24 Hours of Pain

This past weekend, I participated in a 24-hour Indoor Team Time Trial at SBR Coaching.  It's a team event done on Computrainers.  Each member of the team rides one hour, and the team with the most miles at the end wins. The race started Friday at 5pm and ended Saturday at 5pm.  Most members of the team ride twice, some only once.  I rode twice - 11pm and 4pm.  SBR did one of these last spring - March, I think - and it was such a success, and a lot of fun, that they brought it back this winter with one in November and another one in February.  My team won the event last year so we came back to defend our title.  

Our team was the same as last time with the exception of our name.  We were now StravaJava.  Huh?  It turns out there's a really cool site that's like Facebook for cyclists: Strava.  Check it out:  www.strava.com.

My first TT.  11pm-midnight.

My first ride was at 11pm, and my team had a 4-5 mile lead.  Competition was tight.  Last year I went in with the plan of riding sub-threshold for both rides.  I rode at 11pm and again at 7am, and that seemed like a good plan - try to average the same wattage for both rides.  It worked out well, but this year I opted for the other option - do threshold in the first TT and see if you can back it up again in the second.

There is a third way to ride this TT, but first I want to go over my power file a bit.  I'm improving at time trialing, but it's still a skill I have yet to master.  It's more mental than anything, I think.

1 Hour.  295 watts. 83 rpm.
 At first glance, this looks like really solid pacing.  The short drop off at the end is because they switch riders every hour so we actually only TT for about 57 minutes.  I wanted a full hour so I kept going after my ride ended and the resistance on the computrainer dropped off so my power dropped while I manually increased the resistance so I could continue.  

But upon further inspection, my pacing needs work.  I averaged 294 watts for the first 20 minutes.  289 for the second 20, and 297 for the final 20.  That's not terrible, but I have a bad habit of dropping my power in the middle of a TT, and I need to be building my power.  I'm happy with my overall average.  It's a good place to be right now, but I didn't go there to average 295.  I went there aiming for 300, and I believe I had it in my legs.  It was my brain that failed me.  

Nothing new.

I was the strongest rider in that heat by quite a bit so I extended the team lead by about 5 miles.  Throughout the night, our lead continued to grow from the 9 miles when I left to "does it matter?"

By the time I returned for my final ride - the final hour of the race - we had more than a 40 mile lead which meant I didn't even need to ride.  No pressure.

Ride 2.  57 minutes 280 watts.  85 rpm.

Not quite so steady this time.  But I did have some distractions (other than my tired legs):

Slacking a little during the final TT.

We successfully defended out title.  The team gave me the "trophy" to hold onto until Feb when we will attempt to make it 3 for 3.

We dominated the dojo.

I mentioned there is a third way to ride this event. You've got sub-threshold, threshold and...

A rider on another team during the 3-4am shift went out really hard for the first ten minutes.  Then he faded a bit, and faded a little more, but kept pushing.  Eventually, my team caught him so he dug deep and tried to pick up the pace and hang on to the lead.  With three minutes to go, he stopped, got off his bike, vomited and went into a full-body cramp.  I heard all this second hand, so I don't know how bad it really was but it sounds like he was in rough shape.  He was okay, eventually, but I bet he's in no hurry to do an hour on the computrainer again.  Ouch. 

SBR also has a series of indoor time trials throughout the winter that I've done for years.  The next one is January 7.  One hour.  I've got 8 weeks to get my time trialing together and break through this barrier (more on that in an up-coming post).

BTW - Never google "vomit" under google images.  

1 comment:

Nathan Veldhoen said...

Wow---nice work, sounds like a pretty crazy event.