Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seward Park Race 8/27/09 - Pain Management 101

In the end bike riding, and moreso bike racing, comes down to how much pain in your legs and/or lungs can you take before giving in to the urge to quit. (For the 24+ hour events like randoneuring, it's usually more of a mental battle, at least for me)

A few laps into the Seward Park Cat 4/5 training race, after pulling the field for a lap or two, the lactic acid was building up in my legs. Slow at first, then the sting sets in and you settle into a groove. It becomes a question of can you still put down some power while your legs are burning? I can, but only for a little while.

[me pulling the field on one of the first few laps]

Most of us have a limit when it comes to this stuff - though of course it can be trained, and your "threshold" can even be raised. The sheer amount of power you can put down in a sprint or fast lap doesn't always translate into a win because that limit of ours means you need to dole out the wattage efficiently - when analyzing the race data I like to see "peak" power time-frames to be nearer to the end of a race - but in this race the opposite is the case.

[Our field of wily Cat 4/5 racers]


Today I didn't meter out the power in the right "sequence" at all - as you can see in the image below, the peak 5 minutes (power-wise) was the first two laps or so, and the peak 2 mins is in the middle of a race. While my speed peaked on the last lap, I didn't have the power required to match the final (uphill) surge.

(blue=speed, yellow=power, red=HR, orange=elevation)

Seward Park Race data 8/27/09:
Duration: 29:11
Work: 398 kJ
TSS: 52.2 (intensity factor 1.036)
Norm Power: 295
VI: 1.3
Distance: 18.517 km
Elevation Gain: 379 m
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 967 227 watts
Heart Rate: 98 187 172 bpm
Cadence: 15 132 88 rpm
Speed: 3.4 88.6 38.1 kph
Crank Torque: 0 175.8 23.1 N-m

Coming Soon..

The Carnation Circuit Race is going on this Saturday, and the two key words I keep hearing about the course are "flat" and "fast." Should be fun. And on Sunday there's the Seward Park "Season End Classic," a USAC-sanctioned race that'll get me two credits towards the 4's (Men's 4/5 race & Masters C/D). And then the Blackberry Crit out in Bremerton on the 6th of next month.

And if all that weren't enough, the SiR "Mountain Pass" 600k brevet (aka "Ramrod++") is on Sept. 11th, with a 9PM start time. A nice way to end the season, at least the official one. The 600k ride description has daunting paragraphs like this:

"These are serious mountain passes with little traffic and often outside cell phone range. Consequently a mini-survival blanket is required in addition to the standard requirements of helmet, lights, and reflective gear. A spare tire (not just a tube) is recommended."

Bring it on!

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