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Old 01-19-09, 08:38 PM   #1
KiddSisko
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Gettin' Faster

I just shattered my PB time on a loop training ride by 1 minute and 37 seconds! It was just two days ago that I was all happy about beating the previous PB by 2 seconds. Yes the computer is working, and the ride included brief stops at 2 of the three redlights along the route. No, there was no tailwind at all.

Like on Saturday, I wasn't planning an attempt at beating any PB time. When I go the top of the first hill aka check point #1, I noticed I was a minute under my previous best time to that point. Impressive I thought, but I still wasn't about to attempt any record breaking. In fact, I pretty much put it out of my mind and just enjoyed the ride. It wasn't until approaching the last check point a mile from my home that I noticed I was nearly 2 minutes under the previous best time at that point! Then because I was doing so well I relaxed for that last mile thinking anything under the previous PB would be great. And it was!

I honestly don't recall thinking I was doing all that well or working very hard. What I have noticed lately is that because I know the route so well, I've been approaching each section with a plan in mind to increase the speed without blowing up. Little things like keeping it in a higher gear for longer stretches, shifting up at the first hint of a lesser grade, powering up a few of the short but steep sections, plus keeping a faster pace on the downhill sections. Riding smarter, I believe it's called.

For those of you who train a lot and have been keeping track of your progress for a long time, all this is nothing new. It is new for me though. A minute 37 seconds faster than just 2 days ago? Wow. Now all I need to do is actually begin this route with record breaking as the goal! Or maybe I should just keep stumbling along and surprise myself from time to time. Don't want to jinx my progress with an actual plan!
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Old 01-19-09, 09:55 PM   #2
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I honestly don't recall thinking I was doing all that well or working very hard. What I have noticed lately is that because I know the route so well, I've been approaching each section with a plan in mind to increase the speed without blowing up. Little things like keeping it in a higher gear for longer stretches, shifting up at the first hint of a lesser grade, powering up a few of the short but steep sections, plus keeping a faster pace on the downhill sections. Riding smarter, I believe it's called.

Nice.

I read this and laughed because it describes what I went through last week. Hill I hit (Newport Coast Drive) is now feeling so good that I'm doing 3-5 repeats on it and, at consistently higher speeds than I was doing last month.

Group rides, more interval work, less unfocused 'long rides' and I'm feeling good about things.

Keep it up. Should be interesting to see what you can do when summer comes around and you've been building base all winter.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:31 PM   #3
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I'm seeing a bit of the opposite effect. On my landmark ride, my PB has been declining, compared to early last year. My best was 63", now it's 70" plus, depending on the day...

I blame it on lack of focused training, and have started working on upping my cadence for starters.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:36 PM   #4
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have started working on upping my cadence for starters.

Yeah, me too. Rollers and a trainer attachment.

Trying to translate that to the road is something else again tho. Another part of the skill to learn.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:56 PM   #5
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Ugh, I can't bring myself to ride a trainer or rollers. Part of my problem is if I'm going to get on my bike I have to be on the road. I just really like to ride places, and just can't do intervals or whatever. Definitely explains the slow thing...
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Old 01-20-09, 01:34 AM   #6
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I recently did a ride where I beat my PR. I thank Spinervals, I can hold higher cadences for much longer than before, faster in general, and I'm also a lot better out of saddle climbing uphill.

I honestly hate riding on the trainer, but I like it for when I start becoming a grouch from not being able to ride.
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Old 01-20-09, 03:10 AM   #7
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Trying to translate that to the road is something else again tho. Another part of the skill to learn.
Was thinking about that earlier. Any professional or top rider will have trained or raced repeatedly on the same courses and gone up the same hills over and over again, marking their progress and performance to the point where they know precisely what to expect on any given new course if profiled, mapped out and previewed in advance. Then it's a matter of applying the same output developed from training on the new course. "No **** Sherlock," goes the jaded skillset crowd.

So for those of us experiencing this for the first time, what it means to me is if I want to complete a given ride in a set time, whether solo or with a group, it'll be nice to know what I can expect and where I can challenge myself. I'll know that A ride with B miles that includes X climbing will hurt Y much, and won't last more than Z long. That's much different than all of it being a mystery other than knowing I'll finish before the sun goes down. Knowing how A, B, X, Y and Z all fit together, you can have fun by challenging yourself with a plan of attack.
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Old 01-20-09, 03:29 AM   #8
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Ugh, I can't bring myself to ride a trainer or rollers. Part of my problem is if I'm going to get on my bike I have to be on the road. I just really like to ride places, and just can't do intervals or whatever. Definitely explains the slow thing...
In a recent interview, local race legend Thurlow Rogers talks about that very subject -- how much he dislikes interval training. Very inspiring read.
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Old 01-20-09, 06:38 PM   #9
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local race legend Thurlow Rogers talks about that very subject -- how much he dislikes interval training. Very inspiring read.
That's a good read. But, contrast that to LA and some others who preach the 'program'.

It comes down to genetics IMHO. Thurlow Rogers seems like he was made to go fast from the jump. Old school, racing is training kind of guy. I like that.

I don't always read my books on training - I'd rather go out and ride.
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Old 01-20-09, 07:54 PM   #10
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Old 01-20-09, 08:20 PM   #11
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That's a good read. But, contrast that to LA and some others who preach the 'program'.

It comes down to genetics IMHO. Thurlow Rogers seems like he was made to go fast from the jump. Old school, racing is training kind of guy. I like that.

I don't always read my books on training - I'd rather go out and ride.
The "racing is training" approach is the reason I had such a good season in '08. Yeah, there were some things I should have worked on, like sprinting - there were more than a few races I didn't win because of it - but in general, I just rode around during the week with one race pace ride, then raced on the weekend and had a lot of good results.
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Old 01-21-09, 01:20 AM   #12
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In a recent interview, local race legend Thurlow Rogers talks about that very subject -- how much he dislikes interval training. Very inspiring read.
You're right, great read!

I don't race, so it's "riding to train to ride" for me. I've started working these rides a little more, like adding spin-ups to improve cadence. That, and more hills as a total proportion of my riding time...
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Old 01-21-09, 09:10 PM   #13
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Said in the voice of the mask donned Stanley Ipkiss, "Oooo, somebody stop me!"

I just peeled off another 1:33 from my just recently set personal best time! Two days ago I lopped off 1:37 from the previous best time, which was a dramatic step. If you asked me then to wager whether I'd do the same thing in two days, I'd have turned that bet down. Today's time would have even been better had I not been slowed by thick traffic on one of two long and fast descents.

This particular route is just shy of 17 miles and includes 1500 feet of moderate to stiff climbing. A local roadie who turned me onto the route said that if I was in really good shape I should be able to do it in less than an hour. When I initially began doing the route, my times were near 1 hour 18 minutes, so I set the goal to ride it under 1 hour 15 min. It didn't take long to do that, so I set the next goal to do it in one hour 10 minutes. A month or two went by and I was able to do that at a minute under 1:10:00. Then a long period went by of shaving off 30 seconds here and there until reaching 1:07:08 in May of 08. That mark remained throughout the summer and into the fall until 11/20, when I set a new record at 1:05:43. Then on Jan 8 I beat that by 15 seconds, followed by 1/17 when I knocked off 2 more seconds and felt proud. At the time I figured breaking the 1 hour mark would be an incremental process, done in 20 and 30 second chunks over time.

Then along came the 19th and now today, two days worth of slicing off 3 minutes and 10 seconds! So now the new record is 1:02:17. One half of my head is saying from this point on it's gonna take months to beat the 1 hour mark, while the other half is saying I'll do it in a week or two.

Anyway, I feel good today. Now where's my podium kiss? And I'll take interviews next to my bus.

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Old 01-21-09, 10:56 PM   #14
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Savor it... PRs can come and go and then you are left wondering why you can never go that fast again

I hope you have many more PRs but if get to the point where your times increase again, don't fret too much and don't stress yourself chasing the PR. It just means you hit a peak and you need to step back and build up again.
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Old 01-22-09, 01:50 AM   #15
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Savor it... PRs can come and go and then you are left wondering why you can never go that fast again

I hope you have many more PRs but if get to the point where your times increase again, don't fret too much and don't stress yourself chasing the PR. It just means you hit a peak and you need to step back and build up again.
Sure, I expect that will happen. I just don't know what the peak is yet!

And thanks for the no stress advice. Always good advice, that.
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Old 01-24-09, 07:29 PM   #16
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Well I did it again on this afternoon's ride. Beat the previous PB time by 12 seconds! So the record is now 1:02:05. That's 4 consecutive rides beating the previous time. This time it hurt too. Don't know if it had anything to do with the fact that I didn't ride for two days prior because of the weather. I also didn't plan on hammering today. I just wanted to ride. I actually had plans for a long ride, but the weather didn't break until 1:30pm or so, then I waited until the roads dried enough. By the time I got going I had just enough time for my loop ride. Once under way, I rode at a pace that felt fast but comfortable, and by the time I got to the top of the first climb in excellent time and feeling good, it was on for another attempt at breaking or matching the previous PB.

On the last nasty hump leading to my house, I passed a neighbor and his wife, both in their 60's, while walking their dog. He heard me huffing away behind them and turned around. He shook his head and said, "Wow, I don't know if you're having fun or trying to kill yourself!" I said back, "Just giving my heart some what for."

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Old 01-25-09, 08:38 PM   #17
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Just clipped 5 minutes 13 seconds off a PB from another loop ride of 25 miles and 2700 feet of climbing. Stunt Rd in Malibu was the last big pop on the ride. At nearly 4 miles and 7+ gradient, it's just enough to test your climbing abilities. I managed to keep the chain on the 23 the whole way up this time, which no doubt was the reason for cutting so much time off my previous PB. The time was well under the 2 hour mark I had set as the time to beat.
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Old 01-25-09, 09:32 PM   #18
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keep the chain on the 23 the whole way up this time,
I've been trying this on any 5-8%'ers I normally do and, it does seem to get me up/over faster.

I went out Sat. and hammered Newport Coast 5x in 39x23 with my speed between 8.8-10.6. I felt great. Sunday, a hilly group ride and I was not feeling too strong about 10 miles into ride. Back-2-back hill workouts are beyond me. I think I'm keeping hill repeats on Tuesdays and getting my legs back by the weekend for the group rides - which always have a lot of climbing.
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Old 01-25-09, 10:15 PM   #19
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Just clipped 5 minutes 13 seconds off a PB from another loop ride of 25 miles and 2700 feet of climbing. Stunt Rd in Malibu was the last big pop on the ride. At nearly 4 miles and 7+ gradient, it's just enough to test your climbing abilities. I managed to keep the chain on the 23 the whole way up this time, which no doubt was the reason for cutting so much time off my previous PB. The time was well under the 2 hour mark I had set as the time to beat.
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Old 01-26-09, 01:10 AM   #20
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I've been trying this on any 5-8%'ers I normally do and, it does seem to get me up/over faster.

I went out Sat. and hammered Newport Coast 5x in 39x23 with my speed between 8.8-10.6. I felt great. Sunday, a hilly group ride and I was not feeling too strong about 10 miles into ride. Back-2-back hill workouts are beyond me. I think I'm keeping hill repeats on Tuesdays and getting my legs back by the weekend for the group rides - which always have a lot of climbing.
Just keep it up and they won't be beyond you. Before heading out today I questioned whether I'd be any good on the climbs because of the effort I put in yesterday, which if you read above, hurt by the time I was done. But all was a go today, and even now I feel fine. No dull pain anywhere.

Sounds like a plan to do the climbing early in the week and recover in time for weekend rides. Whatever keeps you going strong!
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Old 01-26-09, 01:19 AM   #21
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Thanks kindly. I could have used that beer tonight at dinner. As long as I know you're out there kicking up dust somewhere, I'll keep trying to keep up. While heading up Stunt around 2/3 of the way up, which is the point where I usually seek a lower gear but didn't, I was concentrating hard on finding a rhythm for pedaling and breathing. Then the thought of you marching up the same grade while engaging in a conversation flashed in my head and I began to laugh. So F U for breaking my concentration!
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