Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012 Mt. Buller Road Race

Detail: A 47km Road Race from Mansfield to the summit of Mt. Buller with 1 major climb. The final 15km rises 920m with an average incline of 6.1%.

No masters divisions, racing B grade.

Top of Buller..  c/o Marisa Farrell

Working the night before = on the phone until midnight. No sleeping until 1am. Up at 5:10am. Drive.. Coffee, Drive..

Chilly morning, long queue for registration.. Getting a bit nervy - 1st road race of the season..

Struggled with the bike number as usual (all mental - perfectionist not coping with square peg & round hole). I like the sticky paper much better..

Turned over some laps of the Mansfield CBD as warm-up.

Race time. (I had until recent days been without power meter for a month. After about two weeks my panic/withdrawal subsided and I fell back into a hybrid groove of old+new training ways. I had been using HrTSS to track CTL and this has been a satisfactory substitute for bigger picture stuff, but pacing efforts was back to the old PE guessing game. I picked up my Quarq 3 days before the race (distributor proclaims the exsessive wait was for a new unit to arrive in country with updated hardware) and had only a couple of rides pre-race to kind of get my eye back in. No testing for over a month & not 100% sure where my fitness is at.. )

To the foot of the climb:
With the odd NRS level rider in B grade, and lots of kids half my age - I was ready to get my legs ripped off. There was wind, but I'm not sure which direction it was predominantly blowing from. Maintained position top 10 at all times, covered attacks. Surprised at how lumpy the course was - elevation profiles I had seen pre-race do nothing to convey this. Very early on there were a couple of committed attacks on flatter terrain which were shut down pretty quickly. After this the pattern evolved that riding was to a tempo until encountering lumps, and lumps = full gas. Two did get away 3/4 of the way along - but fell back into to the bunch (looking pretty haggard) after melting under the heat of 5 minutes x undulations + winds.

Lap 1 (to foot of climb):
Duration:   56:06
Work:       739 kJ
TSS:       94.7 (intensity factor 1.011)
VI:         1.22
Pw:HR:       1.57%
Pa:HR:       10.06%
Distance:   32.319 km
Elevation Gain:     429 m
Elevation Loss:   95 m
Grade:     1.0 %  (335 m)
Min Max Avg
Heart Rate:   100 180 154 bpm
Cadence:     18 133 94 rpm
Speed:       19.3 68.1 34.5 kph
Pace         0:53 3:07 1:44 min/km
Altitude:     290 625 424 m
Crank Torque: 0 74 21.5 N-m
Temperature: 13 15 14.4 Celsius

This section of the race didn't seem so taxing at the time, but intensity factor of 1.011 tells another story. So how did NP get so high?
If the general definition of a "match" is 1min+ at 120%+ FTP, then I didn't really burn many on the way to Buller.
This section of the race did take it's toll, and due to the multitude of smaller undulations over what was an an on-average positive gradient - I'll redefine a match here to be 20sec+ at 150%+ FTP.
Within these parameters we have 13 matches burnt at 150%+ FTP for 25-60sec duration. Much shorter but higher intensity efforts than a traditional match - but burning 'em at an average rate of one every 4 minutes over the 52 minute period.

The climb:
Full gas from the toll booth. Two minutes later I eased off - letting the head of the race roll on up the road. Cramp in left calf some minutes later. I was frustrated with the cramp, it subsided after a couple of minutes and I spent the rest of the climb feeling positively slow. 

Lap 2 (climb):
Duration:   52:32
Work:       794 kJ
TSS:       82.2 (intensity factor 0.969)
VI:         1.02
Pw:HR:       3.59%
Pa:HR:       10.71%
Distance:   15.143 km
Elevation Gain:     921 m
Elevation Loss:   0 m
Grade:     6.1 %  (922 m)
Min Max Avg
Heart Rate:   160 175 165 bpm
Cadence:     19 114 81 rpm
Speed:       0 34.2 16.1 kph
Pace         1:45 0:00 3:44 min/km
Altitude:     625 1547 1095 m
Crank Torque: 0 63.1 30.1 N-m
Temperature: 14 16 14.7 Celsius

Buller village was perfect for post-race basking in and amongst the alpine vistas. Ride back to Mansfield for a bite to eat was a great way to finish the morning.

In hindsight - disappointed at the slow rate of ascent during final climb, but in the context of the entire effort it seems more Ok.
On the up side, 1:48:59 at IF 0.99 does suggest fitness improvements while the PM has been absent - so time to test and lock-in new numbers.

Entire workout:
Duration:   1:48:59
Work:       1534 kJ
TSS:       177.3 (intensity factor 0.99)
VI:         1.12
Pw:HR:       -7.29%
Pa:HR:       56.36%
Distance:   47.556 km
Elevation Gain:     1354 m
Elevation Loss:   95 m
Grade:     2.7 %  (1260 m)
Min Max Avg
Heart Rate:   100 180 160 bpm
Cadence:     18 133 88 rpm
Speed:       0 68.1 25.5 kph
Pace         0:53 0:00 2:21 min/km
Altitude:     290 1550 751 m
Crank Torque: 0 74 25.6 N-m
Temperature: 13 16 14.6 Celsius

Thanks Cycling Victoria and Mansfield Mt. Buller Cycling Club.
Enjoyed this outing. Good training for the Baw, spectacular weather, great (tough) little course, good company, great climb. Dare say I'll be back next year.

Full Results

Monday, February 6, 2012

BBN Track: 04/02/2012

Summer of Track at BBN. B grade. Format: Scratch, Handicap and Motor Pace.

Scratch: 15 Laps. Rider at front of paceline broke early - I (2nd wheel) chased him down - shouldn't have - break would never had lasted. 3 laps to go x2 riders jumped off the front - I chased them down (yes, I do chase everything) - then the 'ol 1-2 played out - feeling the pressure after the chase I put my head down and immediately jumped as the counter attack came past. Held 3rd place until final meters - rider came around me. 4th Place.

Handicap: 6 Laps (combined A/B). Full gas until group had formed that could work with - back markers came around 3/4 lap to go - I held on but got boxed in as they came around - think was 3rd place B grade. ? Place.

Motor Pace: 15 Laps. By 8 laps remaining I felt the pace was hot and maybe faster than normal, or I was more fatigued than normal. I was considering how everyone else was feeling, and thought a few might be dropped (I didn't look back). 2 laps to go I rolled off the back of the derny and looked down - a quick double take moment followed as there was only x1 rider left on my wheel - now we were down to a race for 1st or 2nd. 1.5 laps to go derny pulls off - other rider rolls through. I pull 1/2 lap turn and signal for other rider to roll through - he won't come by. Head down for 1/3 more lap - other rider attacks, I didn't have enough gas to get on his wheel. Other rider holds to win. 2nd Place.

3rd overall.

I have a tendency to chase moves when it's not warranted - got to put a lid on that urge. Anyways, it's all good training. The format of these races is too short for any sort of enduro engine to be able to shine - so maybe it's good I keep voluntarily driving myself into the red - more lactic bang for my enduro buck..

Friday, February 3, 2012

Log: 03/02/2012

In a hole, climbing out..

The "Paperclip"

My Quarq CinQo wouldn't pair with my Edge 500 on Wednesday. It worked Tuesday, end every other day before that. I was irked, but felt that there was a chance it was a battery contact issue, magnet, or battery charge issue. I had no time to troubleshoot - had left the house to race at Kew Blvd and left myself no time to spare..

The race itself was just plain painful. I was now feeling the cumulative fatigue of the previous week. My throat was burning and unusually dry for most of the race and I was concerned I was tasting the beginnings of a viral onslaught. Big effort just to hang in the initially large but gradually diminishing pack. Ave speed (no power) was similar to previous weeks that had tended to yield an NP of ~290 watts. It always seems high to me - (NP for crit at that particular circuit) at 4.5 watts/kg, but on the other hand, it never feels easy..

Chapeau to Brendon "Barney" Mahoney, new recruit to 6am-er ranks - on his 3rd place in the BGrade race. I didn't see much of Brendon as I see-sawed my way up and back through the peloton - throat on fire and praying for death, but he clearly handled himself nicely over the duration..

Thursday I took a nice easy ride out to pick up my new saddle - feels Ok, will def need to work on the position to get it just right.

Thursday night I removed the Quarq after trying all suggestions in the troubleshooting section of the user's manual, and finding no relief from the ANT+ radio silence. Took it back to the place of purchase. Please be only a week on turnaround of a new unit.. Please.. (I understand that the distributor will replace the spider).

I also got to wrenching on Thursday night - making sure my old ride, affectionately known as the "Paperclip" is ready to assume the role of main ride while sad Quarq unit is gone away. The Paperclip is a circa 2006 TCR Advanced frameset- which is no piece of junk, and was ridden in the professional peloton back in the day - but I have got to say, compared to more contemporary carbon framesets - this ol girl just bends like a paperclip - even under my hardly overbearing ~64kg self.

Today I just took it easy on the bike, no Friday Muntanyes - still little tired. I'll see if Ol wants to race track tomorrow, and make a call on that front based on his response..

Monday, January 30, 2012

Log: 30/01/2012

Training Principles - 7:

Individualization, Periodization, Progressive Overload, Balance, Specificity, Reversiblility, Evaluation, Rest-Recuperation-Diet. 

"Progress, i.e., improved fitness, cannot be achieved if there is not sufficient time and rest between workouts." Howe

A week in the Vic Alps:

25/01/2011 - Road | Muntanyes
Mt. Hotham (Bright --> Return)..

    Duration:      5:49:23
    Work:          2795 kJ
    TSS:           273.5 (intensity factor 0.803)
    Norm Power:    213
    VI:            1.18
    Pw:HR:          22.24%
    Pa:HR:          -28.42%
    Distance:      115.638 km
    Elevation Gain:        1910 m
    Elevation Loss:       1874 m
    Grade:         0.0 %  (36 m)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    584    181     watts
    Heart Rate:      74    168    130     bpm
    Cadence:         19    126    81     rpm
    Speed:           0    76.3    19.5     kph
    Pace             0:47    0:00    3:04     min/km
    Altitude:        316    1858    1115     m
    Crank Torque:    0    69.9    21.8     N-m
    Temperature:     13    36    20.9     Celsius

Top of Hotham, looking toward Falls Creek

What can I say, Hotham is a fantastic climb and the conditions today were nothing short of spectacular. Clear skies and 20c at the summit - virtually no wind..

I rode this climb somewhere close to full gas, but didn't completely turn myself inside out knowing there is a weeks climbing in the Vic Alps ahead.

My time for the actual ascent was 1:30:48 - just short of the sub 1:30 that I was aiming for.

Quick update:- Noticed there are x2 Hotham segments defined at Strava, so depending on which one you define as the "real" Hotham you can apply the appropriate time: Mt Hotham Mount Hotham

Happy with "the" time - it's a challenge pacing yourself over a 1.5 hour uphill ITT, but the lay of the ascent helps the rider to mentally segment the climb into x3 ~10km chunks.

Will be back on this particular road come November (Stratford to Dargo KOM )...

26/01/2011 - Road | Muntanyes
Tawonga Gap Repeats..

Entire workout (146 watts):
    Duration:      4:15:06
    Work:          1747 kJ
    TSS:           149.7 (intensity factor 0.676)
    Norm Power:    179
    VI:            1.23
    Pw:HR:          100%
    Pa:HR:          100%
    Distance:      74.759 km
    Elevation Gain:        1548 m
    Elevation Loss:       1583 m
    Grade:         -0.0 %  (-34 m)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    465    146     watts
    Heart Rate:      90    157    130     bpm
    Cadence:         16    123    74     rpm
    Speed:           0    71.7    17.2     kph
    Pace             0:50    0:00    3:29     min/km
    Altitude:        277    851    509     m
    Crank Torque:    0    59.3    19.1     N-m
    Temperature:     12    31    23.2     Celsius

An easier day today - 1x Tawonga-A & 2x Tawonga-B with a coffee at Beauty in the mix.

27/01/2011 - Road | Muntanyes
Mt. Buffalo (Bright --> Return)..

Entire workout (159 watts):
    Duration:      3:29:09
    Work:          1854 kJ
    TSS:           197.3 (intensity factor 0.788)
    Norm Power:    209
    VI:            1.31
    Pw:HR:          23.81%
    Pa:HR:          -28.66%
    Distance:      83.725 km
    Elevation Gain:        1341 m
    Elevation Loss:       1299 m
    Grade:         0.1 %  (44 m)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    453    159     watts
    Heart Rate:      60    166    121     bpm
    Cadence:         19    118    81     rpm
    Speed:           0    63.8    23.6     kph
    Pace             0:56    0:00    2:33     min/km
    Altitude:        262    1323    642     m
    Crank Torque:    0    67.6    18.9     N-m
    Temperature:     14    24    18.2     Celsius

I rolled out early and caught the local bunch intending to ride out over Tawonga Gap. Gave my best wishes to Richard Reid for his 200km ITT (Audax Alpine Classic 200) on Sunday. I stayed with the group to the turnoff for the gap, then doubled back to the base of Buffalo - giving me 60 minutes warm-up before commencing the climb.

My legs were not entirely dead, but certainly a little heavy from the previous days of training. Was definitely wise to warm up for the hour, and I still found myself circling at the base (procrastinating) - worrying about whether I had the physical and mental grit to put in a solid 60min TT on this fine morning. Had been 2 years since I had last climbed Buffalo and didn't really recall much about the climb (always/only ever climbed Buffalo at the end of an AAC200 = too delerius to really take it in).

Climb was well paced - false flat was much shorter than I recalled. Theme of the week was now taking shape: I had a vague Idea that I wanted to go sub 60min, my ascent took 1:00:23. Needless to say, I'd like to come back and hit this with fresh legs next time.

28/01/2011 - Road | Muntanyes
Mt. Buffalo - Father/Son..

Ol and I have been training for his Buffalo ascent from early December 2011. Plenty of 1in20 reps for the young fella, and lots of planning/discussion. 

Mt Buffalo (to the Gap):
Distance 18.5 km
Avg Grade 5.4%
Elev Gain1,004 meters

Glorious early morning sunshine

Entire workout (81 watts):
    Duration:      4:07:29
    Work:          925 kJ
    TSS:           46.3 (intensity factor 0.388)
    Norm Power:    103
    VI:            1.26
    Pw:HR:          42.23%
    Pa:HR:          -122.27%
    Distance:      42.013 km
    Elevation Gain:        1096 m
    Elevation Loss:       1049 m
    Grade:         0.1 %  (46 m)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    456    81     watts
    Heart Rate:      87    181    142     bpm
    Cadence:         19    113    50     rpm
    Speed:           0    50    9.8     kph
    Pace             1:12    0:00    6:09     min/km
    Altitude:        307    1345    909     m
    Crank Torque:    0    56.4    15.8     N-m
    Temperature:     18    29    22.7     Celsius

3/4 to the saddle..

Finally the big day had come, & it was another gorgeous morning in the beautiful Vic Alps.
I was really hoping that Oliver would successfully complete the climb - after such a long build up I didn't want to see the lad disappointed and potentially discouraged.

Our training had been based around higher intensity climbing in Melbourne (Dandenongs) - threshold work in ~30min blocks - this equated to Ol holding ~125-130 watts by my PM, and a HR of ~175-180bpm.

For the Buffalo climb I paced Ol at 100 watts, with a HR of 145-150, and we broke this work down into 2km blocks - resting in between - eating, drinking, chatting, and taking in the awesome vistas.

The climb itself took about 2 & 3/4 hours - but the time really flew, we were having a ball. At the Chalet there was some celebration, more sight seeing and resting.

At the Summit!!

A huge congratulations to Ol - a big accomplishment for a 10yo, and so glad that what eventuated was a great adventure, and not an epic struggle :)
A great lesson illustrating to the young man that with planning, diligence and consistency you can achieve even the most daunting of goals.

Ol plans to keep training and racing for the coming year - and may aim to complete the ride again next year, this time from Bright & return.

One of my fave mountain top vistas, from the Chalet lookout..

29/01/2011 - Road | Muntanyes
Audax Alpine Classic - 140 (Bright --> Mt. Beauty&Return, Bright --> Mt. Buffalo&Return)..

Entire workout (146 watts):
    Duration:      7:08:44
    Work:          3024 kJ
    TSS:           295.1 (intensity factor 0.721)
    Norm Power:    191
    VI:            1.31
    Pw:HR:          -0.5%
    Pa:HR:          11.63%
    Distance:      140.473 km
    Elevation Gain:        2583 m
    Elevation Loss:       2502 m
    Grade:         0.1 %  (83 m)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    651    146     watts
    Heart Rate:      50    172    111     bpm
    Cadence:         18    126    74     rpm
    Speed:           0    62.2    19.2     kph
    Pace             0:58    0:00    3:08     min/km
    Altitude:        348    1531    779     m
    Crank Torque:    0    74.7    19.0     N-m
    Temperature:     16    36    24.4     Celsius
A nice roll around the Alpine Classic 140 course with some friends.

For fun I attacked Tawonga-B hoping for a sub 25min, could only manage 25:25.
I lost concentration a little in the middle section, but all up it was a solid effort on some fairly tired legs.

Lap 2 (Tawonga-B):
    Duration:      25:25
    Work:          434 kJ
    TSS:           49.4 (intensity factor 1.076)
    Norm Power:    285
    VI:            1.01
    Pw:HR:          9.61%
    Pa:HR:          8.22%
    Distance:      7.569 km
    Elevation Gain:        470 m
    Elevation Loss:       0 m
    Grade:         6.2 %  (472 m)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    440    283     watts
    Heart Rate:      120    172    164     bpm
    Cadence:         49    101    82     rpm
    Speed:           8.8    28.1    17.1     kph
    Pace             2:08    6:49    3:30     min/km
    Altitude:        506    978    745     m
    Crank Torque:    0    52.3    33.1     N-m
    Temperature:     24    25    24.2     Celsius

21/01/2011 - Road | Muntanyes
Tawonga Gap Repeats..

Sullivan's Lookout

Entire workout (168 watts):
    Duration:      2:26:42
    Work:          1315 kJ
    TSS:           116.1 (intensity factor 0.737)
    Norm Power:    195
    VI:            1.16
    Pw:HR:          -8.54%
    Pa:HR:          -7.82%
    Distance:      53.839 km
    Elevation Gain:        1002 m
    Elevation Loss:       1048 m
    Grade:         -0.1 %  (-44 m)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    386    168     watts
    Heart Rate:      60    148    117     bpm
    Cadence:         21    161    81     rpm
    Speed:           0    60.8    21.6     kph
    Pace             0:59    0:00    2:46     min/km
    Altitude:        330    901    599     m
    Crank Torque:    0    55.4    20.3     N-m
    Temperature:     11    20    13.8     Celsius

Rested on Monday, today some more climbing, but zone3 work to keep the engine running while facilitating some further unloading.
Heavy fog in Bright on depart. At the top of Tawonga Gap the low lying fog was being blown up the mountain and out off the Kiewa Valley side - absolutely beautiful morning..

Fog at top of Tawonga..

6 Days of riding: 530km horizontal, 10,600m vertical. Great start to build block leading into Autumn racing.

Monday, January 23, 2012

BBN Track: 21/01/2012

23/01/2012 - Track | Race

Ol - Thurs night training

Summer of Track at BBN. B grade. Format: Scratch, Elimination Pursuit and Points Race.

Scratch: 15 Laps. Pretty sedate and orderly for 1st 3min. Kevin Murphy surged from the front at the 3:00 mark and I stuck to his wheel. Kev peeled off and pulled into a gap that had formed mid pack. I pulled my turn and rolled off to the back - pace settled down again. At 4:30 Rob Monteath attacked off the front and there was a period of off/on surging to chase back for about 60sec - somewhere toward the back of the paceline I just stayed with the surging, not overly concerned as there were still 4 or so laps remaining. With 1 lap to go the field was all together & I was around 4th wheel - an attack was launched from the front and I followed, holding my position until 30 meters to go where I came around into 3rd place and held it across the line. 3rd Place.

Elimination Pursuit: (Starting positions - riders staggered around the track. Aim: Do not be overtaken. If you are overtaken - you are eliminated. Every rider you overtake is eliminated.)
From the starters whistle I jumped quickly across to the wheel of the rider in front. Trying to hold it together after the initial red hot effort I kept an eye out behind for any riders catching - no immediate threats. Decided to sit on my front man and let him do the work of chasing the next rider down until there was a real threat from behind - then I'd then eliminate my front man and try to hold off the threat from the rear. After what seemed to be an eternity (at 2:50) my wheel in front was spent - still no threat from behind. I pulled around and settled into a fast tempo - was a ~70meter gap to next rider ahead (Zach MacLeod). Before long we were the last two riders remaining, and 3 laps were called. I strapped on my pain face and smashed out a maximal effort for the 3 laps - now riding solo, the strong headwind on the back straight was haenous, but I slowly gained on Zach and held it together for the win. 1st Place.

Points Race: 18 Laps. Legs bit spent now.. Sprints were at 11, 4 and 0 laps. I thought I crossed the line a comfortable 3rd for the first sprint - but in final results the commissar didn't see it that way. Next two sprints I think was 5th and 4th. Just no more punch in the pins... No place.

2nd overall.

Finally I have changed my gearing for the outdoor track (90.6 --> 86.4) & I think it's paying dividends. No longer have that feeling of not being on top of the gear - particularly in sprints. I think when I moved to 90.6 it was for racing at DISC and I was about 5kg heavier. I have to now persisted with this rollout all summer (outdoors) - which was pretty silly (strength work??)..

Chapeau to Brad James for a massive 2 lap effort off the front in A grade scratch race - nearly holding off the strong field in hot pursuit to the finish line!

Wishing Oliver, Connall & Sam a speedy recovery after a touch of wheels in F grade brought the boys down.

Monday, January 9, 2012

HCC Criterium: 04/01/2012

04/01/2012 - Road | Race

New year opener at HCC - Kew Boulevard. B grade. Format: 35min +3 laps.

Beautiful night - mild and clear. A little headwind down back straight - nothing of major significance.
Small field of 10 or so riders - quite uneventful until interim sprint. I made a semi-spirited attempt to chase the only rider that seem determined to win the sprint (Boomchicka) in case he wanted to carry on over the hill and perhaps ride away - which he didn't do, so - all back together and the laps ticked over until it was called for 3 to go.
Only 4/10 riders were working from the front, myself included. Nobody wanted to work & it took a considerable amount of slowing to get anyone to come through. The pace was fairly pedestrian on the night, things hotted up for the final 3 laps - I was 3rd wheel into the final corner (hairpin) and crossed the line 7th. Yes, 4 people came over me in the sprint... Well, it seems they sprinted anyway :)

I'm no crit machine at the best of times - but as they say - train your weaknesses. I'll keep coming back 'cos when it's all said and done, it's a solid workout...

    Duration:      39:23
    Work:          529 kJ
    TSS:           74 (intensity factor 1.066)
    Norm Power:    283
    VI:            1.26
    Pw:HR:          10.06%
    Pa:HR:          0.64%
    Distance:      24.545 km
    Elevation Gain:        167 m
    Elevation Loss:       169 m
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    780    224     watts
    Heart Rate:      127    179    165     bpm
    Cadence:         20    125    98     rpm
    Temperature:     22    25    22.6     Celsius

BBN Track: 07/01/2012

07/01/2012 - Track | Race

New year opener at BBN. B grade. Format: Scratch, Progressive Points and Motor Pace.

Scratch: 15 Laps. Very steady tempo for 13 laps. Was at the front of the paceline with 2 laps to go and when peeling off folded back 3/4 of the way and waited in the wings. 1.5 laps to go I jumped and held off the bunch until ~15m remained - Barry Woods and Jono Dent came around me. 3rd Place.

Progressive Points: Poor judgement saw me earn no points here. Jono Dent jumped early to start collecting some of the early points and was consolidating a sizable gap on the rest of the field. I took it upon myself to chase him down (dragged the field along with) and left myself pretty empty for the remainder of the race. I chased fast - I don't know why.. 0 Points.

Motor Pace: 15 Laps. 1.5 laps to go the derny pulled off, a few riders pulled level across the track. Everyone watching everyone else. I jumped as hard as possible and led for the lap. With 1/4 lap remaining Rob Monteath came around and started to get a good gap on me, but I held off remainder of the field to cross the line 2nd Place.

3rd overall. Reasonable result considering the points race bungle.