Saturday, June 6, 2009

What's been going on here....

I've been gone for a while. Holidays and road trips are always fun, yet stressful in their own right. I'm finding that if I don't write the recap of events on the road trip home from the event, it rarely ever gets written. I'll work on that. After all, I've readers (somewhere) to entertain.

In the couple of weeks I traveled to the sun scorched land of Texas for some work at the Source Endurance office as well as some bike racing. Including the best weekly series this side of the equator. The Driveway. 60 minutes of fast and furious bike racing on a super smooth course. The best thing about racing in Austin is that all the races are fast. Numbers of a Thursday night race:
Average Speed: 27.5
Normalized power: 322W
Number of entrants in the P,1,2,3 race: 60+
Number of times Pat McCarty jumped: about a million.
Number of times Squadra has won this race in 2009: Lots.

From there it was on to Dallas to do some fast and fun Criteriums for the entirety of Memorial Day weekend. These races usually start and end FAST. At some point a small group goes, usually in the last 4-8 laps and it never gets any easier.

Co-worker Dave Wenger won Saturday's race on a brilliant 7/8 lap to go move and stuck it. Ouch! I'm surprised he could even raise his arms at the finish. Congrats Dave.

So I raced Thursday, Sat, Sun, Mon. Then came Tulsa Tough. 3 motorcycle fast days of criterium racing at the P,1- NRC level. So much fun! Racing with Pros is hard, but more relaxing in a way because compared even to Elite Amateurs the guys are smooth and can drive their bikes. But the races were hard and I didn't finish as well as I would have liked.

Reality Check:
The beauty and bane of doing hard races is that with a power meter you can really analyze the file and see what happened. This is especially useful when you actually get dropped and mark the next dangerous move that goes out the back end of the field. You see, just like watching "game film" in other professional sports, a power meter can tell volumes about when, why and how you failed in a bike race. Were the efforts too much? Too high of powers? Not enough rest between jumps? Cadence effect? Overreach? Just blow-up? Just plain out-horsepowered? Well, it happens and the important thing is to figure out what happened, why and take steps to correct it. However, the blow of getting dropped to the average over-inflated bike racer ego is a bit more tricky (insert would have, could have, should have here) to manage so it's important to consult with the rider and tell them what was found and explain the steps.

That's what happened to me beginning in Texas and running into Tulsa Tough. Of the six races, I didn't finish 2 of them. That's odd for as it hasn't happened in a long, long time. Sure the two races were widely regarded as "hard" as in teeth marks on your handle bars hard but still.... I should be finishing them. So onto the power files and Wha- La! Training plan to correct the weaknesses. After all, what's the use in the power meter if you just look at it and say, "wow" right?

Which brings me to peaking and the power meter....