Posts Tagged ‘Hill Intervals


Walburg 2012

Well, nothing like a little hubris to tame your ego, eh?

The 2012 version of the Walburg race was as anticlimactic as the event itself was a year earlier, when I scored in a final breakaway and just missed winning the damned thing by nine feet and two places! This year, flush with confidence from my previous successes in January and February, a first, a second, and a third, I figured racing Masters was my ticket to success in this event.

Boy was I wrong.

It started out with me not having any real teammates to speak of, a stacked field, complete with about 50 extra riders from Austin, and a lack of wind in the first lap, to really crack the field. I drove down the morning of the event, since my start was later in the day, got there plenty early, and made friends while I warmed up. The start itself had me near the front, and I sort of tried to make friends, but the McKinney Velo guys had ALL hands on deck, as did most of the other teams, so I was sort of odd-man out. I ended up basically trying in complete vain to set up a breakaway, got in to maybe one or two small efforts that were doomed, and essentially rode myself out of energy and in to some damned calf and quad cramps (which was weird, given that I felt I was adequately hydrated and rested, but there were other things going on that I’ll reveal in a later post), and after 70 minutes, I basically removed myself from the race so I wouldn’t hurt anyone in the pack if my legs cramped up. I set ALL SORTS of season highs for Normalized power, but in the end, it was completely for naught, as I burned through over 1000 KJ’s, was above my previous IF high for 70 minutes, and then completely blew up.

There isn’t much to tell here. I rode like a moron, and really should’ve waited at or near the front, until the wind began to pick up, and then made friends out on the road. But I didn’t, and honestly, next time, I’ll either make sure I have allies with me, or I’ll wait and try to be more patient.

I’ll try to add a photo to this, but honestly, the only photo I saw from back then had me leading out the pack,like a silver locomotive, with everyone else just eating hot dogs and drinking milk shakes.


Aggression vs Assertion

Wharton climbing Mt. Locke Stage 1 Ft. Davis Stage Race

Well, it’s over. My A#1 priority race is come and gone, and I can’t be more discouraged. My results were awful. My watts in crucial areas were down significantly. I raced with severe, bald passion and aggression, for naught, and I mean naught. The only good thing to come out of the races was a good time trial, and a resolve to never embarrass myself or my teammates like that again.

Here’s the thing though, I can’t help myself! In the 16 mile uphill, I launched an attack that only one rider was able to match. He held on in the hills. I got caught and finished 3:30 behind him. Today, I soloed off the front, got 1-2 minutes up in a crucial part of the course, but got caught, swallowed, and eventually spit out the back on the one freaking hill that I knew was going to be troublesome.

I was ready. I was prepared. I trained within my limitations for time and intensity, and got nothing, absolutely nothing for it. My teammates helped, they were great, and I just feel like I let them down, as well as myself. So, so frustrating.

I don’t know if I want to continue doing this. The frustration factor is high, the cost is high, and the results are far too fleeting. The intrinsic reward for knowing I ‘did my best’ is now permanently shadowed by the lack of extrinsic results. I’ve never felt so compelled to cheat or bribe my way to a win, though the shame of that would be worse than the crappy results I’ve been earning this calendar year. Last year, I was SO hopeful! This year, just supreme frustration. I pretty much hate racing right now.


Manor 2010

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Not much to say here. I drove down, I raced, I got in to a total of 25 miles of breakaways, some solo, some 2’s, 3’s and 4’s, I got caught, we got lapped by the 1/2’s, and I finished in the Top 20. I got into a verbal match with someone after the race, which was stupid, and it ruined an otherwise great day in great weather. I’m tired of the BS that is Texas racing, however. No one wants to try hard enough, and I didn’t have enough teammates to do anything.

I think I’ll pack it up after the 17th and maybe just focus on rallies. No points, but they play in to my strengths better.


Wednesday night intervals


I decided to have the crew repeat the intervals that we did on Monday night. I mean, after all, they were SO MUCH FUN! 🙂 Essentially, everything was the same, but instead of starting at 275 and just blowing up like “Huey Duey and the Luey Kabluey” every time, I told everyone to back off on their wattage by at least 10% for the first 3 2-minute intervals, and the first 1 or 2 4.5 minute intervals. It seemed to work pretty darned well.

Intervals 1 & 2 were fine. Well, fine as in I was able to complete them, and was able to get some pretty high wattage averages. HR, however, went through the Nimbus, as I was routinely humming along in the 190’s, peaking out at the end of each interval in the 195-198 range. Finally, on Interval 3, I had a mental distraction that caused me to cut at 3 minutes. I rallied after a short 20-second recovery, but it still blew the rhythm. The 4th interval went great, but the 5th was interrrupted by Jim insisting that his tire was slipping…. Turns out it was flat, but as ride leader, I had to dismount and check everything.

I’m considering making another mondo investment in some abandoned wheels and attaching some Conti Indoor Trainer tires to them, just like I have for a lot of other bikes and owners. But the incentive there is to put EVERYONE on an indoor trainer tire. That’ll be a logistical PITA, but it may reduce our flats and slips.

The group this morning and tonight changed plans, however, and I put them through 8 separate 45 second intervals at some ungodly wattage value, like 140%. Gary and Michael did great, and I made it my task to get Dorothy through them. She did great. I’ll tackle them myself next week some time. Tomorrow, however, I want to do a 20-minute TT. See what the tea leaves read. See if the RaceDay predictor is accurate.

There’s also some racing this weekend… I’m actually looking forward to it. W/KG!


Monday Night Intervals

Week 2 of the December Stress Busters, and another night of dripping intervals…

We started out with some sort-of-triangle shaped 2-minute puppies with slopes approaching 125%, and short recoveries. Then, after about 4 minutes of rest or low wattage, we engaged in 5 separate 4.5 minute intervals that were roughly 116 to 118% of threshold. Well, part of it was my inability to get a good warmup in, but honestly, I don’t think anyone could have made it through 5 of these puppies without grinding to a halt. No one completed the 5 intervals without manipulating the numbers, but that’s now my goal. On the last three, I instructed everyone to start with a lower threshold value, and then work their way up. That went better, but by then, I think we’d all blown up a couple of times too many.

4-5 minute hills at 115%+ are PERFECT for several of the events that will be held this spring in Texas. I’m going to do these again on Wednesday, and will incorporate them in to the training protocol for the winter-spring campaign.

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