Sunday, October 08, 2006

Last Sunday Practice for Awhile

Today we had our last tune-up practice at Freeman-Brock ES and it consisted of 4 race paced blocks of 2-3 laps depending on what category you were racing. The course was a mix of grass, dirt, and pavement and the lap times for the A racers were around 4 minutes and on the last block we changed the course and the lap times were around a 5:44 average. Each block had around 10 minutes of rest in between. It was very nice, overcast and in the 60's.

My first block was sabotaged by a poor line choice that sent me and my new Cannondale crashing into the dirt. I had rolled a tire so I continued on my other bike for a lap and then waited for the others.

My bike repaired, I then did 3 more blocks of 8:08, 12:05 and 16.20 minutes, the last two being 3 laps. Below are my average power numbers with and without zeros. Without zeros is "power while pedaling" and is seen as a better measure of power for cyclocross since there are a lot of power changes and times when you are not pedaling.

These laps felt comfortable and my only concern are my narrow handlebars on the new bike which made the front end a little jittery. The carbon fork makes a big difference.

I was happy to be able to keep up with the A riders, but I know that a 16 minute block by no means would reflect what a 60 minute A-block would be, so I am ever impressed that those guys can hold that power for an hour.

Of course, the numbers above cannot be used very well to predict functional threshold power since they are under 20 minutes. But, if I add last Sunday's workout into the fancy prediction device, my average predicted power for 45 minutes would be 290 watts, which is about 97% of my threshold. It is clear that my power decreases as the time lengthens and so that may be the only trend to take from this with the exception that based on percieved exertion, my performance was good.

Next Sunday is the first race and I am cautiously egar to get started.

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