Dec 16

December 16, 2005

Slowly adjusting...

Man, I have been feeling just so totally crappy since returning from Alabama. It's been 3 weeks since the 24 hour HPV record attempt, and a full month since I first came down with the fly symptoms and I'm STILL sick!!! That works out to about 8% of a full year with the flu!

It's definitely going away, but I still cough a bit first thing in the morning, and another bout before bed.

That whole ordeal with the cold, the 24 hours attempt and all the stress associated with it sure kicked the hell out of me! I've been feeling lethargic, unenthusiastic, lazy and down since we returned from Alabama.

I am happy to say that I had a kind of 'break-through' day yesterday. I've been trying to put an hour in every day first think in the morning on my Elite triathlon bike on the mag trainer to start to build some base mileage and get used to the aero position again. I had a great ride yesterday and felt fantastic! I followed the ride with a 1.25 hour run at Talisman and felt pretty good - vastly better than any attempt at running previously, so this is good.

Even my watts seem to be coming back. I put a new saddle on, and experimented with lowering my aero bars to the bottom of the steering tube. After a few days worth of hour rides, this position is starting to feel very comfortable. Since the addition of the new saddle which allows me to get onto the nose, the position feels great - very comfortable and powerful.

I did some watts tests in 3 positions to measure power drop from upright to aero and there wasn't much of a change.

Position Power (watts) Heart rate (bpm)
Deep aero (on the nose of the saddle) 168 129
Aero sitting back on the seat 168 130
Upright on the bars 168 128

The most efficient position is upright - which is quite normal, but the most efficient position aerodynamically is the aero position. The 'cost' of getting into aero in only a single heart beat at 168 watts which is pretty good.

I still have work to do to get back to my power efficiency from last summer. At my peak last year, I was putting out 260 watts of power at a heart rate of only 145 bpm. Yesterday I managed 208 watts at 142 bpm.

This is the lowest I have ever had my aerobars, and in fact they are as low as they can get on the Elite without getting a new stem. I was surprised at how NOT-low it looks in the photo. It feels very low, but I can see in the photo that my upper back is still very high. I would like to slowly move the bars lower as my year progresses and try to get even more aero that this.

Check out the Swede's Extreme aero position!!!! This is of course, none other than Bjorn Andersson who set an all-time bike course record at Ironman NewZealand of 4 hours, 33 minutes!!! His aero bars are 27.2 centimeters lower than his saddle. At the top of his pedal stroke Andersson’s elbows are below his knees!

I've been talking to Mark at Way Past Fast about a new bike. I'm looking at either the Obea Ordu or a new carbon Cervelo P3 - two VERY sweet rides! Light and aero. Mark and I are talking about swapping out some components to get the weight on these ultra light bikes down even further. The P3 would be about a pound heavier, but probably slightly more aero than the Ordu. The goal is 16 pounds with my Zipp disc wheel and SRM cranks WITHOUT sacrificing aerodynamics.

My left foot is super sore and I'm limping around a lot. I did a search on 'running injuries' and it may be a stress fracture - not sure. Could be from either running on shoes that were due for replacement, or so much cycling in tight cycling shoes that compress the sides of my foot. I don't feel pain while cycling, but feel it immediately after when walking. When I run, the pain dissipates after I get warmed up.


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