 3 second average power and make mid course adjustments and change the force if I shift. One thing I learned quickly with power training is that if I shift into a lower gear the power drops precipitously unless I really focus on increasing force. Likewise when the hill flattens a little, I have to shift into a bigger gear and hit the pedals hard to keep the power up. I am not sure that RPE is that precise. However, now that I know this, my legs and brain are calibrated to change force with shifting to keep the power constant. Heart rate will stay the same in all this cases where as changes in terrain without corresponding changes in force result in large changes in power and provide opportunity for rest. With a power meter there is no rest which makes it much harder IMO.

Having said all that, I think timing oneself over a fixed distance interval and doing it over and over again will be better than heart rate and a good proxy for power.
I do the same thing, keeping track of my times at certain points on my training rides. I like to see the progress over the riding season. I agree with usuing hills as a guage, I believe that using time on a low speed climb is a fairly precise measure of power because all the other noise factors are minimized, basically it is raising a weight over a fixed altitude and a certain time, another way to measure power.

As far as campy & shimano - I would not think of putting shimano on an italian steel bike - it would probably refuse to move. However on CF chinese bike (Specialized) shimano works just fine . I like both just fine.

Sounds like you've been having a lot of fun.
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Old 05-19-11, 09:12 PM   #611
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About 34.5 hours away from the Crank the Kank TT this Saturday morning. Feeling good and excited for my first "official" bike race. I appreciated the advice on training and preparing, I feel ready, more ready now than at this time in previous years. Bike is ready and lubed, I had a bike fit last Friday and have had some saddle time along with indoor training. Plan to give it my best and hopefully control my enthusiasm for the first 17 miles on the lesser upward slope.

Hoping to crack the 1 hr 30 min goal, but as a newby I am not sure what to expect. I'll report back over the weekend with the results.
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Old 05-19-11, 09:15 PM   #612
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Good luck and use your head not your alter ego. An 1.5 hour effort isn't all blood and guts.
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Old 05-20-11, 07:53 AM   #613
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If you have not seen these here are the rules. http://www.velominati.com/blog/the-rules/ I like s-1 where s is the number of bikes one can own at which time a separation occurs.
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Old 05-20-11, 03:27 PM   #614
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If you have not seen these here are the rules. http://www.velominati.com/blog/the-rules/ I like s-1 where s is the number of bikes one can own at which time a separation occurs.
Too damn many rules. I got as far as the bikes on top of the car being worth more than the car. I knew I was in trouble because I could put a wallymart bike on top of my car and still be in compliance.
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Old 05-20-11, 03:37 PM   #615
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Last night was a 1 1/4 hour endurance ride after work. This morning I attended a track session and did the typical warmup followed by standing start practice, motor games and a 10 laps as individuals behind the motor. We had teams in the motor games consisting of 5 men and 4 women. The women executed perfectly. The men were terrible. We had one new guy who was really strong and okay and we had two other guys who just struggled with the execution. They are strong enough but cannot do the exchanges and ride close together. These drills are a bit like football practice drills. You have to run the tires, practice blocking, work on your cuts and the drills can be challenging. One has to be motivated in practice and believe that the drills will benefit you in the game. Well that is exactly the point of the motor games. Practice in controlled conditions at slower pace what is encountered in race situations at much faster speeds.

I love to practice and work on perfect execution so I thought the workout was great even though as a team we sucked.
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Old 05-20-11, 04:33 PM   #616
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59 minutes 31 seconds door to door easy spin ride @ 186 ave watts = 20.16 ave mph. Oh yeah, I was on my neglected TT bike and was just putting some saddle time on it.
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Old 05-20-11, 08:09 PM   #617
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59 minutes 31 seconds door to door easy spin ride @ 186 ave watts = 20.16 ave mph. Oh yeah, I was on my neglected TT bike and was just putting some saddle time on it.
Last year if I recall when I did the Whiteface race I estimated my average wattage to be around 170 watts for 100 minutes, that just about killed me. For you that's just a walk in the park - I hate you!
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Old 05-20-11, 09:19 PM   #618
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Last year if I recall when I did the Whiteface race I estimated my average wattage to be around 170 watts for 100 minutes, that just about killed me. For you that's just a walk in the park - I hate you!
It's the bike. I only race it 2 or 3 times a year and have to spend some time in the saddle in order to be comfortable in the TT position. Last year I would ride my easy spin days on my vintage Raliegh Super Course. To ride at 20 mph on my Tarmac it probably takes 225 -240 watts.
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Old 05-20-11, 09:29 PM   #619
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Last year if I recall when I did the Whiteface race I estimated my average wattage to be around 170 watts for 100 minutes, that just about killed me. For you that's just a walk in the park - I hate you!
It's the bike. I only race it 2 or 3 times a year and have to spend some time in the saddle in order to be comfortable in the TT position. Last year I would ride my easy spin days on my vintage 10 speed Raleigh Super Course and live in the past a little. To ride at 20 mph on my Tarmac road bike it probably takes 220 watts but in the aero position on the TT bike the speed is much easier.
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Old 05-21-11, 06:18 AM   #620
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It's the bike. I only race it 2 or 3 times a year and have to spend some time in the saddle in order to be comfortable in the TT position. Last year I would ride my easy spin days on my vintage 10 speed Raleigh Super Course and live in the past a little. To ride at 20 mph on my Tarmac road bike it probably takes 220 watts but in the aero position on the TT bike the speed is much easier.
The speed was not what I find impressive, it is the constant watt output. I reviewed my notes form last year and I did not quite remember properly, my estimate for last year was 185watts for a 100 minute effort when the estimated losses were thrown in. That was a hard effort. Now granted this was a 3800' climb with no breaks. If I could only get to 220 watts this year - one can only hope. I have managed to loose 10 lbs so that is at least 5% less total weight to drag up the hill which should convert directly to speed.

My goal is to reduce my time by at least 15 minutes (a 15% improvement), my plan has been to get it by loosing weight (5 more lbs to go), better training (in progress), better gearing (I have the 11-28 cassette), better form and pedal stroke (a work in progress) and reduced frictional losses (Ceramic BB and better tires in place). If I could get to 220 watts I might blow right past my goal...
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Old 05-21-11, 07:53 AM   #621
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You have a solid plan for your race. With all the pieces in place and working well you still have the opportunity to dig deep the last 15 -20 minutes relying on form, pedal stroke and guts. I bet that you achieve your goal.

I'm heading out in a few minutes for a 1.5 hr training ride in Z2/3 with a few openers in prep for tomorrow's crit in Youngstown. It's a beautiful day in NE Ohio for at least the next few hours.
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Old 05-21-11, 09:41 AM   #622
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CF, I agree with AJ. You are focused and will do great. We all know how much dedication and time it takes to improve in any sport. Taylor Phinney was favored to win the TT in the ToC. He won the US Elite US Nationals and was heralded as cycling phenom slated to tear up the pro peloton and wore the stars and stripes skin suit of the national champion. Yesterday, he did not make the top 10. I guess he does not have the endurance to race several days and then knock out a winning TT. So even cycling phenoms have to work on their endurance.
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Old 05-21-11, 10:32 AM   #623
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I was right on the button with the power needed for a 20 mph ride. I rode @ mid Z2 with an average HR of 132, with a brief excursion to Z3 after doing an opener, and averaged 225 watts for the 1.5 hr effort. My Z2 HR is 128 -141 BPM. The wattage spikes were the openers. Feel nice and fresh for tomorrow's crit.

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Old 05-21-11, 12:35 PM   #624
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Thanks guys. The encouragement feels good.

I'm feeling pretty good as well. I did a 50 mile club ride today, was not looking for an all out effort over the ride so throttled back a bit and stayed in the comfortable zone (Z2/3) most of the time - except where I couldn't help myself and sprinted some short hills. However here is what I noticed, I was able to pull the line at 21/22 on the flats for several miles at a pop and not feel overly pushed. Previous years a good pull at 19 was all I could do. Tomorrow my training partner and I are going for some steep hills, the ones he has in mind I think are too steep to be training on as they are doable but suffer fests, 10 to 12%, no relief 1500' elevation gain (~2.5 miles). The plan is to ride 15 miles out to them, do three and ride home, ~40 miles. I think it's time to put the 11-28 on the back.
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Old 05-21-11, 05:22 PM   #625
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I have to get a RadioShack power meter. This Vanderkitten power meter is not cutting it. My 20 mph power is approximately 185 watts that is really wussy. Although, it is very hard for me to find flat terrain and no wind since all of my riding is on rolling terrain and very windy. Every so often, I get on a flat section of road without wind and note the power at 20 mph.
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