Monday, December 31, 2007

Fitness is fading on schedule. Those 6 months of training, intervals, and racing start to get eroded as 7 days of riding becomes 3-4, intensity decreases and riding for fun endurance takes over. I did a couple of 50+ mile rides in two weeks and my legs hurt because they were not used to it. The VO2 max and threshold will be the first victims of non-training. My ftp will decrease as well, probably returning to the 270 range by February and my CTL decreases out of the 60's and into the upper 40's.

Cycling amazes me in that you have to do so much to gain so little. In fact, at 41, it is more like doing a lot just to stay in one place (Red Queen hypothesis). And, once you stop doing a lot, the decrease in fitness is very rapid.

In terms of weight, I was 169 at nationals and now I am up to 174 pounds. It will be a struggle to stay around 172 which is my goal. Most other people I have spoken to have had a significant weight gain since racing stopped. It makes sense.

The motivation (for me) also gets harder without any discernible goals. Weather conditions especially unmotivate me whereas during training I would want to get out in the worst weather to get the workout in. There is a happy medium somewhere.

Friday, December 28, 2007

What a Few Picture Say

Trish Albert took a neat sequence of pictures at nationals right around the corner of a 180 degree turn. At the top, near the course tape, is the best line and the course falls off camber toward the viewer. This is the same general area where Ryan Trebon got smacked from another rider going the other way to the 180 corner.

Picture 1: I decided to run the 180 turn instead of trying to slow down to take the best line on the ridge. For me it was too risky in this race, unlike the B race where I rode it each lap. The turn here was just too icy for me to do it with confidence.

Picture 2: I have just remounted and you can see that I do not have my feet in the pedals yet. The course is very icy here and the snow is really coming down. You can see that I am on my original bike now but my rear wheel has been replaced with a Bontrager Race Lite and clincher tire while the front is my own Mavic Cosmic carbon wheel. This was the result of my tubular failure earlier in the race.

Picture 3: This picture shows that I am now clipped in and rolling. But more interesting is the knotted course tape in the background. The course doubled back on itself here and so many riders were going through the tape that it constantly had to be re-tied or replaced. Many riders would simply ride over the white plastic course stakes but only to find that they have an aluminum spike in the bottom causing many flats you could hear distinctively.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

I inadvertently cut the cord to my power tap CPU while trying to take it off my bike in the dark. Does this have deeper meaning?

As 2008 approaches there are some cycling projects that I would like to accomplish.
  1. Do some MTB races this year for fun. If I can, I will ride some on the cross bike. Word is that Sven Nys is considering using his cross bike for the Bejing Olyimpic MTB race.
  2. I'd like to get up into the NC mountains on the parkway for 2-3 days this year.
  3. I'd like to organize the street sprints this spring.
  4. I'd like to take my bike to Lincoln, Nebraska this June and ride everyday after grading.
  5. I'd like to do some cross races next fall without training and perhaps travel to New England or Portland/Seattle to do a USGP race and get slaughtered.
  6. I'd like to sell frites next year during the 'cross season.
  7. I think I want to try 6 Gap again. Can I beat 6 hours? Maybe some other centuries too.
  8. Defend my SS state championship. Riiight.
  9. Get my new steel road bike built from Zanconato.
  10. Get out once every 3 months or so and ride the cross bike on the dirt forest service roads around Dahlonega with Dahlonega Wheelworks or maybe Tracy S.
I am going to try and ride 3-4 days a week and swim 2-3 days depending on the week. Running is an option but my body revolts. If I can do it, I'd love to do some of the adult cross country runs next fall.

My only goal in cycling left is to ride a 40km time trial under 60 minutes. When? No idea.

This is all a huge difference from the last 5-6 years and I think it will be good.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

2007 Functional Threshold Progression

This year I started out in January recovering from a nasty sinus illness in December. My chronic training stress level (CTL) was low at 38 tss/d. As I recovered I did a threshold test in January to see what my base line was. I always do a 5 minute all out test and a 20 minute all out test on the same route. On January 7th my functional threshold power (ftp) was 279 watts. My training stress balance score (tss) which is a measure of freshness was in the negative at -21. Normally ftp tests are done fresh. I assume this is my baseline ftp when I am not training.

By February 7th my CTL was 48 tss/d and I did the Tundra TT which is basically an all out effort for about 25 minutes. I was able to do an impressive 302 w average for the 25.12 time. Of course, I think this is more indicative of a 25 minute FTP and not a predicted hour ftp of 302. In fact, my ftp for 60 minutes should be about 287w with that effort. My TSB score at this time was -1.7.

In April I tested again and came out with a ftp of 282 w. My TSB was a -2.2 and my CTL was 57 tss/d. This was after a long bike tour and some time off due to injury.

In July I tested again again after beginning my training for cyclcross. I had been doing lots of threshold work so it was no surprise to see that my FTP had climbed to 301 w. My TSB was 7 and my CTL was 63 tss/d.

In October I tested and found that the intensity build I had been doing and the cyclcocross races has increased my threshold to 315 w. My CTL was at a high of 70 tss/d and my TSB was -7.

So I raised my FTP 36 points which was a 11% increase in 10 months. If my focus had been to raise it from the beginning of the year I am sure I could have increased it more. The power meter was a wonderful tool for planning, implementing, and reviewing workouts to improve this critical fitness marker.

I also lost 10 pounds in those 10 months and did so that it did not cause a power decrease.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

The 2007 Riding Year

This year was a fun year for riding. I did a little of everything and had some success racing too. My highlights for this year were winning the GA single speed state championship in my age group, doing a fun tour from Pittsburgh to DC via the Allegheny Passage/C&O Canal, riding in Lincoln, Nebraska, building up for and racing in the Georgia Cyclocross Series, and finally racing well in one of the toughest cyclocross national championships ever.

This year I rode 6,174 miles in 379 hours and burning 266,000 calories (134.4 "Bob's"). The biggest single week total was during the bike tour was where I rode the whole 351 miles.

My power distribution shows that I spent a lot of time in the recovery and endurance zones for the year. A lot of that was fun riding in the spring, the bike tour, and then base for 'cross.










Above is the breakdown for Jan-June and June-December.

In terms of my Performance Manager Chart that keeps track of TSB (training stress balance or "freshness"), ATL (acute training load) and CTL (chronic training load) here are the charts with significant events shown.

January to June

June to December
I was sick more often than in past years. I had a number of ilnesses with fevers this year and a couple of infections and injuries that I was able to manage. I had to take off a few days in April for an injury and 2-3 days here and there when I had ilnesses with a fever.

In terms of training stress and workout intensity, here is my record of each for the year.










January to June June to December

The hardest workout of the year for me was the GTC Club Championship Race. Even though I did not do very well, my power output for the time racing was significant and a very good effort.

Duration: 2:42:40
Work: 2069 kJ
TSS: 225.8 (intensity factor 0.913)
Norm Power: 259
VI: 1.22
Distance: 58.408 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 938 212 watts
Heart rate: 82 179 152 bpm
Cadence: 32 141 95 rpm
Speed: 2.2 36.7 21.6 mphIt may not seem like it was that hard, but I was very tired at the end.

My build up for cyclocross was a good, structured one this year. I had a coach and I did everything that was asked of me with a lot of discipline. At times I thought that i was doing too much and I was pretty tired a lot of the time. My race results in the fall were not as I expected but my peak for nationals was very nice. Compared to the first 6 races, the last 3 were great.

Oxmoor, Alabama --3rd
Conyers, GA--3rd
Winder, GA--6th (crash)
Macon, GA--6th
Augusta, GA--6th
Blue Ridge, GA--5th
Dahlonega, GA--2nd
Kansas City, Kansas--6th
Kansas City, Kansas--44th (flat)

I did not use the power tap this year in any of the races so no power files. The hardest race for me is always in Winder.

I was able to do more riding than usual out of town. I liked the bike tour a lot but preferred the first leg to the second. The C&O canal was not too strenuous but the ride was rough and we had a couple of mishaps (Mike taking a spill and Jeff breaking his bike). Riding in Lincoln, Nebraska for a week after work was really a refreshing time. I was pretty much depressed and a little burnt out. The folks in Lincoln were so nice and welcoming and the riding was very fun and different that I decided to give training one last shot, all or nothing. I wanted to get it out of my system and try and do everything I wanted with no regrets. I succeeded with about 90% fulfillment. I would have rather not had a flat in the national championship race because I was feeling great and in a great position. But, it is not enough of course to abandon my plan. This year I plan on doing mostly riding and will probably do 4 MTB races, a century or two and some cross races but with NO training! I am interested to see how much I can do with just base.

HUP United has been a great group to race for/with. Their no pressure approach and dedication to 'cross has been a pleasure and it is nice to know that there are other folks out there crazy about Belgium, the classics, and 'cross. I hope to continue racing for them albeit at a lower level than this year.

2007 was a good year for riding and I hope 2008 is mellow and fun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nationals are in the Books

I have done two national competitions and both have been held in extreme weather. But, cyclocross racers pride and boast all the time about how tough it it and how they want the poor weather so I figured why not give us the worst possible. They will still hold the race and someone will still win. So, as I watched the weather change from Thursday to Saturday it actually got better as the week went on. The snow fall totals were lower but the biggest thing I watched were the temperatures and how they affected the course. All in all this was one to remember and I am glad I got to take part.



Thursday--40+ B Race Day

The temperature was cold but eventually got above freezing making the course pretty muddy. I pre-rode the course at 8am with my race being at noon. I did 2-3 laps and it was clear where the danger spots would be. The first turn past the start/finish had an innocent little berm that I am sure grew daffodils and green grass during the spring and summer. Now what was left was a muddy sheet, scarred with deep tire tracks. The entry was a puddle and the hill was slick. The other danger spot was the off-camber 180 degree turn that hugged a ridge. If you missed the inside line you would slide down the hill. The stair run-ups were not bad but the off camber parts after them leading back to the pavement gave people fits. I could ride it 25% of the time.

I hung out in the warm up tent until they started calling us up. Once lined up it was pretty cold but the first part of the course was a long paved hill so it would get warm quickly. I had a great start and it the muddy turn without any problems. Soon 6 of us were away and had a nice gap. Over the course of the race the mud was the invisible force that guided you. It took you where it wanted you to go and as long as you did not over brake or turn thefront wheel too much you were OK. You could ride it fast if you tried. I felt like if you could just keep your feet going your traction was fine. There were two slight uphill mud bogs that were hard to power through but other than that I really liked the course conditions.


During the race I would catch 4-5th place on the stairs and then they would gap me on the hill through the start/finish. I got hung up on the last lap on the 180 off-camber by a lapped rider who would not concede the line to me so I had to go down the embankment and lost about 10 seconds. During the race I had the 5th placed rider looking tired right in front of me. I told him not to give up and keep giving 100%. He then rode away to 3rd place! Doh! He did share his strawberry prize with me later. I was only off of the podium by about 20 seconds and I was thrilled to earn 6th.

Course Evolution

The next 3 days were really cool to watch. As the temperatures and weather changed, the course evolved as well. Friday's races started out as ice sheets for the juniors and gave way later as 37 degrees and 500 riders plowed the course into deep furrows and mud bogs. They took out the barriers in the morning because of danger but they would return and disappear throughout the 3 days. After Firday the temperature dropped into the 20's and as snow fell the ponded water on the course was insulated and super-cooled. The frozen ruts were soft on Saturday but there were ice patches hidden under the snow. The water puddles would instantly freeze to your clothes/skin upon contact and the course near two pit areas were two big mud bogs. By Saturday the treacherous spots were the ice patches and frozen ruts--there you had no control and somtimes you couold just power over them and sometimes not.


Saturday--Masters 40-44 Championship Race


A 2pm race time was actually worse today since the high temperature was at 8am. By 2pm it was 20 degrees and the wind was blowing at 15 mph with snow falling. Besides raining toads, or locusts, this was about as bad as it could get. To be honest, I delivered newspapers on my bike back in the day and delivered in the same conditions many times. It was fun to remember that.


Emerging from the warm-up tent 100 guys made it down to staging where the officials looked weary and cold. They were calling names too quickly and mispronouncing them and I missed my call-up. I eventually was placed 2 rows back from my registration row. The start was great and I was around 15th heading up to the nasty right berm. Once there it was like a Tour de France first week sprint stage where riders lose their minds and the pile up falls like dominos. Here is the shot with me in the middle of the pile up:




So now I was in around 22nd but still optimistic because the crash had split the field. I hung in there for another lap and on the next lap I could feel my back tire losing pressure. I had a tubular so I rode it back to the pit--that was a real challenge, riding a flat tubular over ice and snow! Once at the pit Shey and I did a bike exchange but the new bike was one we all shared, I did not check it properly and the tire pressure was too high and the bike would not shift into the big ring. I had lost a lot of places, probably around 60th now and managed to make up some ground. I was taking a lot of risks and crashed a few times. I was still having a lot of fun and sicne the pit was double sided, we got to use it twice a lap. Shey had my regular bike outfitted with a new rear wheel and I was back on course. I was worried about getting lapped so I really put in a big effort the last lap and a half.

The stair runs were interesting because so many riders would run the stairs and spend time remounting down the hill in between stair sets and then dismount and try to ride the off-camber iced part that led back to the pavement. I decided that each lap I would shoulder my bike and run the entire section, up both stair sections, the downhill section in between, and all the off-camber stuff and remount near the pavement. I passed a lot of riders this way.

In the end I was pretty haggared from the effort, cold and had some cuts and bruises. But I felt great that I did not give up even in the worst weather and bike conditions.

Links:

Trish Albert's Photos

Cyclingnews.com Reports

Some Video

Results



Thursday, December 06, 2007

Did my 6x5(1) threshold intervals today and they were pretty easy which means my threshold number is a bit low. I have not tested since July and I reckon that my threshold power number is about 315w right now. However, that means nothing since in 'cross you are getting nowhere near that during a race. I think last year my average race watts were something like 270 which seems counterintuitive but you are spending a lot of time coasting or below 50 watts so that brings the average down.

Anyway, now it is time to rest and peak for next week without overlooking Sunday, which will be very hard. It will be a good race for Brady since he has been coming on strong lately.

Yesterday I did some L6 efforts of 45 seconds over 400w. I did 2 sets with 7 reps each. The first 7 were done on a hill and the second set on flat ground over at my usual training place off of Riverside Rd in Roswell. For the second set I did some out-of-corner sprints at the beginning of the intervals just to stay sharp.

My legs were tired from yesterday's L6 workout but I ended being able to complete them without too much fatigue.

Thursday I will do 5x5 threshold efforts with 1 minute recovery in between.

I am going to start my peak Friday for next week. I'll take Friday off, open up Saturday, race Sunday, take Monday off, do an opening up Tuesday, travel Wednesday, race Thursday, recover Friday, race Saturday. I am hoping my TSB will be 17-20 by Saturday next week. I should be good and fresh for nationals.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

3 More Interval Sessions until I don't ever have to do them again if I don't want. Today was a hard 4x30 seconds all out. Tomorrow will be 2 sets of 8x45 sec L6 (>400w) intervals and Thursday will be 5x5 threshold intervals. Then it is time to work on my peak for nationals. I may sneak in another interval workout Tuesday depending on what my TSB is. I have done so many intervals since June that I won't miss them.

I am getting decent power but by the last 2 intervals today I was hammered.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Blue Ridge Cyclocross Race

Perry and Barb did a great job in setting up a challenging course in a beautiful location. Being in the mountains, you knew it would be hilly. The main feature was a long uphill section, which was really 3 distinct uphill sub-sections. Coming off of some gravel you had a deep grass section and this went 180 to the left up a gravel road. At the top of the gravel road you went onto pavement and followed this quarter mile paved road (6-8%) to the top where it got steeper. At the steepest point you made a left 90 degree across a small ditch and then up a quite steep, loose dirt hill which was sometimes rideable and sometimes a run. From there the uphill ended and you got a nice treat to a screaming downhill.

Hills are not my thing. Even now with less weight than ever I did not make it up that hill very fast. As evidenced on the first lap, the experienced road guys used their power to get away on the hill, first Nate, then eventually Brendan attacked. I was able to make up for it by taking risks on the downhill section and latch back on, but eventually it took its toll on me and I had a hard time keeping their wheel on the flat sections. Otherwise I felt very strong.

Brendan attacked on the 2nd or 3rd lap after we had reeled in Nate. Brady went with him as well as Nate. Jay was behind me but soon passed me on the hill. Eventually Nate blew mid-race, Brady was dropped and Jay stayed out in front of me. It was the usual pecking order. I had to run in or under the red the whole race and go at my own pace hoping people would come back to me. Since this did not happen I took 5th.

This is the first year where I simply cannot respond to attacks. The top 4 guys are simply too strong. This is very frustrating with all the training I have done and I wonder what nationals will bring. With one race left, my last serious GA CX race, I want to make the podium one last time.

It is nice to know that every once in awhile you have affected other folks to take up the sport or train harder. It is a big compliment for which I am thankful.

Sixth and fifth place finishes are a good ending because if I was killing it this year I might be tempted to give it another shot seriously next year. I do hope that next year all 4 guys only do the A races. All of them are talented enough.

If you want something special after the Dahlonega race to celebrate the end of my serious competition, catch me at my car after the race.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sunday we head to the mountains for Perry's CX course. I am very excited. It may even be wet. I would love for a result higher than 6th. After a long break it will be interesting to see what shape everyone is in. These last two races will be a great lead-in to nationals.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This week I am excited to get back to racing and tackle the Blue Ridge race.

Monday: easy 60 minutes (~200w)
Tuesday: 2 sets of 8x45 sec (1 minute recovery) back to back L6 efforts at ~/+400W
Wednesday: 60-90 minutes easy
Thursday: 5x4(3) VO2 max efforts (318-368w)
Friday: 60 easy (~200w)
Saturday: 2 sprints and 3x2(2) VO2 max efforts as an opening up workout
Sunday: Blue Ridge masters 35+

The KC weather looks very cold for nationals and maybe we will get some mud this weekend in BR.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Trying to Keep Up

I feel a bit like the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland this week. Here is what I did/will do:

Monday: 30 minute TT from school to bank and back as punishment for Sunday.
Tuesday: easy 60 minutes (200w)
Wednesday: 3 sets of 8x45 seconds (1 minute recovery); 1 set of them were hill efforts; L6-over 400w
Thursday: easy-steady 2 hours on road
Friday: 5x5 minute VO2 max efforts (318-363w)
Saturday: 2+ hour ride with GTC
Sunday: Chill, watch football as it rains

It would be nice to get in a >500 tss week to boost my chronic training load. I am sitting at a CTL of 64 right now and would love to see it get close to 70 by nationals. I am planning for a +20 TSB peak or so around then. TSB is only around -2 by now and should be -2 to -10 by the middle of next week. I'll be sitting at a TSB of 0 for the Blue Ridge Race.

Anyway, numbers, trust the numbers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Secrets Revealed Part 1

Having raced cyclocross since 2000, I accumulated some knowledge that I kept secret (mainly because no one asked). In a multi-part series, I reveal all. Maybe I'll make TMZ.

Part 1: The Support Team

Over the years, besides an understanding wife, I have counted on a number of people to get me in good shape, keep me there, and keep my bikes tuned up and dialed in. Here are these people...

Coaching

Early on I used Cycle-Smart coaching to formulate seasonal training plans. Adam Myerson is a champion and a huge 'cross patron in the northeast so I worked with his company to get prepared. I basically worked with John Verheul who has since branched off to form his own coaching group. His experience with cyclocross and racing, as well as his extensive knowledge of training with power have translated into big improvements and championships by many a road racer and cyclocross rider, last year capped it off with a world silver medal by his client Danny Summerhill. John works with me on a consultation basis and develops training plans and is available to answer my questions. I would recommend his to anyone looking to improve and get maximum benefit from their training time. In fact, that is my main reason for getting a PowerTap two years ago. When training time decreases, the importance of each workout increases and with power you can really reap the benefits. John knows that and is very good at working around daily life.

Massage

A few years ago I was having a lot of trouble with calf injuries in cyclocross, some so bad I had to stop in the middle of the season. The culprit was age and trigger point formation in the calf. I played soccer for 20 years without a single claf issue, but with the inflexible soles of MTB shoes, I was having a bunch of trouble. I was trying to run in the spring/summer and basically I would get injured doing that too. So I decided not not run for cyclocross at all. If I did not run, I would not get injured and with little running in 'cross, I could suck it up by getting better on the bike. I would also compensate for this during the seasonby getting weekly 30 minute massages on the calves to work out any problems.

I started this 4 years ago and it has worked. But, my massage therapists have also been miracle workers at times too. I had a friend in my neighborhood work on me for the first 2 years and when she moved away I started going to Nan Webb who I met years before. Daryl, Kim and some others work with her as well. She is really fantastic. She understand anatomy, has years of experience working with elite athletes and is incredibly friendly and peresonable. I would recommend her to anyone. She also works on Arthur Blank (owner of our Falcons) the night after games, which lately must leave her hands sore from working out his knots.

The Bike

The best kept secret in Atlanta for bike repairs is about to be revealed. I would trust no one else to work on my bike than Maxwell Chastain and Alan Smith at REI NE Expressway. I have known Alan since 1995 when I worked at that store and after Nato left, Maxwell began and between them if it is possible to do, they can do it. They work me in when needed and I have counted on them time in, time out and they have never let me down. They understand cycling history, bike mechanics, wheel building, and are both grumpy and hilarous at the same time.

Contact Information

John Verheul (JBV Coaching): http://www.jbvcoaching.com/

Nan Webb Massage: http://www.nanwebb.com/about_nan_webb.htm

Alan and Max at REI: 404-633-6508

Monday, November 19, 2007

A little pissed off from yesterday's 6th place result I decided to ride the 6.2 miles to the bank and back, from my school on Holcomb Bridge to the bank near Kimball Bridge as hard as I could. Trip there: 28 mph average, Trip back (uphill) 25 mph. I think it is out of my system.

Georgia State Championships, Augusta, GA


<-- For Jay W.

First of all Ross and his crew did a very nice job in course design and making the venue great for both spectators and racers.

It is the one you always want to win right? I have come close but never won a state title in 'cross. The best I have ever done is second but usually the results are accurate in terms of the competition. Yesterday I got 6th and that is what I deserved.

A few years ago I was bitching and moaning after a race where I led Tony around the course only to have him attack on the last lap and win. I was envious of his talent to be able to do that and when I asked him about it he simply told me to "train harder". So I did. Since then that advice has paid off many times but never enough to win the big one. The road goes through Tony so you have to do something special. The year I came in second Tony was 4th but Andy Johnson won it. That year I had my worse training and fitness because my daughter was born over the summer and I had no business training. Go figure that this year, in a year where I poured myself into training, I am getting results that don't reflect that preparaton. Other forces are at work.

But, dominance is dominance and you have to give lots of credit. Over the years that envy has turned into admiration.

So, with 4 "serious" races left I hope that at some point it will bear fruit. In the past I have waffled about quitting but I have made decisions and preparations to finally stop training, let the hair grow out and do some other stuff. I'll most likely do some 'cross races next year but without training. I may even set up a frites stand.

But for now, these last 4 races will be special and I will give each one 100%.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The End of the Cyclocross "Specialist"?

When cyclocross first started in Georgia it was pretty fringe and you had various disciplines of cycling taking part. Over time many masters racers decided that cyclocross was a great way to spend a fall because the races were close, lasted 45 minutes, gave them the intensity they needed, and were very fun. Some decided that they would only focus on cyclocross, but not many did because they were still either mountain bike racing or road racing. I decided to give up both of those and focus on cyclocross because I found it to be much more fun on a race-by-race basis than either of those, it took less time, and fit into my lifestyle better. The only true cyclocross specialist I know of who is an American pro is Jonathan Page.

What I have found out is that if you want to compete for top spots in masters you cannot be a cyclcoross specialist.

I start my training for cyclocross in June and although the training is specific and intense, it is different from what the other guys are experiencing. What I have seen this year in cyclocross is a very competitive field composed of experienced road and mountain bike racers. These guys are experiencing training stress from road racing/MTB racing that training cannot duplicate. Race after race of criteriums, road races, mountain bike races, or even track racing gives them the advantage of muscle adaptation that allows them to accelerate better, prepare for race situations better, and for the road races, be able to use the road parts of cyclocross to their advantage.

As the cyclocross season approaches, these guys may have 20-30 races under their belt. They take a week or two off, and then they enter the cyclocross season motivated, refreshed, and with a racing base I simply cannot match.

Some examples: Perry Thomas was a mid-pack masters cyclocross racer three years ago. Over the next year he dedicated himself to racing mountain bikes and when he entered the next cyclocross season he dominated. Brendan Sullivan had the same experience this year. After a nice hard road season, he entered the cyclocross season determined to improve over mid-pack performances last year and is now a dominant rider. In addition, the top 5 riders in masters this year are all road racers of cat 1-3 ability and entered the cyclocross season with a full slate of races experience.

I suggest that you cannot be a cyclocross specialist anymore, at least in the Georgia series. If you want to compete for titles and championships and win races, you must race road or MTB in the "off" season. I am the "best" and only specialist and in the most competitive field the 35+ has ever seen, I rank 6th consistently. Last year in the absence of pure roadie influence, I was winning races.

I am really happy that the masters 35+ has become a very competitive group and I feel that the results are as they should be. Today in the state championships I think the results were very accurate: the 6 time cyclocross state champion and multi road/track state champion won again, the next 4 finishers were very dedicated road racers who are also very good at cyclocross, and then there was me.

Others might argue that these guys should move up to A's and leave the masters alone. No way. All across the cyclocross landscape, masters races are not for middle aged slow guys who "really like" cyclocross. They are composed of very competitive racers and a lot of them are current or ex-cat 1/2/3 road racers or expert mountain bikers. Some series have gone the PC route of making the masters field "elite" and "non-elite". In addition, of those 5 guys who beat me today, at least 4 of them ALSO raced A's. Chew on that.

Perhaps someday a 'cross specialist will prove me wrong, but I think they will go the way of the dinosaur.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Sweet Peak

This week will be a nice change from the intervals I have been doing each week since August. All 4 races I have done so far have been at a negative TSB so it will be nice to let that climb a bit into the positive and see what it brings.

Monday: Very easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 Minutes
Wednesday: 2 sets of 8x45 sec (60sec) L6 intervals above 400w
Thursday: 2x15 tempo in a 60 minute ride
Friday: 60 very easy
Saturday: Open up with 2 sprints and then 3x2 (2) VO2 max intervals travel to Augusta
Sunday: Race

After this it is back into the "pain cave" for more work and A races up until nationals.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Macon Cyclocross Race

The mysterious "Cartman" usually posts the week before the Macon 'cross race taunting us that no one will be able to ride "cereal bowl" hill. This year he had the course tape looking like an uphill salom with the most brutal part of the hill straight up at the end. But you know what Cartman? I rode that shit each lap!

Macon is always really hard. I hate euphamisms for US versions of European things to make them sound tougher, but Macon is like our own little Dutch course. It is on the coastal plain of Georgia and falls on the "fall line" which denotes the highest transgression of the ocean in the Mesozoic. Basically, under all that grass is a lot of sand. To add to the experience, there was a nice 50 yard beach run across the reservoir's beach. Nice deep sand that led right into the cereal bowl hill fun. Cartman, I ran the sand so you win there.

My eye issues had cleared to about 90% and I had to wear my glasses which brought back unpleasant memories of the big, clunky plastic frames that would always seem to attract every basketball in gym class, either breaking or falling off. But I had to wear them today in the race and between them and the black uniform I was the epitome of style.

The masters 35+ was stacked with talent. We had a total of 7 time state championships (ok, between 2 people), cat 1/2 riders, career masters riders, and a brevy of guys wanting their shot. We even had a guy with an English accent! (Brendan, he was the series leader).

After Brady got his front wheel turned around the right way, we had a fast start. Let's see, Brady attacked, Nate attacked, Jay attacked, Tony attacked and I countered, who did not atrtack? Brandon. So when we came up the cereal bowl for the third time he attacked and was gone. All of us except for Tony, Brady and Jay had jelly legs then Brady flatted. I chased like I have been all series but could not pull back anyone and took 2 guys with me. I spent the last 2 laps trying to make them throw up, giving it the gas 100%. In the end I took 6th. Brendan

But, I feel very good for next weekend's championships. I will be peaking, I won there last year, and I felt very strong today during the race. The race will be stacked with A-racers racing down and all of the strong guys from the series. Basically a slug fest.

Thank you Macon for another great race.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Through the Wringer

My eye is about 80% normal and hopefully the last 20% will come back eventually. Tuesday will reveal more information.

Here is what I did this week. It was hard but hopefully I can come up for air by next weekend.

Tuesday: 8x30sec(90sec) L6 Intervals- all out sprints
TSS= 97

Wedndesday: 3 sets of 8x45 (60 sec) L6 Intervals-- kept above 400w
TSS= 125

Thursday: 5x4(4) VO2 Max Intervals --318-366w
TSS= 75

I think after Augusta I will switch over to the A races and do them for the last two. The extra 15 minutes will be good for nationals and I am not going to win any series championships this year anyway.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

End of the Line?

Another Update:

The doctor said that my vision has improved 60% since Sunday and that it should be what it was by next Tuesday. I am hopeful and should make it to the start in Macon. I have to wear glasses though which will be interesting. We will see how the rest of the week goes and what I can muster for Sunday. Sounds like after last weekend I'd better eat another bowl of pasta Saturday night.

**UPDATE**

Went to the doctor today and my compromised vision should return in 2 weeks or so to its original state depending on the course of the infection. If the medicine does not work, I may have some vision loss. I will go back Tuesday for a check-up. So, in the meantime I will do my best to see and in terms of cycling, prepare for the state champs in 2 weeks either on the road or trainer. Here is what I had scheduled this week:

Monday: 60 easy
Tuesday: 4 sprints and 8x30s very hard (L6), 90s recovery
Wednesday: 3 sets of 8x45s very hard (L6), 1M recovery
Thursday: 5x4M VO2 Max w/4M recovery
Friday: 60 easy
Saturday: if I can race Sunday, 45-60M w/2 sprints and 3x2M VO2 Max, 2M recovery if not, then 3x15 threshold
Sunday: Macon race or, 60 tempo if possible

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Right now I have an estimated 50-60% vision in my right eye and it may never improve. I will find out Tuesday. Infection of the cornea and possible scaring.

Obviously no cross until the vision is back. So, run a barrier for me in the meantime. I can ride on roads with bike lanes. Until I come back out, it was nice racing with you all. This was the last season anyway.

I'll see you when I see you (pun intended).

Bob

Thursday, November 01, 2007

End of the "Cat Up" Line for Cross

Dear Robert Kuhn,

The following request to change your USAC category has been approved and processed by USA
Cycling:
Member: Robert Kuhn
License: Cyclo-cross Racer
Request to change category from Cat 3 to Cat 2

Thanks John!

What got me there?

Cyclocross Palmares

2001
12th Cross #1 (Dallas, GA )

4th Cross #2 (Brimingham, AL)
6th Cross #3 (Athens, GA)
3rd Cross #4 (Stockbridge, GA)
Injured, Broken Rib

2002
4th Cross #1 (Marietta, GA)
6th Cross #2 (Birminham, AL)
3rd,3rd Cross #3 (Norcross, GA)
Injured Calf

2003
3rd Cross #1 11/2/03 Macon
3rd, 2nd, 6th Cross #2 & #3 11/8/9/03 Dallas, 3rd Overall Omnium (CR,TT,CR)
2nd Cross #4, Marietta, 11/16/03
4th Cross #5 Georgia State Championships, Jackson, GA 11/24/03
3rd Cross #6 Covington, 12/7/03
3rd Cross #7 Monroe, 12/8/03
6th Cross #8 Athens SE Championships
B Category Series Champion

2004 (Cross 30+)
2nd Cross #1 Covington, 10/24
3rd Cross #2 Macon, 10/30
1st Cross #3 Monroe, 11/06
6th Cross #5 Marietta, 11/21 GA State Championships
7th Cross #6 Athens, 12/05
4th Cross #7 Dallas, 12/12

2005 (Cross 35+)
2nd Cross #1 Ft. Yargo State Park, 10/16
2nd Cross #2 Macon, 10/23
1st Cross #3 Indian Springs, 10/30
10th Cross #4 Augusta, 11/6
1st Cross #5 Marietta, 11/13
2nd Cross #7 Covington, 11/20
2nd Cross #8 Monroe, 11/26 GA State Championship Silver Medal
2nd Cross #9 Monroe, 11/27
64th US Cyclocross National Championships, Providence, RI, 12/09 (40-44)

2006 (Cross 35+)
1st Cross #1 Conyers, GA
1st Cross #2 Augusta, GA
5th Cross #3 Winder, GA
2nd Cross #4 Monroe, GA
1st Cross #5 Marietta, GA
10th Cross #7 Indian Springs, GA

2007 (Cross 35+)
3rd Oxmoor Cyclocross Race, Birmingham, AL
3rd Cross #1 Conyers Cyclocross Race, Conyers, GA
6th Cross #2 Winder Cyclocross Race, Winder, GA


I have had this for 2 weeks. I hope it starts to get better.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This week I will do the following:

Monday" easy 60 minutes (200w)
Tuesday: 45 minutes tempo (~244w) in a 60 minute ride
Wednesday: 7x3(3) VO2 max intervals in a 90 minute ride (below)














Thursday: 60-90 minutes easy (200w)
Friday: 60 easy with 1x15 tempo
Saturday: 4 sprints, 2x3(3) VO2 max intervals and 15 minutes tempo in a 60 minute riude
Sunday: Monroe Race

Next week will make me throw up, wait and see.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Olbas Oil

Jay Wansley had two massive cotton balls stuffed up his nose while he warmed up on the trainer before yesterday's race. See, Jay is sooo PRO that he took Simon Burney's advice and shoved Olbas oil laden cotton in his nose to clear out the crud.

Since Jay is faster than me (and crashes better than me) I am going to start shoving the stuff up my nose too.

Check out what Jay sort of looked like in this Paris-Nice photo of Jens Voigt.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fort Yargo Cyclocross Race

Man was I pumped up for this race. I felt good all week and knew it would hurt like it always does. My big obstacles are Nate and Jay and they seem to have an extra gear right now. Jay and I almost missed the start and I had to start in the second row but I was behind Brady so I knew it would be OK.

The start was great and the cat 2 duo of Nate and Brady went out fast up the long hill. It was Brady, Nate, Jay and me into the hole shot and stayed that way until Brady flatted and Nate got a small gap. I felt that I could have closed it but I had a poor position. Nate was ahead about 2 seconds and then Jay and me. By lap 2 Nate and Jay were together and I was chasing which was beginning to be a familiar position. Seems like I am always chasing these days.

By the 4th lap I was sitting pretty in 3rd, just 5 seconds back from the first two. Going into the sand I biffed it on the gravel and got up pretty quickly but it took me a few minutes to get it together (because it hurt and I was bleeding) and then my bike decided to stop shifting. Near the pit, I switched and that bike hated me too, shifting poorly. I was passed by 2 people on the hill and rode as well as possible. Jay crashed hard as well and in fact needed some medical treatment. On the 2nd to last lap Brady came through like a train, passing me in the sand and eventually taking 4th. Good for Brady, he battled back well!

I took 6th and am not happy with it. I hope I can do better in Monroe. All this effort should be paying off soon. Of course, when your competition is also doing the A race, either they will burn out, or get even more powerful. For my sake I hope I can continue to keep up.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Veldrijden

Tomorrow is the hardest course. Have a good ride everybody.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good training week, got through it pretty well. But I had to wear my Fignon glasses all week because I have some sort of eye problem. I also had one hell of a sting from a wasp in my helmet Sunday which has caused other problems. Hopefully I can wear my contacts Sunday if the swelling goes down. Sunday is going to be really hard and I hope the race goes well. Gotta try for a top 5. Gotta try for a win. Get well soon Yash (he has a sports hernia)!

Monday, October 22, 2007

This Week's Planned Fun

Monday: easy 60 minutes and massage
Tuesday: 4x4(4) VO2 max intervals in a 1 hour ride
Wednesday: 3x15(5) Threshold intervals
Thursday: 45 minutes tempo in a 1-1.5 hour ride
Friday: 60 easy
Saturday: 4 sprints and 3x3(3) VO2 max intervals to open up
Sunday: Fort Yargo Cyclocross Race 35+

I should be good and tired for the race.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Conyers International Horse Park Cyclocross Race


A fantastic day to race! No rain, but it was chilly at the start which gave way to blue skies. The 35/45 masters race had around 40 racers and some tough guys were there. Jay Wansley who won the Birmingham race was there as well as Myogenesis rider Brady Rogers who is always tough, Jon Dahlman who I battled in the single speed championships, Nate Zukas who now 35 was racing here instead of his usual A category starts, and a handful of GTC racers including Theron Collucci and Jeff Welp who are very strong.

The course was very nice. No pavement but the start/finish was flat and fast grass. After the start there was a 90 turn into a set of double barriers and another fast grass section that led to another set of barriers. Across some more grass and up a steep dirt embankment, into the woods and up a log-forced dismount hill which has a sand surface. More woods and then a 1 minute hill that got more painful each lap. More woods and a slight respite down a knarly downhill run, into a series of grass s-turns, a few grass hills and then a 180 turn onto the run into the finish. I guess laps were around 6 minutes.

The race started fast and I tried to get the hole shot but soon Nate went ahead and I sped up on his wheel. We had a gap and were joined by Jay and together they battled each other long enough to gap me by about 10 seconds. I tried to close it down but I never got within 5 seconds. They were very strong and made no mistakes. In fact, Nate was incredibly smooth through everything and I tried to follow his lines at speed which was tough.

The end was exciting since I had closed to about 5 seconds going into the last 180 turn and they looked back wondering whether to position for the sprint. I was hoping they would begin messing around so I could catch them, but they are too smart and went ahead with the sprint. In the end it was Jay-Nate-Me.

I am happy with the race since they were obviously better than me today, and since I was sick last weekend, it was a nice result.

This year if I happen to take 3rd I get a Duvel. Second place yields a Chimay (dubble) and if I ever win, I get a Orval or Rochefort (my choice).

This week brings more training and a very tough race next weekend.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Veldrijden

It starts tomorrow! Good luck everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I made it through another week of hard training for the peak for states and nationals. It was tough coming off of 3 days sick with strep but I am happy with the results. I almost had 3 days of training with 100 tss points each day, but came up a bit short today. Hopefully I will not be too baked for Sunday's race. I also picked up these for my race wheels.

I know the benefit is mostly psychological but they are sexy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Great Ride Today

I did a nice 40 mile loop from school that included Dogwood/Oxbow and the neighborhood of Karl's Gate in Cobb County and also the regular river flat sections. Very fun and hilly. Kept it tempo in lieu of CX practice.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Planned for this week (dare I post?)

After last week's debacle, I lost 5 tss/d to my CTL which will be hard to gain back. I am feeling better but today will be a good test. I will probably have a challenging race Sunday since I will be training hard again this week.

Monday: 60 minutes easy (200w)
Tuesday: 8x30s(90s) and 4 sprints in an hour workout
Wednesday: 2 hour ride with a total of 75 minutes tempo (238-259w) in 15 minute blocks
Thursday: 5x5(4) VO2 max intervals
Friday: Easy 60 minutes and massage
Saturday: 60 minute ride with 2 sprints and 3x3(2) VO2 max intervals opening up for Sunday
Sunday: Race at Conyers International Horse Park

I am going to hold my breath and hope for the best. Hopefully top 5 on Sunday.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

For Sale Motobecane Fantom 52.5 Cross bike

Entire bike for sale including wheels and tires. This is a single ring set up with the sweet Cyclocrossworld Wetzikon single ring kit. I have only ridden it once on pavement. Tires in pictures are NOT the Maxxis Mimos specified and the pedals are not included in the auction. Here are the components with original cost:

Motobecane Fantom 52.5 Cross Frame with carbon fork (red) $350
Cyclocross World Wetzikon Single Ring Set $129
Handbuilt IRD 32 spoke 30mm deep dish wheels with Shimano Ultegra Hub (rear), Dura Ace (front) and Maxxis Mimo Tires, SRAM 12-25 9 speed cassette $350
Avid Shorty 6 Brakes $84
Ritchey WCS Saddle $99
Ritchey 110mm WCS stem $99
Deda Aluminum Handlebar (used--no cost)
Shimano Ultegra Right STI shifter $130
Shimano left brake lever (non-STI) $25
Thompson Masterpiece Seatpost $140

Total cost to build ~$1407 asking $950.

EBAY Item Number 250175848187

If you buy it local I will waive shipping.

(There is nothing wring with the bike, I am selling it for other reasons)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Today I only paid $3.40 for the new Radiohead album. I am glad.

After 4 listens, I take it back. I should have paid at least $7.80. It is pretty good as listened as an entire album.

But, it is no OK Computer or The Bends. Those two albums ruined music for me. They were just too good.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Crashes

I was unlucky to crash yesterday during cross practice. Got some mean road rash and a bruised knee to go with my other bruises from the race. Not only that, but last night I came down with a nice flu bug. It sucks. Two days off from work does not suck though. Oh well, when you have a 2 year old and work among 2,000 kids you are bound to get sick. Hopefully I will be riding again on Sunday but the Conyers race may be a sub-par performance.

Update: Looks like it is strep throat which is good news.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Training This Week

With the beginning of the GA series a week away, this is what I am doing this week.

Monday: OFF (massage)
Tuesday: 60-90 minutes easy (~200w)
Wednesday: Cyclocross Practice at Jim Miller
Thursday: 3x15(10) threshold intervals (~310w)
Friday: 2 hours steady (~200w) commute to school
Saturday: 5x5(5) VO2 Max intervals (318-359w)
Sunday: 60 minutes easy

No Sunday cross practice this week due to my wife preparing for trial.

Next week is going to also be hard training. I will list that later.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Oxmoor Cyclocross Aftermath

The first race is behind us and it was a rude awakening to the season. I had a pretty hard training week so I felt a little blocked for the race. My CTL was negative but only in single digits. I isolated my problems (excuses):

  1. I started out way too fast. A stupid mistake I never make. A little bit of ego I guess. I usually like third wheel unless the holeshot is important.
  2. The adrenaline rush was too high. I was calm at the start but then on the first lap my adrenaline kicked in making me feel too jittery.
  3. I did not know whether a rider that came between me and the first placed rider was a 45+ or 35+. The promoter did not assign different race numbers or stagger us so I thought he looked like he was over 45 years old and I guessed wrong.
  4. I drank too much before the start and had a nice cramp in the ribs through the first 3 laps. It eventually went away.

So, thirds was not bad but I would have liked to have stayed with Jay W. (the winner) a little bit longer.

The Course

The course was a tight, technical tour of a local park. It had a little of everything including a water dismount that bama cross is somewhat famous for. The start began on pavement and after 200 yards crested a steep hill (the eventual finish line). From there is was a short grass section and then a double log dismount, more grass and then into the woods. The entrance to the woods had some sand and was a bit twisty. This gave way to a nice long off-camber section downhill to a double barrier dismount, a hard 90 degree left over a wooden bridge. The course then went alongside the back of a couple of baseball fields which was grass but had been irrigated recently turning it into a nice 100 yards of mud. The mud got pretty deep in spots and to me was the hardest part.

We then zig-zagged over gravel through the pits and to the steep drop off to a stream. You had to dismount at the top, run down the embankment, through the stream and up the other muddy side to more grass. From here there was a log that I could ride over but some folks had to dismount later in the race. Then we had a strange little detour around a light pole that took you down an embankment and then 180 right back up. You could ride it in the 39 but I had to run it on most laps. After this we had more grass and a drop down to a ditch that was a risky proposition to ride or not. I chose to risk the endo and ride it on each lap. You were riding down the hill, hit the soft mud and hoped you had enough strength to pull up before you went over your ass. This led to a threesome of 180 turns and back onto pavement. A short grass section and through the pavilion (no beer) and then up to the hill again.

bamacross #1 west homewood 042

I think we did 7 laps in 48 minutes and it was a lot to take it for a first race. Very technical and as Jay proved, if you got away it was very hard to make up ground. there was just no place to get momentum and you could only be so smooth through the various obsticles. then again, he was just as smooth so you never made up ground. I think He beat me by over a minute.

bamacross #1 west homewood 044

Hopefully in 2 weeks I will be riding with him and not too much behind him!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Is This the Start of Another Heart Breaker, or Something Better Beginning?

The Kinks sum up the way I feel about the next 9 weeks. Last year I started off really strong and then got sick, missed the state champs and lost the masters title in the last race. Definitely a heart breaker. So, this is the last shot do actually realize some goals. So maybe "something better, beginning".

Opening Up

Every cyclocross rider has their own way of preparing for a race, but most of the elite guys do an "opening up" workout the day before the race. Basically, it is a workout to test the legs and get them ready for the varied efforts of 'cross.

Depending on the way you feel, the workout could be very short with a couple of intervals, or longer, getting the legs "unblocked".

My opening up workout is normally done on a Saturday early morning ands consists of:

1, 5 minute easy block
1, 10 minute tempo block
4 sprints@15 seconds, 2 on the fly (46x17) and 2 standing starts
3x3(3) VO2 max efforts back to back
cool down and go home

This takes anywhere from 60-90 minutes and if I am feeling rough I may include a block of high rpm threshold work.

Normally I feel refreshed and ready to go. Sometimes the opening up workout feels like shit, but normally the next day I feel better.

Race Day
There is little mystery on what to do on race day. Get to the venue, register and hit the course. i will do the following:

2-3 laps tempo, scouting the course
1 lap just below race pace
Change into race cothes
hit the trainer for about 20 minutes
head to the start about 10 minutes before the gun

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect

Yesterday we had a very nice cyclocross practice at Jim Miller park in Marietta, GA. It is the usual spot for the Wednesday night 'cross scene and has been (and will be) a fantastic race venue.

We started off doing 3 lap blocks at race pace, which if you read between the lines means let the A-level guys lead and we try and catch up. Our main A guys, Daryl Sawyer and Tim Barrett are hard to keep up with and it is easy to see the difference between cat 3 and a cat 1-2 even in 'cross. A very young A level rider, Oscar Clark, was also getting back up to speed with the rest when he was not sliding around in the woods. The efforts were hard but not uncomfortable and on the last 2 laps I had to let the A guys ride off since they had much more in the tank.

This year I have gotten to ride 'cross with Tim Owens who rode B's last year and finished in the top 10 overall. He has been keeping up and matching the A riders for most of the laps so he will be a strong rider in the B's or even in the A's if he elects to race there.

We also had nice group of women ride last night and there has been a core group for the past few years. Hopefully this will translate into larger numbers for the series.

The Jim Miller course has gotten very used in the dry weather and some of the climbs and decents are getting sketchy and tricky--but that makes it more fun. I had a nice scary encounter with some poodles and a stop sign last night but was able to avoid both and manage not to plummet down the culvert to certain death.

Everyone is very excited about this weekend's race in Birmingham and hopefully the GA contingent will increase their series participation to record numbers. If their races were Saturday, many riders from GA would make the trip each week for a double race weekend.

Finally some rain today and maybe that will loosen up the ground for Sunday.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Finally, a Race Weekend Coming Up

This weekend the Bamacross series starts in Birmingham. The organizers have copied the GA cyclocross model and from what I have been told the course should be pretty fast.

In doing a 30 minute race pace effort yesterday, I felt tired and a bit slow, but I did train pretty hard last week. I was with some A riders until I tipped a PVC barrier over and had to stop and put it back up (rules are rules!). So I had to try and bridge about 30 seconds back up to the lead group with 1.5 laps to go. I managed to catch 2 of them since they were dropped by the lead rider. That effort made me happy because you never know whan you will stumble and have to try and get back to a group.

I am modifying my training week this week to include the race.

Monday-60 easy
Tuesday-8x3(3) VO2 max
Wednesday-Cyclocross Workout
Thursday-60 easy
Friday-30 tempo and 4, 39x17 sprints and 2, 48x17 sprints
Saturday-Opening up workout including 15 tempo, 5 VO2 max, and 4 sprints (2 from standing start).
Sunday-Race (either A's or Masters 35+)

This will be more of a training race and iin the A's I just hope to hang on. If I race masters I will be looking for a top 10 placing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Threshold and the Last 28 days

Today I did 3x15(10) in the threshold zone (271-317 watts), or what I think is the zone since I have not tested since 7/25. I hope it is higher by now but I don't have time to test and I am a bit fatigued so the the numbers would suck anyway.

Tuesday I did 7x4(4) at VO2 max which hurt a bit but I got through it.

Here is an example of speed and power for a threshold interval (notice the poor turnaound due to traffic):


Here is a shot of one of the VO2 max intervals:


The last 28 days I have been doing some intensity work and the cyclocross workouts started as well. In the graph below you can see the effect of the rest week.


I have about a week left in my 12 week program I started in June. I am down to 171 pounds now and feel fitter than when I began. The Oxmoor cyclocross race is next weekend and I am looking forward to racing that. I still have a ways to go but it looks like the hot days may be coming to an end and fall is in the air.


Monday, September 24, 2007

This Week's Planned Fun

I am planning on a nice easy day today followed by...

Tuesday: 7x4(4) VO2 max
Wednesday: 30 minutes tempo, 1x15(5) threshold
Thursday: 2x15(5) threshold
Friday: 30 easy, 30 tempo, 2 sprints @ 39x17 and 4 @53x16
Saturday: 60 easy
Sunday: CX Practice

With only 2 weeks left until Oxmoor CX it will be important to have discipline and do these workouts correctly. I will do the A race if I can and probably will enter into that race somewhat fatigued so it will be more of a training race.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

CX Practice

Today we had a nice cyclocross practice in Auburn, GA. Here is a short audio version of the goings on. The focus today was 2x20 efforts at race pace. Here are also a few photos.

Off The Front

Jeff (aka "Endo") Welp successfully bridging back

Grant Entering the "Pain Cave"

Thanks Dan for organizing Another Great Practice!

The Group

Thanks for taking the great pictures Kathy Halgat!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Fair is Here!

Yesterday we did our last CX practice at Marietta for the month since the state fair is in town.

Actually, you can practice there but you have to park near the softball field, go by the softball field, up the hill, take a right (bypassing the run-up if you want)down through the woods, take the dirt road instead of the twisty part through the woods, turn left up the steep hill, do the twisty woods section, a right back on the gravel road, down the big hill, once at the bottom go left along the softball complex fence to the front entrance, take a hard left and lap around the parking lot to the start.

On our lap practice yesterday we did 4x5(5) VO2 max intervals which along with Tuesday brought mine up to 8 for the week. I feel OK today despite back to back efforts like that. The road efforts were a little harder because they were flat with no recovery.

Today I am going to attempt 2x20(10) threshold intervals but we will see what the body allows.

I am debating a long road ride for the weekend instead of the CX practice Sunday(?).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Book on Power Training for the Road

This new online book is a collection of material from various sources but so far looks to be a great companion to the Allen/Coggan book.

http://www.freewebs.com/velodynamics2/rcgtp1.pdf

Monday, September 17, 2007

No 'Tap

I had some separation anxiety today when I sent my PowerTap off for service. It worked on Friday, not so on Sunday. I did all the troubleshooting I could so it is back to the mothership for a make-over.

The good thing is that I basically get an upgrade and they said they will turn it around in 8-10 days which is really wonderful. So, whomever buys it after I am finished with it will get a newer system.

So now it is back to the old days with a HR monitor and PE. Sigh.

Today should be nice riding--74 degrees.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

STL CX Loop Variation #1

This is the harder of the two ways. It may be off just a little.

Friday, September 14, 2007

30th but probably 40th

I tried all the tricks but was only able to manage 30th starting position for Nationals. Better than my first try 2 years ago but I was hoping for top 10. It will probably end up being 40th with all the call ups but if they go 20 across I will be second row.

My registration sheet did not come alive until 1:02:30 for some reason so others may have had a nice 2:30 minute jump on the action.

The race before the race has begun and I am pretty happy with 30th position. It is a long way between here and there. I hope for the best.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jim Miller CX Practice

The first few cyclocross practices of the season are always hot and folks are just getting intense laps under their belt. There are always a handful of A riders, masters, a core group of women, and some beginners. The course is run two ways. the first way includes a nice unrideable climb that requires carrying. The second way is faster and just has a few dismounts. It is about 1.5 miles long and laps usually take around 5.5 minutes.

After about 3 weeks the laps are screaming as the A's take no prisoners, the weather cools, and more folks come out. There is no race there this year but the location is still great for practice.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

4 More Weeks

Only 4 more weeks of dedicated training before the CX season starts and more CX focused workouts begin. Next week is a rest week and my CTL is 70 right now. No where near the 80 I wanted before the season, but it may climb to 72 before the season if I am lucky.

This was a tiring week combining tough workouts and life-related stress.

Today's CX workout was below my expectations. I felt great last Sunday but not so much today. I felt tired today and was able to get 1 out of 3 of the 10 minute intervals at race pace. I am not sure I could have held that for 45 minutes.

But, even though rest is hard it will pay off considering the next 4 weeks will also be pretty tough.

My new Swiss Top Rat brake pads are fantastic.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Pre-Cyclocross Warm-Up

Thursday, September 06, 2007

10x2's

I had some major shifting problems this week and happened to be in the vicinity of two bike shops. The first shop took the bike and did some adjustments, charged me $14 and the shifting still sucked. The other shop told me the derallieur was bent and totally f'ed up the shifting even more. I took it home, adjusted the limit screws and it works better than either service--and I have no skill. Maybe I just got lucky.

Today I have to yet again try to tire my legs out and I was successful. I did 10x2(2) at VO2 max (318-363 watts). These were hard for me and I did not take a break and did all 10 back to back with 2 minutes rest in between. Really good guys can do these but at 3-5 minutes at a time. Here is a peek...

Tomorrow I'll do some tempo and then hopefully Sunday a good CX practice.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

8x45's

Today I had the pleasure of doing 2 sets of 8x45 second anaerobic intervals (>400 watts) with 1 minute rest in between. These were tough but not as tough for me at VO2 max efforts which are supposed to be less intense (but done for longer intervals).

I was able to get in all 16 intervals and I took a 5 minute break in between sets. Here is a snapshot:

I won't make tomorrow's cx practice and my next hard workout will be Thursday where I'll try and do 10x2 minute VO2 max efforts (316-368watts).