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Friday 26th December, 2008

Recovery - Hill sprints

Thismorning I was up at a reasonable hour in order to get some base training in as part of the recovery plan. In the crit at the You Yangs my legs basically died any time I tried to put out any power at all, so what was planned here would be interesting to see what happened.

The results were certainly positive in contrast to that crit - though it's clear my fitness has plummetted.

See if you can tell where I completely died in the ass. The graph below shows 10 second hill sprints every 150 seconds.
1/20 hill sprints
The main difference in how I did this and how I probably should have was that I was doing 85%MHR as a recovery effort - which should have been down around 70. Oops? :)

Once I got to the top I had to decide whether to tack on to the back of the HCC group that had waited up the top before heading for The Wall - I chose instead to head home, rather than beating myself into the ground again.

Beach Road tomorrow.

The clothes make the man

After the short hit out this morning I headed off to do some shopping. The intent was to go buy a Garmin Edge 705 to be paired with the Powertap I'll be buying next month, but prices made me put that off - I'll get one either through my sponsor or from another supplier, as it'll be ~$100 cheaper that way, and I can wait a few weeks.

But while in the store I spotted something I've been unable to find for 18 months - anyone who's ridden with me knows I've always been extremely happy with Fox Dirtpaw gloves, but have always used either plain black ones, or the '07 Navy/Black ones.

Well, I finally found a pair in my size of the hard-to-get White/green ones, which will be saved for dry races due to them being white:

White Dirtpaw

Sweeeeet :)

Saturday 20th December, 2008

Still recovering

Tomorrow I'll be once again sitting on the sidelines for a State Series round, as has been the plan for some time. In the last week I've had three trips to the doctor/hospital and a number of tests done, though I am starting to feel a bit better.

In general my heart rate is starting to come down to normal levels, though it's still going off the charts when I so much as lift an arm or stand up, so clearly I've still got a while to go before I can get back on the bike. The aim is to ensure my HR comes back down under 60 at all times before I consider getting back into any training - generally it's been in the mid 70s when sitting down to high 90s when standing up.

I may do a few short rides spinning slowly in about a week, to see how I feel, but most likely it'll involve no serious intensity at all. As a result of all this I'm completely looking again at how I train, and there'll be a new plan - if things improve on target, I'll et a single base cycle and a single build cycle in before Buller, each being around 3 weeks, then giving me another build cycle before Glenorchy.

Fingers crossed I start getting better though.

Saturday 13th December, 2008

Some stats

Some riding stats for 2008. These won't change much as I now need to stop riding to recover.

Total km covered: 10500km
Total hours riding: 517h
Total hours of competition XC: 120
Total hours of non-competition XC: 46
Total hours of road racing: 11
Number of solo 6 hour enduros: 9
Number of races (not crits): 30
Total number of XC crits: 59
Number of punctures: 8
Number of race wins: 3
Number of podiums: 9 (hopefully these two will stop anyone ever calling me a sandbagger :)
Number of DNFs: 8
Destroyed rear derailleurs: 1
Broken bones: 0 (yay!)

Tuesday 25th November, 2008

Bouncing back (slowly)

As people know by now, I decided to sit the Bendigo round out. Looking at the results though the grades are all over the place. Consto and James, who came 1st and 3rd in the series in Sport B last year once again raced Sport B, but with times that would put them in the top 5 in Sport A. That pretty much confirms to me that for the two rounds I actually do I'll skip Sport A this year and just race at the back of Expert.

So on Friday I'd had a trip to the doctor and tests done, but the gist of what's come out of that means "eat more red meat". And dried apricots. Lots of dried apricots. After sitting back and trying to rest over the weekend, thismorning would be used just to gauge how I was feeling. Leaving in 9.5 degree weather meant I had to dig into my already packed luggage for this weekend to find arm warmers, but all up the result? Actually not bad.

I felt a little down on high end power (though I was only spinning in at a low heart rate, so didn't do much of that), but otherwise I felt pretty good. I figure where I'm lacking is just due to not having put in many ks or much intensity in the last 3 weeks, so that'll come back - if I look after myself, maybe even in time for the You Yangs round.

By the way, it should be pointed out that while I say 'low heart rate', that's just my estimation. A few weeks ago I lost my chest strap and transmitter while out at a Lysterfield working bee, so I've had to fork out $130 for a new one which is in the mail. Doh.

Sunday 23rd November, 2008

The worst race ever

Ever since the week before the Surf Coast I've been feeling pretty worn down, and the week after at the first Nationals round was pretty terrible. Even with weekends off to recover I've still felt flat, and even though I was hoping that taking it easy for the week before crits this week would help recover, it certainly didn't. The pace I had on Thursday had to be my worst race ever. Or at least based on where I should have been.

Through the technical stuff it wasn't too bad - in fact I was getting well and truly held up by others through anything windy. But as soon as we got to anything flat or open, especially up the hills, I was just completely dead - being passed like I was sitting still. On the second last lap I managed to drop my chain while avoiding a rider much slower over the new log rollover, and and on the last lap came off in such a way my leg cramped up, and by that point was completely out of energy - my lap time being one that would have put be down the back of C grade.

The result of Thursday was me finishing second last, and getting me just enough points to only drop me from 7th to 10th place in the series - with Paul only a point behind.

I'd already decided I was heading to the doctor the next morning, but this just confirmed it to be necessary - fortunately I walked out of there with some details which had us pretty confident on what the problem is. Sat around in waiting rooms for an eternity before they could take some blood, and I'll know for certain on Monday what the story is (though we're already 90% certain).

Thursday 20th November, 2008

Bendigo

Given that I've been so tired lately and may actually be getting sick, it looks like Bendigo is off for this weekend despite the fact that I had been looking forward to Cyclismo for ages. The plan had been to go up and race Sport A just to see where I would place, and see whether it was appropriate to race Expert for the rest of the season. Beaconsfield is a venue I've never been particularly quick at, so that wasn't going to be a good gauge.

But it looks like I'm also striking a lot of the rest of the Victorian State Series off the calendar. With so many races on it next year, combined with Nationals and the Vic Enduro series, it just adds too much - and that's before even considering that the rounds are in venues like Forest, Castlemaine, Albury, Mt Buller (where there's a Nats round being held anyway). Right now it looks like I'll only compete Beaconsfield and You Yangs.

Still need to keep the fitness up though until end of December, after which time I can rest for a few weeks. We'll see what happens. Crits tonight will tell a bit more.

Tuesday 18th November, 2008

Victorian Enduro Series #8 - Officer

Probably the first time I really wasn't keen on racing came this weekend just gone - the Officer 6 hour was scheduled for the end of the year, last round of the season, and presented an opportunity to improve on points (being a best 6 of 8 system). But without any real enthusiasm leading up to the race, having gone on a club ride the night before (and ridden home), and having felt extremely tired all week with no power at crits, it didn't take long to realize there was no way I was going to ride it out. While I could have done an XCO race (and still smashed myself), there was no way I felt like I'd be able to do 6 hours and recover any time soon.

Heading up the first climb I started in the top 10, but pacing myself slowly up the hill everyone else passed from all sides. By the top of the hill I was mid way down the field - not a problem since I was mindful of the 6 hours to come, but at that point I had no idea this would be the toughest enduro course on the calendar.

By about 10 minutes in though, on what was last year known as "bitch climb no more", I found myself unable to get traction with the new geometry and tyre setup I'd chosen - ~13 laps (the target) of that was unappealing. It only took for me to get to the base of the hill to decide I'd had enough - I wasn't out of breath, my legs weren't hurting, I just felt like I wasn't producing any significant amount of power. So from there I decided that was it, and cruised back for the rest of the lap, saving energy.

So I spent some time out on the course with the camera, which was significantly boring given the low track density, and then the rest of it was either chatting to random people or sitting around helping feed Simon or Carson, who was using the event to train for a 24 hour solo in two weeks time. There was some temptation to head out with Carson and do a slow lap, as his lap times had dropped from 24s at the start to 35s by the 5 hour mark, but the enthusiasm stopped by the time I undid my shoelaces and got half-way through swapping shoes.

For this year that's all for the Enduro series - I have to decide whether to go up to Bendigo this weekend. I had originally planned to catch a train up there on Saturday, but it now turns out Connex have other ideas. And then there's that little issue of me being too tired to race - no decision has been made yet. Either way, the only riding before the weekend will be the crits this week - last week in B grade. Would have been nice to finish up with a win, but that won't happen in my current state.

We'll see.
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