Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It has been a long time/Tour de Tablelands

As I said, it has been a while since I had the time to sit down and put a few words together on Training and Racing. Well, when I had the time, I didn't have a computer to do so. The old and reliable PC packed in a few weeks ago and a replacement wasn't part of my plans for this semester. Hopefully, some kind of miracle will happen and one will fall of the skies soon.

I did have a few days off the bike as I attended a Level 1 Cycling Coach Clinic with Cycling Queensland, our state cycling organisation. It was interesting to learn the basics of putting training programs together and to have lots of issues clarified as you can relate what is presented to you to a lot of the stuff we read in books and magazines. Now, it is time to experiment with a few programs and athletes and hopefully get some good results. And, watch out Carmichael!!!

Now, to what really matters. Training has been steady, there was an increase on the km/week and intensity (speed), getting away from the strength building exercises. I still did some hill repeats but they were in higher cadence, all out efforts to build power and anaerobic threshold endurance. Also, I replaced some of the sessions with a couple of club races. Now, it is all kind of easy as the first main event for 2008, the Tour de Tablelands, is a few days away.

The races we entered (Sandra and I) were the Anzac 25 at Lakeside, which is an yearly open event where I raced Masters A and the Soldier's Honour Handicap in which Sandra did really well. I didn't do very well at the first one as I missed being part of a break which got away with 10 or 15 min to go and had two mates in it. Every time someone did try to bridge, I jumped on their wheel but didn't help. Not how I like to race but I couldn't put a big effort and drag the rest of the field to the break away. Just the way it is...

Race Time: 1:06; Distance: 42 km; Av. Speed: 38.2 km/h; Max. Speed: 59.9 km/h;
Av.HR: 159 bpm and Max.HR: 173 bpm.

The handicap race was a little different. I was off with another five riders 3 min before the scratch bunch. Unfortunately, their bunch had ten or more riders, which means a lot more horse-power, making their chase a little easier. The 47 km course around Pine Dam was beautiful but very demanding. Undulating to start with, a little flat stretch at the back and hilly again for the last 10 kms or so... My time was 1h13min, about 8 min faster than the overall winner and 5 min slower than the fastest rider. A fairly good effort for my second handicap race ever, I think!

Race Time: 1:13; Distance: 47 km; Av. Speed: 38.6 km/h; Max. Speed: 70.9 km/h;
Av.HR: 157 bpm and Max.HR: 172 bpm.

The best thing about those races, and racing in general, is that we can always learn something. In the handicap race, I told the starters in my group that we should wait for the next group, the scratch riders as there were some Elite riders and half dozen riders that could have been in our group. Together, they had much more HP and speed enabling them to catch us without too much effort. We didn't wait and they did catch us (what was left of our group) on Km 25.

So, to win a race we need to look around and we need to be able to evaluate our competition and add that factor to our race plan. It might mean, to jump in the first km and solo ride for the rest of the race or it might be best to save your energy to the last few hundred meters where most of the races are decided.

Tour de Tablelands

We are off to Cairns on Friday so we have a couple of rides to do before that. Today, I did a few 100 m sprints and will do 50 m sprints tomorrow. Easy rides on Friday and Saturday morning and racing starts. I have started my lists of what to take, what to eat and drink and have chosen wheels and tyres for the different events. Still don't know if I will use the TT bars on my road bike, I guess I can wait for the result of the first race to make a decision.

Am I ready for it? I think so but I know that to get a good result it will be a matter of racing smart and not using just my physical abilities as I felt stronger last year and only managed a 6th overall.

Podium in 2008!!!


Sev said...

Good Luck up North Alberto. Might chat about coaching when you get back? I might be a willing pupil...


AMRcyclist said...

Thanks Scott,
I am really excited about this race, stage races are so diverse, and haaaard.
I will see you when we get back and we can have a chat over coffee(s).

Whitey said...

I'm thinking next year that I could do this Tour, because I'm guessing I'll probably have the same problem with exams for the Sunny Coast Tour next year as well.

Have fun in Cairns! Best of luck, and I want to see your trophy when you get back.

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