Sunday, April 27, 2014

LBL Challenge

Yesterday me and my friend Richard did the 167km of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge which is one day before the pro's. Col du Rossier, La Redoute, La Roche-aux-Faucons, St Nicolas are some of the climbs we did.

My goal was to do some vo2max efforts on the climbs. Here are some stats:

1) Ancienne Barriere, 4,9 w/kg / 11.50 minutes
2) Col du Rossier, 5 w/kg / 11.13 minutes
3) La Redoute, 5.3 w/kg / 6.22 minutes
4) Roche-aux-Faucons, 5.1 w/kg, 5.51 minutes
5) St Nicolas, 5.3 w/kg , 4.20 minutes

I could have gone up La Redoute and Roche-aux-Faucons faster, but I got held up serveral times by other people and cars so I could not pass and I simply had to wait. All in all some nice efforts. In the end the legs still felt very very good. I only noticed I needed some salt in the end (I forgot my magnesium sticks against cramps and forget to put in some extra salt in my bottle). O yes and another learning: be sure to eat 'normal' food during the ride. The last 60km I only had some gels and my stomach started to protest (had the feeling I needed something "harder" in my stomach instead of that fluid stuff).

Next week a bit harder again at the La Philippe Gilbert!!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

First ride and bike fitting

Yesterday had my first ride with the Dogma. What a bike. It;s stiff when it needs to be, but it still absorbs the shocks on roads which are not that good. Also coming out of a corner it accelerates very fast, that is the feeling that it does not cost too much energy.

One thing though. My position on the bike is not good yet. The distance between the saddle and the handlebar felt not large enough which made me sit more upright and hence less aerodynamic. Also I feel I cannot push the power from my legs but more from my back. I did some measurements afterwardswards -also using a nice app called Bike Fast Fit- which confirmed the above visually (and with the angles). You can see some measurements in the small film below (and no, this is not Oscar material).

I also noticed that there was very little drift in my power2max S type. The offset was quite stable ranging from 883 to  887. Given an average per unit of approx. 1.5 watts this gives a 4x1.5w = 6 watts range. Given that it got colder along the ride this can be in line with that (note, something which is still quite annoying is that you can't check the autozero not turn it off, hopefully in the future....).
The ride itself was OK. A nice block of Treshold work and some Tempo. On Saterday Liege-Bastogne_Liege 167km. Should be a very nice training ride! Goal is to ride most of the time on endurance pace and do threshold/Vo2max efforts on the climbs. Not on the Dogma yet. I'll stick with the FP7.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A monster

Two days ago I got my new monster. I described it on Facebook like this (Dutch):

Mijn lieve kleine zusje
wat hebben wij lang op jou gewacht
maar eindelijk ben je toch gebracht

Vol vreugde verwacht, met liefde ontvangen. Zij draagt de naam:

Pina Dogma 65.1 Think 2 Goorden

14,0 pond maar wel al bijna iets te zwaar voor meneer de ooievaar!

Als vrees begonnen bij mama, lig je nu in de armen van papa.

Het was een zware bevalling (€) maar vader en dochter maken het goed.

Wil je mij zien? Eerst bellen anders train ik misschien. Van 22u tot 8u ben ik stil omdat papa dan slapen wil.

Kadotip: €€

Ruud, Marcella, Lizzy, Sees en Pina FP7

Here the specs:

Pinarello Dogma Think2 65.1 857
Tiger ultra 1K carbon stem
3t aerotundo ltd full carbon handlebar
Campagnolo super record group
Selle san marco aspide carbon fx
Look keo blade 2 12
Rotor 3D+ crankset
Rotor Q-rings Aero
Power2max S-Type 2 powermeter

Well. What can I say? It's like a beast.

One change should be made however. The stem is too short so I am not too aerodynamic compared to my FP7. That should be changed. In an other post I will show some bike measurements of the old bike compared to the new bike which I made with a special Bike measurement app. It's cool.

PS: 3t handlebar is not shown on the picture (see post further)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bad 'training'

A bad training today. That is I did a race today and although the result (6th) might indicate somethhing different it was not a great training (nor race). My legs felt OK, but mentally I just did not have it. 

Because I was riding one category higher than normal I was a bit affraid beforehand if I would not be dropped. A ridiculous thought, but still that thought was going through my mind and although sitting very very relaxed in the pack the thought just did not go away and I could not get over it. I could not shift my mind to say: hey, let's attack. Just try something to ride away from these guys if it was only to get a preme. For some reason I could not make that shift and I just rode along a bit in the peleton. 

I did not have any fighting spirit, a spirit to  push yourself and to hurt yourself. I was affraid to hurt myself. Very strange. Monday training I am going to make up for that, for sure.

As you can see 50% of the time I did not pedal. Also relatively a lot of time was spend neuromusclar. It was a round of 1.7 km asfalt road and after every curve it  was pushing the pedals as you can see below. Pushing, relaxing, pushing, relaxing.

In the last round I was in a very bad position, but before the last two curves I rode hard through the wind to the front and (last 2 rounds 3 guys managed a small gap) kept going and going and apart from 2 other in front of me ended up 6th. 

NP for 1.05h was 273 and 238 AP. Ridiculously low to be honest, but understandable if you see the graphs above.

Most important lesson learned today:       

Have more confidence in yourself

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Something familiar?

I need to eat quickly. My wife has an appointment and I have to squeeze in an hour just after dinner, because I have to look after the kids. Pancakes. After a few you feel really full. Not ideal 15 minutes before a VO2max session. But I need to train. I need to ride on that wave of supercompensation. No way I am skipping my workout today.
What's on the menu? TR Charybdis. Bread and  butter VO2max: 6 x 3 minutes VO2max intervals @ 117% FTP. Hard. Very hard. Simple.
First some warm-up minutes with increasing wattage levels before the suffering starts.  From the last 1 minute interval I conclude I need a cadence of 94 all the time at the chosen gear.
First 3 minute interval. First one and a half minute are OK. I can still look up. 1.30 minutes to is starting to feel worse, and worse and worse. But I can hang on to it. Last minute my breathing goes deep. I feel I don't get enough air. My lungs fill up as much as they can. My mouth is wide open, trying to get as much air in as possible. The sound of my breathing is like I am getting a cough, I also feel that deep in my lungs. Look down. Just don't look up. Legs start to really fill up. Change position a bit. Look up hope it's almost over. O no, still 20 seconds to go. Just hang on. O no. Still 5 to come...............
How did the rest of these intervals go??? With every interval the time my body responded the way it did the first interval became longer and longer. From 1.30 minutes to 1.40 minutes to approximately 2 minutes with that agonizing feeling. Sound familiar?
Last interval I did a little above treshold....pffff.
1 378 AP = 118% FTP
2 370 AP
3 364 AP
4 367 AP
5 353 AP =110% FTP
6 332 AP

Sunday, April 13, 2014

From bad to good

The week started bad. That is I wanted to do TR Beacon; 6 320 watt intervals of 8 minute length each. I simply failed after 3. Simple as that. So I just quit. My body was just very tired and when you just can't push the watts it's better to quit. I think the hay fever also has to do with it.
On Wednesday went for a 2.50h ride. My goal was to ride 280 watts all the time and that did go OK for the first 1.45h but after that I had to let that go, simply becaue some cramps were coming up and the legs felt tired (again). I drank too little and I get cramps very easily. With another longer ride for Sunday on the program I decided to install a second bottle cage. 240 AP, 263NP.
Friday was the day for VO2max, but unfortunately my daughter had to go to the hospital so no VO2max. So on Saturday I just went for an hour to warm up the legs for Sunday.
So, today did a 3.20h ride. I was inspired by a recent article of Hunter Allen in which he describes his Kitchen Sink ride. I kind off copied some of those intervals and tried them on this longer ride. First warmup 15 minutes (248 watt, 78% FTP (OK that's a bit too high for a warmup.) After that 1 hour at AP 257, NP 263 (80% FTP). Then 30 minutes at 280 watt (88% Sweet spot). 30 minutes at Endurance, 240 AP. Then I did 22 minutes at 312 AP (That should have been 4 x 12 minutes @ at least 105% FTP, but hey this was the first time...;) Rest of the ride was basically at 240 watts. Total ride ended up 260 AP and 270 NP, which was a nice ride. It was a nice ride with lot of Tempo and Threshold Elements in it. Not a waste of time! Hopefully end of May I can do 4 hours at 280 watts (and have my weight 1 more kilo down to 67).
Doing some harder intervals later on in the ride is definitely going to make me stronger I believe. So, I will definitely do more of these rides, and also incorporate harder riding towards the end of my rides. Also I started 'practising'with timely eating and drinking during the ride. This really has effect, because as I said I get cramps easily, but when I drink enough there is no problem. On this ride I ate a chocolate muesli bar, a Maxim gel, some magnesium (also against the cramps), and some kind of candy stick (from the brand World Cup), a Red Bull (that was however not a good idea, too much gas in it), and also drank 2 bottles with Isostar. A bit too much? Not for me.
What's up for next week? On Tuesday a good VO2max session (I hope). On Wednesday a 3 hour ride with some elements in it like described above. On Thursday a ride on the Kurt and on Saturday a race (one Cat higher that normally). We'll see where the race ends, because lately I have not done too many VO2max sessions / anaerobic sessions anymore and those are quite handy for crit races.......Last but not least it's my son's 2nd birthday on Sunday so that will be the week highlight.

Monday, April 7, 2014

TR Bird and no race

On Sunday I did not do a race. I planned to go, but unfortunately the weather was not that good but more importantly I felt quite bad due to the hay fever. My eyes hurt, my nose is running, my throat itches and I feel warm. In the evening I am tired and I fall asleep on the couch. Not quite my normal behaviour. So I decided and made the right decision; that is not to go. Listening to your body is not a bad thing to do. When the weather was good I went out for a small ('trying to relax') ride for myself.
On Friday I did a nice anaerobic workout from Trainerroad. It's called Bird. ''3 sets of 5x1-minute intervals at 130% FTP where recoveries between intervals are 1-minute long and recoveries between sets of intervals are 8 minutes long. '' The goal is to improve your maximum aerobic capacity (i.e. power that draws heavily from oxygen rather than sugar stores) by pinpointing repeatable 1-minute power to really stress your aerobic capabilities in order to improve them.
Raise your aerobic ceiling with these short, hard efforts so you can raise your FTP higher & higher without bumping up against a ceiling that's too low '' (Source: quoted from Trainerroad).
I did them at 410 watts and they are quite 'forgiving' (same as TR Clouds rest). If you keep the focus they are certainly doable. I like to do these on the Kurt because you can focus on pedalling and only pedalling.Out on the road I do find these more difficult because of the traffic in combination with the intensity (especially when coming towards the end of an interval set). Anyway, it went good.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Low pedal velocity / high force and Endurance pace

Yesterday I did a training which I do not do very often; low pedal velocity, high force. I did it too train muscle power. I do not do it that often because it does put quite some strain on your knees and (for me) back. You can see the graph below:

The ride was in total 1 hour and the figure above is the total hour. I did the low pedal velocity high pedal force mode for 45 minutes. You can clearly see that 63.1% of the total ride is in the quadrant of relatively high pedal force and low pedal velocity. I did the 45 minutes at AP of 315 and NP of 320, which around FTP. It felt OK and I could also see the effect of this in my HR. At FTP HR is normally moves up to around 170, but now it was more between 150-160. Average cadence was 80. See the cadence distribution below (my self selected cadence is around 88-92):

Today did 2 hours at 81% of FTP (Higher end Endurance). Average power was 265 watt (NP 272). Now I want to extend those 2 hours to 3 and then to 4 hours. At the end I was not very tired I only drank too little and my lungs felt a bit bad (maybe some smog I don't know). This is also something I have to practive properly; drinking and eating. Especially drinking because for some reason I get cramps easily. Most of the time they fade away but sometimes they only get worse.
Friday it's VO2max training and Sunday (if it's dry) a race. This time the race is on the same circuit as a few weeks ago (Training race circuit). It's a fast small lap. We'll see how this will go after a day in the zoo (walking all day ;) on Saturday.

And next week (Friday) something to look forward the Dogma.....!