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6 hour trial results - not great


I got out to Glenmore reservoir yesterday for a 'race-day' simulation. The goal was to maintain my target wattage non-stop for 6 hours following a GPS route that I plotted on my Garmin etrex using Google Earth. I would then have a really good idea how close I could get to Carters 242 km kayak record using this real-world test data and extrapolating my result out to 24 hours.

It's very close, but probably slightly UNDER Carters record at this point. My average power was 160 watts and 11.4 km/hr average speed. I plugged these numbers into Ricks excel calculator and came up with an expected average speed of 10.1 km/hr for 120 watts which is the average power I hope I could end up with for 24 hours. This is a total of 242.4 km - almost smack dab exactly what Carters record is. BUT, I didn't allow for the difference between my actual track and the surveyed course. Since I would be rounding the marked course to the outside of the buoys, I will end up travelling further than I am given credit for. I was also able to measure this 'slippage' and it works out to about 1.9%. Adding 1.9% to the total distance of 242.2 km would mean that just to EQUAL Carters record, I would need to go 246.8 km - an additional 4.8 km, or .2 km/hr additional average speed (significant). I think I can reduce the slippage but it would mean more buoys in the water marking out a rounder, smoother course. One of the reasons my slippage was so high was because I had plotted a GPS course using very few waypoints which meant that my corners were sharp. You can see in the image above how far my track veered off of the course.

The other issue with the projected 10.1 km/hr average speed is that it is based on ending with 120 watts of average power and so far, my peak average power for a 24 hour event has been 115 watts. 155 watts would convert to 10 km/hr + 1.9% slippage would equal 235.4 km. This is 6.6 km short of the record.

My average speed would have been higher if there was no wind, but for the first 4 hours of yesterdays test, the wind was pretty calm - probably about what I could expect for a day of very calm weather in Calgary. Probably 5 to 10 kph wind with periods of flat calm and periods of ripples. At the 5 hour point the daily poltergeist thunder storm blew in and I barely made it out of the water before all hell broke loose. I was racing back to the dock with 2 foot whitecaps breaking all over the deck and got slammed head first into the dock because I couldn't stop. I had placed a new 62 tooth front chain ring on my cranks and my chain pulley wasn't tight enough to allow me to back pedal, so I had no breaks.

My average speed also would have been a bit higher if I weren't carrying so much additional weight. Since I was by myself on the water yesterday for 6 hours (cut short by 45 minutes due to the storm), I had to carry 6 hours of water, food, some extra clothes, a life jacket (got in trouble from the patrol boat the other day about not having a PFD on board), etc. I figure I was carrying an additional 15 pounds which is quite a bit. Without that additional weight, I might expect 11.4 km/hr at 150 watts of power rather than 160 average watts. This would equate to 10.4 km/hr at 120 watts average power (249.6 km total), and 10.1 km/hr at 110 watts of average power (242.4 km total).

Jeff posted a comment regarding the rules, GPS data and the surveyed course to this blog post that I thought was rather important, so here it is along with my reply

  1. Now, if you could keep an average speed of about 13.0 km/hr for 120 watts, I might win the computer.
    seriously though Greg, what ever the end result, you will still be a winner to us that are rooting for you.
    The course you will be going around. Will the actual distance be taken from how many laps you complete in 24hrs or will they accept a GPS reading as it is in basically still water?

    Jeff in the UK

  2. # Blogger Adventures of Greg

    Jeff: The IHPVA will only accept the # of laps I make around a professionally surveyed course submitted with verification by qualified observers that I followed the course.

    Guinness on the other hand will accept transmitted GPS data as long as the GPS data is transmitted wirelessly from the GPS on board to a remote station and the data is sent to Guinness and has not been in contact by me.

    IHPVA may accept GPS data for distance, but I would have to subtract the known error which could be up to 20 meters per waypoint (significant). The alternative is to find a high resolution GPS. I haven't looked into that, but it may greatly reduce slippage.

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As I progress along with these tests and further refinements to CP2, you can revise your contest prediction as many times as you like. We will take your latest prediction as your final prediction and the contest will close the day before the record attempt.

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Physical issues:

The majority of my distance training has been on the M5 lowracer which is the exact same geometry as CriticalPower2, so I would expect that my muscles are fully adapted to the position. This does not seem to be the case. After my 5 hour non-stop ride on the water with CP2 yesterday, I notice that I was getting a sore knee which is a bit tender today. There seems to be a difference between pushing the pedals around on the road bike vs pushing them around on CP2. I think that there is a lack of momentum helping the pedal stroke around and this stress is relatively new to my legs - meaning that I will probably require more specific boat training to be fully ready for 24 hours and especially if I want to achieve the higher average power output required to break the record.


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Goals

Every time I do an Ironman race (or marathon) I try to come up with a prioritized list of goals for that race. For example, here are my goals for Ironman in order of importance:

1. To place high in my division and qualify for a world championships slot for Ironman Hawaii
2. To set a new personal record
3. To break 11 hours
4. To finish the race

The idea of using the ranked objectives is to provide some alternative goals if the first goal doesn't look like it will be possible. At Ironman Arizona in 2006, I had the race of my dreams and was able to accomplish the first goal and got a Kona slot. I have finished 13 Ironman triathlons and have accomplished goal one once, goal two a few times, goal three a few times, and goal four 13 times.

Here are my goals for the 24 hour human powered boat distance record:

1. To break Carters human powered boat 24 hour record of 242 km and have the record ratified by the IHPVA (International Human Powered Vehicle Association)
2. To break my own pedal powered boat 24 hour distance record of 173.76 km and have it ratified by Guinness World Records

The difference between the Guinness record and the IHPVA record is the IHPVA record allows ANY kind of human powered boat including a kayak, a row boat, a pedal powered boat or even a swimmer. It is pure and simple and an ideal that I believe in and pursue with passion. The HPVA record is the record that Carter owns (in my view, but it has yet to be officially ratified by the IHPVA records committee for unknown reasons). The Guinness record that I own is from last summers record attempt. I was able to beat the existing IHPVA 24 hour HPB record of 168 km, but wasn't aware of Carters 242 km pending record. I was able to establish a record category at Guinness for pedal boat distance in 24 hours, and was awarded that record. Goal number 2 is to break my own record of 173.76 km which I feel should be fairly easy to do with Critical Power 2 compared to the big and slow WiTHiN-24 which was essentially a tandem kayak with a recumbent seat and pedals. It was heavy and inefficient compared to the new CP2.


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Lakes

My search for a QUIET, isolated lake has not been going well. I have been speaking with Rachel from Parks Canada about using Emerald lake or Lake Louise for the attempt. She has been helpful, but has determined that it would definitely be considered an 'event' and as such would require various approvals from Parks Canada. She thinks she can get me final word on these approvals by the end of August! I'm not holding my breath. Another problem with the mountain lakes is they are typically situated below glaciers which feed them. I've been told that cold catabatic winds blow down the the glaciers every afternoon, so I'm not sure how much additional wind shelter these mountain lakes would provide.

Moving further west into BC has some issues as well. I was speaking to a BC parks guy and he tells me that most lakes that are accessible by vehicle are filled up with water skiers and motor boats every day during the peak summer season. There are a few lakes with motor bans, but they are typically very small - possibly too small for my 24 hour record attempt.

So, I've been taking another look at Glenmore Reservoir. If I can pick a good, calm weather day, I might expect 5 to 10 kph for most of the afternoon with calm during the night. I would say maybe 50% of the day could be calm and 50% could be a bit windy. That's why I consider my test yesterday at Glenmore pretty typical of a calm day. I had periods of flat calm, and periods of 10 to 15 kph winds with ripples and small waves.

I think that rather than pulling my hair out trying to find a windless lake far away from Calgary and all of my volunteers, observers, family and friends, I am going to have to plan and deal with some wind and just try to pick a good weather window for the attempt and do it here in Calgary on Glenmore where there is no motor boats allowed. Many of you have suggested taking a look at a fairing, but according to our calculations, a fairing would not be very effective if the winds were less than 5 kph. With winds varying from 10 to 15 kph periodically, a fairing could possibly be effective. It won't help with reducing drag due to the wavy water surface, but pedalling CP2 10 km/hr into a 10 km/hr head wind is like 20 km/hr wind on the bow of the boat. At 20 km/hr, a fairing becomes very effective.

Have a great weekend!
Greg

-------------------------------------------
Greg is challenging kayaker Carter Johnson's
24 hour distance world record of 242 km
with a new human powered boat specially built
for this record attempt. (Last week of July, 2008)

PREDICT GREG'S FINISHING DISTANCE
AND WIN A FREE TRIMBLE NOMAD
HANDHELD RUGGED COMPUTER!
Enter now:
http://www.adventuresofgreg.com/HPB/HPBmain.html

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4 Responses to “6 hour trial results - not great”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Hi Greg.
    Now, if you could keep an average speed of about 13.0 km/hr for 120 watts, I might win the computer.
    seriously though Greg, what ever the end result, you will still be a winner to us that are rooting for you.
    The course you will be going around. Will the actual distance be taken from how many laps you complete in 24hrs or will they accept a GPS reading as it is in basically still water?

    Jeff in the UK  

  2. # Blogger Adventures of Greg

    Jeff: The IHPVA will only accept the # of laps I make around a professionally surveyed course submitted with verification by qualified observers that I followed the course.

    Guinness on the other hand will accept transmitted GPS data as long as the GPS data is transmitted wirelessly from the GPS on board to a remote station and the data is sent to Guinness and has not been in contact by me.

    IHPVA may accept GPS data for distance, but I would have to subtract the known error which could be up to 20 meters per waypoint (significant). The alternative is to find a high resolution GPS. I haven't looked into that, but it may greatly reduce slippage.  

  3. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Hi Greg ... the wind Gods will be with you ... blowning from behind ... in all directions.
    Freaky things can happen.
    Bryon  

  4. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Dear Author www.adventuresofgreg.com !
    I will know, I thank for the help in this question.  

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