Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fun in the Sun

 Foresthill Divide mtb ride on Saturday

Making the most of daylight savings time, I got in ~ 100 miles last week. First, the PB ride to Beal's Pt up at Folsom Lake, and what turned out to be ~ 38 miles (forgot to turn my Garmin on after a break, so estimating) on Tuesday with a couple of friends from HWs, and then another 28 on Friday with friends. I'm tempted to try Mt Hamilton next weekend, but not really in shape for that kind of effort yet.

I was hoping to ride to Rescue today, after taking a rest day yesterday, but I am stranded on planet Zyrtek. Not only am I still loopy 18 hrs later, but sleepy all day and it lowered my pulse rate down to 52 BPM. It didn't spike my BP, but looking at the other side-effects, I'll be sticking to Claritin from now on.


On the way home on Friday evening, after two rides where my calf was behaving, I stood and stomped the short, steep hill up onto Boyer Ave, and cranked out between 1,056 and 1,152 watts - for about 12-15 seconds. I wouldn't bet anyone's life on that data, but I use it as a way to estimate leg strength, so was quite pleased my calf withstood the strain. I immediately coughed up a lung and had to dig deep to keep pushing forward. Recovery time was decent though - about 60 seconds.

 20min and 1hr Durations

I have added some interesting power-duration curves so you can estimate your power at different intervals. I suspect my power-duration curve is a bit flatter than average, but time will tell. The benchmark power-duration curve for training purposes is 1hr/40km. As an example, a 20min time trial pace will typically be done at about 105% of 1hr/40km.

You can get the gist pretty quickly looking at this curve. Recent rides uploaded to the RideWithGPS.com website have me averaging ~ 250 watts on 2 hr rides like Beal's Pt, so this is very close to my actual power-duration curve. This is almost exactly the power I put out on 1hr rides, so I think taking a 15-20 min rest turns Beal's into 2 one hour rides. As you can see, taking lots of breaks on club rides ruins them for distance/endurance training.

I used these curves and the "Power from Speed" calculator linked top left above to argue that one of our 95lb club members wouldn't be able to meet her goal of going from 15mph to 18mph on club rides by getting more fit. Why? Because if you're only made of 95lbs of stuff you can't possibly make the 80% improvement in strength required to keep up with a 180-200lb rider on the flats.

Climbing hills is all about your power-to-weight ratio, but on the flats, weight is irrelevant to speed. Flat speed is just a function of power and aerodynamic drag. Pro riders who dope with EPO only get a 12-15% benefit, so talk of 80% improvement is absurd. There is one simple way for her to meet her goals, as the "Speed from Power" calculator clearly shows - use aerobars. See, everything IS connected! ;-)

I've been pleased with my progress on the flats, so looking forward now to doing some long rides again. I haven't found a riding partner for Rescue yet, but a couple of our club riders also like that ride, so likely I will have company soon. It's really gorgeous out there. Time to ride!

4 comments:

Stephanie Gehrsitz said...

Wow, looks stunning where your ride. A bit like the Auburn area.

On the flats I'm really bad as a runner I must say. Maybe because it bores me, but maybe because I just suck!!!

Have fun out there!

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

Love the excitement in your post!! You are full of info and stats. I have so much to learn still.

Grey Beard said...

Yeah, this great wx sure brings out the enthusiasm for riding. Hate to waste a day, but rest and life need to be squeezed in there somewhere! :D

There is soooo much to learn Robin. I find it helpful to have my books ready at hand and find re-reading them leads to new discoveries all the time. Good bedtime reading actually! I do need to just shut off the left side of my brain sometimes and go have fun though too.

Steph, I am sorry you didn't take to mtn biking, but have to say, I would have recommended a very light hard-tail for you.

You have a long, light build with excellent leg strength for the body weight they need to support, so your legs provide more than enough suspension for the trails you have photographed. Hardtails are faster, climb better, are more maneuverable and much more responsive until you get into some really technical trails. (you were right on the pic, Auburn)

We have one crazy fit, accomplished mtb rider who rides a bike with NO suspension. If you get the urge, maybe on a day too hot and sticky to run, find a very high-end bike shop and see if you can rent a carbon fiber hardtail - or the lightest thing they have. All the Klunk will vanish.

Grey Beard said...

PS: Steph, you don't suck at anything girl! Still amazed you morphed into muscle girl for the CPAT pass. Amazing in such a short time. Flats are boring, except at high speed on a bike the speed is interesting.