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Old 09-14-09, 11:34 PM   #1
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Esparto Time Trial Race Reports

Hermes report:

Esparto Individual Time Trial
September 6, 2009
Men 35+ 4/5
Place: 20
Field: 31
Time: 49:19

L-shaped 18 mile course: north on a 2 mile leg into a headwind, right turn east onto the long leg with rollers, turnaround and finish westbound just before the intersection.

This was the last race of the season for me. I had a PR at Beat the Clock so I was hoping for an improved time over last year at Esparto. I started training with power about 6 weeks ago and saw some areas where I could improve my TTs. Using power, my VO2 max and Threshold intervals were much better (harder) focusing on maintaining power throughout the interval. I did not race with power but I had a much better feeling for level of effort and mental focus. I spent the entire year working on my flexibility and increased my hamstring range of motion. And last but not least, I rode my TT bike a lot. Last year, I did a 53:06 compared to a 49:19 this year yeilding a 3:47 improvement. I was really happy with my result.

I got a good warmup and the temperature was pleasant. There is always wind but year it seemed stronger than last year. The first leg was into the wind and I settled into a pace. After the right hand turn, the wind was a slight tail with strong gusty cross winds that on occasion blew me a couple of feet. However, the disc / trispoke combination worked fine and I stayed relaxed and went with the gusts.

I hit the rollers and they were no problem. I kept pushing the pace and after the crest killed it on the down hill to the turnaround. The way back was gusty but unlike last year I was feeling good and kept pushing the pace to the end.

Velodiva's report

Esparto Individual Time Trial
September 6, 2009
Women Cat 4
Place: 2
Field: 12
Time: 48:50

The Cat 4 women started at 9:36 while the temperature was still moderate (mid-seventies) sunny and dry with winds from the north. I was the first Cat 4 woman out (again, in alphabetical order I am definitely going to change my last name!) There was a 4 minute gap between the W 1/2/3 group, so I had no rabbit. Had a good start. The first leg headed north into the head wind; cross winds on the long legs were not extreme but more than last year, and I got thrown a bit by about three gusts with the tri-spoke and disk; slowed me down a bit. Pushed harder on the rollers on the way back and strong finish, but overall I felt that I didn't pull it all together (power meter doesn't lie) for an optimum TT.

I finished second 6 seconds behind the triathlete winner. Interestingly, my time was exactly the same (to the second) as last year when I won. So all in all, I am pleased and look forward to training during the off season and next year!

Thanks for reading.

Here are a couple of pics.

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Old 09-15-09, 08:45 AM   #2
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Hermes, that's a stunning improvement from last year, especially given the gusty crosswinds. If you used a pulsemeter, please let us know what your avg heart rate was (last year and this year, if possible).

Velodiva - 6 seconds away from the win, same time as last year. Amazing. Have you thought of experimenting with a slightly different large chainring? One or two teeth smaller (or maybe larger) can make a surprising difference. It's an easy change to make, too, so you can swap back and forth and compare results.

Congratulations to both.
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Old 09-15-09, 03:07 PM   #3
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My HR was about the same last year but I do not have a recorded number. I was using a Polar monitor that did not interface with the computer. Here is a pic of the course profile and my HR from the Garim 705. Lap 1 marks the right hand turn and lap 2 the finish. You can see the spike in HR at the start. My HR was around 162 until near end where I pushed the pace. The shape of the HR curve was a negative split for the race - easier at the beginning hard at the end.

The difference between this year and last year is more power threshold and more power at VO2 max. I have been doing VO2 max intervals since the end of June for the track pursuit and leading up to this race. I put out a lot more power on the climbs but my HR and breathing were okay. After cresting the climbs, I shifted into a big gear and killed it on the downhill. I was able to burn matches on the climbs and return to threshold power on the downhill and get a recovery. Last year, the climbs were tough and I did not recover fast enough to surge the power on the downhills. At the end, last year I was toast. The heart rate curves would look about the same.

Last year my wife won this race by 1 second. This year the wind spooked her and she held back on the power a little. However, better to ride safe. The gusty winds with a disc / trispoke are easier for heavier riders to control.

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Old 09-15-09, 04:57 PM   #4
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I wish you guys would quit doing this, or at least quit telling us about it. I feel like a slacker (and I am). Great going.
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Old 09-15-09, 08:37 PM   #5
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If I had a Zipp rear wheel instead of my cheap Renn our bikes would look identical!! Your aero position is much better than mine though. I'm not too far off but probably need to be fitted-I'm a little too upright and losing some aero.

Congrats on the 3+ minute improvement. That is truly remarkable and speaks to all the focus and emphasis you've put on improving the past year. That took a lot of work!! Very, very impressive.

I'm enjoying riding my new TT bike but as you pointed out, need more miles to see more improvement. It's really hard to mix the long distance stuff I've been doing with the TT play golf..........and work!!
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Old 09-16-09, 12:57 AM   #6
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Hermes and Velodiva did great. Hermes beat last year's time by a huge amount. That was impressive.

I rode my Orbea with clip-on bars. Judging from the picture (which I have not yet purchased, so I can't post) they were too high. Last year I rode a TT bike. This year I was over a minute slower and 1placement lower (5th from 4th). Operator error. I hope to have that corrected by next year.

18 miles in 53:41. 6 seconds separated 1&2 and 5&6 placements.
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Old 09-16-09, 08:46 AM   #7
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Hi Hermes and Velodiva,

Both of you look like you have your positions and bikes dialed-in pretty well. Sounds like pretty good rides for both of you.

Red Rider, I thought you had a TT bike? Is your wrist keeping you from riding a TT bike?

Our TT series starts in Oct. There is a pre-series "warm-up" race this coming Sunday. I'll be there to see how everything is (or isn't) working for me.
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