Friday 12 September 2008

Thursday Night Time Trial: the end

Well, I went off yesterday to do my last Ottawa Bicycle Club 15 km Open Time Trial. I felt great, had a good warm-up and hit the course at high speed. There was a variable wind but I felt good at the turnaround and shortly after passed my 30 second man. He stayed with me for a while but when we had to overtake two non-racing cyclists on the Parkway I stomped on it and left him far behind.

In spite of this my time across the line was 23:05, 10 seconds slower than last week which was already 12 seconds slower than the week before. I was very disappointed not to reach the 40 km/h average I had hoped for this season, having managed 39.6 km/h in my best race. I will just have to see if I can build up some strength in the gym and then try again in Spring. I was exhausted after the race and slept very soundly but am stiff and sore all over today so it was not from lack of effort. I am still hopeful but I have yet to prove that in cycling sufficient training can overcame lack of inherent talent.

I am puzzled as to why I was so slow and won't make any excuses but it was definitely much colder than in previous races. Looking at the results this morning I see that for most of the racers there were only a few Personal Bests.

One more chance at redemption comes on September 21st when I go for the flat 40 km race.


Lily on the Road said...

You were so close! Knowing absolutely nothing about racing, I'll throw in my two cents anyway!

Maybe cross training this winter would add those much desired km's/hr... running or swimming & of course hours on the bike...

so close!

Groover said...

Nonetheless a great result as it sounds as if you have been racing very consistently and you seem to be on top of your cramping problems from a few weeks ago. Wind might have played a role. You only really know if you didn't really improve if you had power data to compare.

Sprocketboy said...

Thank you for the encouragement! Time trialling is a discipline where minor changes can yield big differences. The fact that it was much colder means that there is increased air resistance, so 10 seconds lost over the course could be partially accounted for by this.

Although I am looking forward to cross-training, which will probably begin in 2-3 weeks, I have identified some areas to focus on, cadence being primary and bike fit coming just after that. My coach says that it takes years to get the cadence right and I believe it. I have temporarily set aside the dream of going flat out with a 54-11 (running a 53-12 is hard enough!) and want to stay in the 85-100 rpm sweet spot instead.

You can check all the club results for the last decade and there is a rider in my age category who, two years ago, was much slower than I am now but who now is regularly in the first five. Clearly time trialling rewards patience and application.

I would like to ride the Provincials next year but since they come in the second week of September it will be tricky to develop a plan that will let me peak then if I start the season in May.

This is my second year of time trialling but my first year trying to do it seriously. It is challenging and fun and I am already focused on getting better next year!

Groover said...

Agree with everything you said. You can easily loose ten seconds by just having a bad turn. A powermeter will give you the answers!