Saturday, 30 July 2011

The race of truth - Kew Boulevard ITT C Grade - 3rd Place

The say the individual time trial is the race of truth, but sometimes the truth hurts. Today I had the aim of bettering my time from my previous attempt a couple of months ago given all the dedicated training and racing I have completed. Conditions were great besides from a wet road with a light breeze going out and the sun was shining.

I had a few simple ideas: keep my heart rate at my anerobic threshold (AT), attack the climbs and just hurt the whole way. On the way out and passed my first rider ahead of me and I had my sights on the next. Unfortunately this wasn't to be but I am hoping that I may have gained some time on him, but it is hard to tell. By the stage, the A grade were unleashed on the track and these guys rode past me like I was standing still. The sound of a full rear disc is a unique sound and it was one I heard constantly heard passing me.
I rode hard and to my plan managing to beat my old time. Unfortunately this was only by 10-20 seconds which was a little disappointing but I was content there as wasn't a huge amount left (it took me a little while to recover). I am looking forward to seeing the results as unfortunately I couldn't stick around afterwards.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

What hurts more than cycling?

The answer is 2 days of snowboarding. I spent the weekend up at Mt Hotham learning to board for the first time. By the end of the first day and the beginners lesson, I was able to complete the beginners Summit run doing falling leaf all the way to the bottom without falling over. I thought this was good progress and that the pain so far was worthwhile.
The second's day lesson was far harder learning to complete turns which meant a lot of falling and besides from completing a few right turns, lefts turns alluded me. Lunch time beers at Swindlers bar were the perfect form of carbohydrate to keep me firing for the afternoon. With the combination of fresh air, sun and snow these beers went down a treat. I finished the day with a few more runs of Summit practicing falling leaf before giving up as I could barely lift myself up of the ground. Today I woke up and I could barely walk, I had massive issues with stairs and it took a lot of effort just to climb out of the car. Perhaps I should stick to cycling and leave the snow to the rich. Next time I climb Mt Hotham it will be on my bike and hopefully a bit warmer..............

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Double Ergo Day (DED)

I want to get better, faster, stronger and I want it to happen quicker. I am sick of getting beaten by Masters 5/6 riders, no matter how fit or good of a rider they are (Dovey I am coming for you). B grade is where it is at and I have almost been in Melbourne club level C grade for a whole 6 months. Therefore today I completed my first double ergo day and I enjoyed the pain.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Northern Combine Woodend - C Grade

Today was another fine day of racing with the Northern Combine. After a few initial attempts of a breakaway in the opening k's, one was successful (unfortunately I wasn't in this particular one) and they held on (just) to the end. On the first lap the pace was on with B grade appearing in the distance until it relaxed into a more steady rhythm. I felt a lot better today spending more time on the front, off the front, chasing breakaways and just for the hell of it, doing a big turn in the final k's to really test the legs (it turned out the breakaway's weren't that far ahead). I fought all the way to the line finishing again in the top 10 (just). I knew my big turn wouldn't help my finish as a few riders exploded past me, but it was an important test to push me that bit harder in preparation for future weeks. 
 More importantly, I backed it up today with 90kms of recovery with a couple of TT intervals thrown in. My training regime is slowly but surely turning up the intensity while maintaining decent k's finishing up with just over 350km for the week. The last 30km's were completed on my ergo annoying the hell out of my girlfriend trying to watch TV.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Make your hard rides harder and your easier rides easier.....

I here this a bit around the traps and I think this picture helps explain the story. I smashed 3 by 8km time trial (TT) efforts at my anaerboic threshold (AT) followed by a nice easy 20kms of recovery.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Northern Combine South Gisborne Loop - C grade

After a week of training, my legs always feel worst on Fridays (my rest day) and heavy for the first few k's. This feeling normally lasts until the first serious attack which raises the heart rate and where you just buckle down in order to not get dropped. The race was held on a 8km loop with included a nice climb which averaged 6% for 1km into a head wind. Fortunately, I felt better on each lap and more comfortable on the climb as my legs loosened up. But today with the pace up and down, there was no real adrenalin pushing me like there was in the Modella handicap the other week. It was almost like interval training looking back over the Garmin data. For photos of the race, click here.

 I am feeling a lot more confident in general and especially in descending, today hitting just over 70km/h with a cross wind. They key is to get in the drops and get sheltered from the wind by other riders where possible. Unfortunately, I hadn't checked my solo drink bottle (I have cut back to one after not using the 2nd one in a few races) which obviously had been sitting in the car for a while and the contents tasted partially fermented, but not in a good way. There were no cramps today or even potential cramps which is great and can be put down to the longer road races and training I have been doing lately.  

Overall, we raced for 2hours and completed the climb 8 times totaling just over 800m of vertical climbing. The bunch was altogether at the base of the final climb but exploded very quickly in the fight for the finish. I had a crack up the last climb making up a lot of places but I couldn't quite catch the leaders finishing in the top 10 still. A great day out and perfect training for the future. Note to self, need to train on more hills and less time on beach road.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Nothing special

I didn't race for once, but still trained. I spent Saturday out riding in the Yarra Valley with almost 1km of vertical climbing. Unfortunately on Sunday the weather wasn't very good and my trip to the Dandenongs with repeats of Inverness Rd was cancelled, instead I had to make do with some intervals at my anerobic threshfold (AT) peaking at 6mins.