Festum Prophetae: Waiting for the Hour

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.

– Mike Tyson

The one thing everyone should always plan for is that however well-conceived a program might be, things will never go to plan.

The high level plan for my Festum Prophetae Hour Ride was as follows:

  1. Have a custom Hour Bike built by Don Walker. Because reasons. Reasons like custom bikes are cool and last time I rode a Festum Hour, a rode an off-the-peg frame two sizes too small, plus three.
  2. Have custom Go-Fast track wheels built by Café Roubaix. Because more reasons. Reasons like track bikes look super cool with Go-Fast wheels and Dan builds incredible wheels.
  3. Get less fat.
  4. Get more in shape.
  5. Train on the track and ride rollers from May 1 onwards.

Suffice to say things did not go exactly to plan. The frame “needed” to be repainted because it got scratched by TSA coming back from NAHBS and my OCD kicked into full swing wanting to have it painted in VLVV colors. And Dan was having a hard time sourcing the hubs and rims he had spec’d for the wheels. Delays ensued. I may also have gotten distracted and lost track of the prescribed schedule and dependencies like having the frame in-hand in order to accomplish point V above. The frame made it back to me on Friday of last week and the wheels are in my flat as I write this, waiting for a final layer of glue before having the tires mounted.

I got less fat and in better shape before falling off the training wagon last week due to a tight work schedule. I quickly became more fat due to a wholesale refusal to reduce my alcohol intake to compensate for not training as hard as I should be. We call this phase of training “tapering”.

Since the bike isn’t even assembled yet, it follows that I haven’t done the time on the track, although @Haldy and I have used his crazy voodoo spreadsheet to determine a good gear choice based on my super-secret personal distance goal. As far as the rollers go, well those were sent by Keeper @Marko just as the weather started to get too good to justify riding indoors, so I’ve only spun on them a handful of times instead of the @Haldy-prescribed 2 hour sessions, twice a week. But I really couldn’t be bothered with that when I was laying down mad tanlines. (Rule #7 tends to be a priority when you live in Seattle. The struggle is real, people.)

Life is boring when things go as planned; chaos makes for interest. So here’s my new plan for tomorrow: Show up to the track early, get a feel for how fast I’m supposed to go, get used to holding the pace and get over the nearly irrepressible fear of falling off the track before diving head-first into the Pain Pool at 2:05. Try not to blow out the guns before the starter pistol goes off.

So head on down to the Jerry Baker Velodrome at 2:05 and heckle me. @Packfiller is driving over from Spokane to commentate (i.e. take the piss out of me) and we will be streaming the ride live at http://ustre.am/10hJX.

Special thanks to Don Walker, Café Roubaix’s Dan Richter, and fizik’s Nicolò Ildos for their support and sponsorship in provide the bits and pieces.

Eddy, may your strength flow through me and compensate for what a twunt I am for not Training Properly. Vive la Vie Velominatus, and may you each suffer on Festum Prophetae as the Prophet did for us.

Festum Prophetae: The Impossible Hour Sponsors

Don Walker NAHBS CR Wheelworks Fi'z:ik

Related Posts

119 Replies to “Festum Prophetae: Waiting for the Hour”

  1. Well, while you wait for Frank’s data I did my own sort-of hour today in a 25 mile TT – first time I’d done that distance.

    My own plan also got punched in the mouth. As you know I am at the other pole when it comes to data and numbers, and I love riding to them. I was planning to sit on power between 320 and 330 watts and keep my HR below 160.

    So about 5 or mins into the ride I looked down and saw an average of 600 watts. Now I knew I might have gone out a little hard but not that hard. Very occasionally the Powertap will spike with 40,000 watts – only for 1 second but enough to throw off all the averages. So I had live power but not average.

    Then a little while later I noticed my HR consistently about 85-90. For whatever reason the wriststrap, which had worked perfectly in the warmup was now reading a totally wrong HR.

    So I just had to ride off PE. In the end I averaged about 313 watts, which is probably close to plan, as it was an undulating course so there were some long downhills where it’s hard to maintain full power. And a time of 58.30 which I was quite pleased by, on what’s said to be a slow course.

  2. @ChrisO

    You’re a Brit, are you not, Chris? Whereabouts was the 25 40k? I’ve got a few buddies from university who are REALLY big on their TTs.

    @frank

    We really do need to hear your total distance, big man! I did the timezone alterations and tuned in to watch the stream a perfect 24 hours late—proper Delgado.

  3. @mulebeatsdrums

    @ChrisO

    You’re a Brit, are you not, Chris? Whereabouts was the 25 40k? I’ve got a few buddies from university who are REALLY big on their TTs.

     

    Sort of. Aussie, but lived in London for 20+ years. I pick and choose !

    TTing is a big thing here and there’s quite a sub-culture from the days when mass road racing was illegal. Courses have code numbers and the idea was that you were just out for a ride on your own, with a whole load of other blokes doing the same ride at 1 minute intervals.

    I know we have a kilometre rule but given the long history I think it is just right to call it a 25 not a 40.2. This one was course GS25/44 … down near Dorking/Leith Hill way.

  4. Shirley someone tuned in and has the number of laps… c’mon @frank we know how fucking hard an hour on the track is fess up! There is that rare and curious thing a V cap riding on it.

  5. @ChrisO

    British “10s” and “20s” have been around long enough to have their units of imperial measurement respected. *A Few Good Men voice* I’m quite certain they’ve earned it.

  6. @ChrisO

    Well, while you wait for Frank’s data I did my own sort-of hour today in a 25 mile TT – first time I’d done that distance.

    My own plan also got punched in the mouth. As you know I am at the other pole when it comes to data and numbers, and I love riding to them. I was planning to sit on power between 320 and 330 watts and keep my HR below 160.

    So about 5 or mins into the ride I looked down and saw an average of 600 watts. Now I knew I might have gone out a little hard but not that hard. Very occasionally the Powertap will spike with 40,000 watts – only for 1 second but enough to throw off all the averages. So I had live power but not average.

    Then a little while later I noticed my HR consistently about 85-90. For whatever reason the wriststrap, which had worked perfectly in the warmup was now reading a totally wrong HR.

    So I just had to ride off PE. In the end I averaged about 313 watts, which is probably close to plan, as it was an undulating course so there were some long downhills where it’s hard to maintain full power. And a time of 58.30 which I was quite pleased by, on what’s said to be a slow course.

    58.30 for your first 25? Congratulations! That’s a fine effort. Now you have a benchmark for the many more to come.

  7. Congrats to Frank for all the hard and inspiring work!  Certainly a worthy event, though it would be good to know the final distance.  Unfortunately folks who tuned in do not have the count.  We were looking at the back of the lap counter, and the video was cut before the end, to move the camera and record the finish from a different angle.  The actual distance was probably a bit short of 40K.  I remember hearing lap splits around 38 seconds.

    Pretty sure that’s faster than I could do.  Most comparable I have is a couple hour runs around loop roads on a standard road bike.  One was the Furman Grand Boulevard, which is about 1.5K around.  Another was the Jekyll Island perimeter road – about 10K per circuit.  Came out around 35K for both efforts.

  8. @ChrisO

    @mulebeatsdrums

    @ChrisO

    You’re a Brit, are you not, Chris? Whereabouts was the 25 40k? I’ve got a few buddies from university who are REALLY big on their TTs.

    Sort of. Aussie, but lived in London for 20+ years. I pick and choose !

    TTing is a big thing here and there’s quite a sub-culture from the days when mass road racing was illegal. Courses have code numbers and the idea was that you were just out for a ride on your own, with a whole load of other blokes doing the same ride at 1 minute intervals.

    I know we have a kilometre rule but given the long history I think it is just right to call it a 25 not a 40.2. This one was course GS25/44 … down near Dorking/Leith Hill way.

    Oh, I’m well aware of the history! I love the idea of two old-timey plods sitting there saying “‘ello ‘ello ‘ello! There’s an awful lot of gentlemen on velocipedes riding in this direction at regular intervals… lovely day for it!” and carrying on without thinking it suspicious!

    I went to the University of Surrey, so GS25/44 is not far from my old stomping ground. The university club used the HCC123A course just north of Guildford for TTs and midweek runs.

    Alas I’m London-based at the moment and don’t get down there as much as I’d like.

  9. @ChrisO

    I’ve done a bunch of TT’s this season and without fail my Garmin chooses the first few kms to play up -either not giving me a decent reading of HR or speed so I’ve got no way to judge my effort.

    I like to think I’m pretty good at pacing but I keep going off to fast – finding myself short of breath before my legs hurt or before I’m anywhere near threshold HR.

    Mind you, just got back from my own Hour at Maindy, aimed for 40kms, rode at bang on 40kph for an hour, did 40.1kms in the Hour in the end. Felt great!

  10. @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    I’ve done a bunch of TT’s this season and without fail my Garmin chooses the first few kms to play up -either not giving me a decent reading of HR or speed so I’ve got no way to judge my effort.

    I like to think I’m pretty good at pacing but I keep going off to fast – finding myself short of breath before my legs hurt or before I’m anywhere near threshold HR.

    Mind you, just got back from my own Hour at Maindy, aimed for 40kms, rode at bang on 40kph for an hour, did 40.1kms in the Hour in the end. Felt great!

    What kind of warm up do you do? When I rode in the 80s, I’d probably do 7-8 miles of warm up even for a 10. This was all pre-computer days, so you just had to make sure you arrived at the line on time and then reply on the timekeeper. Try a TT sans Garmin. Just focus on the effort, not what wee numbers are in front of you. Embrace the purity!

  11. @RobSandy

    @Gianni

    Well? What’s the data here? How many kilometers did Frank ride in an hour?

    This. Come on, we need the proof of the suffering.

    I actually don’t have the numbers; I had to stop at 50 min due to rain and never heard what the distance, time, or laps were leading up to it.

    I’ll be riding it again in a week or two, and hopefully chose a day with better weather!

  12. @Dave

    Congrats to Frank for all the hard and inspiring work! Certainly a worthy event, though it would be good to know the final distance. Unfortunately folks who tuned in do not have the count. We were looking at the back of the lap counter, and the video was cut before the end, to move the camera and record the finish from a different angle. The actual distance was probably a bit short of 40K. I remember hearing lap splits around 38 seconds.

    Pretty sure that’s faster than I could do. Most comparable I have is a couple hour runs around loop roads on a standard road bike. One was the Furman Grand Boulevard, which is about 1.5K around. Another was the Jekyll Island perimeter road – about 10K per circuit. Came out around 35K for both efforts.

    The difference between a road bike and track bike is staggering. The fact that you can’t switch gear to rest the legs even for a moment is remarkable. The wind was brutal as well; scrubbing precious speed that seemed harder to pick back up when the wind was at my back that it was to lose when riding into the wind.

    The guns feel incredible, however, and the stroke magnificent. The fixed-gear bike is an entirely strange beast. More time will be spent on the track.

  13. So true about wind!  My weekend destinations are often chosen by wind forecast.  Low early morning head winds on the way out; rising late morning tail wind aided return.

    Have never been on a track bike but can kinda relate, having ridden single speed MB for many years before finally tiring of rarely having the right gear, and changing it to 1×10 last year.

    I look forward to hearing about your follow-up hour efforts!

  14. @frank

    @RobSandy

    @Gianni

    Well? What’s the data here? How many kilometers did Frank ride in an hour?

    This. Come on, we need the proof of the suffering.

    I actually don’t have the numbers; I had to stop at 50 min due to rain and never heard what the distance, time, or laps were leading up to it.

    I’ll be riding it again in a week or two, and hopefully chose a day with better weather!

    I didn’t want to have to do this but you’ve forced my hand. I rode my Hour in pouring rain and blustery winds, for the whole time. I’m claiming a Rule #9 Hour.

  15. @frank

    @Dave

    Congrats to Frank for all the hard and inspiring work! Certainly a worthy event, though it would be good to know the final distance. Unfortunately folks who tuned in do not have the count. We were looking at the back of the lap counter, and the video was cut before the end, to move the camera and record the finish from a different angle. The actual distance was probably a bit short of 40K. I remember hearing lap splits around 38 seconds.

    Pretty sure that’s faster than I could do. Most comparable I have is a couple hour runs around loop roads on a standard road bike. One was the Furman Grand Boulevard, which is about 1.5K around. Another was the Jekyll Island perimeter road – about 10K per circuit. Came out around 35K for both efforts.

    The difference between a road bike and track bike is staggering. The fact that you can’t switch gear to rest the legs even for a moment is remarkable. The wind was brutal as well; scrubbing precious speed that seemed harder to pick back up when the wind was at my back that it was to lose when riding into the wind.

    The guns feel incredible, however, and the stroke magnificent. The fixed-gear bike is an entirely strange beast. More time will be spent on the track.

    I would very much like to try this on a track bike now. I imagine great care must be taken in choosing your gear – if you’re over-ambitious you’re very quickly going to tire and not going to be able to push the pedals round.

    I rode in my 52×14, so I’d want that sort of ratio again.

     

     

  16. @frank

     

    I’ll be riding it again in a week or two, and hopefully chose a day with better weather!

    In that case you’ll need every little bit of help you can get.

    You could try this.

    Just be careful with the doses.

    “I didn’t know if I was going to break a world record or shit my pants!”

  17. @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    I’ve done a bunch of TT’s this season and without fail my Garmin chooses the first few kms to play up -either not giving me a decent reading of HR or speed so I’ve got no way to judge my effort.

    I like to think I’m pretty good at pacing but I keep going off to fast – finding myself short of breath before my legs hurt or before I’m anywhere near threshold HR.

    Mind you, just got back from my own Hour at Maindy, aimed for 40kms, rode at bang on 40kph for an hour, did 40.1kms in the Hour in the end. Felt great!

    What kind of warm up do you do? When I rode in the 80s, I’d probably do 7-8 miles of warm up even for a 10. This was all pre-computer days, so you just had to make sure you arrived at the line on time and then reply on the timekeeper. Try a TT sans Garmin. Just focus on the effort, not what wee numbers are in front of you. Embrace the purity!

    We’ve got about 5 or 6 youngsters turning up to our TTs on a regular basis and there’s a marked difference between their warm ups and the older guys.

    Whilst the old hands get out an turn their legs over on the road, there youngsters are always neatly lined up on their rollers doing a variations of the following Team Sky/British Cycling warm up:

    Standard Time Trial Warm-Up

    5 min light

    8 min progressive to Zone 5

    2 min easy

    2 min to include – 3 x 6s accelerations to activate

    3 mins easy

    Notes:

    1. Progressive means building to the power zone over the 8 minutes.  Only in the last 1 min do you get to Z5
    2. 6 second accelerations are sprints for a whole 6 seconds!

    It’s aimed at being used power meters but can be used on PE as well.

    I don’t know whether to put their performances down to the warm up or the massive pro spec headphones.

     

  18. @chris

    @wiscot

    We’ve got about 5 or 6 youngsters turning up to our TTs on a regular basis and there’s a marked difference between their warm ups and the older guys.

    Whilst the old hands get out an turn their legs over on the road, there youngsters are always neatly lined up on their rollers doing a variations of the following Team Sky/British Cycling warm up:

    Standard Time Trial Warm-Up

    5 min light

    8 min progressive to Zone 5

    2 min easy

    2 min to include – 3 x 6s accelerations to activate

    3 mins easy

    Notes:

    1. Progressive means building to the power zone over the 8 minutes. Only in the last 1 min do you get to Z5
    2. 6 second accelerations are sprints for a whole 6 seconds!

    It’s aimed at being used power meters but can be used on PE as well.

    I don’t know whether to put their performances down to the warm up or the massive pro spec headphones.

    Chris has saved me answering wiscot’s question.

    That’s exactly what I do. Except I do it on cadence rather than power or HR. so the first 10 mins I gradually work up from 90rpm to 115rpm, then do some 6 seconds spinning sprints.

    I do wonder if I need to do some part of my warm up at TT intensity too, to solve the out-of-breath issue.

    I’ll experiment.

  19. @frank

    The difference between a road bike and track bike is staggering. The fact that you can’t switch gear to rest the legs even for a moment is remarkable. The wind was brutal as well; scrubbing precious speed that seemed harder to pick back up when the wind was at my back that it was to lose when riding into the wind.

    The guns feel incredible, however, and the stroke magnificent. The fixed-gear bike is an entirely strange beast. More time will be spent on the track.

     

    And this is why we build roofs over our tracks (and walls around it)…

    Track riding is rather popular around here in winter time (maximum 100 cyclists per 2-hour session and people come an hour early to get a spot). You are not allowed on the track though without a proper track bike (which you can rent), scary the first time (especially in combination with the inclination and the other 99 cyclists), but you easily get used to it.

  20. @frank

    @RobSandy

    @Gianni

    Well? What’s the data here? How many kilometers did Frank ride in an hour?

    This. Come on, we need the proof of the suffering.

    I actually don’t have the numbers; I had to stop at 50 min due to rain and never heard what the distance, time, or laps were leading up to it.

     

    Are you sure that you did not stop at 50 minutes secondary to you being so fucking fantastic that that is how long it took you to ride the hour???

  21. @RobSandy

    @chris

    @wiscot

    We’ve got about 5 or 6 youngsters turning up to our TTs on a regular basis and there’s a marked difference between their warm ups and the older guys.

    Whilst the old hands get out an turn their legs over on the road, there youngsters are always neatly lined up on their rollers doing a variations of the following Team Sky/British Cycling warm up:

    Standard Time Trial Warm-Up

    5 min light

    8 min progressive to Zone 5

    2 min easy

    2 min to include – 3 x 6s accelerations to activate

    3 mins easy

    Notes:

    1. Progressive means building to the power zone over the 8 minutes. Only in the last 1 min do you get to Z5
    2. 6 second accelerations are sprints for a whole 6 seconds!

    It’s aimed at being used power meters but can be used on PE as well.

    I don’t know whether to put their performances down to the warm up or the massive pro spec headphones.

    Chris has saved me answering wiscot’s question.

    That’s exactly what I do. Except I do it on cadence rather than power or HR. so the first 10 mins I gradually work up from 90rpm to 115rpm, then do some 6 seconds spinning sprints.

    I do wonder if I need to do some part of my warm up at TT intensity too, to solve the out-of-breath issue.

    I’ll experiment.

    Damn, I’m old. The beauty of the TT is it’s simplicity. Most of our races you were lucky if you could change/get ready in a pal’s car as most folks (shock-horror) RODE to the races!

    The beauty of TTing is learning how to prepare and how to ride to your limit. It’s about mental and physical prep.I suppose with HR monitors and powermeters that genie is out of the bottle, but the course and conditions can vary so much that I’m not sure of the efficacy of such technology. At the end of the day, a howling headwind on the way out can only be partially compensated by the homeward tail wind. No powermeter’s going to help you there.

    My 10 and 25 PBs were set on a standard road bike. My 50 on a TT bike (no disc, but aero bars and good wheels) Had I had access to a full TT rig with a nice disc, they’d be lower I’m sure.

  22. @chris

    @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    @ChrisO

    I’ve done a bunch of TT’s this season and without fail my Garmin chooses the first few kms to play up -either not giving me a decent reading of HR or speed so I’ve got no way to judge my effort.

    I like to think I’m pretty good at pacing but I keep going off to fast – finding myself short of breath before my legs hurt or before I’m anywhere near threshold HR.

    Mind you, just got back from my own Hour at Maindy, aimed for 40kms, rode at bang on 40kph for an hour, did 40.1kms in the Hour in the end. Felt great!

    What kind of warm up do you do? When I rode in the 80s, I’d probably do 7-8 miles of warm up even for a 10. This was all pre-computer days, so you just had to make sure you arrived at the line on time and then reply on the timekeeper. Try a TT sans Garmin. Just focus on the effort, not what wee numbers are in front of you. Embrace the purity!

    We’ve got about 5 or 6 youngsters turning up to our TTs on a regular basis and there’s a marked difference between their warm ups and the older guys.

    Whilst the old hands get out an turn their legs over on the road, there youngsters are always neatly lined up on their rollers doing a variations of the following Team Sky/British Cycling warm up:

    Standard Time Trial Warm-Up

    5 min light

    8 min progressive to Zone 5

    2 min easy

    2 min to include – 3 x 6s accelerations to activate

    3 mins easy

    Notes:

    1. Progressive means building to the power zone over the 8 minutes. Only in the last 1 min do you get to Z5
    2. 6 second accelerations are sprints for a whole 6 seconds!

    It’s aimed at being used power meters but can be used on PE as well.

    I don’t know whether to put their performances down to the warm up or the massive pro spec headphones.

    I tend to prefer getting out on the road for a decent period – at least 20 to 30 minutes – but I will try to do a gradual build and include a few intervals at varying intensities. The better TTers in our club tend to use rollers but I frequently ride or take the train to events so I think it’s better to get used to doing an on-the-road warmup and stay consistent.

    I have yet to be ‘juniored’ in an event, but no doubt it will happen one day with the law of diminishing returns at play.

    I think I recall recently reading an interview with Matt Bottrill who said he liked at least a 40 minute warmup.

  23. @wiscot

    The beauty of TTing is learning how to prepare and how to ride to your limit. It’s about mental and physical prep.I suppose with HR monitors and powermeters that genie is out of the bottle, but the course and conditions can vary so much that I’m not sure of the efficacy of such technology. At the end of the day, a howling headwind on the way out can only be partially compensated by the homeward tail wind. No powermeter’s going to help you there.

    My 10 and 25 PBs were set on a standard road bike. My 50 on a TT bike (no disc, but aero bars and good wheels) Had I had access to a full TT rig with a nice disc, they’d be lower I’m sure.

    Get those rollers off my lawn…

    I agree about the purity but not so sure about your example – that’s exactly where a power meter would be useful. Sit steady above threshold into the wind and then inevitably a bit below on the way back. Removing variability is the best thing a power meter does.

    We do some club events on a very hilly course around Bletchingly. It starts out on a 1.5km uphill, then there’s a long and twisty descent. I find it useful to have the PM and make sure I don’t bury myself in the first few minutes but equally to make sure I keep the power up through the descent when there’s a temptation to ease off.

  24. @ChrisO

    @wiscot

    The beauty of TTing is learning how to prepare and how to ride to your limit. It’s about mental and physical prep.I suppose with HR monitors and powermeters that genie is out of the bottle, but the course and conditions can vary so much that I’m not sure of the efficacy of such technology. At the end of the day, a howling headwind on the way out can only be partially compensated by the homeward tail wind. No powermeter’s going to help you there.

    My 10 and 25 PBs were set on a standard road bike. My 50 on a TT bike (no disc, but aero bars and good wheels) Had I had access to a full TT rig with a nice disc, they’d be lower I’m sure.

    Get those rollers off my lawn…

    I agree about the purity but not so sure about your example – that’s exactly where a power meter would be useful. Sit steady above threshold into the wind and then inevitably a bit below on the way back. Removing variability is the best thing a power meter does.

    We do some club events on a very hilly course around Bletchingly. It starts out on a 1.5km uphill, then there’s a long and twisty descent. I find it useful to have the PM and make sure I don’t bury myself in the first few minutes but equally to make sure I keep the power up through the descent when there’s a temptation to ease off.

    The beginning and the end of the season in Scotland (I have no idea what the situation is these days – as far as I can tell they fucked up most of my local courses with roundabouts WITH traffic lights) there would be the slate of odd distance and hilly TT races and Gentleman’s races in the fall. On most of these a straight up TT bike would have been useless – you needed a road bike.A set of aero bars might have been good in spots, but not much.

    For the most sublime bit of film on TT’ing, try this at 31:15. This is time trailling at it’s purest and cycling commentary at its finest!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUIr9LG1juw

    You can be sure Ritter didn’t warm up with bloody headphones on.

     

  25. On a separate note, I completed my own challenge last Saturday.  The 200 on 100 in VT.  13.5hrs total, 12.5hrs ride time, 335km, average 26.6kph, average 196W, 3826M vert.

  26. @Marcus

    @frank

    I had to stop at 50 min due to rain

    It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.

    The trophy for stopping after 50 minutes because of rain is down in Moyston, somewhere.

  27. @Gianni

    @Marcus

    @frank

    I had to stop at 50 min due to rain

    It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.

    The trophy for stopping after 50 minutes because of rain is down in Moyston, somewhere.

    I think the trophy is a case of Busch Light.

  28. @VbyV

    On a separate note, I completed my own challenge last Saturday. The 200 on 100 in VT. 13.5hrs total, 12.5hrs ride time, 335km, average 26.6kph, average 196W, 3826M vert.

    Good for you! That’s outstanding. It is my goal to do a 200 in a day but the stars will really need to align. My bests so far are 158 and 134 miles. In others words, another 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 hours more.

  29. @RobSandy

    @chris

    @wiscot

    We’ve got about 5 or 6 youngsters turning up to our TTs on a regular basis and there’s a marked difference between their warm ups and the older guys.

    Whilst the old hands get out an turn their legs over on the road, there youngsters are always neatly lined up on their rollers doing a variations of the following Team Sky/British Cycling warm up:

    Standard Time Trial Warm-Up

    5 min light

    8 min progressive to Zone 5

    2 min easy

    2 min to include – 3 x 6s accelerations to activate

    3 mins easy

    Notes:

    1. Progressive means building to the power zone over the 8 minutes. Only in the last 1 min do you get to Z5
    2. 6 second accelerations are sprints for a whole 6 seconds!

    It’s aimed at being used power meters but can be used on PE as well.

    I don’t know whether to put their performances down to the warm up or the massive pro spec headphones.

    Chris has saved me answering wiscot’s question.

    That’s exactly what I do. Except I do it on cadence rather than power or HR. so the first 10 mins I gradually work up from 90rpm to 115rpm, then do some 6 seconds spinning sprints.

    I do wonder if I need to do some part of my warm up at TT intensity too, to solve the out-of-breath issue.

    I’ll experiment.

    The velominipper is now convinced that the roller warm up is the way to go.

    Some weeks I’m able to work from home on a Wednesday so drive him down to the TT with the rollers, don my hi-viz gilett  do my bit as a marshal. Other weeks he’s told that if he wants to ride, he’s got to ride there and back himself. It’s not that far away, 9km.

    Tonight, I drove him down there and he knocked 26 seconds off his previous PB to go round in 28:43. He’s got it into his head that he only gets PBs when I drive him.

    The fact that it was a lovely still warm evening, similar to the one the last time he knocked time off, seems to be lost on him. As does the fact that I’ve driven him down there a bunch of time when he hasn’t gone that quickly.

    It’s also become horribly apparent that I really need to get my self down there and ride. He’s only going to be a minute or so behind me now.

  30. @chris

     

    He’s got it into his head that he only gets PBs when I drive him.

     

    Mind games.  Like wearing your fastest socks, putting on left shoe first.

    Once it’s in there it’s a cert and done deal.  Logic and reason no longer factors in the issue.

  31. @Teocalli

    @chris

    He’s got it into his head that he only gets PBs when I drive him.

    Mind games. Like wearing your fastest socks, putting on left shoe first.

    Once it’s in there it’s a cert and done deal. Logic and reason no longer factors in the issue.

    That’s a great motto!

    I need to work out how to get my legs ready for short crits now. Raced last night and felt shocking all the way through. Tried to get involved in the sprint but I was boxed in so had to go all the way around the outside and blew up on the final corner, but really I didn’t have the legs.

    What I don’t understand is I can ride for over 2 hours with my HR a couple of beats below threshold and feel really good, but ride a 25 minute crit with an average HR barely in Zone 4 and feel absolutely shocking.

    I should be a good crit racer with my kick but I just can’t make it happen at the moment.

    Doesn’t help that every single 3/4 racer around here think they are a sprinter so sit in until a lap to go where the pace explodes and the whole bunch try to get across the line at the same time. Scary.

  32. @Teocalli

    @chris

    He’s got it into his head that he only gets PBs when I drive him.

    Mind games. Like wearing your fastest socks, putting on left shoe first.

    Once it’s in there it’s a cert and done deal. Logic and reason no longer factors in the issue.

    Maybe the next time it’s nice still evening I’ll find a way to have him ride down and then turn up the car, pull my bike out and tell him he’s my minute man.

    It’ll mess with his head but he’d ride his skin out not to have me come past him.

  33. @chris

    @Teocalli

    @chris

    He’s got it into his head that he only gets PBs when I drive him.

    Mind games. Like wearing your fastest socks, putting on left shoe first.

    Once it’s in there it’s a cert and done deal. Logic and reason no longer factors in the issue.

    Maybe the next time it’s nice still evening I’ll find a way to have him ride down and then turn up the car, pull my bike out and tell him he’s my minute man.

    It’ll mess with his head but he’d ride his skin out not to have me come past him.

    That sounds like a loose loose (for you).  To persuade him that he does not need the lift he has to take out time on you (i.e. you have to let him do so).  The trouble that then it’s The End.

  34. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @chris

    He’s got it into his head that he only gets PBs when I drive him.

    Mind games. Like wearing your fastest socks, putting on left shoe first.

    Once it’s in there it’s a cert and done deal. Logic and reason no longer factors in the issue.

    That’s a great motto!

    I need to work out how to get my legs ready for short crits now. Raced last night and felt shocking all the way through. Tried to get involved in the sprint but I was boxed in so had to go all the way around the outside and blew up on the final corner, but really I didn’t have the legs.

    What I don’t understand is I can ride for over 2 hours with my HR a couple of beats below threshold and feel really good, but ride a 25 minute crit with an average HR barely in Zone 4 and feel absolutely shocking.

    I should be a good crit racer with my kick but I just can’t make it happen at the moment.

    Doesn’t help that every single 3/4 racer around here think they are a sprinter so sit in until a lap to go where the pace explodes and the whole bunch try to get across the line at the same time. Scary.

    http://www.bikechaser.com.au/blog/the-cycling-corndog-diaries-how-to-win-a-crit-race

  35. @Teocalli

    @chris

    @Teocalli

    @chris

    He’s got it into his head that he only gets PBs when I drive him.

    Mind games. Like wearing your fastest socks, putting on left shoe first.

    Once it’s in there it’s a cert and done deal. Logic and reason no longer factors in the issue.

    Maybe the next time it’s nice still evening I’ll find a way to have him ride down and then turn up the car, pull my bike out and tell him he’s my minute man.

    It’ll mess with his head but he’d ride his skin out not to have me come past him.

    That sounds like a loose loose (for you). To persuade him that he does not need the lift he has to take out time on you (i.e. you have to let him do so). The trouble that then it’s The End.

    Phase one is lose lose but the long term is win win. He gets over the idea that he needs to be driven to an event that is 9km away (win #1), he gets faster as a result of clearing the mental clutter that superstition causes (win #2),  he does take time out of me which will galvanise my fat arse into action to get properly fit so that I’ve got a chance of holding him off for a few years (win #3 – the biggie).

  36. @RobSandy

    That’s a great motto!

    I need to work out how to get my legs ready for short crits now. Raced last night and felt shocking all the way through. Tried to get involved in the sprint but I was boxed in so had to go all the way around the outside and blew up on the final corner, but really I didn’t have the legs.

    What I don’t understand is I can ride for over 2 hours with my HR a couple of beats below threshold and feel really good, but ride a 25 minute crit with an average HR barely in Zone 4 and feel absolutely shocking.

    I should be a good crit racer with my kick but I just can’t make it happen at the moment.

    Doesn’t help that every single 3/4 racer around here think they are a sprinter so sit in until a lap to go where the pace explodes and the whole bunch try to get across the line at the same time. Scary.

    I know numbers are not everyone’s cup of tea but I’ve recently come across a new data point which may be relevant … W Prime (usually W’).

    I did some lab testing earlier this year as a volunteer in a study with a researcher who specialises in critical power and power models, so she knows her shit.

    In the study I had the highest Critical Power (CP) of all the participants, basically equivalent to FTP type of power over 15-20 minutes or longer.

    However I had good but not the highest Maximal Aerobic Power, which is basically your 3 minute capacity. People with lower FTPs were able to put out more power, and would probably beat me in a crit.

    What’s important is the gap between your CP and MAP – the smaller it is, the sooner you go into your reserve tank and the smaller that tank is. In other words you’ve got fewer matches to burn AND you need to burn them more often.

    W’ is a relatively recent and not fully researched number but it is effectively your burn rate. I can sit on 320-330 watts and my W’ stays pretty level. Go up to 340 watts and it starts to decline, go up to 360 and it becomes a steeper descent at about 3-4% per minute, and at 450+ I’m losing 20% every 20 seconds.

    I’ve attached some screen shots from Golden Cheetah, which calculates W’. It’s the second line in red, below the power in yellow. You can see it barely moves when I’m training at threshold, it steps down when I’m doing unders and overs (and actually comes up slightly at just below threshold) but the Z6 efforts are like a shark’s tooth.

    That sounds obvious – we know the harder we go the faster we run out of energy. But it’s interesting to be able to put a figure on it and work out a rate. Her next study is going to look at the relationship between W’ and sustainable power.

    Anyway the takeaway was that if you have a relatively low gap between CP and MAP you’re probably more physiologically suited to long sustained efforts than to repeated short intense efforts e.g. crits. That’s why I’ve been trying some TTs lately.

  37. @sthilzy

     

    http://www.bikechaser.com.au/blog/the-cycling-corndog-diaries-how-to-win-a-crit-race

    Thanks for that.

    I am in principle aware how to play a crit tactically, but it becomes very hard when the whole rest of the field just want to sit in and wait for the sprint. One of my team mates got told off by some guys from the NFTO race club for not chasing when another of our team mates was off the front. What?

    Then virtually the whole race got involved in the sprint. No thanks.

    I think our latest plan is to keep attacking off the front until something sticks (i.e. everyone else gets sick of chasing).

  38. @ChrisO

     

    Anyway the takeaway was that if you have a relatively low gap between CP and MAP you’re probably more physiologically suited to long sustained efforts than to repeated short intense efforts e.g. crits. That’s why I’ve been trying some TTs lately.

    That is interesting and probably accounts for some of my crapness. But to be honest I come out of a lot of crits feeling really fresh – it’s not a physical problem. I don’t think I’m far behind in terms of fitness or power, and I can beat some of our Cat 2’s in a straight sprint.

    I just consistently get caught in the wrong position at the wrong time, so if I’m sprinting I’m doing it from the back of the bunch, on my own in the wind, coming around the top of the banking rather than in the wheels on the sprinter’s line. I’ve got a Cat 3/4 crit every week until the end of August now, so that’s plenty of time to practice positioning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.