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Monday, August 9, 2010

Kelso Race Report

This race was a ton of fun!

For the first time this season I had a genuine idea as to what I was capable of. Knowing full well that I wouldn't be contending for any sort of standings, or upgrades, or championship makes it far more tolerable to hang around at the back of the pack.

As i mentioned before, I was a concerned with my top end as I have neglected it, (irresponsibly so) but have focussed a lot on my single track skill and overall efficiency in the trails. The lack of top end training would turn out to be the big weakness at this race.

Off the start the pace was slower than I thought it would be. I figured I'd be shelled and that would be it. Instead, I actually was making quite a few positions running in my granny gear which was quite a bit faster and more efficient than running your middle ring, as there was no tire slippage due to the much smoother torque application.

The race was uneventful (good for a change!) Aside from my brakes squealing like crazy, from being way past worn my bike worked flawlessly. There were no crashes, an only a few close calls from cooking corners too quickly.

PACING:

The most common tip I received from fellow veteran Elite racers, was to start slow and ramp it up towards the end. I started this race way too slow. There were points in my first two laps where I was pacing with few other riders sitting below tempo. I should have ramped it up. My 5th lap had me feeling a little too refreshed.

For most of the race the theme was as follows.. chase down Cory, Patrick, and Ben. Alternate positions and then lose em on the flats. Top end power it what cost me. I couldnt turn up the power on the flats. My engine just wasn't strong enough. I didn't put in the necessary threshold interval hours to increase my power, and I reaped the consequences.


NUTRITION:

I realized late Saturday night that I was out of my typical Gatorade/Eload/Salt mix. As a result I made a dreadful energy drink comprised of hammer gel, kool aid, salt and e-caps. It tasted like crap, and was about 60 calories short of my normal mix per bottle. It would have to do.

I consumed 4 bottles of that horrible fluid through the course of the race. I didnt cramp, but I definitely could have used a little more energy as I felt my pace slow towards the end of the race, not due to fatigue, but rather lack of energy. Overall I was pretty diligent with my fluid consumption. Kelso is an easy race course for drinking.


OVERALL:

I finished 2nd last, 14.7% off of the winner. Given that I haven't put in the hard hours, i can't really complain. The weakness was clear as can be; more threshold power. In order to do well in elite, you have to have a single track mind (pun definitely intended) you have to eat sleep and breath your training. I took a quasi break in the last few weeks focusing on my other hobbies and this is what happened.

Despite all this, I had a great time racing. it was fun to throw down on perfect trails and enjoy the thrill of the chase.

With two weeks before Provincials, there's no chance of increasing threshold power, so im just going to throw in some high intensity workouts for the next week and half to keep my body accustomed to the pain.

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