Post-Race Ride, Analysis, Thoughts

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Sunday morning I slept in, had a hearty breakfast, answered some e-mails, caught up on some reading, and out I went for 2.5h, 175w. Surprisingly, I felt really good — the legs weren’t as annihilated as initially feared. Post-race in the Coxsackie lot, I had guzzled Endurox, and on the drive home I had two pre-peeled hard-boiled eggs and a banana. Held me over until dinner…

I think the legs were good today post-race because of the high-end aerobic training I’ve been doing — lots of it, carefully dosing in the LT work… Always trying to be steady, never violating the laws of progression… If the aerobic engine is fully primed, then you will recover faster and will be more apt to take on heavier workloads…

I should mention that I haven’t done much “endurance” work this year, and I was happy to survive 55 miles yesterday, having been off the front for half and then with the remaining bunch for half. I have to admit that sometimes I’d rather be suffering in the break: an hour at 320-350w is much better than cruising at 250w, then whomping at 600w… I’m sure others feel differently, but physically and mentally I’m built for the longer, steadier effort…

Looking back at the Coxsackie data, I mean $hit, that was one crazy race. Where did all these Cro-Magnon strongmen come from? Honestly, I did not expect it to be that hard, watt-wise. In that 4-lap break with Lindine, I averaged almost 330w (better than my State TT data — in March!) and we were chased down. Sure, I’m heavier, but the speeds were ripping and my HR was just under threshold for most of it… I looked back at some successful race-long breaks I had last year — Branch Brook with David Wiswell, Rockleigh with Gavi, Ronde von Mullica with Erdelyi, State Crit with Mark Light — and my power was 10-20w lower, the HR higher compared to Coxsackie… And in these breaks, we were gone, the field not coming back… So, even though we were caught and it felt like Lindine and I were really flying, it’s reassuring to know we were putting in some real quality efforts.

Case in point: without the meter, I would have no clue where I was training-wise and would perhaps start making new programs and such… The meter, essentially, tells us everything and gives us that precious peace of mind… It didn’t feel like a terrific effort, but looking at the file I can already see the data is stronger than race data from last year…

Regarding this, one of my clients, Evan Cooper, made a boo-boo yesterday, putting in a monster effort at the wrong time, and got gapped on the fourth lap. I was wondering what had happened… Legs okay? Do I need to adjust his training? Well… once I saw his file, I realized he had lit a match when he couldn’t light a match — in the P12 races, a mistake can end your race.

However, this kid is tough as nails, and he proceeded to power a chasing TTT for the remaining laps. I mean, this kid weighs 140 pounds, and his 5m max was 360w, his 30m max 310w, and his 60m max 300w! Crazy. Clearly, he posted his best numbers EVER yesterday and was STILL with the “achtervolgers.” With the meter, I know this kid is going places. Without it, I’d probably be reworking his training a bit, wondering what went wrong…

One other thing I saw from yesterday’s files: that kid Bruno can really ride in the pack. He really knows how to draft, to sit in, to read the accelerations. His power was very linear, in control, and when he lit it up, the data was very impressive… Just wait until we get to some hilly road races…

Two days before Coxsackie, the stem I had pro-dealed from Ritchey in January finally arrived. I currently run a Deda 130mm 84 degree. This was a 73 degree, 120mm. Hmmmm. Should I do it? Well, I did. The stem put me in a much lower position, and although I felt fine on the two easy days I used prior, when racing (of course) when the muscles tighten and the bike seems to grow, I really felt uncomfortable (hips closed, chest too low, arms too stretched). I also haven’t done any climbing out of the saddle, and yesterday when jamming up that final hump, my hands and upper body just felt a tad too low… It was a mistake on my part, but I really wanted to put that super stem on the bike. I don’t think any of us wouldv’e waited!

Yesterday when I got home, I had a friend put the goniometer on my lower back and sure enough — the hip angle in relation to my lower lumbar was less than 90 degrees. Off goes the old stem, back to the tried and true Deda. Interesting enough, even though the new Ritchey is 10mm shorter (and 30 grams lighter!), because of the lower angle, it extended my reach by almost 5mm…

When I do fits, I always stress comfort over aerodynamics. You can’t be efficient OR economical if your position has you twisted up… Only after considerable time in the new position do you consider becoming more aggressive. Once the core, hammies, lower back, the glutes, once these muscles become acclimated to the new position, then you can start tweaking it, millimeter by millimeter. However, from experience, I can say being more “comfortable” is key. You can always get aero on a comfy bike, but on an aggressively positioned bike you can’t always get comfortable…

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 | | |