Monday, 16 January 2012

Good Timing

What a week! Mon - Thursday were commuting days 30 miles into work at 1am! and 25 miles home every day which gave me approx 220miles then I did 2 turbo days which totalled 2.5hrs and around 56miles and finally on the Sunday the A/B SQT, although 2hrs long I reckon we only did about 30miles. So totals for the week are:

Miles ~ 310miles
Time  ~ 16hrs

SO glad my commutes missed all the freezing cold weather and as from today I'll be in Gran Canaria so Ill miss the rest of the 'big freeze'. The boiler at work has packed in so I can't dry any of my stuff on the radiators. Meaning my cycle home has been miserable! Averages have been in the high 19's, both ways, apart from Thursday when the wind hit 70km/hr again. What a biatch that wind has been.

The turbo sessions were spent tweaking my TT position and I could have a very very good aero one without compromising too much on power.

 I decided to apply the principles to my track bike ( open up hip angle)  so saddle forward and raised. Not too sure if I could feel any difference but I seemed to be going very well and everyone else looked like they were dying. The moment of truth would be the scratch race. Only 40 laps this time and close to the end of the session instead the front but everyone looked hungry for success and glory. I wasn't too fussed but had a little plan and thought I'd execute it this time and if it totally backfired I wont do it again.

Due to the big gear I use I don't have the acceleration of the others. I've found out today my gearing is now banned from SQT's which is a right pain as I can't spin!  Bradley Wiggins school of thought. If you can't accelerate with them, keep them at a tempo that makes them unable to do that! In other words take away their advantage or minimise your disadvantage.

 With about 15 to go the B line had disappeared and done their thing and I was leading for about 2-3 laps to up the pace. The back of the line was about 20 places back and I slotted in about 18th as the end 2 were flagging. The pace I had set was quite high and people started to only do half laps which worked in my favour and I found myself 2nd in line with 4 to go as a couple more had dropped out. I also had to do a few big sprints to bridge any gaps that appeared which always seemed to happen right infront of me!  One of the faster/est guys was leading me out and when he went back I thought this was it and hammered it from 3 laps out. Usually I'd do my lap and drop back a little bit then wind up for a sprint. Not this time. I felt great. 2 to go and I thought how long could I keep this up for?  No one had attacked yet or were unable to? I kicked into the final corner before the last lap and could hear the first of a few attacks breathing down my neck. I could see someone coming over the top of me so kicked into the penultimate corner, keeping him wide. Listening to him panting and dropping off was a joy to behold. There must have been 3-4 trying to get me on the last corner but I kicked again Keeping them wide and holding my inside line. On the final straight I had my head right down to my front wheel which isn't as difficult for me as it sounds and drove hard to the line. Believe it or not, in the end, it was easy. I won by a fair margin in sprint terms ( a good wheel, maybe 2) and got quite a few congratulatory pats on the back. The guy who came second usually wins his fair share and said I did a great ride.  What a feeling.  Just when I thought I couldn't be bothered going as well. Would I do it again? Maybe depending on my positioning. It was my plan all night to do what I did but the way all the pieces fell into place was unreal. Max I would have gone from would be 5 laps out, 2 ideal.

See you in a week.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Scalped :(

Hey there! For those that still tune in, and if not its still for my own personal benefit. Nearly 2 months since my last post so what on earth have I been up to? Commuting has been regular and consistant. Only 1 day in the car for those 2 months. Got caught up in a tornado when a wall of water  attacked me, more hurricane style weather and virtually every ride has seen me limp home drenched and wind swept.

Averages in November were apalling to say the least. 15 - 16 - 17 mph on the downhill 22miles to work yet I didn't feel bad in my self. Rides back home weren't much better 16-17-18mph. One Saturday whilst  belting down a hill, 2 spokes on my front wheel nearly sent me flying as they snapped off! So so lucky. I think the problem was that my front mud guard had been rubbing against the wheel wall and slowing  the plastic was being eroded until there was nothing holding it and mangled in my wheel. Have also completed a run a week in November.

December has been amazing, training wise. All work days commuted bar one and usually end with an Sqt A track session on the Sunday. One of the sessions started off with a 50 lap scratch race and one day we were lapping at 32mph until a few guys got brought off for dangerous riding ( the B line was being lapped instead of being half a lap apart) and we were down to about 28-29mph. In fact the guys who were brought off and bollocked belonged to a club I was thinking of joining lol. This garmin data catches the end of the race and the rest of the session.  I was up there up to the last lap but didn't contest the sprint as I'd 'run out of gears' in other words I cant spin my legs very quickly so when I stood up to sprint my legs were whirring but no extra power was being put down. Same story for every session. If a break went I was able to bring it back within half a lap, I would take  big turns on the front and still stay in whilst others dropped out, I think the main guys sprinting didn't do too much in the line though but for me to contest that sprint, no chance and it wasn't because I was too tired ( Actually looking at my heart rate of 180 maybe I was too tired). All that and my commutes were still at 16-17-18 mph. Tragic. Actually the one day I didn't commute was in January so full set in December.

Don't understand why outside Im so slow. I have ridden out 2 bouts of illness, just recovering from one now, nothing as bad as last year. One thing I have noticed is humidity has been in the high 90's for 90% of the 2 months, wonder if that has any effect.
 During the peak of my recent illness I got well and truely beaten by another roadie. I had just set off leisurely from a set of lights and whooooosh he goes past. I let him have 20m and try to catch up.  Didn't want to slipstream him as that would be too easy. Ugh ,my legs wont spin, tried higher gears, nothing but I manage to claw loads of time back on any inclines.  I was hoping he'd turn up this 6%er but he carried on into Manchester the flat way. I was gutted even though I could barely breathe as if I went too deep I'd start a massive wheezing and coughing fit and knew my illness held me back. Still only managed a 17mph average that day.  About 800 miles in December, 600 in Novemeber.

January has seen more running, the return of the dreaded gusty wind and more bleeding rain. I missed one commute and replace it with 2 totally boring turbo sessions. I bought a sufferfest video to alleviate the monotony but I didn't end up watching any of it anyway due to  looking at the floor. The second sesh I played some music which Im not usually a fan of but it deffo helped and I did some negative splits where I went faster and faster as time went on. I used my TT bike on the turbo and seem to have quite a nice position but totally wrecks my muscles the next day after hard efforts. The road bike is different as I could go really hard one day and still be fine the rest of the week.

Strava is very new to me but what a cool app/website to compare times with other guys and even get an idea what power you're outputting/need to output to be near the top. After uploading a few files I was quite surprised to see how well im doing even after only doing the odd ride here and there.  Going to pay more attention to this for the coming year. 

My fave beinbg this one which I've ridden once during a big sportive and has quite a few names down and I top them all :)

My Goals for the year ahead are to race and not chicken out, do a 10mile tt in 22mins but I'd only be happy with a 21, complete Liverpool olympic distance Triathlon and absolutely murder the flat bike course and do a 25mile tt with a  target time of 59:59.

The goals are relying on me not to put any weight on all year as I spent most of 2011 losing excess weight and ruining training due to a possible lack of protein.