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Showing posts from May, 2007
Is there no escape !?!?!?

I have now moved in to my new weekday "bachelor pad". Situated on the 28th floor of a swish apartment building it has a commanding vista of Birmingham city centre and the surrounding countryside. I'm pretty set now, I've got my training bike and turbo setup in front of the TV and had a good session last night.

So imagine my suprise when I looked down onto the bright lights of the A38 to see The Etap Hotel (!!!). I nearly did a double take.

What next? The Alpe D'Huez Arms?
Bank Holiday Turbo :-(

Glad I didn't go to the Pyrenees this weekend. Not so glad to be stuck indoors all weekend though. I guess I should be grateful for my turbo. 2x20, 3x20, FTP, RAMP ... yawn.

I can't even be bothered to postI have listed the averages ... they aren't any worse than earlier results but marginally improved. That Tacx imagic sounds more appealling now - although once you find a rhythm it can be quite meditative.

2x20 mins - 311w/165bpm 305w/168bpm3x20 mins - 315w/167bpm 306w/167bpm 302w/168bpm2x30 mins - 300w/168bpm 294w/168bpm25 mile TT (Road) 1hr 11mins. V.V.V.Windy (!) 267w/166bpm/90rpmSo my lactate threshold is 168 then !!I move into an apartment in Brum this week so the turbo is coming with me and the training bike. Ironically I'm quite excited about using the turbo during the week -- the gym bike I've been using for the last 8 months is a piece of crap. And it'll be nice to get some decent data on my performances rather than avg heartrate f…
Touch and Go
Looks like the Etape reccie weekend is tiltering on a knife edge for this weekend. The weather forecast for the midi pyrenees is appaulling apparently. I snatched a peek at the Foix weather and its mostly wet.
I'd rather get some miles in at home than blow a packet on travelling to a rain-swept mountain in the south of France. Just have to reschedule for Mid-June or something.
Having said that the weather forecast isn't that bad ...
Hilly Long Ride

Had to stop short of 9 hours, it was getting cold and I was very tired. Pleased with the day in the saddle. I hooked up with some guys putting the finishing touches to their training for the Tour of Wessex next week. It made a change to ride through undulating hills in a part of Surrey I'm not familiar with at all. After 4 hours I popped home and filled bottles before carrying on for a Tour of the Surrey Hills ride taking in the usual climbs but missed out the smaller climbs at the end in favour of getting home and out of the damn wind.
8 hours (7:40 ride time, waiting for some guys in Guildford)182km2,400m climbing140 HR average24km/h Speed average (disappointed but not surprised)78 cadence (disappointing)Blogger bug - HR curve image here.Next week its off to the Pyrenees for an Etape reccie - breaking the course into two days of riding; 100km with Col de Port and 96km with the remaining Cols. Then as a special treat we're gonna have a race up the mighty Tourmal…
New Long Ride Strategy

Time in the saddle not distance.

Rather than going for ever increasing distances and covering them faster I'm going for time in the saddle and distance covered. After Sunday at the Fred Whitton I realised that spending 8 hours plus in the saddle was a novelty for me.

So from now until Etape I'm going to spend 9 hrs in the saddle and measure the distance covered. I figure that I should be close to doing the ToSH route twice in that sort of time. I'll throw in a 6am start (to simulate the early rising) finishing about 3pm every Sunday afternoon.

2 reasons - more endurance training and practice nutrition for these durations. I don't want to be making excuses after Etape like I have been doing today (!!)
Etape Reccie Data

Got sent some polar data from a recent reccie by blogger Craig. I won't post it here but the most interesting parts for me were:
4,385m climbing48% time climbing 67km of cols33% time rumbling over 74km of flat19% time freewheeling down 70km of downhill9.5 hours would be really good going (gulp)I'm off to Foix over the May Bank Holiday and will capture all the data for your enjoyment. Hopefully it will be consistent with Craig's.
FWC - 8:24 Update: Power data uploaded and as suspected my power numbers are down significantly for the day. Average power 160w versus typically 190 for hilly rides. All critical power numbers are down. Its official. I was ill.
Bit of a mixed bag really. Really happy with the time since I was under the weather, crap preparation and really crap nutrition strategy on the day. These are just excuses though since its my responsibility to get these things right. Looking through the results I came 394th of 632 riders. 315 riders broke 8 hours this year compared to 200 last year, so the conditions were good.

Weather on the day was awesome with the only real rain kicking in as I finished the Wrynose descent. I on the other hand was appallingly underpowered on the day, struggled to get over 250w with a high HR. We camped the night before and I got little sleep and caught a chest infection which left me a little short of breath. Kicked off early and forgot (!) to have breakfast. What a Wally.

All …
FTP 284w - 3.8w/kg - "Good" Rating!

Average 284w which moves me from Moderate to Good according to this. Max 304, Min 277, Cadence 97. After a complete botched attempt yesterday I concentrated on maintaining a good cadence, working hard but not pushing too hard and burning out (like I did last night) and tried to be consistent for the whole 60 minutes.

Overall very happy with the test - it represents the best I can do right now and is much better than the road test I did last month. Still falls short of of the 292w that is needed for July but not by much....

Its worth noting that I put the turbo in the back garden for the test - the high winds for once were a real advantage - keeping me cool as I toiled. It started to rain as I hit 59 minutes into the test - the gods were smiling on me today.

There is no power data as I did this on the turbo and relied upon the Tacx display which was carefully calibrated and tested against the powertap - I didn't want to muck about changing …
Etape Descents Uncut

Watch them over at cyclefilm. I want to try and get a little familiarty before I do my reccie in a couple of weeks time. I'm crap at descending and need to make the most of the trip, which will mean lots of ascending to practice descending!
#4335 (4001 - 4500)

My number for Etape. Happy with that since it puts me in the middle of the field and could have been so much worse. Fellow blogger Rich A is in the last pen and I was dreading being in the same position. I also note that fellow blogger Peter C is in the same pen as me.

I feel a bit stupid for getting excited about getting my race number but hey, this thing has taken over my life this year!
"Monthly" RAMP Test

Protocol Pump up turbo tire to 100psi and pedal comfortably for 15 minutes, to allow me to warm up but more importantly the turbo to warm up. Then calibrate the turbo to 0. Warm up for another couple of minutes in case the calibration takes a while. The test proper can then begin, maintaining a comfortable cadence gradually increase the power output by moving through the gears. Target power output for 3 minute intervals are: 180, 210, 240, 260, 280, 300, 320. Finally, drop back to easy pedalling at 180w and wait for heartrate to return to level seen at the beginning of the test. I also used the Powertap to validate the Tacx values and they both displayed roughly the same power data, although the powertap jumped about a bit.
Results I've plotted them against the first test I did on March 18th. Results
Amateur Analysis

I appear to have become more efficient in my aerobic zones with no real change in my anaerobic zones. This kind of makes sense since this is wh…
Fred Whitton Challenge

I got a cancellation place and will be 'competing' next Sunday. Watch out for rider #160. Oh crikey, what have I done ;-) Looks like the weather is set to be truly awful on the day.

The challenge is run in the memory of Fred Whitton who was the Lakes Road Club racing secretary for many years, the Lakes and Lancs’ Division road racing secretary, an ex first cat, a promoter of numerous road races including the Lakes three day, an all round clubman who could drink a pint of Guinness with the best of them, sadly missed when he died of cancer at the age of 50. The proceeds of the ride will be donated equally to the MacMillan Nurses and the Dave Rayner Fund.

The sportive is about 114 miles long and takes in 4000 metres of climbing, so it really is a good measure of readiness for L'Etape, as well as being the premier UK sportive and a big day in its own right. Starting & finishing at Coniston, the route includes Ambleside, Kirkstone Pass (but not 'The …
Etape Schedule Published

The schedule has been published. Here are the elimination times:
07:40 Foix (Start) 0km09:32 Col de Port 31.2km12:40 Col de Portet d’Aspet 102km13:55 Col de Mente 117.8km17:35 Col du Port de Balès 162km18:41 Col de Peyresourde 187.1km19:00 Loudenvielle (Finish) 196kmSo 11:20 for the entire ride. Phew. First food station is at 70km too... thats a long way on 2 bottles in the heat. Gulp.

Looking back at my forecast from earlier:
07:00 vs. 07:40 Foix (Start) 08:35 vs. 09:32 Col de Port 11:10 vs. 12:40 Col de Portet d’Aspet 12:11 vs. 13:55 Col de Mente 14:36 vs. 17:35 Col du Port de Balès 15:57 vs. 18:41 Col de Peyresourde 16:12 vs. 19:00 Loudenvielle (Finish)Nothing like setting yourself up for a fall - not a lot of room for delay at the start especially if there is a bootleneck and you get in one of the last pens.