First TT in 16 months…

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

I was on the fence about the BTCNJ TT… I coach a few athletes in the club, know the event director… BTCNJ, the Bicycle Tour Club of North Jersey, runs a club time trial on Long Meadow Road in April and in October… So, with my helter skelter riding season, I felt doing this TT would be doable (I found out about it 3 weeks ago)…

So it’s 15.2 miles, one end of Long Meadow to the other… Looking at the distance, the terrain, my current form, I was hoping to run a 35-38m. I took the TT bike out on the Nyack Ride last week, fun day to say the least… It’s pretty much cheating taking a TT bike out on group rides… You do have to be extra careful, overly attentive in the peloton, careful when you shift, make sure you’re comfortable and efficient at going from the bars to the bullhorns, but doing these things makes you a better rider…

But back to the cheating: the paceline can be going 30 mph, and guys are dying, and you can just scoot away at 34 mph, almost effortlessly. At these high speeds, this is when the advantages of the TT bike really come into play. A strong rider on a TT bike can really massacre his/her peers on their road bikes! 🙂

I rode my TT bike so much last year, my watts were certainly higher on it than my road bike. At first they were in the toilet, but the improvements came and this shows just what specialization and specificity in training can do to your body… I can hit the shorter climbs very well on the TT bike, and it showed on SUN. We hit the Middletown Road hill, and I had already done a decent pull, the pace was manageable, so I pulled to the top, feeling very comfy on the bike… Nice feeling, driving these speeds uphill on this machine…

Near the end of the Rocket Ride, I ended up pulling the group all the way from ScratchUp down 9W to the base of Hook Mountain, gritting my teeth to that climb, then hitting the climb at 350w, really maxed out and pushing to the top… Good day, great numbers in that file, JUST what I was looking for.

However, without a full base and heavy amount of true aerobic conditioning this year, I don’t recover as well in between workouts. MON I was thrashed, TUE still feeling tired, and WED I did a short Threshold workout, still not feeling the lively zing in the legs…

By THURS, I was not planning on doing the TT. The more-forward position on that bike puts more pressure on my knee, and it was supposed to be 35 degrees and raining!

Went to bed late FRI night…

Wake up at 8:00 on SAT. Dry, 40 degrees… Eh… what the heck!!!

Super-brief breakfast, drove over there, hauled arse, dressed, no warm-up, and off I go, just at my start time… Sheesh!!! No warm-up, no eating, the colder conditions, the lack of sleep, worried about my knee, strong headwinds, NUMB hands, and I wasn’t feeling good, nor in a mood to really get on the jets…

I am a fast starter in TTs, and this slower start ironically left me feeling flat and tired. Blah. The first half is certainly more uphill, and I remained seated… Have a 46 smallring, certainly didn’t have the power to spin up the climbs, so I was out of the saddle more than I wanted (didn’t foresee that) and felt heavy and weak…

I was FREEZING, debated turning around, but plowed on steady, cadence lower than I wanted. I did orginally want to start slower, but purposefully so, holding back… However, here I felt as if I was riding at SubThreshold, and it was all I had. Not a comfortable feeling, physically NOR mentally…

However, I started to warm-up, and I suppose the slower start helped me ease into the start. For me, a 15-mile TT at this point in training is LONG, very long. Didn’t want to crack. What started as a terrible day turned into a solid one for me. Averaged 308w on the out section, cadence averaged at 94, blick, but… I hit that turnaround cone, felt the tailwind a bit, and felt some electricity in the legs, the cadence whirring up. I was able to stay low and aero on all the climbs, spinning up fast, really able to start gritting those teeth, searching for more power, that terrific feeling that you’re always trying to accelerate, always pushing harder…

For final 8m, I averaged 101 rpms and 33 mph!!! I roared across the line on slight downhill at 44 mph. That felt GREAT! 🙂

Going out, averaged 309w for 22:29, 94 rpms, 22.6 mph…

Coming back, turned on the jets: 334w, 101 rpms, 27.0 mph. This was especially nice to see, especially after feeling like piss for first 23m of the event…

Final time: 37:42, 97 rpms, 24.2 mph, 324w, best time of the day. In the end, I was satisfied with the numbers, the effort, and how I felt. The beginning of that TT was rust, but better to deal with that rust NOW than at Sandy Hook or the first TT next year.

Now I’m shutting it down… Weather and training worked well for me up to this point, able to get threshold work during the week on climbs and on TT bike, pretty much able to train through second half of SEPT through OCT… Got a baseline file. Now a week off, some cross-training next week, then time to start Foundation work, which for Elite Endurance athletes is arguably the most important time of the year…

Thanks for reading.

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Sunday, October 18th, 2009 | | |