Sunday, May 18, 2008

In Which I Rejoice About Equipment

I have been lent a Time Trial bike to train and race on in my bid to become a member of the US Paralympic Cycling Team and qualify for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. The bicycle is a Roark Titanium Aero frame. My benefactor is Rick Kattouf. Rick is quite the Duathlete with several National Age Group Championships under his belt; he is also a Performance, Nutrition, and Fitness Coach based out of Greenville, SC. I met with Rick last Monday to pick up the bike and meet him for the first time. He is a great guy and very enthusiastic about what I am attempting!
I am noticeably faster after having ridden the bike for a week and acclimated to the new position. The bike does make a difference when it comes to Time Trialing. I am also getting faster from training on my own, it is a different pain than pack riding/racing. It is a dull, steady pain that is fully tolerable as long as the body has been trained to deal with and through the pain. Until two weeks ago I had not trained in this fashion and I feel I am finally starting to make the transition to this type of riding. The bike has been motivating in helping me want to train. I just love this bike, giving it back is going to make me sad!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In Which I Whine About Equipment

I want a Time Trial frame, I feel like crap in the tuck on my current road bike with clip on aero bars. I'm stretched out too much, my saddle hurts, my glutes burn like I'm a newb, sliding forward makes my legs feel bunched up, I can't turn more than 28mph, and I can't sustain 25 for more than about 2 miles. Seriously, I can hit 31 in the dropps and I can hold 26 for a while. I know it will come with practice and getting fitted at cycle center (big shout out to John Greene and Cycle Center) will help a LOT. I'm done whining.

The modification I will make to my bike include:

Profile Design Fast Forward Seatpost: Shortens the effective top tube length allowing a more aero position and more use of the hamstrings and is more powerful. All that Deadlifting during the offseason should come into play here.

Tri/TT saddle: Allows you to ride on the nose to produce more power.

Different aero bars: The bars I currently have are old, heavy, and do not fit my left arm very well.

Position: John will be fitting me this week or next making sure I am in an optimal position to make power and while creating as little aerodynamic drag as possible.

Wheels: I have been offered the use of lighter more aerodynamic wheels by a few people.

Me: I just need more saddle time in the aero tuck, and I need to learn how to suffer while alone.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Time Trialing

The Paralympic Trial is going to be a 14km TT so I ran my first simulation yesterday. The course was a mostly flat, 9 mile, one way stretch of road. I averaged 23.4mph. 2.2mph less than I need in Denver, in other words I need to drop about 2 minutes off my time. I'm satisfied with having that as a base as I have never done a Time Trial and that was my first ride in aero bars. There are several things I can do to improve my time.
1) Bike Fit: Tailoring my bike to Time Trialing should net me some speed.
2) Specific Muscle Adaptation: Time Trialing utilizes some muscles that are not used in the standard road bike positions, those were on fire during my TT effort. Adapting those to TTing will allow me to ride faster for longer. Just getting used to a TT position will also help.
3) Equipment: If I can obtain some better gear (best case scenareo would be an aero bike) such as better bars, seat, aero wheels, aero helmet I can gain some speed.
4) Training: Practicing riding solo and pushing through the pain will help me a lot.

Friday, May 2, 2008

3 days in a row

The past 3 days on the bike might have been the hardest I have ever experienced.

Tuesday Crit: I rode near the front the whole time, chased a few too many breaks. Got into a break with Rob K. with 4 to go. Our skinny butts got pulled back with 2 to go. Finished OTB.

Wednesday Summit Ride: Pretty fast pace, did well on the hills, attacked coming into the last hill, but it was WAY too soon. Got passed halfway up. This is the sort of ride where there is no resting, no sitting up and waiting. You get dropped, you ride in alone.

Thursday Mt. Elon Ride: The fast sections were brutally fast, like nothing under 29 mph for long stretches of road. The last hard section spit off a bunch of guys who are not weak. I was on the ragged edge of blowing up several times. The Pineview stretch was all mental, because my body was rebilling hardcore.

I'm very satisfied, and happy I can stick it out 3 days in a row.

Rest and a slow beer ride today, I'm looking forward to it!