Feb 2

Feb 2, 2006

New ride!

Yes - it is a brand new Cervelo P3 carbon. The same time trial bike as used by team CSC in the 2005 Tour de France. I love it!!

We are super lucky here in Southern Alberta to be able to ride outside so much at this time of the year. I've been out almost every day since a few weeks before Christmas. It's cold, a pain to get ready, but definitely better than being stuck inside on the mag trainer!

One concern about the new ride - it's pretty scary in a gusty cross wind. When the wind is blowing full force from the side, it feels like I am riding my front deep aero rim - and I'm not! I suppose it's going to take some getting used to, but I hope that when I do add the rear disk wheel and my Zipp deep rim that it won't be unridable in a cross wind.

Training

Training has been going fairly well. I hit 26 hours last week and am enjoying a bit of a recovery/test week right now. My coach Jason from theBikeage.com had me work on increasing my LT threshold with various drills in the 20 minute range over the last 3 weeks. My Critical Power for 20 minutes (all out maximal power output for 20 minutes - also called CP20) has increased from about 260 to 280 watts. It's still nowhere near my peak last summer of 308 watts, but it has improved.

Since my CP20 tests have been on the indoor mag trainer, the watts are lower than if they were measured while riding outside. The reason has something to do with inertia that isn't there on a mag or wind trainer - Jason wrote a paper for school on it once and he has some theories. For me, using a mix of inside and outside riding, I estimate about a 20 watt difference at around 250 watts. That 'could' put my actual outdoor CP20 at around 300 which would be near my peak of last summer. I can't be sure until I give it a try outside. And since it's such a miserable thing to try, I'm not planning on doing it anytime soon - at least not until Jason tells me to do it.

Running is going well - I had no problem getting to 2.5 hours last week and felt almost no fatigue at all which is good. My left foot feels a little better every day, so I believe it is healing. I don't know what happened, but for about 6 months now, I have had this pain in the mid left foot. The pain typically dissipates while running, but sometimes returns after 90 minutes. It is sore to walk on after running and also sensitive while walking around the house without shoes on.

I researched the symptoms and narrowed it down to either some tendonitis or a stress fracture. Since the symptoms have been steadily (but SLOWLY) disappearing, I am not going to worry about it.

Swimming is also going OK. I've been averaging 2.75 hours per week with a 90 minute long swim and some various speed work in between. Looking at my training schedule, I see that 2 months before Ironman CdA last year, I was holding 1:45 per 100 meters for 1000 meters with a wet suit. I am able to hold 1:55 per 100 meters now without a wet suit wearing a pull buoy which is right about where I was last year.

Science of Speed

I ran some out and back speed tests on the Cervelo (using the stock wheels and tires) the other day with the following results:

watts speed CdA speed at
200 watts
speed at
220 watts
speed at
250 watts
150 31.5 kph 2.51 35.6 kph 37 kph 38.8 kph

Estimated speeds are based on a Crr of .005, 75 degrees temperature and pressure at 30 inches.

In the past, I have measured a 2 kph average speed increase at 200 watts on my old Elite tri bike by adding my Zipp deep front rim and rear disc wheel. 37 kph average speed at only 200 watts of power input sounds too good to be true. The only way to know for sure is to run an out and back test at that power input with the race wheels on.

Basically, If I do my best to maintain the goal power output of 220 watts (as measured by my SRM power meter) during the Ironman race, I can count on ending up with an average of 10% less total average watts due to the times when I am not spinning the peddles and not adding any power into the ride. 7% less for a flatter course. This would give me a total average of around 200 watts which could equate to between 35 and 37 kph average speed on a fairly flat course. Ironman Arizona is a fairly flat course, so I could expect a bike finish time of between 4.8 and 5.14 hours.

 How do I know this? I have watts data from 3 previous Ironman races that I can use:

Ironman Race Average Watts Focus Actual Average Watts % diff in actual
average watts and
average watts focus
Course Average Speed
IM Cda 2005 220 watts 194.4 watts 11.6 % hilly 33.23 kph
IM Cda 2004 210 watts 186.8 watts 11% hilly 33.34 kph
IM Canada 2004 220 watts 203 watts 7 % mostly flat 34.72 kph

The combination of the faster, more aerodynamic and lighter Cervelo, plus the flat Arizona course and hopefully a slight improvement in my watts output (fitness), I should be able to get pretty close to 5 hours. At least that is the goal. We'll see....

Fatso

I'm getting fat and I don't know why. At the peak of my training for the HPV record attempt at around the beginning of September I weighed in at an all-time low of 148 pounds. That was after a long ride and I am certain there would have been a pound or two (maybe even 3) of water loss and general depletion in that low number. Anyhow, I measured a high of 162 pounds on the scale the other day. I've been hovering just above the 160 mark now for months - even after my 26 hour training week, I was still above 160.

160 pounds is nowhere near 'fat', and is only about 5 pounds heavier than my normal average weight of 155 pounds, so I am not too concerned about it. What is more important is that I feel pretty good. I am recovering quickly after stressful workouts and my HR compared with power output is dropping to near all-time lows.

I started to take a dietary supplement called Creatine. I used to take it when I was body building and it really worked for strength and size gain. At my peak, I was 200 pounds. We found some old photos last night and one of them was taken of me with the kids during holiday to Hawaii - hilarious! I found the old web version .jpg file:

(I'm the one in the middle)
I'm now 10 years older, 40 pounds lighter and look NOTHING like that dude in the photo!

Anyhow I've been reading about some studies that determined that Creatine can improve the performance of endurance athletes - especially during speed training phases. The negative side of creatine for endurance athletes is that it is typically responsible for about 5 pounds of weight gain from water retention - something that a runner doesn't want to carry around! The article referenced a new study that showed how a longer load phase can eliminate the weight gain associated with Creatine supplementation. So, I thought that perhaps I would give it a try. The article suggests loading for 30 days with 3 grams per day total taken 6 times per day. I started my loading program about a week ago, and so far my weight is still hovering around the 160 mark.

The weeks ahead

There is 9 weeks remaining until Ironman Arizona 2006. My goal is to start to increase my long rides and runs to 6 hours and 3 hours respectively while trying to maintain at least 25 hours of training per week with a peak of 30 hours at the 6 week mark and another 30 hour week at the 4 week mark. Previously, I had been doing one 90 minute running speed workout per week, but this time I am going to limit that workout to 45 minutes of speed intervals. I used to do five 6 minute mile repeats then three 7 minute miles. This time, I am going to mix in some shorter, faster 1/4 mile repeats in with only three 6 1/2 minute mile repeats. All the rest of my running will be LOW intensity - something around the 9 min/mile pace. So far, this seems to be working well. My legs feel good, and my heart rate is dropping.

As far as the bikes goes, I really need to start getting some longer rides in. My longest ride so far has only been 4 hours. I want to take advantage of the decent weather and get one 100 mile ride in each week starting this week.


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