Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Fiesta Island Time Trial Race Report
"This is the windiest day for the race that I can remember"
-Fiesta Island Time Trial race director on Sunday's conditions
On Sunday I returned to the famous Fiesta Island Time Trial in San Diego for an early benchmark (reality check?) of my cycling fitness.
Without any interval or tempo training to speak of so far this year, my original goal was to just keep my average heart rate around 165 and speed at or over 28mph. In my last race on this course I averaged around 27.4mph in fair conditions. Unfortunately, severe winds would alter my strategy on race morning.
I chose to race with a Zipp disk instead of my PowerTap wheel, so I would rely on HR and perceived exertion instead of watts. Would I blow up? For my front wheel I swapped out my Blackwell 100 Deep (5 minutes before my start time!) for a safer Zipp 404 that I borrowed from series sponsor and neutral-support-provider Moment Cyclery of Point Loma...THANK YOU!
While warming up I noticed that in the gusting winds I would be likely to lose some control and thereby possibly sacrifice power with the super-deep front wheel and the 404 would be a better option. Holding a perfect aero position for every second of this race is critical, especially in windy conditions. Coming around corners throughout the race I was reminded that I made a good choice as the shifting winds demanded your full concentration.
I wound up averaging 27.03mph, good enough to win my Cat 4/5 division and Top 3 overall including the Pro/1/2 division. For the record, I do plan on competing in some more road races, crits and circuit races this year so I can hopefully upgrade to Cat 3. Unfortunately my multisport credentials carry zero weight with USA Cycling. Rules are rules. I look forward to earning my upgrade as soon as possible.
Overall it was a great benchmark of fitness and focus in challenging conditions. Although the conditions made times much slower than normal, I was able to keep my heart rate at 165-170bpm throughout the race, which I have not done since I can remember.
All of my training since last fall has been under a heart rate of 150 with very few exceptions such as climbing short steep hills, etc. On the few occasions that I have done 10+ minute efforts on the bike at just at or under 150 HR, my power seems to be around 315-320 watts. I look forward more than ever to upcoming tests on Mount Palomar at my Lactic Threshold/Functional Threshold Power around 160-165 heart rate.
I honestly enjoy the harder efforts and look forward to the end of my 'base training' period. Like many endurance athletes, I typically wait until I plateau (in Watts at a given HR or for running, pace at 150hr) before graduating from Base. After a few more weeks of patient engine-building, I will be ready.
See you at the races!
RACE RESULTS (scroll to bottom of document)