It has been a time to have fun on the bike, so no hard training. The weeks have been anything in between 145 and 260 km. I included a few TT sessions, all very short, so I wouldn't stress my body too much and used the weekend races as high-intensity sessions. All about having fun and catching up with friends.
I have a couple of reasons for that. First, I hadn't made any decisions on what events I wanted to peak for this year. Second, I want to have a different approach to training/racing this year, concentrating a lot more on recovery, diet and off the bike activities.
Training has been mostly at an easy pace, even when doing hills. I have used sessions at Nebo, Clear Mountain and Coo-tah just to work on climbing techniques, trying to go a little faster without going harder. The exception was the day I took Sandra's Powertap mounted Mavic Pro wheel for a test on Mt Nebo road.
Av HR: 153 bpm
HPRW Club Race - Hill Finish (1 hour), Lakeside
Another one of my favourites, this time with a hard up hill finish. Worked hard, felt good, chose a good wheel for the finish... but got stuck on the inside without room to go anywhere. Too late when I found a gap, finishing 6th!
Av Speed: 35.9 km/h
Av HR: 159 bpm
With a 11 min advantage and five or six strong riders in the group, I did think we had a chance of staying away. I changed my mind after someone told me in the first 5 km that I was going to fast for the group... It is hard to change my mind sometimes. I kept going, taking long turns, trying to talk others to do the same. Some did, some just sat there. I didn't mind, it was all training for me. That was my second Avanti Classic, last year I cramped badly when going really strong, so this year I tried to drink as much as possible but ended up getting dropped in the beginning of the second lap as I struggled to get one of my biddons... Silly really, perhaps I was wasted anyway. I did join other groups, including the Scratch but failed to hang on, riding the last 10 or 15 km with another three riders and finishing in just over 2 hours - 67th place.
Av Speed: 40 km/h
Av HR: 152 bpm
HPRW Club Race - Criterium (50min + 2 laps), Nundah Circuit
Legs were feeling fresh with only two rides for the week, including a few intervals at Jinker and a recovery ride with a few folks from work and the V Australia Team. Nundah is always a good place to catch up with friends, the warm up laps being perfect for pre-race chatting. The race turned out to be fast, I managed to get away from the bunch with three other riders after 30 min. We kept the speed high, with a 35 sec gap at some stage. At the end, I lead out the sprint to finish 3rd.
The RR was 45 kms on a really, really hilly course (16 km of climbing). The "highlight" been a 450 m climb at 9% at the end of each lap. It was a course which suited me well, a top 3 finish was truly in reach. That was not to happen as I spend too much energy fighting for the KOM points with a U17 rider and had little left for the last lap - 10th place.
Av HR: 158 bpm
The overall result was a bit of a mess and after a lot of rightful and unrightful changes, they gave me a 6th place. I guess we just have to be thankful for having events like that in our backyard...
I am now in the middle of a recovery week. As I have now set some goals for 2009, next week I will start an eight-week (crash) program in preparation for the Grafton to Inverell, my first A race for this year. More on that and my other events next time.