The wind was similar to last time in intensity, but more from the side, so actually -less- of a factor. Forecasts had been for 9-16mph almost aligned with the course, so I prepped mentally for that. The forecast changed - my brain ignored it. The splits on this course are radically different due to the incline. About 10mph faster coming back, and I haven't talked to anyone who has been able to average more power coming back than going out.
The telling numbers were that I averaged way too much power in the first 5', and with added heat, it meant my HR was up 9 bpm compared to the first 5' two weeks ago, when my pacing was almost spot on. As Ex put it; I am "...the only person who has ever gone out too hard in a TT and blown a gasket." The man does have a way with words, huh?
What surprises me isn't that I messed up the pacing for my third TT, but that there is such a fine line between what you can maintain, and what will blow you up. If you feel fresh in a RR, you can spend some of that freshness, knowing you can recover if you burn a bit too much. In the TT, there is no effing recovery! Go over the edge and you are a cooked goose. I think I needed to experience that to fully understand the knife edge nature of the discipline. It explains why people get dropped off the back in a TTT. Next race, I'll stay within my target, and spend anything extra in the last 5K. And I sure wish they had the last 5K marked. They did last race, but not this one? I was expecting to see it, and suddenly I see the 1K sign. I drilled the last 1K, but could have spent more leading up to that. My brain does NOT function during a TT. I need signs. Big signs. LOTS of signs! And I think I'll change my Garmin over to Kilometers. Dividing a number by .621371 in my head while racing doesn't work for me, and being 'somewhere near the finish' isn't very helpful for pacing!
The problem with bike racing is there is so much to learn. The great thing about bike racing is there is so much to learn.
When I test or do a TT, I have several metrics to help pace myself - speed, time, distance, HR, power, and RPE. If I could only have one, it would be RPE. Don't beat yourself up. You're fairly new at this. RPE is built from experience. You will get better at this.
State TTT Championships 2012-09-09
40K; 180+ Age Cat; Only 50' elevation gain going out; Crosswind, but not as strong as forecast (5-10?); 7 teams
We took 4th, at 55:19. 30" off the podium, and 2:20 slower than the winners. We had some shaky spots, and some really solid periods. 'Rocket Man' was a great captain, and did really smooth fast pulls. 'Hulk' took really looonggg pulls. 'Skeletor' took pretty short pulls so he could last the race. I made my pulls as long as I could and both hold the pace set by the two faster guys, and recover enough. Max of 1'. I dropped off after a final pull within 1K. Rocket Man was on front and going for end of race speed that was too much for me.
Our weakest spot was before the turnaround. The one bend which leads to it put us downwind, but we didn't take advantage, and instead slowed for quite awhile before the turn. I didn't take that bend well, as I couldn't put pressure on the inside bar. Doh! But I closed up just fine, was right where I need to be in the turn, and took the bend well coming back, pulling straight through it. One other time I created a gap pulling. I accelerated a bit from a slower pull to get us back up to where we had been, after hearing the ON call, and dropped the guy who had come off. He is a steady, distance-type guy, but doesn't have as much kick.
Anyway, it was fun, and a heck of a workout. I'd love to see what can be done with more practice, but I'm sure next year will be similar, with only a couple of sessions before the race.
One of the big clubs put together an Open Cat "Dream Team" by adding the guy I refer to as "Mr. Freaky Fast" to some other national caliber guys. They smoked the course in an AZ record 49 flat.
Nice job, AZT!!!
Azt, That is a great result for a first 40k TTT. What was your power off the front and sitting in? I am not so interested in number as was it z5 OTF and Z4 sitting in and how much did you save in the draft.
I was in high z4 or low 5 pulling, and it dropped dramatically in the draft, down as low as z2, but mostly z3, edging into z4. It varied based on who was pulling. The guy taking over from me was fast. The next guy a little slower, and less consistent (he tried to keep constant effort, rather than cadence). I got the most recovery when he was in front, because I had two guys ahead, someone behind, and the speed down a touch. The guy ahead of me would slow it down a bit more, but it was a short pull and didn't factor in as much. I'd try to gradually get us back up to a quicker pace. As the race went on, the averages dropped a bit, and evened out more.
State ITT Championships 2012-09-16
40K; 55-59; 50' elevation gain going out; Wind variable - it slowed the outbound, but didn't really help the return as it shifted a little earlier than predicted; 10 Starters
Strategy was to be very conservative outbound, then push it up some coming back, but conserve to really nail the last 5K. I've been in a bit of a funk, mentally, and I think it hampered me yesterday. I could/should have been stronger coming back, but didn't have the mental oomph to maintain focus and keep the legs working. There was one period when I was well under target, my HR had slipped down, and I lost quite a bit of time. I finally got it more together for the last 5-10K. I also seem to be having some PM averaging issues, and since I pace mostly with power, it was a factor. It messes you up when the 3" average is lower than the lap average, but the lap average is going up. WTF? Since the 3" average can bounce a lot, especially with Q-Rings (read an interesting analysis of that on the wattage list), I'm learning to even it out using PE and the longer lap average. During training, I'll try to hit my target with PE, then confirm it with the PM, trying to get my PE dialed in. But with the 3" average bouncing around but well under the lap average, the average was going up.
This was my second 40K ITT, and while my time was almost identical to the first one, it was an improvement, what with the wind slowing the outbound significantly until the wind swung around. Usually an early start is preferable here, but those starting later had more of a side wind the whole way. A teammate set an AZ 50-54 record at 54:26 and won that jersey by about 2'. We also took 3rd in 50-54, 2nd in 40-44, and 1st in 15-16.
In my 55-59 category, we had 10 starters, with 9 of them state championship eligible. Ex sent a ringer in from Texas, who started 30" behind me and went past within 5K, finishing 3rd. I took 6th in the race: 5th in the state. The top 3 were predictable, and significantly faster than the rest of us, who were spread out well behind them. Top three were under an hour. I finished at 1:02:42.
It's still early in the TT learning phase for me, and I'm trying to patiently learn the ropes and make my marginal gains. Still a lot to do position wise, endurance wise, and most particularly, developing the TT mindset...
Next up are the Nevada Senior games in three weeks, with the focus on the 5K and 10K TT's. Looking forward to that!
Nice job, AZT. Good luck in the state Senior Games.
FWIW my Texas athlete decided to make the trip on his own...I had no input there.
That is a very good time in the 40K ITT congrat on a great race and result.
Nice race AzTR. Now you are truly on the quest for the sub 1-hour 40 Km TT. It only took me 30+ years to finally crack it. :D I'm sure you'll do it soon enough.
Great going AZTR. Any improvement is good. Good luck at Senior Games. You don't want to miss the party!
We are focusing the buildup on the TT's, figuring the road races will be more of a crap shoot. Despite an email request, I have no idea whatsoever what the RR courses (or the TT courses for that matter) will be like. If I qualify in the 5K TT Saturday morning, I'm thinking of attacking the 40K RR like a banshee. If that doesn't work, maybe I'll suck wheels like a leech for the 20K and see how the sprint goes. Not sure I can get coach's support for that one, though. ;-)