Monday, March 3, 2008

The day after... and stuff.

A beautiful day in Brisbane today, the day after Round 3 of the Sizzling Summer Series.
This was a better race for me. I did race well as far as I know and didn't get on the podium because I delayed my final move by less than 10 sec. That is all it takes. I did my share of attacks in the beginning of the race, had a go at the intermediate sprint and rested for a while. I was able to read some of the team tactics in the last couple of laps so I sat behind the wheel of one of the sprinters who was himself sitting behind one of the stronger guys. We rolled around like that to the back of the course when the first move happened with one of the lighter guys taking off up the hill. Soon after, the second move as a single guy went. He was just next to me but I decided to wait for the sprinters to react.
As everyone sat watching each other, I started my move on the steepest part of the incline. It was a good move as I quickly created a gap, leaving the bunch behind, but I had no legs to catch the other two who at this time were powering down the straight and to the finish line for 1st and 2nd. And I had no legs to keep going and saw the bunch catching up very, very fast.
The photo bellow (my artistic impression of it!) shows the final twenty or thirty meters as the bunch overtakes me doing 1.5 x my speed. I am the one in black and in front for another 1/125th of a second after the photo was taken.

Well, one more race to go in the series (16th March). At least, I know I have the legs to pull a move and if I time it right next time, it might even be a winning one!!!
Easy ride today after a bit of house work and a meeting with my coach. We discussed various issues, including the quality of the bread made in Australia, the unprofessional approach by event officials and volunteers during cycling events, the lack of support given to master and female athletes, the use of power meters and the structure of my program. A nice chat over a cup of coffee and a delicious almond croissant... It has been so long since I had one of those.
He will be forwarding my program later today and I expect to see the intensity ramped up. We also decided not to measure my efforts through my HR but use the "perceived effort" method. That is until I have the Lactate Threshold Test done.
Another important part of training and racing is equipment and having the good gear is essential. Starting with bibs today, I will spend a bit of time from now on, writing about the gear I use and how it all works for me. Hopefully, it won't come out just as advertising for anyone but as my impressions on what I think works.
I believe we have to experiment with the clothes we wear and decide on what to wear taking a few factors in consideration. Firstly, we have to be comfortable and as we are all shaped in a different way, we must try different brands and different materials. The worst thing during a ride is to feel the edge, or seam of that old or cheap chamois cutting though your skin. The longer the ride the better the chamois needs to be. As an amateur athlete, I can't have a wardrobe full of Assos bibs so why not have a few different ones and wear them accordingly. Or perhaps, wear two knicks if you need to. I do that on my commute to work sometimes.
At the moment, I am experimenting with a 2XU Comp Bib. So far, I have raced and have done a 120 km ride with them. For the short races I did and for that distance they were perfect as I didn't even feel I had a chamois on. That and a firm fitting on the legs are the important points for me. I must now try them on rougher roads and on a longer ride for my final verdict. By the way, 2XU makes a higher quality one so for the 260+ kms race in September I might even consider wearing them.
More on that later, time to go and do a few kms, just as a recovery ride.


Whitey said...

I look forward to reading about your equipment. It might help me decide on what I should buy so as not to waste my precious few dollars.

AMRcyclist said...

Hello whitey,
I will do a bit on clothing and then move onto the bike bits...
I hope I can help somehow.

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