Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Training - 10 x 231+ rpm

I've eluded to training a bit more than normal in previous posts, and in fact, I've been able to keep up the momentum.

Over the weekend, the perfect weekend for riding, I got out for just over two hours on Saturday. I once again rode to my favorite sprint venue a couple towns over and ripped off a half dozen sprints. I never went over 38.2 mph but with a headwind in the sprint, I got over my disappointment.

When I got home I got the Power Tap, downloaded the data, and checked out what I had. My max power wasn't as high (1377 watts) but I could see why my speed in the sprints wasn't optimal - my work to hit the lights properly on the sprint straight was quite significant.

In fact, my highest one minute average wattage ended up a touch over 500 watts at 513 watts - this being a semi-self-leadout to hit various lights, a jump to catch a car, and sprinting up to it, and finally a long sprint after I passed it. This is about 70 watts over my previous max which I attained at the very difficult Hartford Crit over Memorial Day weekend.

On the downside my other averages were pretty pitiful - from 216 watts for 5 min down to 131 watts for 120 minutes (only 8 below my 60 minute wattage).

Sunday I was too tired - ran errands early in the morning (got a tire plugged for my bro, pet tags with new phone number, and food), worked in the normal morning (tethered to the house, no wireless card yet), then went to look at a house over 90 minutes away, raced back, worked more, and then, well, I was exhausted.

Today is pretty much the last day I can train really, really hard before the next New Britain on Sunday. And I'd like to do well there - my previous race there was exciting but I totally sat up in the sprint after getting concerned about a minor thing like crashing.

Having re-seduced myself to having a light wheel, I've taken steps to see if I can use a lighter wheel in the race. So far it looks like I'll be rebuilding the PT wheel on Thursday - and if things work out, I'll be racing on it on Sunday. It won't be aero but I'll take that in exchange for dropping close to 3/4 of a pound off the outer rotating weight of my rear wheel.

To prepare for the race I decided to shock the system. And I have the new perfect tool to do so - my newly rebuilt fixed gear flywheel spin bike. Note the Look Keos, the tubular steel crankarms (I re-used the steel chainring). You might notice the channel locks in the back (blue handle) which I used to remove the old bottom bracket. And you can see the weights I have to put on the back feet so I keep the bike in place. The front doesn't have weights so I end up lifting it off the ground when I do my jumps - sort of fun in a "doing burn-outs in your car" kind of way. The planted rear keeps me from walking the bike across the floor (the cardboard helps too). Having said that the bike did start about a foot away from the edge of the rug - the edge that it's almost over.

With 175 cranks (instead of 170s) and clipless pedals, work I do on the spin bike will carry over better to my real bike. Normally these would be BMX bike cranks. I have no idea how those guys race so fast. I guess that's why BMX is a good intro sport to road racing - lots of pedal speed.

Being a bit pressed for time, I selected to do an intense, high rpm workout. Sprints every minute, break 230 rpm every time, try and break 240 rpm, and no bailing out (i.e. unclipping to let the fixed gear flywheel coast down on its own).

After the second sprint I thought I was a bit ambitious and toned it down to "see how many sprints I can do - like 4" instead of the 15 I wanted to do initially. But as I warmed up to the efforts, I consistently hit 236 rpm and once even hit 241 rpm. This involved a lot of inadvertent grunting and such but it worked.

I decided to keep going past 4 sprints.

The 9th sprint I really tried hard to break 241 rpm - and although it took a long effort, I finally hit 244 rpm. A triple grunt sprint.

This totally wasted me and I called it quits after the 10th sprint, another triple grunt, 236 rpm sprint.

My legs were already complaining - and I know from previous experience that this will mean two to three days of soreness. I'll do some easier spin type rides, lift, and maybe do another ride or two outside.

Saturday is a hang-out-with-friends day which simply means I'll be fueling up for Sunday while hanging out with friends.

And we'll see what happens Sunday.


K-Man said...


I'll be getting my BlackEye 2 Helmet mounted cam hopefully this week! 92 degrees, and it'll attach to a mpvr. Weight will be around 2 pounds. Shoot me an e-mail at obra3(at)mac(dot)com I'd love to chat with you about shooting strategies!

suitcaseofcourage said...

Even just reading about your trainer bike and those sprints makes me tired. Good luck at New Britain! - I'm afraid I'll be packing instead of racing...

Aki said...

just missed you... I'd rather have to pack, just as an FYI, but I'll take a race :)

email on the way kman.

Ray said...

Popped a 255 last night ;-).

Aki said...

daggummit. Just wait till after New Britain. And after my legs allow me to walk. I'll get you yet.

I'll lower the seat, get 165's, blah blah blah...