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Thread: Tall Tales

  1. #26
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    3 Bears ITT 2012-08-12
    30K; 700' Elevation Gain going out; Slight (~5mph) headwind out; tailwind back
    55+; 3 starters

    Stunk up the course today. 25" slower than last time. I faded really badly, realized it was happening, and it snowballed. Need to regroup.
    What were you splits? Is that more, or less, wind than usual/last time?

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    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    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.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Very true.

    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.

  4. #29
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    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.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Nice job, AZT!!!

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    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.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  7. #32
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    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.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  8. #33
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    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.
    Nice report, and congrats. I did one TTT and it was fun... and quite painful. It sounds like your team was about as diverse as ours was. We were doing 180+ as well, and our ages were 50, 49, 44, 37 -- the three older guys were all climber types, and the 37 year old was a big freight train TT specialist. Not ideal, and I don't remember any z2! He had had us all sucking wind pretty bad. In retrospect, he should have started out with double-pulls from the very beginning.

  9. #34
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    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!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  10. #35
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Nice job, AZT. Good luck in the state Senior Games.

  11. #36
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    FWIW my Texas athlete decided to make the trip on his own...I had no input there.

  12. #37
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    FWIW my Texas athlete decided to make the trip on his own...I had no input there.
    I think he likes coming to Arizona. Must be the weather, LOL. It was great to meet him, and welcome him to the race. He had to catch a flight, so he missed the podium ceremony and didn't get to hang around in the team pavillion post-race. I enjoyed the brief chat - fast guy!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    That is a very good time in the 40K ITT congrat on a great race and result.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  14. #39
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    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. I'm sure you'll do it soon enough.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
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  15. #40
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Great going AZTR. Any improvement is good. Good luck at Senior Games. You don't want to miss the party!
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  16. #41
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    You don't want to miss the party!
    I sure don't, hence the assignment to do 2x5' intervals this morning at my target power for the 5K TT (about mid z5)... followed by 5x1' overgear intervals for strength. Not exactly your leisurely to commute to work, huh? Feels great to be on the road bike though. I begged Ex to give me a week off the TT bike before final prep for Nevada games TT's. Road bike had been hanging in the garage, looking lonesome, for about 2 weeks.

    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. ;-)
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    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. ;-)
    I don't own a TT bike so I didn't even bother qualifying for either TT. I know whose wheel to be on in the road races, though.

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    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    I don't own a TT bike so I didn't even bother qualifying for either TT. I know whose wheel to be on in the road races, though.
    I just helped myself to the rear derailleur from the TT bike when I shredded the one on my Cross Bike on Sunday. Those TT bikes are the instrument of the devil I tell ya.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

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    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    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. ;-)
    Whatever works. If I had a real sprint I'd weigh 190 pounds and eat doughnuts every morning and never see the wind until the last 500m.

  20. #45
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Whatever works. If I had a real sprint I'd weigh 190 pounds and eat doughnuts every morning and never see the wind until the last 500m.
    I usually only weigh 188 and right now am even lower.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    I just helped myself to the rear derailleur from the TT bike when I shredded the one on my Cross Bike on Sunday. Those TT bikes are the instrument of the devil I tell ya.
    I bet you cannot wait until you set up a pursuit bike with a TT cockpit. Then you will think you met the devil.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  22. #47
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    Those TT bikes are the instrument of the devil I tell ya.
    They certainly do bring out any issues that might be lurking under the surface - you get twinges in places you never knew existed. And you sure do look for the rough spots to avoid them, not that you can see much of anything in that position. When I was just getting accustomed to the TT bike, I ran over a healthy sized tree branch on the MUP, never seeing it until it was a foot in front of my wheel. Crunch. "Oh... uh... guess I better look up a bit more." I'm a bit more observant now, and I think I've worn down the disks in my neck so I can crick it up to see forward.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  23. #48
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    I know whose wheel to be on in the road races, though.
    You mean, like, yours?!?
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  24. #49
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    You mean, like, yours?!?
    Don't worry, I do my share of work in the break.

  25. #50
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Don't worry, I do my share of work in the break.
    I'll hook you two up with my team mates who will be in your race. A secret team...
    oldschool areodynamic brick

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