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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Albion OCup-

It was daft for me to think that I could 'recreational ride' my way into a decent ProElite finish.

Theres a stark difference between race fitness and general fitness. This manifested itself well today.

Last year I was 152 lbs, 14% body fat, and had close to 30 VO2 max based (ie. race pace) workouts.
This year I am 165lbs, 15% body fat, with maybe 3 VO2 max based workouts.

Leading up to the race everything was perfect. I was rested, i ate well, my health was tip top, my bike was dialed flawlessly.

My warm up was perfect, a 25 minute mix of tempo and sprints.


Off the start I was where i should have been, bottom 3 or 4 in the field. On the singletrack I was handling better than the surrounding racers and bridging up to the guys ahead of me.

Then the hills and rollers came. My HR skyrocketed which is fairly normal. However it never recovered, or it took too long to recover. This here is the lack of race fitness.


Typically after a hard 20-30 second effort (ie. a hill) your HR rises significantly. However, after the hill, your HR should drop quickly if you're fit, leaving your body ready for the next effort. In my case, the HR lingered at 90% + mark and took ages to drop. This left me suffering on each consecutive hill as I buried myself in a sea of pain and desperate gasps for air.

The result of this was that I fell back as I didnt have the cardio to keep up with my field. By the second half of the first lap, I was way behind the second last guy. Completely outclassed. Even if I had raced expert, my lap time would barely be competitive.

By the second half of the second lap i was being passed by the starts behind me which had me off the course most of the time letting trains of juniors go by. Then by the end of the 3rd lap I was being lapped by my own field. This is the caliber of rider I was today.

I blame it entirely on top end race fitness. My threshold is good, my base is good, my top end is non existent.

I have two options, I can go back to expert which is where I should be given my fitness level. Or I can make a concerted effort to get back where I was.

I've decided that my next OCup will be Kelso. It will be my last do or die effort in Elite, or else ill downgrade to expert. Its probably mostly just pride keeping me in elite, or the idea that I dont want to take a step backwards.

Kelso is 7 weeks away. So I have 7 weeks to rediscover my top end, drop a little weight, and hone my cardiovascular system. Albion was an embarrassment, albeit one I saw coming.



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