Thursday, August 5, 2010
2010: Late Season Training
I was kind of like the picture above for four hours last week Saturday: a facial expression of Oh, God! and hanging on for dear life.
Rumor has it that we rode 260 watts for three hours, at least until I had to ease up the fourth hour. I rode a total of 100 miles, but timed only 94 miles of it at 4:14. That's a new land speed record for me.
I learned a few things riding with Wisconsin's IM rockstars Joe K and Thomas B. First, they mash the pedals more than I thought possible. I mean they crank it at 70-80 rpm to keep the watts high. Second, the hills were no different than the flats. Ride them strong and stiff. Third, a quality 100 mile ride means no stops. Carry what you need and, if possible, never slow down. Fourth, riding behind someone even 25 to 35 yards offers some draft. It's common to see a 5-10 watt difference when behind someone at this distance when riding really, really fast. Finally, a powermeter is a wonderful tool for keeping it real. I don't have one but these guys did and they kept the effort steady. Certainly something to think about for 2011 for optimizing training.
Last year, I did German Rides that were similiar to what I did with Joe and Thomas this past weekend. In retrospect, my German Rides had too many granny gear hills, stop signs, and turns. Thomas's route was a great blend of everything making it for a very humbling ride. Pushing the pedals for four hours without stopping is really hard, especially when riding with guys like them.
While it was a humbling experience, I noticed that when I rode hard a few days later, I could feel the benefit of the past weekend's ride. Pushing hard and steady for hours and hours is a learned skill and one that I "thought" I mastered, but was mistaken. I look forward to another dose of reality this coming weekend.
Overall, I've backed down the training volume to about 15hrs/week the last two to three weeks. The quality workouts of long bike, long run, shorter-harder bike, shorter-harder run are all getting done. The nice thing is that I'm not feeling like burnt toast all the time like in years' past. The other positive thing to mention is that Adrienne is back racing. She did a great job at a local olympic distance race taking second, plus she ran a 41 minute 10km. She thinks she can catch me. I'm starting to wonder that myself.