Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tour of Walla Walla 2010: The Data

So my gigantic post about ToWW covered the story-side of the racing, but not the data. The Powertap Pro+ I have is kind of like a flight data recorder - every second's data is stored for later analysis, telling the good and bad.

You might ask, what good does that do me? Some might say "all you need to do is go faster than everyone else." Yeah, yeah...

With all this speed/power/heart rate/cadence data I can see what race-level efforts (like sprints, breakaways, painful climbs) looked like in terms of actual power output. Taking that, I can try to repeat those efforts in order to get better at them. Repeat them until they feel easier.

This is my first season of relatively structured training, and so far it's been going well. You don't need a power-measuring device to do structured training, but it's nice to have.

I peaked just before the Walla Walla stage race, and even rested for three days (no riding!) before the event to make sure I was fresh for it. I think the training approach worked pretty well overall, and felt great going into the event.

Walla Walla Time Trial: 9.3 miles - 38th place

In the graph below you can see how the power was harder on the way up, lower on the way down. Looking back I wish I'd saved more for the downhill, but it's easy to say now. Power was actually decent (when I wasn't coasting on the downhill), but my aero-ness (e.g. frontal area) needs to be worked on no doubt.
ToWW TT: 277w/284w:
Duration: 23:55
Work: 397 kJ
TSS: 38.3 (intensity factor 0.98)
Norm Power: 284w
Distance: 9.309 mi
Elevation Gain: 618 ft
Elevation Loss: 675 ft
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 885 277 watts
Heart Rate: 147 189 177 bpm
Cadence: 30 125 86 rpm
Speed: 3.7 ? 22.? mph
Crank Torque: 0 875 272 lb-in

The first half of the TT broken out - 306 watt average for almost 12 minutes! More than I usually do, I probably need to start training around this wattage more.

TT part 1 - 306w:
Duration: 11:55
Work: 219 kJ
TSS: 22.4 (intensity factor 1.062)
Norm Power: 308w
Distance: 3.862 mi
Elevation Gain: 501 ft
Elevation Loss: 78 ft
Grade: 2.1 % (424 ft)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 885 306 watts
Heart Rate: 146 189 181 bpm
Cadence: 30 125 89 rpm
Speed: 2.3 33.7 19.4 mph
Crank Torque: 0 696 293 lb-in

(compared to the Frostbite TT I at least didn't go too hard at the beginning, but as you can see pacing still wasn't all that smooth. Kind of feeling around for a good zone I guess)

Then the second part of the TT, mostly downhill. Didn't have the legs or lungs to really spin out the 53x12 going down, and was recovering for the first minute or so of the downhill.

Then when the guy passed me, I sped up a bit, a second-wind spurred by the motivation of being chased and caught.

TT part 2 - 246w/256w - 27.1 mph:
Duration: 12:03
Work: 178 kJ
TSS: 15.7 (intensity factor 0.883)
Norm Power: 256w
Distance: 5.457 mi
Elevation Gain: 118 ft
Elevation Loss: 598 ft
Grade: -1.7 % (-480 ft)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 640 246 watts
Heart Rate: 165 186 174 bpm
Cadence: 36 103 83 rpm
Speed: 3.9 41.6 27.1 mph
Crank Torque: 0 875 251 lb-in

Overall I think for next year (and this years other TTs) I need to work on spending time in those zones - simulating/practicing the TT position and all. Lots of work needs to be done here.

Walla Walla Cat 4 Crit - 25 minutes - 5th place

Now this was a race I was fairly confident about, and just wanted a top 6 for upgrade points. Of course 90-something other Cat 4's had the exact same idea I'm sure.

It was really short - scheduled for 25 minutes, but I think we only got 23 in. Is that even long enough to count towards a USAC upgrade?! I hope so..

Cat 4 Walla Walla crit!
Duration: 23:05
Work: 355 kJ
TSS: 35.1 (intensity factor 0.955)
Norm Power: 277w
Distance: 10.058 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 1045 256 watts
Heart Rate: 114 206 182 bpm
Cadence: 24 137 83 rpm
Speed: 0.9 36.3 26.1 mph
Crank Torque: 0 1793 224 lb-in

Here's the power/speed graph from the crit, with a little smoothing. Nothing special but you can see how it gets speedier towards the end.

Cat 4 crit - 5th place:

Below is the last 3 or so minutes of the crit, no smoothing - as you can see, lots of bursts above threshold, and lots of coasting. The usual for my crits, unless you're on or off the front.

Not the best example of a sprint, but good enough for 5th. Jordan said he saw me coasting (again!) and thought he could catch me, which he almost did. Dammit, no more coasting in the last few meters!

Waitsburg Cat 4 Road Race - 58 miles - 14th place (~40 secs behind winner)

Looking at the data for the road race, no wonder I got bored in the first 9 miles of it. Some stats:

  • before breakaway (incl. neutral rollout, big downhill): 72w average (130 watts Normalized Power)!
  • the break was 259 watts average (281w NP) for ~40 minutes
  • after the break was 160 watts average, 221 watts NP
  • overall: 175 watts average (2.62 watts/kg), 236w (3.54 w/kg)

Waitsburg Cat 4 RR - 14th place
Duration: 2:35:00
Work: 1628 kJ
TSS: 170.7 (intensity factor 0.813)
Norm Power: 236w
Distance: 57.547 mi
Elevation Gain: 4482 ft
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 1053 175 watts
Heart Rate: 91 190 149 bpm
Cadence: 16 129 74 rpm
Speed: 0 43.4 22.2 mph
Crank Torque: 0 1694 189 lb-in

ToWW Men's Cat 4 Road Race - 14th place:(the highlighted section is my breakaway - note how the red line (heart rate) and yellow line (power) go up and stay pretty steady there..)

breaking away?! 259w/281w:
Duration: 35:23
Work: 551 kJ
TSS: 55.5 (intensity factor 0.97)
Norm Power: 281w
Distance: 12.85 mi
Elevation Gain: 1066 ft
Elevation Loss: 774 ft
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 1053 259 watts
Heart Rate: 107 190 170 bpm
Cadence: 28 106 82 rpm
Speed: 1.6 42 21.7 mph
Crank Torque: 0 1694 262 lb-in

Failed breakaway, caught on climb - the horizontal line is 171 bpm, my "Lactate Threshold Heart Rate" - when I'm above that for long, it hurts. And boy did it hurt once I got caught on the climb (non-highlighted part) - you can see the HR going way above threshold there. Ouch.

And going out with a bang, here's the final 5k or so of the Cat 4 RR, including the big climb...

uphill finish 309w/309w:
Duration: 7:41
Work: 142 kJ
TSS: 14.6 (intensity factor 1.067)
Norm Power: 309w
Distance: 1.793 mi
Elevation Gain: 533 ft
Grade: 5.6 % (527 ft)
Min Max Avg
Power: 131 797 309 watts
Heart Rate: 160 187 182 bpm
Cadence: 60 89 75 rpm
Speed: 1.5 22.7 14.0 mph
Crank Torque: 136 910 352 lb-in

(yellow=power, blue=speed, orange/brown=elevation, green=cadence)

You can actually see the exact moment on the climb where I cracked, right at about 2:46:00 - that's where I sat down, looked back and saw a gap on the rest of the pack, and just tried to defend my 14th spot for no good reason. Couldn't keep going hard to maintain contact with the leaders.

Hopefully given enough training, I can be one of those leaders next year.

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