Tag Archives: Sprinting

Hope springs eternal

Jim Cunningham is a great coach and he has helped me out a lot. However, he doesn’t know me nearly as well as my “bicycle psychiatrist” John James. I know I’m going to get some good post-race advice from the guy I’ve chased around northern Greenville County for years. So, I head over to Sunshine Cycle Shop to hear that famous post-race question, “Well, do you know what you did wrong?”

It is funny how your brain takes snapshots and sometimes those images don’t match up with reality. This was the case when I came upon the following photo from fellow racer Edward Couvillion’s Facebook profile. I could have sworn I was closer to Clark as we neared the line. Perhaps it is that Clark slowed going across and I closed quickly to his wheel just after this photo was snapped.

SC State Criterium Championship Category 4 finish

Photo thanks to Edward Couvillion

This time John didn’t get a chance to ask the question when I walked into the shop. I popped out with the answer before he could ask. “I went too soon,” I said as I saw him begin to form his first word. “Who told you that?” he asked. “No one,” I replied. “Well, that is what you did wrong,” he continued. “When you came up out of the saddle the other guys were just sitting there and you gave them a free pull closer to the line.”

Then John pointed out something I didn’t realize I did. He told me that as Clark and Benjamin came into my vision I hesitated just slightly. Bottom line is that I never truly committed to the sprint.

This was borne out as I talked with Jim about my power file from the race. In the final sprint, my max power was only 840 watts. That is nearly 300 to 400 watts what I typically hit in a final attack to the line. I may have felt that I was giving all I had, but the bottom line is I never fully committed 110% — and you basically have to commit 120% to win!

Talking through it with Jim and John I came to this conclusion as to what happened. 1) It was the first time I had a lead out. I was hesitant not knowing how to play off my lead out man. When Matt slowed, I attacked, and then he came up to sprint with me; I questioned whether I was going at the right time (Hesitation No. 1). 2) When the other sprinters came off my wheel and entered my vision, I further questioned my decision and let up on the sprint ever so slightly (Hesitation No. 2). That led me to start playing catch up and I was unable to put out the “pop” with which I typically start my attack.

So, does this discourage me? Nope! It gives me renewed hope that I can do this. It isn’t physiological. It is tactical and mental. I CAN beat guys like Clark and Benjamin. The tools are there, I just need to learn better how to use them.

Last race I lost in a field sprint, I determined that I would not quit and lose a spot at the line. I feel that I carried that through in the State Championships. Now, I’ve just got to START correctly.

It is a learning process. Sometimes I think I learn a lot slower than some other people. However, I am learning and even though I may not get an A+ on every exam, I’m always close. Maybe next time… hope springs eternal.

Not quite Champs-Élysées

Sunday’s final race of the 2010 Greenville Spring Training Series was for me a tiny bit like the final stage of the Tour de France ending on the Avenue de Champs-Élysées. The omnium was in my pocket and all I had to do was finish out the race without any scrapes and bruises and this would be my best month ever on a bike! My only goal was to stay up right and have a respectable finish.

When I woke up that morning, I began to wonder if I could accomplish those goals. Something had started settling in my chest the day before after the River Falls race. I was coughing a bit and feeling my sinuses grow tight.

I headed off to teach Sunday School and then sat in the morning service starting to feel more and more tired. Actually, it felt as though I was very, very relaxed. It was that way you feel when you lay in bed after a hard day of manual labor and feel like you are a stone.

However, by the time I got in my car following the service, I was no longer coughing. I rolled the windows down on the car and got some cool air going and that seemed to revive me. The adrenaline was starting to flow as well and that helped.

Quickly I changed, loaded up the car, and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich as I drove toward the course. I arrived with about 20 minutes to warm up. As I headed out onto the course, I saw Eric heading the other way in route to a third place finish in the 35+ Masters. Soon behind him I saw Hank on his way to a second place finish in the 45+ Masters race. POA Cycling was already getting off to a great start!

As I lined up with Louis, Matt, and Billy, I felt no pressure. I was just taking it all in. I appreciated the people who congratulated me for winning the omnium. It was fun to chat with some of the other riders. However, as the start approached, I really just wanted to be a spectator and take in the sights and sounds.

Then we rolled away. What a relief! The field started out at a nice clip. It is so much easier to ride in a fast group than a slow one. For almost two laps we enjoyed the speed.

Then things began to slow a bit. There would be someone who would go off the front and the field would act to bring them back and then we would start doing our yo-yo moves. By the fifth lap it was as though the word had gone out and no break was going to be allowed — and no meaningful one was attempted. This was going to come down to a field sprint once again.

I had a chance to communicate some with Jon Leifer and the two of us talked of connecting for the final sprint. His main concern was finishing in front of Wade Greene and I really don’t think he would have minded too much had I ridden his wheel for the finish… if he could out sprint me then he would win… if I could come around him, then I would. Either way he would get his second place in the omnium.

Mid-way through the race I was starting to feel great! I was breathing clearly and my legs felt great. My fears started to fade and I started to think that perhaps I could finally get a win.

My focus was on staying out of the wind and avoiding riders that might cause me problems. It was all very clear to me. As we moved around the course, I followed the advice that Mike Askew had given me about the wind. Sure enough, I could see the flags pointing the directions he mentioned. With each turn I would set myself up to allow riders to block the wind for me.

As we moved into the final lap, I was setting up for a strong finish. I thought it was interesting that what wind there was came from our left and that was where the lines were forming. By riding to the right, I was feeling no wind at all. Riding in the draft of the rider in front of me, I wasn’t putting out much effort.

As we entered “the dip” things started up in earnest. I noticed Leifer went left and I stayed to the right. I’ve learned that while the field tends to start to the right, it then shifts to the left along the yellow line as we make a left turn just before the fire station. If you are patient, the road will open before you.

I was coming along the white line with two riders on the same team right in front of me. One came around the other and the one being passed said, “Go!” The first riders took off and the second one went over to the white line and slowed. Unfortunately, that was right in front of me with the field streaming to my left!

For a moment I hesitated and finally to avoid losing any more positions, I went around him in the grass. Once I did get around him the road was open. His teammate was heading up the road, but I knew he went too early. He was going to be swallowed up before the line.

I then moved up like I did in the last Donaldson Center race and sat on the hip of the fourth placed rider. I wanted to wait until after the 200 meter line before I attacked. Again, like Saturday, I was wondering where Leifer was. In my mind I was thinking he would come around and I would ride his wheel.

Moving now to the front, I kept waiting for someone else to make the move and I planned to counter. However, that was a mistake. The reason why is that by the time you move to counter it is normally too late. The people coming around you already have the acceleration. From that point you are playing catchup — which if you have enough road might not be a bad thing as you can catch his wheel and pay him back.

Knowing I made a mistake and trying to fix it - Photo by Jimmy Helms

However, that wasn’t the case. I didn’t have enough road. Two Greenville Spinners split me on either side. I dug after them, but bottom line is they got to the line faster than I did. Clark and Robert both beat me and I finished third.

Lesson learned? When sprinting, don’t think — DO! When you go — GO! Hey, I finished third. Had I not tried to analyze the sprint in progress and just turned myself inside out after 200 meters I might have still gotten third. However, I wouldn’t be sitting here saying, “I shouldn’t have waited to counter.” Who knows I might have gotten my first win of the year.

Second place feels like a win

It is late Sunday as I write this. I’m sitting here after the Things Three have gone to bed. It is time to reflect a bit on the day and give a report of the race. My legs feel happy… and so does my mind. It was a good day.

Field sprint 02-28-2010

Photo by Eddie Helton - http://picasaweb.google.com/Eddie.Helton

The day started kind of harried. I had to get up and get everything ready to go so that I could make it to Sunday School on time. I’m teaching a series and the class started at 9:30 AM. The morning service started at 10:30 AM and I figured I would be starting for home shortly before noon. That gave me just a small window to get home, get ready, and then make it to the start at 1:05 PM.

Pastor preached a little shorter so I was actually on the road home before 11:40 AM. Because I had everything ready, I was able to make it to the race with time for a 15 minute warm-up. The fact that things worked out better than I thought they would had me more relaxed on the start line. I was ready to roll.

I’ve mentioned before that I simply do not race well at Donaldson Center. The simple reason is the fact that I have always worked way too hard out there. I determined that today I would not show my nose on the front until the very end. Sure, that meant I was risking a breakaway, but it was a risk I was willing to take.

Well, I did it. Of course, it made the first three laps very boring. It was so tempting to want to stretch the legs a bit or to go up front just to get us moving a bit! Instead I played games… How little can I actually pedal? How long can I go in my small ring? (Two laps) It also gave some time to chat. Other than that, those first laps gave me nothing to report.

During the third lap, we were warned that the Pro-1-2 field was gaining on us and that there was a potential we would be neutralized to let them around us. At that time there was a rider off the front within our sight. For a while it appeared that we were going to avoid being overtaken. However, we didn’t escape.

My teammate Billy moved to the front and we did pick up speed for a bit, but no one seemed to want to help him. Again, it was tempting, but I was keeping my eye on Jonathan Leifer. He was the one ahead of me in the omnium and he also had beat me at the line Saturday. I wasn’t working if he wasn’t!

However, when the official’s vehicle came around us, I realized that we might be about to be neutralized. I wanted to make sure that I was in a good position for any restart because we wouldn’t have much time to get organized afterward. Turns out I was pretty happy because they did slow us and at that point, Billy, Matt, and myself were right there at the front.

The only bad thing is that when we were neutralized, the one guy who was off the front was not. Basically at that moment we were all racing for second. Again, it was the risk I was willing to take, so I couldn’t complain. I would do my best for second.

I won’t go into all the politics of it, but before we ever reached the finish line the decision on what to do was changed a couple of times. We had already been told that the race was called. At that point, I was in seventh place. I was actually pretty satisfied with that. 1) I was ahead of Leifer, so I knew he didn’t gain any points on me, and 2) seventh place would be my best ever official finish at Donaldson Center.

Then we were told we would race one more lap to decide 2nd. Then we were told we would not. Finally, as we crossed the start-finish line we were informed that indeed we would have one more lap to decide the remaining finishing order.

At first I was excited to see the field pick up speed and it looked like everyone was going to let out their frustrations with a fast final lap. Then I was scared as I considered the adrenalin and frustrations of the riders. It was time to keep my eyes and ears open to avoid problems.

It didn’t last long and we were back to our nice Sunday evening group ride (we averaged 22 mph for the race – on a typical A group Tuesday Night World Championships ride we average 25 – 26 mph). I continued to teach myself patience and kept trying to stay out of the wind and trouble. This was going to be a field sprint, boys.

After we crossed the railroad tracks, things started to accelerate a bit. I tried to ease into my power so as not to shock the legs too much. I stayed close to Leifer and then as we moved into “the dip” I started to look for ways to advance my position.

I was nervous because I was a little farther back than I wanted to me as we began the final climb toward the finish line. About two kilometers out, I got in behind Billy and Louis. The field was starting to stretch out and the line was starting to form along the yellow line. Right ahead of me on the white line was the big dude that had bumped me out of position yesterday. He was coming back fast, but in front of him was open road.

“Louis, once we get around him,” I called to my teammate, Louis Sanchez, “Go!” We made the move and Louis pulled us closer in to the group. However, it gave me a clear view of the front. I could see the Globalbike boys lining up a lead out for Wade Greene. At this point, we were about 1K out and I was in 20th.

I wanted to be up in fifth or so before we reached the 200 meter line. So, for the first time in the entire race, I put my pedal down hard. “Coming on the right!” I heard people call as I spurted up toward the front of the field. However, instead of going to the front, I settled in to side draft off of the rider right behind Wade.

For a moment, I was able to recover a bit. Then at the 200 meter mark Wade made his move. I went with him and then around him. This time (unlike Saturday) I made sure I was in a gear that felt just a tad too big.  I set my eye on the line and went all out.

I heard a commotion behind me and people talking about the riding habits of a particular rider. Then I heard nothing except the swoosh, swoosh of my own tires as the finish line grew closer and closer. This time, no one was inching up beside me. I was putting out over 1000 watts and nearing 40 mph.

Once again, I was the first loser, but it really felt like a win. As a matter of fact, I’m glad I didn’t throw my hands up in the air in celebration! The winner in the break just wasn’t on my mind at that point.

Still, this second place really did feel like a win because of the odd circumstances. It could have played out very similarly only after we brought the breakaway rider back into the fold. However, that is not what happened and that’s racin’.

Second place, in a way, was winning. It moved me into 1st place in the overall scoring for the series with only two races to go. I believe those races set up well for me and I’m looking forward to defending that lead with my mates.

There is a dent in my sprint

Had an opportunity to ride with my coach yesterday. He was along to help evaluate my sprint. I really appreciated him coming out especially since he was a bit under the weather.

Speaking of weather, it was beautiful! The temperature was in the upper 50s and the sun was shining warmly. It was a bit breezy, but nothing like Monday!

I really wanted to impress him. He has said that since we have started this relationship he has been surprised by two things – 1) my leg speed, and 2) my potential to be an adequate sprinter. What I mean by adequate is that it certainly will never be my strength, but that I might surprise a few people if the situation was right. In our session, I wanted to give him more reasons to believe!

My first mistake was that before leaving the office I stopped by the coffee shop and got a rather strong brew of Pumpkin Spice coffee. I was nursing it as I rushed home to change and then headed to Cleveland Park. I took one more swig before hopping on the bike.

During the warm up I felt just fine. Then it was time for me to do 6 x 8 second all out sprints with a 4 to 5 minute recovery between each. We came into the straight where I was to launch and then I attacked.

Right off the bat I felt very sluggish. Jim had told me to start out at a higher cadence than normal and then shift into the harder gears as I got my leg speed up. There were a lot of things to think about with my form, cadence, and time. I didn’t feel focused at all and when I looked down at my meter near the end of the sprint I saw the low number of 888 for my power. Yuck!

Turns out I didn’t impress Jim at all! First, I had gone the entire time with my hands on the hoods. Second, I was leaning too far forward. Third, I started in too easy of a gear. Fourth, I shifted too soon. I’m sure there were more problems, but I can’t recall them at the moment.

Here’s the deal – other than the starting out in too easy of a gear, this is how I have always sprinted. Typically, I put it in the hardest gear I can and spin it out. What I learned in my session is that my typical way of sprinting might produce a peak of 1300+ watts, but it also means I can’t hold it and I begin to bog down.

So, it was back to the drawing board for the following sprints. I tried varying cadences and positions on the bike. Finally, I was in the drops, learning to have a neutral spine, keeping my rear near the seat, and shifting properly. I might not have been going very fast, but at least I was starting to look more like a sprinter!

About the third attempt it hit me. I started to feel very sick to my stomach. I knew my heart rate was no where near maxing and the efforts, though intense, were very short. Why was this happening? I even started to get stitches — which I haven’t had in a year or so.

All this — the stomach, the numerous things to consider as I sprinted, and the seeming low output on the wattage — had me reeling and I was pretty frustrated. Jim then had to go and I was left to do the remaining 45 minutes or so by myself. As I continued the cool down I got slower and slower as my stomach felt worse and worse. I kept drinking water hoping it would help clear things up.

Finally, toward the end I started to feel better. Looking back, I’m certain it was the coffee. Besides being strong I don’t typically drink coffee that soon before I ride like that. Another lesson learned!

Toward the end of the ride I was stopped by a LowCadence.com reader. He talked of how he had started out climbing Paris Mountain in a triple in 18 minutes and now he has graduated to a compact gear and is down to 14+ minutes! The thing I needed to hear at that point was that this blog had been an encouragement to him. Suddenly, my stomach was feeling really good!

At home I took a look at the data and it actually wasn’t as bad as I was feeling. My max wattage for the session was 1374 watts. That is just short of my desired 1400. None of the attempts registered a max below 1000 with most being between 1200 and 1300.

So, the bad news is that I have dent in my sprint. I’m technically a mess with form and technique. I am not comfortable doing things right because I have had bad habits for some time.

The good news is that with Jim Cunningham as my dent remover, I have potential to see some good improvement in this area of my riding. When I finally train myself to sprint like I am supposed to, I think I’ll feel much more confident in the races this year where we’re all putting the hammer down for the line.  Wow… me as a sprinter! I’m starting to feel more sexy already!

Drawing with Crayons: My first UWBL of the winter

It wasn’t until this Saturday that I was able to make it to the Upstate Winter Bicycle League. It wasn’t that I hadn’t wanted to earlier, but it seemed that something kept coming up that kept me away. The first one was canceled due to weather and then I was either out of town, sick, or had another obligation. So, it was with a little bit of caution I approached my first one.

Why the caution? One reason is the fact that I hadn’t ridden over 60 miles since October. This one was slated to go 84 miles with three sprints and attack zones thrown into the mix. I was seriously wondering if I might just come dragging in behind the SAG after the four hours on the bike.

My second reason for caution is the fact that I had not ridden in a competitive group since the POA Cycling Team Fall Extravaganza. Let me tell you… UWBL A group is a competitive ride! It is a training ride not just for getting in your base miles. It is a training ride of practicing race tactics and sprint technique. It takes a little bit to get back in the swing of things going nearly 40 miles an hour down the road only a foot away from people on either side of you!

At least the weather started out nice. It was in the mid-40s, but after the days in the 20s and 30s we’ve had recently it seemed like a heat wave! By the time we finished we were in the 50s, but the rain set in and we were all wet.

I figured there were at least 80 riders out. There were a good number of POA Cycling Team members representing. It had been awhile since we had that many at the event. Jae Bowen was our man for the ride seeing how he had points towards the Pink Jersey.

It was fun to get back out there. However, it wasn’t supposed to be all fun for me. I had training to do. My instructions from coach were to 1) stay near the front and be efficient, 2) amass 350 TSS points, and 3) play around in the final sprint if my legs felt up to it.

With the final sprint in mind, I tried to tuck in and hide for a good portion of the ride. I still had memories of last year in my head.  It seemed that anytime I attempted to participate in a sprint, I would come dragging home. I didn’t want that to happen on this day.

I was helped out a bit in the first sprint. Just as we neared the attack zone, we approached an intersection. There were cars coming on our right. Some of the cyclists went on through, but as I got closer to the road so did the traffic coming toward us. Perhaps I did the wrong thing, but 1) I don’t want to get hit by a car, and 2) I don’t want motorists to hate us for being on the road. So, I disengaged my left foot and called, “Car right!” as I slowed to come to a stop.

Suddenly, I felt the force of someone running into my rear. I knew something bad had happened to my bike. However, I checked things out and it appeared that I was good to go. I got across the intersection and started going through my gears figuring the rear derailleur was going to be the issue. Sure enough, I found when I tried to go into the big ring I got a grinding sound and the chain was not moving smoothly.

I caught the rear of the group and then other guys arrived. We had a continuing “conversation” about the incident. Finally, I knew it was best to just shut my mouth and ride. However, there was a bit of pent up energy I was hoping to release on this first sprint.

It didn’t matter. First, I was at the rear of the pack when the attack started, and second, I was having to participate in my small ring. I was spinning like a mad man just to stay with the main group! The positive thing was that I moved up into the group and ended the sprint to Ware Shoals in sight of the winners.

Once we stopped after the sprint, I had time to take a look at my bike. The rear wheel was true and it didn’t seem that my hanger arm was bent. Still, I had that grinding sound. It appeared to be a front derailleur problem. As I was looking at it, Boyd Johnson came over to help me out. He just reached over and twisted the front derailleur just a fraction. The sound went away. Turns out my right foot must have jammed against the arm and bent it. Now, with Boyd’s help, I was back ready to go.

The mist started to feel a little more like rain as we neared the Dunklin Bridge attack zone. I figured we were heading for some rain ahead. I didn’t want to mix it up in a rainy sprint. I figured if I was going to “play around in a sprint” it was going to have to be this one. The Highway 20 finish would probably be soaked.

I started out near the front as one guy attacked forming a gap. I stayed with the guys at around me which included Thad Dulin and Steve Sperry. In my mind, it made sense to stay near them and see what would transpire. Then the jostling began as there were attacks and counter attacks.

“Watch and learn,” I said to myself and stayed close on Thad’s wheel. Patiently I waited staying close to him. Then he moved over to a group that was counter attacking. I hesitated because it was a little early in the attack for what I thought I could handle (it is a five mile attack zone). Looking back, I realize I should have just laid in on the line and chased after him.

The result of my hesitation was that I was now toward the front of a larger chase group. This meant more traffic. Ahead I could see the main competition flying along in a single file. Here I was with riders all around. My thought was, “Well, no way are you going to get anything out of this… just hold your position.” Some of the other riders started falling away as they must have come to a similar decision. I ended up passing a few riders ahead and finished in the first 20. I wonder what might have happened had I stayed with Thad.

Very soon after the rain started soaking the road and rooster tails were coming up from the bikes in front of me. The ride leader, Steve Sperry, stopped us to explain that the final sprint would be shorter in order to allow us to avoid some slippery train tracks that crossed the attack zone. That was fine with me, I was planning on just keeping the carbon side up!

Thankfully, I felt pretty strong even toward the end of the effort. There was something left in the tank even after the earlier efforts and several pulls on the front of the group. The day showed me that my fitness is coming. If I can just work on my sprint knowledge and confidence, I bet I could land a top ten on one of these rides. I’m really starting to believe that it isn’t so much a matter of my legs as it is my head.

As Sperry said to a guy riding near me, “Sprinting is an art.” Then he added, “Right, Jonathan?” Yes, it is an art, but I’m still drawing with Crayons!

Leg speed drills – all spun out

After joining the TrainingPeaks webinar yesterday, I went out all motivated to get some data! I took a look at the plan for the day… Ah, leg speed drills. Wouldn’t be seeing a lot of wattage today. Still, I would have the goal to see what maximum cadence I could generate. So, I put the rubber to the road.

Here is the plan:

Warm up at 140-200 watts over 10 minutes. Then do: 3 sets of 5 jumps — 10-12 revs of cranks out of saddle. Do these with hands in drops like a ‘real’ sprint. Goal is to ACCELERATE CRANKARMS QUICKLY and to a final cadence of 135 rpm’s or more. 1 minute between jumps, 5 minutes between sets. Max power not a goal here; leg speed is goal!

THEN do 4 X 10 second all-out sprints choosing a target line for each one. Focus on selecting the correct gear where you are not spun out at the target line yet spinning a high cadence. 5 minutes between each of these. Cool down for balance of duration.

As I warmed up, I headed toward a long stretch of road I knew to be nice and smooth with little traffic. I figured I could get the work done by going back and forth on this road and then head home. I didn’t want to get too far out there.

The first part of the test was simple enough. On the trainer, I had been able to do these jumps and hit a max cadence over 200 rpm. As I attempted them on the road, I was not able to see the computer face during the jumps and was guessing I was hitting 140 rpms. Of course, the WKO+ report would give me the low down.

The second part of the workout was a little harder to do. It wasn’t really that it was hard physically, but it was hard to properly execute. It entailed 1) finding the proper gear, 2) pedaling for at least 10 seconds, and 3) sprinting toward a line.

I played around with 1 during the five attempts I made. 2 and 3 I just hoped I was getting it right. However, right away I knew I was messing up. The goal of the day was leg speed – not power. Being afraid that I would spin out in the sprint, I moved to the big ring. Unfortunately, this caused me to see only numbers like 115 to 130 rpms when I looked down.

WKO+ leg speed workout graph (click to enlarge)

WKO+ leg speed workout graph (click to enlarge)

Well, I would just wait to see the report from my coach. Here is what he said:

Jumps are excellent with max cadences of 140+-170+ rpm’s.  One is even in the 180’s; so high that I took a closer look at the ‘raw data’ file to be sure meter is reading right.  I think it is!  Mission accomplished on the jumps indeed.

That made me happy.  Looking at the numbers I see my lowest was 155 rpm and my highest was 188 rpm. The higher rpms came toward the end of the workout as I started getting comfortable doing the efforts on the road rather than the trainer.

My power efforts during this time weren’t that bad. All of them were over 1000 watts (and I wasn’t supposed to be trying for wattage). All in all, I am happy with that portion of the workout.

Now for the second part that I was more nervous about…

Sprints – #3 of the five sprints is most like what I was looking for here; that is, ‘…not spun out and spinning a high cadence’.  The other four are a lower cadence than you’re capable of.  That said, you will improve at this as you’ve never trained nuero-muscularly before.

Hindsight is key here; knowing what gear to pick.  And even the big sprinters get this wrong at times.  Let today be a learning process.  I’d like to see you sprinting at +-1300 watts and a max cadence of 150 rpm’.  Zoom in on each sprint and see max cadence as a comparison to this thought.  Mind you, your wattages are all over 1000 in these sprints where the focus is NOT on power.  Very encouraging nonetheless.  All make sense?

Yeah, that is what I figured. So, I went to compare the five attempts in WKO+. The below chart is a Mult-File/Range Analysis. At the bottom of the chart there is a listing of the various ranges where you can compare the details of each attempt.

Multi-File/Range Analysis

Multi-File/Range Analysis

I see I got my max power on the first one at 1300 watts. Obviously, I was going with too big of a gear at that point. My max cadence came on the third one with an rpm of 145. Looks like this was the only successful attempt out of five! Interesting that though it was my lowest wattage output at 1099 it was my second highest max speed.

Two final graphs to look at from TrainingPeaks WKO+ 3.0. Here you can see the above attempts compared to each other according to power and cadence. You can see a dotted line going through each. That is the target for all the attempts.

Cadence Comparison

Cadence Comparison

The colors of the lines correspond to the color boxes to the left of each attempt as shown in the MFRA chart above. The below chart shows the same comparison according to power output. The dotted line shows the average the five sprints.

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Power Comparison

I did this little exercise to give you an idea of how my coach and I use the WKO+ software when reviewing my workouts. We are able to do this from anywhere. He is able to use the WKO+ as a teaching tool — kind of like a visual aid — to help me understand what he is telling me.

I now have something to aim for in my future attempts. I want to replicate that third sprint as much as possible. One thing this tells me is that I need to take better mental notes about things such as gearing and technique.

Introduction to sprinting

I did have a good morning. After not riding it for a couple weeks because of the metric century, I rode with the Sunshine Cycle Shop guys again this morning. I could tell a definite difference in my stamina from the last time I rode with them.

It wasn’t anything spectacular. We did about 28 miles and I only averaged 15.5 mph. My heart rate average was a very low (for riding) 148 bpm. I think this is because we didn’t really push the whole way. There were several times when there would be a sprint to the top of a climb. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. I kept wondering why everyone would ride along casually and then suddenly three or four guys would just take off. I actually won one of the sprints.

It was also nice to know that I had earned the respect of some of the regular riders. It felt good not to be one of the tag alongs. I had a rider come up and ask me where I ride and when. It would be nice to form some friendships out there.