Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Long ride- dry run for Halfmax

Sunday, Sept 19.
The ride I planned for today was a 56 mile ride in the hills of Montgomery, in conjunction with an organized ride sponsored by my tri club, HRTC.  I had decided to use this race to test the pacing strategy for my upcoming half ironman.
I started out riding with a couple other guys, and I faced the typical group-riding challenges that are generated by my refusal to ride pace-line or draft.  I'm found myself out front pulling until we hit an uphill, when I would be passed by the entire pace-line (which I would then re-pass on the next downhill).  My goal for the day was to ride at 170-180 W (assuming 213W for my threshold power, which I admittedly haven't tested in half a year), and keeping my HR below 160.  I rode the first half of the ride with this goal in mind, but somehow ended up averaging 190W through the first half (avg HR ~155).  I made a pit-stop at the halfway point and rode the rest of the ride by myself.  I continued the second half with the same goal in mind, but my wattage for the second half was much lower relative to my HR.  I struggled a bit through the second half, and my average wattage for this section was closer to 155W.  This ride was not really a perfect dry run for my upcoming race, since this ride was quite hilly, and my upcoming race will be flat and windy.
Conclusions:  For this distance, I should probably lower my wattage target (165 - 175W) and try to hold it consistently throughout the ride.  I definitely should not exceed a HR of 155 in my race (with no hills, there should be no reason for such surges). 

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